Remember the days when you had to purchase a physical medium such as a cassette, CD, or DVD, and a physical media player? Although they were better in some ways (mostly social), we’re glad they’re gone. Streaming music is more convenient, cheaper, and doesn’t require special equipment. Also, you can easily move on from an artist you dislike or never stop listening to the music that sets your soul on fire. With the following list, we’ve tried to appease everyone, regardless of the budget and music taste. These are our top choices for the best music streaming services you should try.
- Millions of songs to listen to
- No credit card required
Did you think we’d start without the king of streaming, Spotify? It’s popular, easily accessible on any device you might have, and has an incredibly large music library of over 40 million songs, and counting. Furthermore, Spotify offers multiple subscription plans such as Student, Premium, or Family, and they’re all very affordable on a monthly level. There’s even a free option that forces you to watch ads and suffer a weaker stream quality if you are strapped for cash. The most convincing part is their algorithms that offer-spot on suggestions in form of weekly playlists. The more you use it, the better they get!
- More than 20 million songs to listen to
- Supported on almost all platforms
SoundCloud was actually our top website to listen to music but was a bit overshadowed by Spotify’s music library. This is why it earned a second-place here. That doesn’t mean it’s unsuitable – in fact, SoundCloud is, in our opinion, the best free music streaming service you can encounter. Besides a library of more than 20 million songs in its catalog, you’ll also discover a lot of those are by unknown or underground artists you’ve never heard of. The platform is accessible to everyone to upload or stream music, has no commercials or ads, and the streaming is unlimited.
- 56 million tracks to listen from
- Available on all platforms
- 1-month free-trial
Deezer has an even bigger song library than Spotify, with more than 56 million tracks, podcasts, and free radio station website streams. However, it didn’t make the cut because it is unavailable in a lot of countries. Getting a premium VPN solves that problem, so it’s not a big deal. Other than that, you’ll find this service for streaming music is available on Windows, iOS, and Android. It also supports automatic on-screen lyrics, offline listening, and connecting social media accounts to find like-minded individuals. Although it is a paid service, you can get a 1-month trial.
- A robust suggestion algorithm
- Millions of tracks
Pandora offers millions of songs you can listen to but is often unavailable outside of the United States. That would’ve been a problem in the past, but if you are paying for a VPN service already, simply connect to one of the US servers. After that, you can listen to songs in form of a free, personal radio station where you curate the content. Pandora helps you with its best feature – a suggestion algorithm that is somehow always spot-on. That way, you’ll never run out of music that speaks to your soul.
5. Amazon Music Unlimited
- 60+ million audio tracks
- Integration with the Amazon Alexa
- One of the cheapest music streaming services
After books, online shopping, and many endeavors in-between, Amazon also decided to dabble in music. They offer one of the cheapest services to listen to music – think 2 to 3 times cheaper than Spotify. The price goes down further if you are an Amazon Prime member. Furthermore, you can access the database of 60+ million ad-free tracks on Apple devices, Windows, Android, as well as Alexa speakers offline. They support CD quality for the most part, but you can also expect 256 kbps and 320 kbps tracks as well as custom 3D Music.
6. Apple Music
- 60 million music tracks
- Cross platform support
- Online radio stations
Apple has price plans that are identical to Spotify, and more songs – over 60 million tracks! Why did we put it in the 6th spot, then? Well, for one, Apple Music doesn’t have a free version and doesn’t support high bitrate music. Plus, you can’t listen to podcasts inside of the same app and must install a separate one. However, they offer apps for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Windows, Mac, Android, smart speakers, and even offline, which is quite a lot. They also support gapless playback, online radio stations, on-screen lyrics, and give you a chance to create and manage personal playlists.
7. YouTube Music
- 50 million songs to choose
- Offline download
If you aren’t aware, YouTube has a competitor of its own. And no, it’s not the music videos you listen to regularly, but a dedicated database of more than 50 million songs – studio, live, and B-sides/bonus tracks. Best of all – it’s free! However, you’ll have to suffer endless ads and a maximum bitrate of 256 kbps. With that said, you can search by lyrics, skip track infinitely, create playlists, implement parental controls (sort of a family plan), and download up to 100 songs to listen offline for free. But, you can’t enable on-screen lyrics or tune in to podcasts.
- 60+ million audio tracks to choose
- 250k HD videos and podcasts
Did you know Jay-Z has founded a streaming service? He markets Tidal towards people who have a keen sense of hearing. That means only lossless, high-fidelity music for high-quality headphones and speakers. You get access to more than 60 million tracks and 250,000 HD videos, podcasts, and hand-picked playlists. The prices used to be high because Tidal promises to pay the highest royalties to the artists and songwriters in the industry. They’ve dropped the cost at their expense to make the service more affordable to customers. Mad respect!
- 40 million songs to listen to
- High-fidelity lossless music
Qobuz is relatively new, launched in February 2019. Its best feature is the same as Tidal, high-fidelity lossless music, although it’s easier to play it since it doesn’t require a special MQA decoder. However, they only have a library of more than 40 million songs, which is significantly lower. Also, they’re a bit more expensive than Tidal and aren’t available in all countries across the world. However, they have a unique payment option, Sublime+, which allows you to purchase lossless music instead of streaming it.
- 1 million+ songs
- Lossless music streaming
Primephonic is dedicated to lovers of classical music and has a library of more than 1 million songs. Besides a web player, it also offers apps for Android and iOS. The music isn’t top-notch, but it could be. Sounds confusing? It was for us too! But then we realized that you can pay a cheaper monthly or annual license to get access to 320 kbps music. Or, you can pay approximately double per month or year and get access to 24-bit FLAC e.g. lossless music. With that said, there are hundreds of playlists available, support for offline playback, and help for people new to the genre.