Several streaming services offer high-quality music. Lossless music is how songs were intended to sound in the recording studio. We discuss four things you should pay attention to if you want to listen to lossless music.
What is lossless sound?
If you listen to music on services such as Spotify or YouTube Music, you will not yet hear the highest quality sound. Some of the quality is lost on these services through compression. That compression is functional, because the intention is that you can stream with lower data consumption and that the sound remains acceptable.
Of course, it is not a requirement in all circumstances to use little data when streaming and lossless music can be interesting. With lossless sound, music files are still reduced in size, but the intention is that the original studio quality is preserved as much as possible.
Not everyone values that, but it does sound like music to the ears of many music fans. There are a number of factors that influence your lossless music experience and we discuss them here.
1. Choose a suitable streaming app
Lossless listening starts with the right app. As mentioned, you cannot (yet) go to the popular Spotify, but there are plenty of other services that already offer better sound, whether or not at an additional cost.
We have previously discussed the best music streaming services at Androidworld and we also paid extra attention to services with lossless sound. You can read in that article that we recommend Apple Music, because that service currently offers the best price-quality ratio for lossless sound. You can read more about this in the article below.
2. Think about the sound of your phone
Not every music app is equally worthy, but the same can be said about phones. In recent years, codecs for Bluetooth sound have improved greatly, but for many audio connoisseurs, wired sound remains the quality standard. If you want the best wired sound on your phone, you need an external ‘DAC’. A ‘Digital to Analog Converter’ is a device that converts digital sound to analog music. Your phone also has a DAC, but it is usually much lower quality.
In recent years we have seen that bluetooth sound is on the rise and most phones no longer have a 3.5 mm audio jack. Companies such as Sony and Qualcomm offer codecs for high-quality sound via Bluetooth. A codec is the software that processes the sound. Qualcomm’s so-called aptX HD codec works on many phones, as does Sony’s LDAC standard. This allows you to stream sound of much higher quality.
Only if you really want lossless sound over Bluetooth, you need a phone that supports the new aptX Lossless codec. Unfortunately, it currently only works on a very limited number of devices. An example we tested recently at Androidworld is the excellent ASUS Zenfone 9.
3. Use the right headphones or earphones
The music app or phone you’re using doesn’t matter if you’re playing music with low-quality headphones or earphones. Always check the specifications for which audio codecs are supported.
If you really want to stream lossless sound via Bluetooth with aptX Lossless, you will have to be patient if you want more choice, because at the moment there is only one model of wireless earphones that supports the codec: the ‘NuraTrue Pro’ . Fortunately, that will change in the future.
4. Pay attention to data usage
Lossless music still undergoes some form of compression, but music files are still relatively large. If you stream music on Spotify for an hour, you have used just under 50 MB of data. If you opt for lossless streaming services, you may multiply that data usage by at least 10. This does not necessarily have to be a problem for those who have an unlimited subscription with their provider, or if you often listen via WiFi. And of course you can also store offline music.
These NuraTrue Pro are currently the only option if you want lossless sound via Bluetooth
Do you attach great importance to the quality of your music? Maybe you already use an external DAC, or do you already select a new phone based on its audio quality? Let us know in the comments.
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