SoundCloud Responds to Change In Audio Quality Allegations

Yesterday we published an article noting how SoundCloud lowered its bitrate from 128 mbps to 64 mbps Opus, resulting in the understanding that the streaming giant was effectively reducing quality by half.

SoundCloud has responded to those allegations, detailing how there is a misconception that quality of sound has been lowered by half when, they state, that is not the case.

We received statement from a spokesperson at SoundCloud clarifying the change:

“While we always appreciate feedback, these reports are inaccurate. SoundCloud has not altered its approach to audio quality. We have been using the Opus codec (among others) since 2016, and we regularly test different combinations of encoding and streaming to offer listeners a quality experience on any device.

Furthermore, we store all content from creators at its originally uploaded quality level so we can continually adapt to advances in encoding and playback.”

A Billboard article has come out expanding on the statement from SoundCloud, offering a clear explanation of the opus codec: “Though the numbers might suggest the audio quality would decrease by half, it is not so simple. Opus (the successor to .ogg) is a higher quality format than MP3 and at 64 kbps should actually sound better than a 128 kbps MP3.”

Although SoundCloud won’t disclose specific codecs or versions it is using, as it deems it proprietary information, their spokesperson states that any reports of any altered (including lowered) approach to audio quality are “inaccurate.”