How Much Speed Do I Need to Stream Music?

Streaming music doesn’t require much bandwidth—almost all current internet speeds are more than fast enough to keep your tunes rolling. In most cases, 500 Kbps (0.5 Mbps) is enough speed; you’ll need more speed for multiple streams. If you’re listening on mobile, keep an eye on your data. Some services have offline options, but you’ll still have to download songs via an internet connection before you can listen to them offline. Each music streaming service (Pandora, Spotify, etc.) has specific speed recommendations, which you can see below.

Internet speed requirements for:

Before we get started, you may want to test your internet speed first so you can compare it to the recommended speeds.

internet speed test button

How Much Speed You Need to Stream:

Amazon Music Unlimited internet speed requirements

Amazon Music uses an average bitrate of 256 Kbps. Because that bitrate is an average, the actual bitrate varies depending on the amount of information necessary to relay each part of a song. Some songs, or parts of songs, can be more complex than others and thus contain more data and take a little more speed to stream. If the average rate of transfer is 256 Kbps, you can safely assume that some songs may require less data, while others may require considerably more data. So, to give yourself plenty of overhead to accommodate for those potentially larger songs, we recommend a speed of at least 500 Kbps.

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Apple Music (iTunes) internet speed requirements

Apple Music transmits at a rate of 256 Kbps, so any speed that’s at least that fast should be fine.

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Deezer music logo

Deezer internet speed requirements

Deezer has two tiers of speeds and service, each with its own recommendation. The first tier, Deezer Premium+, uses MP3 technology, and Deezer recommends 320 Kbps for this service. The next tier, Deezer Elite, uses FLAC streams, for which it recommends 5 Mbps. It also recommends doubling that to 10 Mbps for three or more simultaneous streams.

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Google Play Music internet speed requirements

Google Play Music recommended speed table

Google Play uses files in up to seven types, including MP3, AAC, and FLAC. However, unlike other services on this list, Google Play lists only 320 Kbps as its bitrate.

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Groove Music internet speed requirements

Groove Music uses Windows Media Audio (WMA). This audio type functions on several different levels of compression rates that affect the transmission rate. It lists several speeds for different levels of quality from 64 Kbps on the low end to 384 Kbps for the highest quality.

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iHeartRadio Logo

iHeartRadio internet speed requirements

iHeartRadio logo

We couldn’t find any official recommendations for iHeartRadio’s regular consumer service, but it does list a recommendation for its business service. iHeartRadio for Business suggests having an internet connection of at least 150 Kbps. It doesn’t support dial-up or ISDN connections. It also suggests businesses add more bandwidth for heavy usage. Residential customers usually stream fewer songs simultaneously than businesses. So, while this speed recommendation is for business service, because it’s in the same range as the recommendations for other music streaming services on this list, we feel safe extrapolating that recommendation to iHeartRadio’s consumer service as well.

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Napster logo

Napster internet speed requirements

Napster makes its speeds perfectly clear. It streams in three different tiers of quality, each with a different speed recommendation: Good, Better, and Best. Streaming in Good takes 64 Kbps, streaming in Better takes 192 Kbps, and streaming in Best takes 320 Kbps.

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Pandora internet speed requirements

Pandora lists two speed recommendations for its two quality tiers. They’re very simple and straightforward.

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Sirius XM internet speed requirements

The Sirius XM website says it requires an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) at minimum. At their lowest speeds, ISDN connections transmit data at 64 Kbps, so we can assume this is the minimum speed required for Sirius XM.

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Slacker Radio internet speed requirements

App Streaming

Slacker Radio internet speed requirements table

Web Streaming

Slacker Radio Internet Speed Requirements Table

Slacker Radio presents its speed recommendations slightly different than the other music streaming services we examined. It lists speed recommendations based on the platform or operating system you’re using. It has two recommendations, based on two different quality tiers, for streaming from the Slacker website. It also has separate recommendations for streaming through its Android app and its iOS app, although they happen to be the same number.

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Soundcloud Logo

Soundcloud internet speed requirements

We couldn’t find speed recommendations on the SoundCloud main site, but according to a moderator account on the SoundCloud Help Community forum, it streams at 128 Kbps.

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Spotify logo

Spotify internet speed requirements


Spotify internet speed requirements table


Like Napster, Spotify makes its speed recommendations based on three different tiers of quality. For Normal quality, you need about 96 Kbps; for High quality, you need about 160 kbps; and for Extreme quality, you need about 320 kbps. Those recommendations are for mobile. On desktop, you’ll need to adjust them up one tier.

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Tidal internet speed requirements

Tidal internet speed requirements table

Tidal uses AAC, FLAC, and Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), and it has different speed recommendations for each. Its recommendations are slightly higher than other streaming services, but Tidal promotes itself as having higher-quality streams.

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Tunein internet speed requirements

TuneIn lists two different recommended speeds: 32 Kbps for spoken content and 64 Kbps for music.

Almost all the speeds recommended in this article are well under the speeds offered on the least expensive packages of most Internet Service Providers. To see internet packages available in your area, enter your zip code in the box below.

Remember, whenever internet speed is concerned, the more internet activities happening on your network at the same time, the more internet speed you will need. So, if you’re planning on doing other internet activities while streaming music, you’ll need more speed than what is recommended for just streaming music. For a recommendation on how much speed you need for all your internet activities, use our How Much Speed Do I Need? tool by simply clicking the button.

Author -

With over five years writing about the internet industry, John has developed a deep knowledge of internet providers and technology. Prior to writing professionally, John graduated with a degree in strategic communication from the University of Utah. His education and experience make his writing easy to understand, even when covering complex topics. John’s work has been cited by, PCMag, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and more.

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