Poor sound quality in Spotify

I love Spotify, but recently I have been plagued by poor sound quality. Specifically I experienced clipping, popping and variations in volume level during playback. As far as I could tell this affected all the songs I played in Spotify. At first I thought the problem was specific to Spotify, but after doing some tests with Grooveshark and Windows Media Player I discovered that the problem affected all apps playing sound. After a little digging I discovered a workaround for the problem.

Open the Sound properties:


Select Properties for the Default Device, the select the Enhancements tab:


Select Disable all enhancements. If you are playing music it will momentarily pause and then continue, hopefully (as it did for me) with now crystal clear quality.

Happy listening!

Last.FM profile: www.last.fm/user/morgands


6 thoughts on “Poor sound quality in Spotify”

  1. I had the exact same problem. It seems a week or two after I installed spotify, my sound started crackling and popping. And it was also with any audio that I was playing. Not just spotify. I did exactly what you said and it didn’t work 🙁 I disabled all enhancements and it didn’t change a thing. What version of windows did you do this on? I have windows vista. Maybe it only works on Windows 7. Any suggestions for how to do it on windows vista because it’s such an annoyance. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hello Ryan

      Too bad the trick didn’t work for you. I actually discovered it by chance, and I’ve only tested it on Windows 7.

      In your situation I would try to upgrade to the latest driver for your audio hardware. That has fixed problems for me before.

      Good luck!


      1. Hey thanks for replying. I’m actually getting a brand new laptop tomorrow that will have windows 7. So I’ll try disabling the enhancements again with the new laptop. But just in case I have to, how exactly do I upgrade to the latest driver for my audio hardware on windows 7? I’m good with computers, but I know absolutely nothing about updating audio hardware. So anything you can suggest to help me would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again.

  2. For spotify FREE..you WILL need the enhancements…careful adjustment of the equalizer is required because without it, the audio sounds worse than using a worn out cassette tape!

    If you run spotify through a decent hi-fi…it sounds ‘dull’…and there is no way around this due to the low bit-rate of which spotify allocate for the free version.

  3. I tried defaulting all my settings from my sound card to native settings. This seemed to help reduce the popping and clipping. However, the premium(30 day free) Spotify stream seems no better than the freebie.

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