10 Best SoundCloud Alternatives 2021

Music streaming apps today have similar catalogs unlike in the past when you’d find a particular artist on one platform and not on another.

However, the apps aren’t necessarily built the same because there’s a huge difference in the quality of music discovery as some apps rely on human curation while others on algorithms.

Plus, there’s a huge difference in the sound quality, user experience on mobile and desktop apps, and pricing tiers, which are differentiated by the experience you get.

SoundCloud is just one among the many audio streaming platforms that allow you to listen to your favorite music and discover up-and-coming artists. You can upload your own music, whether you’re a professional or aspiring musician, and share it with the world.

Plus, SoundCloud has over 120 million tracks to boot and helps you connect with artists or friends directly on the platform. Moreover, you can get curated tracklists based on your taste or make your own playlists.

However, you’ll have to put up with some annoying popups on SoundCloud, and we can’t vouch for the quality of the music on the platform. Not only that, but SoundCloud’s user interface can be a bit cluttered and confusing, making it difficult to navigate at times, and you don’t get a shared or family plan.

If you want more than what you get on SoundCloud, here are some of the best SoundCloud alternatives you can try.

Best SoundCloud Alternatives

1. Spotify

Spotify is among the top music streaming platforms and the best SoundCloud alternative for several reasons.

To begin with, Spotify has an excellent music discovery algorithm, snappy yet slick user interface, and you can find new artists and old favorites based on what you like or listen to on the platform.

Unlike SoundCloud, whose free and Go+ plans are only available in 19 countries, Spotify is available in 187 countries, making it more accessible for music streaming fans in different parts of the world.

Previously, Spotify had a limit of 10,000 songs in its library, but today, you can add an unlimited number of songs to your personal library and up to 10,000 per playlist.

If you enable social sharing, you can create sessions where your friends stream playlists simultaneously and you get to see what they’ve been listening to.

Like SoundCloud, Spotify offers a free tier with ads and defaults to 96Kbps streaming bit rate, which is a low-quality audio streaming experience, though you can bump that up to 160Kbps. The premium tier streams up to 320Kbps, which is the standard streaming quality, and removes the ads entirely.

For lossless audio quality, you can subscribe to the upcoming Spotify HiFi, which will offer high-quality streaming in CD quality and a seamless user experience.

What sets Spotify apart from SoundCloud is that you get major-label music via the free tier, and premium subscribers can hear select albums before they’re released. You also get cool collaborative playlists and group session options.

Spotify is available on iOS, Android, or desktop, and offers smart TV apps. Plus, Spotify works on multiple platforms including the web, through Spotify Connect to your connected speakers, or your car player.

Check out this post to explore the best Spotify alternatives.

2. Apple Music

Apple Music is another great SoundCloud alternative that offers a wide range of exciting features for your music listening pleasure. The app has more human-curated discovery options though they’re not as effective as Spotify’s, but way better than what SoundCloud offers.

The suggested playlists and channels are pretty decent, and you can see what your friends are listening to as long as you enable social sharing.

Unlike SoundCloud, which doesn’t offer major-label music on the free tier, Apple Music boasts a deep music well, compatibility with Apple products, and music videos even with the free trial.

Plus, Apple Music offers a potent mix of content, which makes it one of the better streaming music platforms available. You can see artist by artist for all your favorited songs and listen to all the songs you’ve liked across your favorited artists’ albums.

While you can listen to Apple Music on iOS devices and Android, the desktop version doesn’t deliver similar clear audio quality, adding music to your library is tedious, and sometimes the songs refuse to play.

Apple Music also uses human music experts and algorithms to help you find the music you want to hear based on your tastes and what you play.

Unlike SoundCloud, the audio quality on Apple Music is streamed up to 256Kbps while SoundCloud streams tracks in 128Kbps.

Apple Music doesn’t offer a free tier though, unlike SoundCloud, which has a free Basic plan that allows you to upload music, and includes basic stats, an editable, embeddable, and tweakable mini-player.

Apple Music is available in over 167 countries, while SoundCloud’s free and Go+ plans are available in 19 countries. Plus, Apple Music has over 75 million songs in its library while SoundCloud has over 120 million, but Apple Music beats SoundCloud when it comes to providing lyrics to music tracks.

Plus, there are subtle differences between the mobile app experience for iOS and Android, and Apple Music doesn’t work with older iPod models.

If you want to listen to songs and albums you’ve added to iTunes, Apple Music is a solid choice. You can also control what you hear or search for new music using other Apple devices and Siri on Apple HomePod.

Also Read: Best Crunchyroll Alternatives

3. TIDAL

TIDAL is a leading music and entertainment platform that offers more than 70 million songs in its catalog, high-resolution videos, high-fidelity sound quality, and expertly curated content.

The platform brings artists and fans together, as SoundCloud does, through unique content and music experiences. In addition, TIDAL is available in 61 countries, which gives it much wider coverage compared to SoundCloud, which covers 19 countries even though SoundCloud has a larger music-streaming library.

TIDAL has a free tier dubbed TIDAL Access, which allows you to play curated channels, but you can’t skip songs or look for music.

Premium tiers are available, which you can try for free for 30 days as a new customer on both subscription tiers and enjoy up to 320Kbps of audio quality.

In addition, you can access your favorite music content through TIDAL X and TIDAL Rising programs and enjoy the same broad swathe of genres as SoundCloud or other music streaming platforms.

The HiFi tier gives you lossless sound quality with up to 1,411 Kbps, but some tracks let you play up to 9,216Kbps Master quality though such tracks are far between and very few.

SoundCloud doesn’t offer such high-quality audio levels though as its high-quality streaming format is encoded in 256Kbps AAC, which is the equivalent of a 320Kbps encoded MP3.

While TIDAL supports 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos Music, SoundCloud offers Mastering on SoundCloud, which is powered by Dolby and empowers music creators to improve the quality of their music.

If you’re a music purist who cares about discovering up and coming or new artists and sound quality, TIDAL is worth considering.

Check out how Tidal fared when put next to Qobuz.

4. YouTube Music

YouTube Music, which succeeded Google Play Music, is a popular music streaming service that’s been around since 2015 when it was unveiled and released.

The app has a slick and well laid out interface, and you can navigate quickly and easily through it compared to SoundCloud thanks to the YouTube Music song queue.

Plus, YouTube Music offers lyrics unlike SoundCloud, which doesn’t, and you can easily switch from listening to a song or watch its music video if it’s available.

While YouTube Music has a little over 60 million songs, which is about half of what SoundCloud offers, the tracks are from major record labels and you get audio from YouTube’s video-sharing section.

Both apps offer offline listening, but only for their premium members. YouTube Music premium members can also download their favorite songs and videos to their mobile gadgets while SoundCloud premium members can save their likes, playlists, and entire music library on their mobile devices.

YouTube Music also has a limit of 100,000 songs that you can save in your library but allows you to create and share playlists with others. SoundCloud enforces a 500 track limit to playlists to maintain the service and performance quality for their user base.

The free YouTube Music tier offers 128Kbps audio quality, like SoundCloud, and you can listen to it on the web or on mobile apps. Like SoundCloud, you can upload new tracks to YouTube Music’s online music locker and enjoy a clean interface with well-curated radio stations to play endless music.

If you’re a heavy Android device or YouTube user, YouTube Music is a good SoundCloud alternative to use.

5. Amazon Music

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Music is included for free and gives you access to more than two million songs. You can listen to top playlists and thousands of stations all ad-free, with unlimited skips and offline listening.

You can explore your favorite music, start making a playlist, and enjoy your music on all Amazon Echo devices, Fire tablets or FireTV, and other Alexa-enabled devices. You can also listen to your favorite music on your computer or mobile device as you would on SoundCloud.

However, most of these Amazon Music features are only available for Prime members, unlike SoundCloud, which offers a free tier with access to its music library.

Amazon Music delivers songs in 256Kbps quality, but also offers HD support, which delivers lossless audio in two quality ranges and an average bitrate of 850Kbps, which is much higher than what you get on SoundCloud.

Both platforms offer podcasts on any and every topic under the sun, and you can import playlists into Amazon Music from other music services. SoundCloud and Amazon Music also provide offline playback, which you can get if you’re on a premium subscription plan.

You can make your own playlists on Amazon Music and add your favorite tracks, but Amazon Music also has human curation experts who curate playlists for any occasion, mood, or activity.

If you want to sing along to your favorite artist’s songs, Amazon Music offers lyrics that pop up automatically on the Now Playing screen, unlike SoundCloud, which doesn’t offer song lyrics.

Want to save a few bucks on a decent music catalog? Try Amazon Music. There are no adverts and the service works with Alexa too.

6. Deezer

Deezer is a music streaming platform that has so much to offer. The platform offers more than 73 million tracks you can listen to including new songs and old favorites.

You can create playlists to craft your own collection from all these tracks and take them with you on the go.

If you don’t have WiFi, you can still listen to Deezer offline and enjoy your favorite tracks just as you would with SoundCloud, but you need a premium membership for both platforms to enjoy the offline feature.

Deezer also has the Flow feature that’s just made for you so you get to know what you like and what you don’t like while discovering your personal soundtrack. The music platform is always with you because you can download music and listen to it on all your devices, any time.

Deezer and SoundCloud were both founded in 2007, but Deezer has so much more to offer including its free mobile-only tier, which offers millions of tracks. You also get an extensive music catalog that makes its free tier a compelling prospect.

While Deezer has lots of choices, good podcasts, and is easy to use, the platform still offers 128Kbps quality like SoundCloud, and also provides a web player like SoundCloud and Spotify.

However, Deezer isn’t as great for music discovery as SoundCloud is, because Deezer may suggest different content from what you’ve been listening to. SoundCloud offers a whopping 120 million music tracks so you can find a wider variety of tracks.

Both platforms offer a ton of choice in content including podcasts and other non-music content you can get your ears into.

7. Pandora

Pandora is another popular music streaming service that was once a giant in the industry, but in recent years has been struggling.

While it has its own flaws, Pandora is still a good alternative to SoundCloud as it also offers a free tier and is good for music discovery based on other artists or songs you like.

In addition, Pandora has unique features like Thumbprint Radio that plays songs based on tracks you’ve liked previously.

Like SoundCloud’s free plan, you still have to put up with annoying ads on Pandora, and if you want to skip tracks, search for, and play specific songs, you have to watch ads.

Pandora also provides three sound quality options, unlike SoundCloud’s 128Kbps. You can listen to your music in 32Kbps or 64Kbps AAC+, or if you have a premium account, you can enjoy up to 192Kbps for MP3 tracks, though that’s still too low to be worth paying for.

The service caps the station limit to 250 on all accounts, whether free or paid, but premium subscribers can create as many playlists as they like.

Pandora also has fewer songs in its library compared to SoundCloud’s 120 million and other streaming platforms mentioned here, and you can only get it on iOS and Android devices.

Thanks to its free version, the service is still one of the largest user bases, and you can get better music suggestions thanks to its Music Genome Project that analyzes tracks based on different attributes.

However, Pandora’s audio quality is still low compared to other services, isn’t available outside the US, and doesn’t really provide enough of an incentive for an upgrade.

Explore the best Pandora alternatives in the market.

8. Qobuz

Qobuz is a music streaming platform founded in 2008 and named after the ancient, sacred, and symbolic Kobyz instrument drawn from Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

The platform was created to provide audiophiles with aspects of music fandom including quality sound, freedom of choice without bias, and quality editorials.

Consequently, Qobuz provides a diverse collective culture and a service that caters to highly specialized music lovers across the globe.

Unlike SoundCloud, whose music quality is rather low for its users, Qobuz is designed for great music sound quality. The music library consists of recordings that are as close to studio recordings as possible.

The platform is packed with files of superior quality to mere MP3s and is the first service in the world to retail CD-quality 16-bit files that you can download from its entire catalog. Plus, Qobuz is the first service in the world to liaise with major and independent labels to provide 24-bit hi-res files to its fans, which make up the bulk of its music library today.

Beyond sound quality, the platform has a distinct style that puts it above other music streaming services listed here. You can get recommendations and grow musically through Qobuz, thanks to its musical experience.

Each week, Qobuz cherry-picks what is interesting from the hundreds or thousands of albums delivered to their doorstep, across every musical genre.

A group of discographers is at hand to provide written recommendations to enlighten you and help you re-discover the world from which an album was born.

The platform features a clean interface, compared to SoundCloud’s which can be confusing, hi-res audio streams, unlike SoundCloud’s that limits you to 128Kbps, and you can buy lossless music.

The app is really fun to use, and you can listen to 24-bit music without a specialized decoder. However, it has a few gaps in its catalog, but it should be sufficient for everything you may need and for a decent price too.

9. TuneIn Radio

If you’re a lover of radio, TuneIn Radio doesn’t disappoint. The service is available on iOS and Android, but also offers a web player and you can play it on a smart speaker, in your car, via your smart TV, wearables, or game consoles.

The platform features big-name stations and though it’s not music-focused, you can still get your music fix via the radio stations, which include BBC Radio, NPR, Joy FM, Family Now Gospel Road, and more.

Like SoundCloud, you can get podcasts on TuneIn Radio, but also news from Fox News and other stations.

The platform is free to use, you can choose from local and genre-specific radio stations, and the audio quality is decent for listening from any device.

10. Primephonic

If you’re interested in classical music, Primephonic is the go-to SoundCloud alternative for you.

You can stream music at the highest quality possible, unlike SoundCloud, which limits you to 128Kbps. Primephonic gives you the quality based on the album, so if the album is available in 24-bit, you’ll get exactly that.

Plus, in case your connection slows down or drops, Primephonic will dynamically adapt the audio to ensure the music doesn’t stop.

Primephonic has a smaller library than SoundCloud though, but you can play it on iOS, Android, and on the web player.

The app has lots of playlists, a revamped interface, and great sound. However, the catalog is still not as exhaustive as SoundCloud’s.

Classical music fans will get a kick out of this platform, which now claims to provide more than 3.5 million classical music tracks, compared to SoundCloud, which offers a wide mix of everything.

Primephonic lacks a free tier, like SoundCloud, but the premium tier provides access to 320Kbps streams and 24-bit FLAC streams.

Wrapping Up

If you’re used to streaming music from SoundCloud but for some reason, the service no longer works for you, any of these 10 best SoundCloud alternatives will help you listen to almost any song you want.

Not only that, but you also get to discover what else is out there that you may not find in SoundCloud, and enjoy better audio quality across devices.

Author: Tom ClaytonTom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.
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