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What is Spotify Connect? The streaming service’s best feature explained

Spotify is one of the biggest music streaming services on the planet, one of those services that feels as if it’s compatible with every platform around, and the Connect feature is one of reasons why it’s so ubiquitous on devices.

Spotify Connect first came online in 2013 to make it easier to stream music to another device. It’s not too dissimilar to Chromecast or AirPlay 2, except it works with an even wider range of devices.

If you’re not too familiar with Spotify Connect, here’s the lowdown on what it is and who the devices that support it.

What is Spotify Connect?

Spotify Connect allows users to stream music to (as well as control) hardware/devices from the Spotify app, whether that be on mobile or via the desktop and web player.

The device being used to stream music must be on the same Wi-Fi connection, and if you’re using a mobile device it’ll act as a remote so you can control playback, volume or add other devices to stream to.

Music doesn’t stream from the smartphone to speaker, but instead direct from the Spotify services to the speaker itself, which means your smartphone doesn’t use up any power as it would do if you’re using Bluetooth.

All you need to do is open the app on mobile, desktop or web player, click on the speaker icon at the bottom of the screen and select the device (or devices) that you want to stream to. That means a multi-room setup is possible as you can stream to multiple devices in different rooms.

Which devices support Spotify Connect?

Initially it was restricted to Spotify’s Premium tier, but in 2018 it was announced that users on Spotify’s Free tier would have access to the Connect feature, but that comes with a caveat.

Free tier users get limited access to Connect features as some devices will still require a Premium subscription. Spotify says it supports over 2000 devices from 200 brands. Smart TVs, soundbars (such as the Samsung HW-S61B pictured below), wireless speakers, game consoles and music streamers are just some of the devices that can be streamed to. You can have a look at which devices are supported on the Spotify Explore website.

Samsung HW-S61B main
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Spotify Connect will be supported by the HiFi tier, though there’s still no word on when lossless audio tier will arrive.

Audio quality differs depending on the tier you’re subscribed to. If you’re listening on the Free tier then it’s 160kbps on mobile/desktop or 128kbps streaming from the web player. On the Premium tier the ceiling is 320kbps or 256kbps if you’re streaming from the web player.

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