Has Soundcloud reduced its sound quality?

Soundcloud has spoken out to deny claims that they have moved to reduce the sound quality of their streams.

This week, reports spread online that the streaming service had changed from using a 128kbps MP3 format to play tracks to a lower 64 kbps Opus one. Users took to Twitter to say that they had noticed a reduction in audio quality.

One user @DirectOfficial even went as far to create a Chrome extension to show the difference in returning to Soundcloud’s old 128 format.

“Soundcloud recently changed their streaming format from 128kbps MP3 to 64kbps Opus,” he wrote. “This drastically reduces the audio quality and can introduce strange artefacts.”

However, now Soundcloud has issued a statement to dismiss the claims.

“SoundCloud has not altered its approach to audio quality,” a spokesman said. “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.”

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

The future of the online streaming platform was put in doubt last year, with Soundcloud even laying off 40% of its employees and closing two offices. It was reported that huge stakes of the company were set to be sold however, meaning that SoundCloud may be able to keep operating.

 Then in August, Soundcloud was saved. The company confirmed the acquisition of a major stake in SoundCloud by Raine Bank (a New York company who have previously invested in the likes of Vice Media) and investment group Temasek was confirmed – with the total investment reaching $169.5 million.