Soundcloud has dropped their bitrate for sound quality by half.
While services like Apple Music, TIDAL and Spotify dominate streaming market, Soundcloud still remains as a unique platform for creators to freely upload their own sounds, from music to podcasts, in order to reach wider audiences. However, in comparison to other streaming services, the audio quality may not be up to par. In a recent report, it turns out that they've decreased their sound quality in recent times to about half.
Soundcloud's audio quality bitrate has dropped from 128kbps mp3 to 64kbps Opus, according to Pigeons & Planes report. As discovered by Twitter user, @DirectOfficial, the new bitrate can "drastically reduces the audio quality and can introduce strange artifacts." However, he's gone on to clarify that Opus 1.2 at 64kbps should be of equal or even better sound quality than 128kbps mp3 but on Soundcloud, it is not. The issue apparently even occurs for users with a Soundcloud GO account as well.
At this point, no one is exactly sure why there's been a decrease in sound quality and Soundcloud has yet to make an official comment on it. However, there have been several plugins that have been created to restore the sound back to 128 kbps mp3.
This news comes a few months after Soundcloud was saved from their downfall due to financial issues. Back in August, Soundcloud received a $170 million cash infusion that helped prevent the company from shutting down. The company also replaced their former CEO Alex Ljung with former Vimeo CEO, Kerry Trainer.