(Pocket-lint) – Deezer is a music streaming service that gives you access to over 73 million songs worldwide along with other audio content like podcasts, similar to Spotify and Tidal.

Deezer has always been about high quality audio, and was the first service to launch Sony 360 Reality Audio on its platform. However, as of writing, it doesn’t offer Hi-Res Master Quality Audio, something that competitor Tidal boasts.

Deezer’s Premium plan allows users to enjoy CD quality 16-bit 44.1kHz tracks in FLAC format. This is currently unmatched by Spotify, but is a feature promised by its own upcoming HiFi plan.

To help you decide if Deezer is worth your time, especially when pitted against the competition, we’ve explained how Deezer works and what makes it potentially worth your hard earned cash. 

How does Deezer work?

Deezer allows you to give it a go without the need for any payment information, instead opting to serve you advertisements between tracks similar to the free tier of Spotify. This is really convenient as it allows you to try out most of the features risk-free. To try out the HiFi and 360 audio features, you’ll need to sign up.

Deezer can be used in your web browser on desktop and also has a dedicated app for Windows and macOS. It’s got mobile apps for both Android and iOS and even various smartwatches. There’s integrations with various smart speakers, car infotainment systems and TV platforms.

Upon first launching the app, Deezer gives you a nice intuitive way to select artists you like and with each one you select, more artists appear. It’s super easy and only takes a few minutes.

Deezer uses this data to curate playlists and suggest artists and tracks you might enjoy, right from day one. It’s very easy to navigate the platform, the user interface is extremely simple, so you can get right into the music.

How much does Deezer cost?

You can see how much Deezer costs in your region here. There are three main plans available: 

Deezer Free

Deezer’s free option allows access to the entire music catalogue as well as podcasts and radio, but with the addition of unskippable adverts between songs. On mobile, it matches Spotify, only allowing playback in shuffle mode and giving you six skips per hour. Selected playlists allow you unlimited skips, and these are marked with a play icon on the cover.

Interestingly, we found that the desktop application let us listen to full albums unshuffled with seemingly unlimited skips. Whereas on mobile, if you select an album it will play a mix of songs ‘inspired by’ said album.

Deezer Premium

Deezer’s Premium plan costs £11.99 per month in the UK. There is a promotion for new subscribers offering 99p per month for the first two months. You can save 25 per cent by purchasing an annual subscription plan.

Deezer Premium removes the limitations of the free tier, allowing you to access over 73 million songs, podcasts and radio uninterrupted. You can link up to three devices to one account, but you will only be able to listen on one at a time.

You’ll be granted access to HiFi FLAC sound quality and can download songs for offline listening. Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is included too but you’ll need to use its Deezer 360 app on either iOS or Android, there’s not currently an equivalent for desktop use.

Deezer Family

Deezer Family gives you six individual Premium accounts for £17.99 per month, provided you live under the same roof. It’s essentially equivalent to Spotify’s Family plan, albeit slightly pricier, in the UK at least. The advantage with Deezer is that all six accounts can stream CD quality music, something not offered by competitors.

Which devices support Deezer?

Aside from the obligatory mobile and desktop apps, Deezer has an impressive amount of integrations with third party products.

There’s a lot of support for sound systems such as Sonos, Amazon Alexa and Google Nest Audio. As well as Chromecast and Apple Airplay functionality to boost compatibility across devices.

For listening on the move, Deezer has a wide range of car integrations; including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, RockScout and BMW. The Waze app allows you to control Deezer without leaving your navigation screen too.

There’s apps for Xbox, Roku and Android TV as well, so it’s easy enough to get the beats pumping through your home cinema speakers.

Where is Deezer available?

Deezer is currently available in over 185 countries, across six continents and it plans to add more to the list. An up-to-date list of countries supported can be found here

How do you navigate Deezer?

Once you download the Deezer app and sign up, you will go through a music tailoring process, asking you to select artists that you like. After you’ve completed the simple process, you’ll find yourself on the music screen. Here you will be presented with a selection of music the platform thinks you will enjoy based on your selections, and after using the app for a while, based on your listening habits too.

There is a menu bar at the bottom of the screen for navigation to different sections of Deezer. There are five screen tabs in the menu bar:

Music: This page is packed with suggestions of music that Deezer thinks you’ll love, in the form of playlists, radio stations, artist suggestions and charts.

Podcasts: Here you can access Deezer’s podcast library. The platform will suggest popular podcasts, allow you to browse by category and give some editorial recommendations. You can also browse by duration or podcast network, which is handy. Finally, there’s some radio station recommendations at the bottom.

Favourites: Every time you favourite a song, album, artist or playlist, it gets added to this tab under Favourite Tracks, Playlists, Albums, Artists or Mixes. You can also find your downloaded music and podcasts here.

Search: The search tab allows you to search for a specific song, artist, podcast or genre. It also allows you to browse music by genre and category. This tab has a Shazam-like feature allowing you to use your device’s microphone to search for a song.

Premium: If you’re using the free plan this will take you to a screen showing you upgrade options. On the premium plan, this tab disappears.

How do you cancel your Deezer subscription?

If you decide that you no longer want to be a Deezer subscriber, the process is pretty straightforward.

From the app

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Account management
  • Select Manage my subscription
  • Select Cancel my subscription
  • Select the reason for canceling and then select Confirm

On desktop

  • Go to your profile
  • Select Account Settings
  • Select Manage my subscription
  • Select Cancel my subscription
  • Select the reason for canceling and then select Confirm

Are there any alternatives?

Alternatives include: Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Tidal and Apple Music. Each of these services allow you to not only stream music but also download and listen offline.

The main draw of Deezer is its HiFi quality and 360 audio support. It doesn’t offer MQA recordings like Tidal, but then it’s much cheaper too, and some aren’t so convinced of MQA’s benefits. Spotify can’t compete on HiFi quality just yet, but it’s recommendations are more advanced and it has better social features. It’s worth noting too, that Amazon Music Unlimited offers a similar service to Deezer at a slightly lower price.

Deezer falls in kind of a middle ground between the services, it’s probably not the right choice for everyone, but it could fall in your Goldilocks zone.

You can learn more about all these services by checking out the following Pocket-lint round-ups:

Writing by Luke Baker. Editing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on .

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