The Best SoundCloud Alternatives

October 31, 2023

Soundcloud was once the best place to discover new music, find unsigned bands and artists, and even download tracks.

For those who have only ever enjoyed music through other popular streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, or Apple Music, here is everything that made Soundcloud an online music titan.

And, for those who currently use Soundcloud but want to make the switch to something that suits your needs better, you’ll find alternatives for music-makers, those looking for free music for their projects, and great places to find fresh new music.


What is Soundcloud?

Soundcloud allows artists, musicians, beatmakers, and bands to upload their music - and share it with the world. It was mainly used as a promotion website and gave unsigned bands and artists a platform. Listeners can comment, share, and create playlists with those tracks. SoundCloud secured its place as a hub for music creators and music lovers alike.

If you’re trying to think about your first experience with SoundCloud and thinking – when was SoundCloud made? It launched on the 17th of October 2008 – coincidentally, Spotify also launched in October 2008! While it wasn’t the first company to head into music streaming, it made a big splash.

Over time, it developed into a monster with thousands of tracks, and now it sits somewhere between 200-300 million musical tracks, beats and podcasts. Soundcloud still has a vast audience, but with so many other options to find great music and get your music out there – is there something better for you?

What can you do on Soundcloud?

For many early users, Soundcloud was where they learned the art of promotion for their music, and for others, it was a hub of undiscovered musical gems. Fans can like, follow, and share work from their favorite artists, build and share playlists, and enjoy SoundCloud recommendations based on their taste.

Although there are now many signed artists releasing music on SoundCloud, that isn’t how it all started; like all great music streaming services, SoundCloud evolved to meet the needs of its community.

To listen to artists on SoundCloud, you can use the desktop app or download the mobile app from Android or iOS stores. Just like many other streaming service, you can enjoy music on your terms.

What is the listening experience like on SoundCloud?

Sound quality matters and SoundCloud offers a great listening experience. The platform is easy to use, the sound quality is high, and there is a huge library – what makes thier library special is that you will find a lot of undiscovered musicians and artists.

So, what are the benefits to the users? SoundCloud offers high-quality audio with their premium service; using a lossless file format – FLAC, regular users will experience music in 64KB through a lossy compression codec – Opus Audio.

The user interface has been refined over the years, and it is very easy to browse and listen to music. For those who are looking for independent artists, SoundCloud is ideal.

There are a couple of drawbacks, though: your listening will be interrupted by ads – but if you switch to Amazon Music Free or Spotify Free, then you’ll be used to it. Offline listening is very limited for free users and SoundCloud doesn’t quite hit the mark like Spotify regarding recommendations.

You can improve your listening experience on SoundCloud by using a third-party ad blocker and upgrading to SoundCloud Go or Go+, which are the premium versions.

But perhaps you have had your fill of what SoundCloud offers, and you are ready to explore the alternatives – so let’s get into it!

What Is the Best Alternative to SoundCloud?

Straight out of the gate, it is important to know that the best alternative for you will be based on what you use SoundCloud for. With that said, here are the best SoundCloud alternatives for a variety of musical purposes.


Spotify – For the music lovers

If you like having music recommendations often, you’re okay with the free version, which plays adverts, and you like to build playlists, then Spotify Free will work well for you. There are some subscription options too, but many people are finding the price increase too high, and are looking for a Spotify alternative - so your budget will impact if you should be switching to Spotify or not.

Spotify is an ideal alternative for music listeners, but perhaps unsurprisingly, when it comes to SoundCloud vs Spotify, it’s not as cut and dry as you might think.

What about people who want to promote and share their music? The SoundCloud interface for sharing music is fast and efficient, but you can use an aggregate like Ditto or upload directly through Spotify if you prefer. Artists, bands and musicians tend to make a switch from SoundCloud to Spotify to see an increase in mainstream recognition and higher revenue.

Spotify generally has higher technical audio quality and a more consistent listening experience with their free account.


Switching from SoundCloud to Spotify is a good idea for people who want more mainstream music, prefer slightly high-quality audio, and like extra features and fun like a Spotify Pet Playlist.

  • Individual: $10.99 per month
  • Duo: $14.99 per month (for two people)
  • Family: $16.99 per month (for up to six people)
  • Student: $5.99 per month


Mixcloud - For the DJs and Podcasters

SoundCloud and Mixcloud have much of the same content, but the experience on each platform is different; for those who are looking for music for projects like making movies, content, or remixing, Mixcloud is the place for you.

One of the biggest benefits users enjoy with Mixcloud is that they don’t have the same anti-piracy issues that SoundCloud users experience (regularly).

For those who are uploading music to share, the backend is enjoyable to use and very friendly for beginners, and it is great for podcasters who want to upload long episodes.

Mixcloud recommends the settings for audio quality to be 320K and video to 720p or 1080p. However, licensing deals tie them to a playback of 160KBPS on the free account and 320KBPS with the pro subscription.


Switching to from SoundCloud to Mixcloud is a great idea for people who want to upload and promote long-form content and artists who want to get paid for their work. For listeners, once you tackle the interface, the lossless audio is great.

  • Mixcloud Premium: $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year
  • Mixcloud Pro: $15.00 per month or $135.00 per year


Bandcamp - For the Artists

Bandcamp is better for independent artists who want to profit from their work. It offers one of the highest percentages of revenue from sales, and in combination with its promotional tools, this can be extremely beneficial for artists.

Bandcamp offers an extremely customizable interface, allowing independent artists to hone their branding. Not only that but music can be uploaded in a range of formats, including lossless – giving fans a great experience.

For fans and listeners, Bandcamp requires artists and labels to upload music in the highest possible quality—lossless files in WAV, AIFF, and FLAC with at least 16-bit. A cool feature for listeners is the Listening Parties, where fans can listen to albums with the artist at release time – a great experience.


Bandcamp is great for independent artists who want to make more money from their work and for music fans who want to give support directly to the artists they love. Bandcamp is all about connection and community.

  • Artist Account: Free, but Bandcamp keeps 10% of revenue on merch sales and 15% on digital music sales.
  • Fans Account: Free.
  • Labels Account: $20 per month for 15 artists, $50 a month for unlimited artists, and they keep 10% on merch sales and 15% on digital music sales.


Hear This – For the Experimental Artists and Listeners

Hear This might just be the best alternative to SoundCloud because they are one of the most community-based platforms of all of them when it comes to artists.

They offer artists the chance to sell music even on a free account and encourage people to make the most of remixes and samples – because they have a much less strict copyright infringement policy than SoundCloud.

When it comes to listening and discovering new music, Hear This has an interface that looks and feels a lot like SoundCloud. They have over 3 million sounds, mixes, and tracks for listeners to browse and find their new favorite undiscovered artists. And you can join different groups dedicated to specific genres where new music gets added.

Hear This is a great place to discover remixes and unique tracks that you won’t find anywhere else due to other platforms having stricter copyright laws.

  • Regular Account: Free.
  • Pro Account: $4.99 per month or $37.99 per year.
  • Lifetime Pro Account: $199.99


Deezer Music – For Audio Quality Seekers

For people who love to listen to high-quality audio through a great pair of headphones – Deezer Music is hard to beat. Deezer Music offers an incredible lossless audio streaming of up to 1,411KBPS, surpassing almost all other music streaming services.

The library is over 90 million songs strong, and two features that listeners can enjoy are Flow and Deezer HiFi – which is their high-fidelity lossless streaming option.


Switching from SoundClound to Deezer Music is ideal for those looking for a high-quality music listening experience with interesting features.

  • Premium: $10.99/month or $98.91/year (annual subscription discount)
  • Student: $5.49/month
  • Family: $17.99/month or $196.99/year (annual subscription discount)


YouTube Music – For Music Video Lovers

When it comes to a real love of music, on YouTube Music, you will find live recordings, lounge sets, interviews, rare footage, and more. It is hard for SoundCloud to compete with that type of content.

The only issue is that the quality isn’t always great. With SoundCloud, you can enjoy some live recordings, but it’s not quite the same as watching them.

The downside of an artist sharing on YouTube Music is that the community isn’t as supportive as those on SoundCloud. YouTube Music’s playback quality can be changed in the settings for the app or on the web player, but you’ll want to set it on Always High for the best experince.


Switching from SoundCloud to YouTube Music is for those who want a more immersive musical experience – with videos and other footage alongside the music.

  • Individual:$10.99/month
  • Family:$16.99/month
  • Student: $5.49/month

How to Choose the Best SoundCloud Alternative?

The trick to choosing the right SoundCloud alternative is understanding how you want to use the platform.

For people who like to share their own music and listen, it works well. But for artists looking to be paid royalties and good revenue Mixcloud and Bandcamp are the top alternatives.

Looking for the best quality audio? Then Deezer Music is the best option – beating almost all other platforms with ease.

Spotify makes a great choice for people who like to have mainstream music, an easy-to-use interface, and daily mixes catering to your tastes. Another option could be Apple Music, however without a free plan it isn't a contender for the budget concious - but there are plenty of Apple Music alternatives!

YouTube Music gives its subscribers a great experience and offers a little bit more than just a regular playlist. YouTube Music is the one for you if you like live footage, interviews, music videos, and some fun BTS content.

For the experimental listeners and music creators, Hear This is the one.

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