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Is Deezer worth your time and money? We examine the pros and cons of everything this music streaming app offers to help you decide.
Deezer has a lot going for it. It offers a Free plan, HiFi audio, podcasts, a great music discovery algorithm, and a few nifty features like the SongCatcher. On top of that, it has a well-designed interface that makes it easy to use.
However, there are things the service lacks too. For instance, there’s no video available on the app, and non-music content such as audiobooks is limited to certain countries.
Due to these factors, Deezer isn’t for everyone. It’s pretty much up to you to figure out whether or not it’s worth the monthly subscription.
Fortunately, you don’t need to go through it alone. This extensive Deezer review examines how the app works, what it offers, and how it sounds. Let’s dive in and take a look!
- Massive music library
- Comes with a free version
- 1411 kbps CD-quality audio
- Available in over 180 countries
- Offers podcasts, audiobooks, and radio
- Supports song downloads for offline listening
- Supports MP3 uploads from your computer
- Lots of original exclusive content
- Clean, easy-to-use layout and design
- Decent discovery features
- Offers SongCatcher feature
- Some songs are limited to 30-second previews on Deezer Free
- Limited availability for podcasts, audiobooks, and radio
- Highest “HiFi” audio quality is lower than other platforms
- Separate 360 Reality Audio app required
- Limited in-app social features
What Is Deezer?
Deezer is a freemium music and podcast streaming service founded by Daniel Marhely and Jonathan Benassaya in August 2007.
From then on, Deezer has only rapidly spread worldwide during its 15 years in the business. Here’s a quick overview of how that expansion took place:
- Deezer begins launching in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.
- Deezer seals a global licensing deal with indie distributor Merlin.
- Deezer partners with Samsung, LG, and Toshiba and becomes available on smart TVs.
- Deezer becomes fully supported on Google Chromecast.
As of October 2022, Deezer is available in over 185 countries. It boasts over 90 million music tracks, 160,000 podcast titles, and over 32,000+ radio stations.
Deezer Plans and Pricing
Deezer offers free and paid plans, which is great news for budget-conscious folks. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect from each plan type:
|What You Get
|- Limited access to music and podcasts
|- Full access to all tracks and podcasts
|- Same inclusions as Deezer Premium
|- Same inclusions as Deezer Premium
Overall, Deezer’s plans and competitive pricing schemes are comparable to many other popular streaming platforms. That said, Deezer doesn’t offer extra subscription perks like Spotify’s access to Hulu and SHOWTIME or Amazon Music’s Prime member discount. It does, however, offer a discount perk for doctors and nurses.
Free Plan vs. Paid Plan
You can naturally expect differences between Deezer’s free and paid plans. Here are a few of the main ones to keep in mind:
Deezer Free offers limited audio quality settings on desktop and mobile apps. Desktop app users get a ‘Standard’ audio quality of 128 kbps, while mobile app users get an additional ‘Basic’ setting of 64 kbps. This makes Deezer Free ideal for those who don’t want to commit to a paid plan or those who wish to conserve mobile data.
Deezer Premium subscribers get ‘High Quality,’ which goes up to 320 kbps. All Premium plans also offer HiFi audio quality at no additional charge. So, subscribers can enjoy songs in the ‘High Fidelity’ setting at 1411 kbps (FLAC).
On Deezer Free, 30-second ads will pop up when skipping tracks or switching playlists. The ads don’t have a skip option, but thankfully, they don’t appear frequently enough to be annoying.
Deezer’s Premium plans are completely ad-free.
Deezer Free functions differently on the desktop and mobile apps.
Mobile app listeners have more freedom in what they can access. This includes the following:
- Unlimited skips on select Daily playlists
- Unlimited skips on personalized Editorial playlists
- Personalized recommendations in Made For You section
- Listen to the top songs of any artist on shuffle mode
- Flow and Flow Moods
In contrast, Deezer Free on PC has more restricted access. You’re mostly limited to 6 song skips per hour and 30-second song previews.
Deezer’s Premium plans give listeners full access and control over their music.
Downloads and offline listening
Unfortunately, Deezer Free offers no option to download songs for offline listening.
With Deezer Premium, desktop and mobile users can download the following:
- Podcast episodes
The Offline Mode also allows you to listen to all your downloaded content without needing an internet connection.
The downside is that Deezer has content limits for the number of tracks you can ‘Like’ or add to a playlist. And this is important because you can’t download songs without first adding them to your Favorites or a created playlist.
This may be a dealbreaker for some people, especially since most streaming services don’t have such limits.
Is Deezer Premium worth it?
Deezer Free on mobile is a good option for casual listeners on a budget who stream mostly from their smartphones. On this platform, you’ll at least be able to access more content and play what you want.
However, if you’re more of a desktop app user, Deezer Free’s playback restrictions will feel limiting. In that case, investing in a Premium account might be more worthwhile. Those who care about the quality of their listening experience are also better off paying for Premium.
How Is Deezer’s Stream Quality?
Deezer offers different audio quality settings depending on your subscription level. Here’s a handy reference for all the audio quality settings allotted per plan:
Deezer Free offers two audio quality settings, the highest of which is 128 kbps. On the other hand, Deezer Premium offers four audio quality settings with the addition of ‘High Fidelity,’ which streams at 1411 kbps.
Deezer’s ‘Basic,’ ‘Standard’, and ‘High Quality’ audio settings stream in MP3 format, but HiFi tracks are in FLAC.
- MP3 vs. FLAC: what’s the difference?
- How fast does the music load on Deezer?
- How does Deezer’s audio quality sound?
- 360 Reality Audio on Deezer
- How to make the most of Deezer’s HiFi audio quality
MP3 vs. FLAC: what’s the difference?
FLAC, on the other hand, is a high-resolution lossless audio format. FLAC files are uncompressed and thus retain all audio data during the encoding process. Consequently, you get more pristine sound quality.
Your ability to hear the difference between how MP3 and FLAC sound depends on your audio gear and listening habits.
If you’re a casual music listener using basic audio equipment, MP3-quality audio will do just fine. But if you’re a critical listener using more high-end gear, you might pick up inconsistencies in the audio that could affect your listening experience. In that case, you might as well make the most of your gear with a Premium subscription.
How fast does the music load on Deezer?
Deezer Premium consumes a pretty significant amount of data.
For instance, at 320 kbps, Deezer Premium uses up as much as 150 MB per hour, while HiFi tracks eat up anywhere between 600 to 700 MB per hour. That’s roughly the same as other services like Apple Music and Tidal HiFi, which also offer high-quality lossless streaming.
Those numbers can add up after a few hours if you’re a heavy music streamer. Fortunately, you can reduce your data consumption by manually switching to ‘Basic’ or ‘Standard’ audio quality in the app’s settings.
In terms of playback, Deezer Premium’s ‘High Quality’ audio setting doesn’t pose any issues. During my test run, I had a connection of 66 Mbps, and songs were quick to load between skips on both the desktop and mobile apps.
Streaming HiFi tracks, though, was a slightly different story. I experienced a bit more buffering and lag between songs, to the point that I kept getting a ‘Loading’ notification telling me how long I had to wait.
So, if you want smooth playback when listening to HiFi tracks, you’ll need a fast network connection to support it.
How does Deezer’s audio quality sound?
The ‘Standard’ audio quality setting delivered decent depth and clarity, giving me no cause for complaint. So, Deezer Free is undoubtedly good enough for anyone using budget audio gear.
To fully appreciate Deezer’s HiFi setting, I switched to my ATH-M50x headphones. Replaying the tracks from the same album, I noticed a palpable difference.
The chorus vocals sounded more defined. And there was a clearer separation of instruments in the more high-energy tracks. The soundstage also had greater airiness and depth, making for more immersive listening.
360 Reality Audio on Deezer
360 Reality Audio (360 RA) is a spatial audio technology that delivers 360-degree audio to heighten your HiFi listening experience. Over 7,000 360 RA-encoded tracks are available on Deezer, which you can enjoy on any headphones via 360 by Deezer playlists.
You may get a slightly better experience when you listen on a pair of headphones from Sony’s 360 RA line. These headphones work in tandem with the Sony | Headphones Connect app, which analyzes your unique ear shape to deliver a more personalized listening experience.
Those who value excellent sound quality will get their money’s worth with Deezer Premium.
However, one thing to remember is that Deezer’s HiFi audio quality is slightly lower than other streaming platforms’ highest settings.
How to make the most of Deezer’s HiFi audio quality
If you want that audiophile experience, you should go for a pair of studio headphones.
Anything beyond the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range is essentially inaudible to us.
However, even though you can’t hear those frequencies, you can still feel them. As such, they can still enhance your listening experience.
Now, Deezer streams HiFi tracks in 16-Bit/44.1 kHz FLAC. And music sampled at 44.1 kHz covers frequencies up to 22 kHz. So, if you’re using low to mid-tier headphones to listen to music sampled at 44.1 kHz, audio clipping will occur in the higher frequencies due to the limits of your headphones.
On the other hand, studio headphones typically have a frequency response range of up to 28 to 40 kHz. This lets you enjoy the full spectrum of frequencies without audio clipping.
So, if you’re looking to upgrade your listening experience and get the most out of Deezer, you can check out our buyer’s guide for a selection of the best studio headphones today and tips on choosing the best pair for you.
Deezer’s Content Library
Deezer has over 90 million music tracks in its library. This places it on the same level as other popular music streaming services like Spotify and Youtube Music. In addition to music, Deezer also offers radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. These features, however, are only available to subscribers in certain countries, which are as follows:
- Podcasts: Deezer is available everywhere.
- Radio shows: UK, US, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, and Spain.
- Audiobooks: Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands
That said, let’s take a closer look at what else Deezer’s content library has to offer.
The bulk of Deezer’s music collection is in the ‘Explore’ section (desktop app) and under ‘Search’ (mobile app). You’ll find about 32 music genres covering everything from Arabic music to Soundtracks.
Music categories like Workout, Feel Good, and Party also feature curated playlists for specific activities and occasions. These are especially helpful because they make navigating Deezer’s massive library more convenient.
If mainstream music is what you’re after, you’re covered. As mentioned, Deezer has licensing deals with all the major record labels, so you’ll have access to all the latest hits. Indie music fans also get a fully fleshed-out Indie section with lots of curated content to explore.
Deezer’s ‘Midnight Mixtapes’ playlists are particularly absorbing. They contain tracklists curated by indie artists themselves. It’s a pretty unique feature that I haven’t seen on other streaming apps and one that I enjoyed going through.
Overall, Deezer’s music content is solid. When I tried out the app, I first looked for some of the more obscure artists I like. I came away feeling pleasantly surprised that I had no trouble finding them.
That said, you won’t go wrong with Deezer if you’re after a streaming app with an extensive music library and good curation.
Deezer is home to 160,000 podcast titles, which you can find under ‘Podcasts’ on the desktop and mobile apps. And although Deezer’s podcast library is notably smaller than Spotify or Pandora, there’s still a decent collection of popular titles to keep podcast fans entertained.
Subscribers can explore 44 podcast categories that cover everything from Business to Scary Stories. You also have over 100 popular titles from networks like BBC, TED, and CNBC. There’s even a selection of original podcasts, but many are in French.
Deezer’s extensive library also includes audiobooks, which you can find under ‘Podcasts.’ Unfortunately, this is limited to subscribers in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Furthermore, traditional radio lovers will be happy to know that Deezer comes with a radio feature. It’s limited to a select number of countries, but those with access will have over 32,000 stations at their disposal.
Those looking for videos aren’t going to find them on Deezer.
Fans and developers have openly discussed the possibility of adding video content to the platform. But despite the varied opinions, many are more in favor of Deezer improving their existing core music features before adding new ones.
Nevertheless, this may change with Deezer’s recent investments in Driift and Dreamstage. Both companies specialize in livestreaming and online ticketing events. As such, the partnership with Deezer likely means that subscribers may gain access to livestreamed concerts on the app in the future.
In 2020, Deezer was one of four streaming services called out for hosting “racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic content.” In their investigation, BBC found over 20 songs containing lyrics promoting white supremacist ideas.
BBC did not specify the song titles and artists. However, many were found in several public playlists on the said apps, making them easily accessible to a younger, more impressionable audience.
Deezer has stated that “it doesn’t condone hate or discrimination” and has since removed the offensive content from its platform.
Ease of Use
Layout-wise, Deezer is streamlined and sensible, especially in how content is curated and organized. For example, the ‘Explore’ section is compact and straightforward with smaller content tabs. It presents you with many options without overwhelming you or feeling too cluttered.
I particularly like the ‘Categories’ section under ‘Explore’ and ‘Podcasts’ because it breaks down the content into something more digestible. So, if you’re looking for something specific, you’ll find it easily.
In contrast, other streaming apps simply give you a rundown of all music or podcast genres available, and that’s about it.
Deezer’s desktop app also features a sidebar, which I really like because it makes navigation more efficient. The stationary search bar at the top is also helpful if you want to search for a song, album, or artist quickly.
Deezer’s mobile app is similarly easy to use and well-designed. I particularly like the convenience of the ‘Now Playing’ screen because all the functions for ‘liking,’ sharing, playback, and song queueing are easily accessible.
You can even open the audio quality settings and sleep timer without leaving the screen. And everything else is tucked away in a neat little menu that you can access by tapping on the circle with the three dots.
What could be better?
While using the Deezer desktop app, I greatly missed the drag-and-drop function I’d become accustomed to on Spotify.
It’d also be nice to see an overview of all your created playlists in the sidebar, which is another factor that helps make building playlists much more convenient.
However, the lack of both features isn’t an outright dealbreaker. And the drop-down menus that come out when you right-click or long-press on a song still get the job done when managing your content.
Deezer uses both automated and human curation for its content. But the real star of the show when it comes to music discovery is an algorithm called Flow.
Flow accomplishes this with collaborative filtering and by analyzing your listening history, likes, and metadata tags. It also makes use of your phone’s accelerometer and clock to determine the time of day and whether you’re on the go or not.
For example, if the algorithm detects that you’re moving based on the information it gets from your phone’s accelerometer, it might play you something more upbeat or energetic.
Using Flow is an enjoyable experience because it takes care of all the decision-making. Press play and get an endless stream of recommendations based on every song you’ve liked on the app.
Despite the pros, Flow isn’t perfect nor comparable to Spotify’s or Pandora’s prowess in music discovery. The algorithm takes longer to calibrate to my preferences. And though I got good recommendations, there were hit-or-miss moments wherein I tended to skip more than listen.
If you’re the type who likes to curate their listening experience, Deezer has a great selection of playlists to explore and help you discover new music. Here are a few:
- New Releases: Found under ‘Explore,’ this section features newly released music across all genres. It also shows you new releases tailored to your preferences.
- Made For You: This section is on the main ‘Music’ feed and consists of ‘Flow’ and ‘Daily’ playlists. ‘Flow’ functions as an endless playlist of song recs, while ‘Daily’ playlists are genre-focused. For instance, it combines all your favorite pop songs in a single playlist and adds new songs from similar artists.
- Radar Weekly: ‘Radar Weekly’ compiles all the newest releases every week and is a great way to stay updated on new music.
- Mixes: ‘Mixes’ also provide a continuous playlist of songs. But instead of being limited to what you’ve ‘liked’ and saved in your library, Mixes cover entire genres (Pop Mix, Rock Classics Mix), eras (The ‘90s, The 2000s), and moods (Roadtrip, Zen).
- Charts: Deezer’s ‘Charts’ section features everything trending in over 69 territories and is a great place to start if you want to check out new hits you haven’t heard.
Deezer has quite a thriving and well-developed online community. The Deezer Community website is home to up-to-date information and various active forums where you can ask questions or leave feedback.
The Deezer app also has a few built-in social features. You can share what you’re listening to on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And if any of your Facebook friends are on Deezer, you can also follow them there.
While the app doesn’t have a social feed that shows what your friends are currently listening to, you can still interact on the app by collaborating on playlists together.
Music recommendations in playlists
As a long-time Spotify user, one of my favorite features is recommendations within created playlists. So, I was delighted to find that Deezer also has a similar function.
When you open any of your created playlists on Deezer, you’ll see an ‘Add Tracks’ button at the top. This gives you suggestions based on what’s already in that playlist and allows you to filter the results to show your ‘Favorite Tracks.’
It’s a great way to manage your content, especially if you enjoy categorizing your music and making playlists for everything.
A surprisingly quirky feature is SongCatcher – a tool that allows you to identify and save songs.
Typically, I’ll resort to Google Assistant or a third-party app like Soundhound to help identify songs. And sometimes, the results aren’t always accurate. So, an integrated tool like SongCatcher in a music streaming app is a big plus.
I experimented with a few popular songs that SongCatcher instantly identified. Interestingly, I also got quick results when I tried it with more niche songs, like ‘Kimi Ni Mune Kyun’ by Yellow Magic Orchestra. Even songs without lyrics or distinct instrumentation, like Naal’s ‘We’re Here. We Will Die.’ had no issues getting identified.
In September 2022, Deezer added humming, singing, and whistling to SongCatcher’s functions. I was pretty impressed as it helped me identify a song I’d been looking for for years. At long last, SongCatcher solved a decades-long mystery after listening to me hum a mere six notes of a melody I could barely remember. Amazing.
If you’re interested in what Deezer has to offer, here are some essential tips to know before getting started:
- How to create a Deezer account
- How to download the Deezer app
- How to download music on Deezer
- How to subscribe to Deezer Premium
- How to cancel Deezer Premium
- How to delete a Deezer account
- Can I upload my music to Deezer?
- Can I upload MP3s to Deezer?
- Can I transfer my playlists from another streaming platform to Deezer?
- How much does Deezer pay per stream?
How to create a Deezer account
You can create a new Deezer account through the web player and desktop or mobile app. Follow these steps for each platform:
Via web player and desktop app
- Open the Deezer web player or desktop app and click Log In.
- Click Sign Up near the bottom of the page or in the upper-right corner.
- Fill in the required details, then click Sign Up again. You can also choose to sign up with your Google or Facebook account.
- Select three favorite artists for the algorithm, and that’s it.
- Open the Deezer mobile app, enter your email address into the empty field, then tap Continue. You can also log in via Google or Facebook.
- Set your password, username, and age.
- Specify your gender and select three favorite artists for the algorithm.
How to download the Deezer app
How to download music on Deezer
You can download music for offline listening via the Deezer mobile app. Here’s how:
- Open the mobile app and tap Favorites.
- Open Favorite Tracks or any other created playlist in your library.
- Toggle the Download switch, and all the songs in that playlist will immediately begin downloading.
How to subscribe to Deezer Premium
You can subscribe to Deezer Premium through the web player and the desktop or mobile apps. Here’s how to subscribe to Deezer Premium on the different platforms:
Via web player and desktop app
- Click on the Subscribe button in the blue box located in the sidebar.
- Choose a subscription plan and click Try it now.
- Choose a mode of payment, input your payment details, and you’re all set.
- Tap Premium in the lower right corner of your screen, then select Try For Free in the new window that opens.
- Tap Subscribe Now, then choose a mode of payment and enter your payment details.
How to cancel Deezer Premium
Similar to the previous section, you can also cancel your Premium subscription via the web player and desktop or mobile apps. Here’s how:
Via web player and desktop app
- Click the profile icon in the upper-right corner and select Account Settings.
- Under My information, select Manage my subscription.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Cancel subscription.
- Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner, then select Account management.
- Tap on Manage my subscription, then scroll to the bottom and select Cancel subscription.
How to delete a Deezer account
There’s currently no option to delete a Deezer account via the mobile app. So, the only way to do this is via the desktop app. Here’s how:
- Click the profile icon in the upper-right corner and select Account Settings.
- Scroll to the bottom of the My information section, and select Delete my account.
- Input your password to confirm account deletion, then click Delete My Account.
- You’ll receive an email with an account deletion link. Click the link, input your password again, and you’re all done.
Can I upload my music to Deezer?
You can upload your music to Deezer via a third-party distributor if you’re an unsigned singer or musician. Most distributors require you to sign up for a new account and pay a fee, after which you can start uploading your music and information. After that, the company takes over and begins distributing your music.
Deezer currently has partnerships with the following third-party distributors:
Can I upload MP3s to Deezer?
If you have a personal collection of downloaded or ripped music tracks stowed on your hard drive, you can upload them to Deezer and listen to them on the go. Here’s how to do it:
- In the desktop app, click Favorites in the sidebar, then click My MP3s from the options under your profile picture.
- Click Select MP3s to Upload.
- Select which MP3 files you want to upload from your computer and click Open.
- Your files will begin uploading. This process may take time, depending on how many files you upload. Once done, the MP3s should appear in the tracklist on the Deezer app.
- If you want to delete an MP3, check the box on the far right and click Delete.
Can I transfer my playlists from another streaming platform to Deezer?
Yes, you can transfer playlists from other streaming services to Deezer with the help of TuneMyMusic. This service also lets you sync two playlists from two different streaming services and allows you to back up your entire music collection.
How much does Deezer pay per stream?
Deezer pays about $0.0064 per stream and uses a User-Centric Payment System (UCPS). This system allocates subscription payments to your most listened-to favorite artists instead of the platform’s most streamed artists.
Overall, Deezer is a well-rounded app. It offers excellent sound quality for both casual and critical listeners alike. Its minimal, no-fuss design looks good and is easy to navigate, even for those new to the app. It provides additional intuitive features and a plethora of other types of content, such as podcasts, audiobooks, and radio.
So, if you want a music streaming app with an extensive mix of mainstream and indie music and high-quality audio, Deezer is the way to go. But if you’re looking for audiophile-quality audio or impeccable music discovery, you might have better luck with other streaming apps like Tidal, Apple Music, or Pandora.
Ultimately, the choice will depend on your personal preferences as a music listener. Hopefully, our Deezer review has somehow helped you decide whether this app is for you or not. And if you’re still unsure, you can always test it yourself with Deezer’s 30 or 90-day trial.
How did you find this review? If you have any questions or insights into Deezer and its features, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!