Comparing the Audio Quality of Streaming Music Services at Home and Portably Mog
MOG ($4.99/mo computer only; $9.99/mo all platforms)
I sheepishly admit that I had not heard of MOG until fairly recently. While Spotify seems to be a media darling, MOG has quietly been working away for the past few years building a top quality service. Their library is comparable to Spotify and Rdio. They offer access through streaming devices like Sonos, Roku, Squeezebox, and various TVs and Blu-Ray players, as well as support for Apple Airplay. Their web based player is written in HTML5 and looks fantastic. Obviously it comes down to personal preference, but I find very little wrong with the MOG presentation.
To cut to the chase: I think MOG is currently the best option out there for discerning listeners. They claim 320k mp3 on all devices, with the exception of music from a few small labels that only provide them with 256k files. But as I’ve learned with Spotify and Rdio, claimed bitrate is not the only arbiter of sound quality. Whatever it is that those services are doing to give such inconsistent sound, MOG is not doing it. I went back and forth with properly ripped 320k mp3 files and failed to hear any difference. I preferred MOG to the other options by a fairly significant margin, especially when using my system at home.
We can argue all day about whether or not 320k mp3 is transparent to the original CD or lossless track. My standard advice is that you attempt your own A/B comparison and see for yourself, on your own system. You may find the difference smaller than you thought. The point is that MOG offers the best listening experience available from a streaming service, and given the absence of any glaring flaws, I see no reason to look anyplace else.