Bloom .fm review

A beautiful app to use, but falls behind on its catalogue Tested at £10

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A beautiful app to use, but falls behind on its catalogue


  • +

    Lovely design

  • +

    Accessible subs options

  • +

    Great for music discovery


  • -

    Social aspect lacking

  • -

    Soft, restrained sound

  • -

    No web or tablet apps

  • -

    Catalogue has some gaps

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In all honesty, there are a number of things that should make us dislike, but it’s really hard to do that when something looks this good.


Let’s get things clear from the off – this is no swish, high-tech-looking app. In fact, if an app can be described as cutesy, this is it.

But it’s a joy to use, with nice attention to detail and a great emphasis on music discovery. has a unique approach to subscription options, allowing you to ‘borrow’ tracks for offline listening at various price points. You can swap these at any point, but it’s only at the top £10/month tier that you get unlimited streaming.

This way you can search for tracks and artists on demand, as well as stream the genre-specific radio stations.

When searching, it’s easy to get lost – in a good way – in’s music discovery menus.

Click similar artists and you can really drill down artist-by-artist, level-by-level, to find new music similar to what you like. It’s addictive to see what it’ll suggest next.


Playback for streamed tracks is around 160kbps, which we found a little soft and restrained.

It’s perfectly listenable, but you’ll find more get-up-and-go in streams from Qobuz and Google.

You can get a quality boost for your borrowed tracks, however, which will playback at 320kbps if you choose.

There are no web or tablet-designed apps, though the former is in the pipeline.

There is Facebook sharing though, if you’re keen to let your mates know what you’ve been playing, and you can share tracks with other users.

The catalogue is largely competitive, but searching for our album picks showed it up as the worst on test: finding just half of the 10 albums we searched for.


Still, we can’t help but love We challenge you to pick it up and not feel the same way.

But its limited availability across platforms and low bitrate quality means it’s not quite ready to square up to the big boys.

Tech specs:

Catalogue: 22 million

Bitrate: up to 320kbps

File format: AAC, MP3

Countries: 2

Mobile platforms: Android, iOS

Desktop app: No

Tablet optimised: No

MORE: Qobuz review

MORE: Best apps and services 2014

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test