SoundCloud recently switched its music streams from 128Kb/s MP3 to 64Kb/s Opus. Many users hear a drop in sound quality in the higher frequencies. So artist Joseph Lyncheski, aka Direct, built an extension for Chrome and Firefox to force the site to stream in its old format. (For now, Safari is still streaming in MP3.)
Soundcloud recently changed their streaming format from 128kbps MP3 to 64kbps Opus. This drastically reduces the audio quality and can introduce strange artifacts.
— Direct (@DirectOfficial) January 3, 2018
I'll be honest: I can't really tell the difference on most songs. But plenty of other people do. If you're one of them, just download the extension and you're all set.
The company is in trouble and the site, while still being a fantastic place for new and niche artists to share their work, seems to be getting worse. It might be time for music fans to jump to a newer music service.