[Review] JOOX – More Hits Than Misses

[Review] JOOX – More Hits Than Misses

Music lovers are spoilt for choice these days when it comes to bringing their listening experience to the digital era. There are no fewer than 10 players (pun not intended) out there that offers online music streaming service with household names such as Spotify, Rdio and Deezer being some of the most popular ones. The recent debuts of TIDAL and Apple Music further crowded the market.

Thus some skepticism is in order when we first heard about JOOX, the newest kid on the block in the music streaming business which debuted in Malaysia only a couple months back. “Why JOOX when we already have Spotify?” That is the first question that pops into our mind and which we are sure many of you will be asking too yourselves.

Turns out, the Tencent-developed JOOX has been making waves in the local music scene. At the time of writing, the app is the No.1 top free app in our local Apple App Store and ranked within the Top 20 free app in the Google Play Store, which says something about its mass appeal.


And so, we decided to take JOOX out for a spin and here is what we think of it.


Once we get past the necessary set-up process, we were greeted with a pretty-looking interface. Different categories such as Editor’s Pick, Featured Artists, and New Releases are neatly organized in such a way that you won’t have have any troubles finding what you’re looking for.

The app consists of three main interfaces – Discover, the home interface in which all the music categories can be found; Radio, which consists a large selection of songs based on categories such as Mood, Genre, Theme and many others; and lastly My Music, the user’s personal hub where you can find your favorite-d tracks, offline as well as imported songs and such. You can quickly and easily switch between the three interfaces by swiping left and right or tapping on their respective little icons at the top right corner.

We like the color-infused and organized interface. Although there are a lot of things going on in the main Discoverpage, we never feel things are cluttered and are able to navigate our way around with breeze. There is even some degree of personalization as we can change the interface theme but unfortunately there aren’t many choices available right now, We hope the developers will focus on bringing in more themes on a consistent basis as this is one area which we think gives JOOX a leg up compared to its competitors.

Another visual element we love is the “Now Playing” turntable style. Its purely aesthetics but it adds to the fun listening experience nevertheless.


No matter how pretty the interface is, the real make-or-break factor for any music streaming service is undoubtedly its library and selection of song. In comparison with the more established players like Spotify and Apple Music, JOOX’s library of songs is unsurprisingly lacking. Many new international songs that had already debuted in Spotify and Apple Music are not yet to be found in JOOX. So if you expect to find the latest songs here, you may be disappointed.

However lacking it may be compared to the big boys, JOOX’s focus on local contents makes it a compelling choice. What sets JOOX apart from the other services is that it has its own team of Malaysian music curators that makes for a unique Malaysian-flavor library. One can see this in the artists selection menu where there are categories such as Malaysian Male Singer, Malaysian Female Singer and Malaysian Group/Band. Thus it is safe to say that fans of our local artistes will find much to love about using JOOX.

Meanwhile, the radio service on JOOX offers plenty of music selection ranging from today’s latest hits to hit the airwaves to golden oldies. Music from different parts of the world are also readily available here so yes, you can rock to the latest addictive K-Pop or J-Pop tunes or croon along to timeless Chinese love songs (or even Hokkien songs). You can also choose what you want to listen to according to mood, genre and theme among others. In a nutshell, there is something for everyone here and not a boring moment.


Like many music streaming services, JOOX has both free and paid services. Central to the paid service is the “VIP experience” with benefits such as play on-demand for over 3 million songs, offline listening, higher quality streaming and no advertisements. While users can live with just listening for free (albeit having to put up with annoying ads) in Spotify, the experience can be more frustrating and limiting with JOOX.

That is because unlike Spotify which still offers its full library of songs for its free users, not all songs are made available for free JOOX users. Very often free users will have see songs marked with a “VIP” label that is off-limits to them. You cannot listen to VIP songs unless you subscribe to the paid services. Worse, there are even VIP albums. So unless you do not mind frequently missing out on songs (new and old), you really do need to be a paying VIP.

Speaking of which, the subscription rates JOOX offer (listed below) are similar to what its competitors are offering so its fair game.

  • 1 month – RM14,90
  • 3 months – RM40.90
  • 6 months – RM73.90
  • 12 months – RM136.90


By having a strong local presence here, JOOX also regularly held contests for its local listeners to win tickets for some of the year’s biggest concert events such as BIGBANG’s MADE World Tour 2015, G.E.M. – X.X.X. Live Tour and ACV Music Festival which showcase world-class acts and we are sure there are lots more to come. This is something that many other services doesn’t offer and is definitely a great perk for listeners.





For mobile phones, JOOX is (currently) available as an iOS and Android app. The experience between the apps in the two different platforms are like-for-like identical so you do not have to worry about superior app experience in any particular platform. Besides that, there’s also a desktop version which works just as well.

JOOX desktop screenshot                                                                                                � Desktop version

Overall, JOOX offers a consistent experience across all three platforms.



JOOX is a solid music streaming service. Sure, it is still lacking in the song library department in comparison to the more established players like Spotify and Apple Music but what it lacks, it makes up with robust local contents and concert giveaways. The sleek and customizable interface is also a major appeal. Too bad for its “limited” free-listening service though.

Do we think JOOX is here to stay for the long haul? Definitely. Judging by the JOOX team’s willingness to listen to their users’ feedback and introduce new features based on them like what happened just recently, the service will no doubt get better and better as time goes by.

And surely, the fact that there are over one million people who have already downloaded the app says something