Back again in February 2021, Spotify produced a bold promise to roll out lossless music streaming in advance of the year was out. Speedy ahead much more than a yr afterwards, and there’s continue to no indicator of Spotify HiFi.
So, what is the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly restricted-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the business has permit slip a couple of facts about the lacking assistance. Meanwhile, latest rumors implies that Spotify HiFi may possibly even now see the light-weight of working day, and maybe soon.
Here’s what we know–and do not know–about when Spotify HiFi might lastly arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
First declared back in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was described as a way for Spotify Premium consumers to “upgrade their seem quality” to a “CD-excellent, lossless audio structure.”
Usually, “CD-quality” suggests streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling fee.
But the crucial time period right here is “lossless,” which signifies that the audio stream consists of accurately the similar sonic element as its resource.
The primary marketing place in this article is that you’d be hearing the audio in the exact way the artist intended–and certainly, Spotify posted a movie in which Billie Eilish and Finneas extolled the virtues of lossless audio streaming.
As it stands, Spotify streams audio at 320Kbps in the “lossy” Ogg Vorbis format, which signifies the audio stream has been compressed and is dropping a truthful volume of detail in the desire of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi come out?
The limited solution is that we don’t know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Even so, some recent chatter implies it might land quickly.
In accordance to a write-up on Reddit, a longtime Spotify user who experienced recently switched to Apple New music claimed they bought a survey detailed a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that boasts HiFi, as very well as other features these as “Studio Seem,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Pro,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an added demand (additional on that in a moment).
The Redditor said the survey asked if they would switch back again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] characteristics.”
Thrilling stuff–if it’s true.
There have been other, previous hints that Spotify HiFi is nonetheless percolating, together with a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify app back in May 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video clip that produced the rounds a number of months later.
Next months of silence about the issue, Spotify lastly did communicate up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion available scant specifics:
We know that HiFi quality audio is vital to you. We come to feel the exact same, and we’re thrilled to supply a Spotify HiFi experience to Top quality end users in the future. But we do not have timing information to share nonetheless. We will of system update you below when we can.
We arrived at out to Spotify soon after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the organization did “not have everything further to share on HiFi over and above the enjoyment for the potential start.”
Far more not too long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned during the streamer’s 2nd-quarter earnings phone in late July.
We’ve due to the fact sent follow-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we hear back.
We’ll also continue to keep our ears peeled all through Spotify’s following quarterly earnings connect with, slated for October 25.
How a lot will Spotify HiFi price?
Once again, we really don’t know for guaranteed, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor detailed over, the purported survey pegged the cost at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Unique approach. Ouch.
Whilst Spotify has never ever come out and claimed that HiFi would expense extra, the wording of its preliminary announcement–“Premium subscribers in pick out marketplaces will be in a position to improve their sound quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is possibly an add-on or provided in a new plan, these kinds of as the feasible Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also worth noting that Spotify tested CD-high-quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an added $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi meant to come out?
Spotify hardly ever gave a precise release date for Spotify HiFi, but in the course of its 2021 announcement, it explained the attribute would get there “later this year” in “select” markets.
Of class, it is fair to say that Spotify HiFi missed its start window by a reasonably large margin.
Why has not Spotify HiFi come out nevertheless?
Excellent dilemma. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” issues when requested about the fate of Spotify HiFi through a business earnings call. Here’s the actual estimate, as reported by TechCrunch:
“Many of the features that we chat about and specially that is related to audio finishes up into licensing,” Ek explained to buyers. “So I simply cannot genuinely announce any specifics on this other than to say that we’re in constant dialogue with our companions to provide this to current market.”
There is an additional rationale that Spotify may well have delayed Spotify HiFi: because it bought caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just three months immediately after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple equally declared (independently, but on the similar working day) that they would get started providing lossless, large-resolution, and spatial audio new music tracks, all for no more charge. (Apple was completely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, though Amazon experienced formerly been charging more for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Next the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of shelling out extra (most probably) for only CD-high quality songs and (possibly) no spatial audio started to shed its luster, so potentially Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi offer superior-resolution tunes streaming?
Lots of Spotify’s streaming tunes rivals, such as Amazon New music Endless, Apple Songs, Qobuz, and Tidal, offer you “high-resolution” audio streaming–that is, audio that’s encoded at a larger resolution and sampling price than CD-top quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most industry kinds agree that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for large-resolution audio, and individuals streamers that support it deliver substantial-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify by no means claimed anything about large-resolution audio in its initial Spotify HiFi announcement all it promised was “CD-quality” audio, which qualifies as “hi-fi” but not “hi-res.”
As for the “Spotify Platinum” rumors, the purported survey helps make point out of a “Studio Sound” aspect in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” indicate hello-res new music? Hmmm.
In any event, it’s a make any difference of heated debate whether or not the human ear can truly notify the change in between CD-quality and substantial-resolution audio–or for that make a difference, no matter whether most individuals can discern the distinction in between lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit hole here.
Will Spotify HiFi give spatial audio?
As with superior-resolution audio, Spotify in no way claimed just about anything about spatial audio–that is, songs tracks that have been blended with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
In the meantime, Spotify rivals Amazon Tunes, Apple Music, and Tidal do offer you spatial audio tracks in such formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Fact Audio.
Once more, Spotify could possibly actually have spatial audio options in the works–and maybe which is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” functions from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Effectively, anything’s attainable, and Spotify has been identified to nix significant-profile capabilities that never ever fairly took off.
For illustration, Spotify just lately pulled the plug on Car or truck Factor, a tiny touchscreen screen that you could install on a auto dashboard for on-the-road Spotify streaming.
For its part, Spotify stated that though Car or truck Matter “worked as supposed,” it selected to halt manufacturing of the $80 system owing to “product demand and source chain difficulties,” among the other elements.
Spotify also has a record of tests, teasing, and rolling out new characteristics that later disappear–or even reappear–without rationalization.
But even though Spotify seems eager to terminate functions that aren’t functioning, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a job that Spotify is content material to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it’s really worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is however are living on Spotify’s internet site.
Updated on October 14, 2022 to include new developments and investigation.