Again in February 2021, Spotify created a daring assure to roll out lossless songs streaming ahead of the calendar year was out. Rapidly ahead much more than a year afterwards, and there’s nonetheless no indication of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly tight-lipped about the fate of Spotify HiFi, but the business has enable slip a number of details about the lacking provider. Meanwhile, the latest rumors indicates that Spotify HiFi may possibly however see the gentle of working day, and potentially quickly.
Here’s what we know–and don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi may possibly at last arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
1st declared back in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Premium buyers to “upgrade their sound quality” to a “CD-good quality, lossless audio structure.”
Ordinarily, “CD-quality” means streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling price.
But the essential expression right here is “lossless,” which implies that the audio stream contains particularly the very same sonic element as its source.
The primary advertising position listed here is that you’d be hearing the new music in the specific way the artist intended–and indeed, Spotify posted a video clip 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 structure, which indicates the audio stream has been compressed and is shedding a reasonable quantity of element in the desire of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi occur out?
The brief respond to is that we do not know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Even so, some modern chatter suggests it may land quickly.
In accordance to a write-up on Reddit, a longtime Spotify user who had a short while ago switched to Apple Tunes claimed they bought a study detailed a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that boasts HiFi, as well as other attributes these kinds of as “Studio Seem,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Pro,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an further charge (far more on that in a instant).
The Redditor stated the study requested if they would swap again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] features.”
Remarkable stuff–if it is correct.
There have been other, former hints that Spotify HiFi is continue to percolating, like a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify app back again in May possibly 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video clip that designed the rounds a couple months later.
Following months of silence about the problem, Spotify last but not least did talk up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded statement made available scant details:
We know that HiFi good quality audio is crucial to you. We come to feel the exact, and we’re psyched to deliver a Spotify HiFi encounter to Premium consumers in the future. But we really don’t have timing information to share nevertheless. We will of training course update you below when we can.
We achieved out to Spotify soon right after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the company did “not have something additional to share on HiFi over and above the excitement for the future launch.”
More recently, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned all through the streamer’s next-quarter earnings call in late July.
We’ve considering the fact that sent abide by-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we hear again.
We’ll also hold our ears peeled in the course of Spotify’s subsequent quarterly earnings connect with, slated for October 25.
How a great deal will Spotify HiFi price?
Yet again, we never know for certain, but according to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor thorough higher than, the purported survey pegged the price at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Particular person prepare. Ouch.
Even though Spotify has hardly ever appear out and stated that HiFi would cost additional, the wording of its preliminary announcement–“Premium subscribers in find marketplaces will be equipped to improve their seem high-quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is either an increase-on or provided in a new system, these types of as the doable Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also worthy of noting that Spotify tested CD-good quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an added $7.50 a thirty day period for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi meant to arrive out?
Spotify never ever gave a specific launch day for Spotify HiFi, but throughout its 2021 announcement, it explained the element would get there “later this year” in “select” markets.
Of course, it is fair to say that Spotify HiFi missed its launch window by a pretty massive margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi appear out nonetheless?
Excellent question. Again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” concerns when requested about the fate of Spotify HiFi for the duration of a company earnings phone. Here’s the exact quotation, as claimed by TechCrunch:
“Many of the functions that we speak about and specifically that is connected to songs ends up into licensing,” Ek instructed buyers. “So I simply cannot seriously announce any specifics on this other than to say that we’re in regular dialogue with our companions to convey this to market place.”
There is a further motive that Spotify may have delayed Spotify HiFi: because it acquired caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just 3 months immediately after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both equally declared (independently, but on the very same working day) that they would start giving lossless, substantial-resolution, and spatial audio songs tracks, all for no more cost. (Apple was absolutely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, when Amazon had formerly been charging excess for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Subsequent the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of paying added (most probable) for only CD-high quality songs and (possibly) no spatial audio began to reduce its luster, so perhaps Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi offer higher-resolution new music streaming?
A lot of Spotify’s streaming audio rivals, including Amazon New music Limitless, Apple Music, Qobuz, and Tidal, offer you “high-resolution” music streaming–that is, audio which is encoded at a better resolution and sampling fee than CD-excellent 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most business styles concur that 24-little bit/48kHz is the threshold for high-resolution audio, and all those streamers that support it deliver superior-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify never reported everything 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 study helps make mention of a “Studio Sound” function in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” necessarily mean hello-res music? Hmmm.
In any function, it is a make a difference of heated discussion no matter whether the human ear can essentially tell the change amongst CD-high-quality and high-resolution audio–or for that subject, irrespective of whether most folks can discern the distinction in between lossy and lossless. We won’t dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit hole below.
Will Spotify HiFi offer you spatial audio?
As with large-resolution audio, Spotify hardly ever said nearly anything about spatial audio–that is, tunes tracks that have been combined with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
In the meantime, Spotify opponents Amazon Audio, Apple Songs, and Tidal do supply spatial audio tracks in this sort of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
Once more, Spotify could possibly really have spatial audio designs in the works–and possibly that is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” capabilities from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Effectively, anything’s possible, and Spotify has been acknowledged to nix significant-profile options that under no circumstances quite took off.
For instance, Spotify just lately pulled the plug on Auto Thing, a little touchscreen show that you could put in on a auto dashboard for on-the-street Spotify streaming.
For its section, Spotify said that though Car or truck Point “worked as meant,” it selected to halt creation of the $80 device because of to “product demand from customers and source chain challenges,” among the other factors.
Spotify also has a history of testing, teasing, and rolling out new options that later on disappear–or even reappear–without explanation.
But while Spotify appears to be willing to terminate functions that are not working, 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 worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is nonetheless live on Spotify’s site.
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 to increase new developments and evaluation.