Back again in February 2021, Spotify manufactured a daring promise to roll out lossless new music streaming prior to the 12 months was out. Quickly forward a lot more than a calendar year afterwards, and there is nevertheless no indicator of Spotify HiFi.
So, what is the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly tight-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the corporation has let slip a couple of facts about the missing service. Meanwhile, recent rumors implies that Spotify HiFi could continue to see the light-weight of day, and perhaps shortly.
Here’s what we know–and don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi may well ultimately arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Initially introduced again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Premium buyers to “upgrade their sound quality” to a “CD-top quality, lossless audio format.”
Normally, “CD-quality” signifies streaming audio encoded with 16-little bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling fee.
But the crucial time period listed here is “lossless,” which means that the audio stream contains just the very same sonic element as its resource.
The main offering level listed here is that you’d be hearing the tunes in the precise way the artist intended–and in fact, Spotify posted a video 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 implies the audio stream has been compressed and is dropping a honest amount of detail in the interest of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi arrive out?
The quick respond to is that we really don’t know when Spotify HiFi will get there. On the other hand, some modern chatter implies it may well land shortly.
According to a article on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who experienced lately switched to Apple Songs claimed they received a survey in depth a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as very well as other attributes these as “Studio Audio,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Pro,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an additional charge (much more on that in a second).
The Redditor stated the study questioned if they would switch back to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] capabilities.”
Fascinating stuff–if it’s genuine.
There have been other, prior hints that Spotify HiFi is even now percolating, including a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify app again in May perhaps 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” online video that manufactured the rounds a couple of months later.
Pursuing months of silence about the problem, Spotify eventually did speak up about Spotify HiFi at the starting of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion offered scant information:
We know that HiFi quality audio is significant to you. We experience the identical, and we’re excited to supply a Spotify HiFi expertise to Quality customers in the future. But we do not have timing facts to share nonetheless. We will of course update you here when we can.
We reached out to Spotify shortly right after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the enterprise did “not have something even further to share on HiFi over and above the enjoyment for the long term start.”
Far more not long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned throughout the streamer’s 2nd-quarter earnings contact in late July.
We have due to the fact despatched stick to-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we listen to back.
We’ll also maintain our ears peeled in the course of Spotify’s upcoming quarterly earnings contact, slated for Oct 25.
How a lot will Spotify HiFi price tag?
Yet again, we really do not know for absolutely sure, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor detailed higher than, the purported study pegged the selling price at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/thirty day period Spotify Particular person system. Ouch.
While Spotify has hardly ever appear out and stated that HiFi would cost additional, the wording of its initial announcement–“Premium subscribers in choose markets will be capable to update their sound excellent to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is possibly an include-on or incorporated in a new program, these types of as the doable Spotify Platinum tier.
It is also well worth noting that Spotify tested CD-good quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an more $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi meant to arrive out?
Spotify never ever gave a specific release date for Spotify HiFi, but for the duration of its 2021 announcement, it mentioned the element would get there “later this year” in “select” markets.
Of class, it’s fair to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its start window by a reasonably substantial margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi appear out yet?
Fantastic query. Again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” difficulties when asked about the fate of Spotify HiFi throughout a firm earnings phone. Here’s the precise quotation, as reported by TechCrunch:
“Many of the functions that we communicate about and specially that is connected to new music finishes up into licensing,” Ek informed traders. “So I can’t definitely announce any specifics on this other than to say that we’re in consistent dialogue with our partners to carry this to market.”
There is an additional reason that Spotify may well have delayed Spotify HiFi: since it got caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just 3 months soon after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple each introduced (independently, but on the exact working day) that they would start offering lossless, higher-resolution, and spatial audio music tracks, all for no additional demand. (Apple was totally new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, though Amazon experienced earlier been charging further for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Adhering to the Amazon and Apple announcements, the prospect of spending added (most possible) for only CD-high-quality tunes and (in all probability) no spatial audio began to reduce its luster, so perhaps Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi provide large-resolution new music streaming?
Loads of Spotify’s streaming music rivals, such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple New music, Qobuz, and Tidal, offer “high-resolution” music streaming–that is, audio which is encoded at a higher resolution and sampling charge than CD-top quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most field sorts concur that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for substantial-resolution audio, and all those streamers that guidance it supply large-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify hardly ever explained something about high-resolution audio in its first 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 tends to make mention of a “Studio Sound” aspect in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” imply hi-res audio? Hmmm.
In any occasion, it is a subject of heated debate whether or not the human ear can truly notify the distinction between CD-high quality and superior-resolution audio–or for that issue, whether or not most individuals can discern the distinction between lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap below.
Will Spotify HiFi supply spatial audio?
As with higher-resolution audio, Spotify hardly ever mentioned anything at all about spatial audio–that is, songs tracks that have been combined with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
In the meantime, Spotify rivals Amazon Songs, Apple New music, and Tidal do present spatial audio tracks in such formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Fact Audio.
Once again, Spotify may possibly essentially have spatial audio plans in the works–and potentially that’s what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” capabilities from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Perfectly, anything’s possible, and Spotify has been identified to nix large-profile attributes that hardly ever very took off.
For instance, Spotify recently pulled the plug on Auto Factor, a smaller touchscreen screen that you could install on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-street Spotify streaming.
For its element, Spotify reported that whilst Auto Detail “worked as intended,” it selected to halt production of the $80 unit due to “product need and source chain difficulties,” amongst other components.
Spotify also has a heritage of screening, teasing, and rolling out new functions that afterwards disappear–or even reappear–without clarification.
But whilst Spotify seems ready to terminate capabilities that aren’t performing, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a undertaking that Spotify is material to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is worth, the formal Spotify HiFi announcement is however are living on Spotify’s site.
Up-to-date on October 14, 2022 to incorporate new developments and analysis.