Back in February 2021, Spotify manufactured a bold promise to roll out lossless music streaming just before the year was out. Rapid forward more than a yr afterwards, and there is continue to no indication of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly limited-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the organization has enable slip a couple of information about the lacking provider. Meanwhile, current rumors suggests that Spotify HiFi may however see the gentle of day, and perhaps quickly.
Here’s what we know–and don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi could possibly ultimately get there.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Initially introduced back in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify High quality buyers to “upgrade their sound quality” to a “CD-top quality, lossless audio format.”
Generally, “CD-quality” means streaming audio encoded with 16-little bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling level.
But the important term in this article is “lossless,” which means that the audio stream incorporates precisely the similar sonic detail as its resource.
The main offering issue in this article is that you’d be listening to the tunes in the specific way the artist intended–and certainly, 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 signifies the audio stream has been compressed and is losing a reasonable amount of element in the curiosity of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi appear out?
The quick respond to is that we really do not know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Nonetheless, some recent chatter implies it may land quickly.
In accordance to a put up on Reddit, a longtime Spotify consumer who experienced just lately switched to Apple Tunes claimed they received a study in-depth a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as perfectly as other capabilities these as “Studio Seem,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an added cost (more on that in a second).
The Redditor said the survey asked if they would change back to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] functions.”
Exciting stuff–if it is legitimate.
There have been other, prior hints that Spotify HiFi is nonetheless percolating, including a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify application back in May perhaps 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” online video that built the rounds a several months afterwards.
Pursuing months of silence about the issue, Spotify finally did converse up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion provided scant information:
We know that HiFi good quality audio is significant to you. We truly feel the identical, and we’re enthusiastic to provide a Spotify HiFi experience to High quality users in the future. But we do not have timing aspects to share still. We will of class update you listed here when we can.
We arrived at out to Spotify shortly right after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the organization did “not have something even more to share on HiFi over and above the excitement for the future start.”
Extra not long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned throughout the streamer’s next-quarter earnings get in touch with in late July.
We have because sent observe-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we hear again.
We’ll also hold our ears peeled all through Spotify’s subsequent quarterly earnings contact, slated for October 25.
How a great deal will Spotify HiFi price?
Again, we really don’t know for sure, but according to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor detailed higher than, the purported survey pegged the value at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Individual system. Ouch.
Whilst Spotify has hardly ever come out and stated that HiFi would cost further, the wording of its preliminary announcement–“Premium subscribers in decide on marketplaces will be capable to up grade their seem high quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is possibly an increase-on or integrated in a new strategy, this sort of as the achievable 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 more $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi meant to come out?
Spotify under no circumstances gave a specific release date for Spotify HiFi, but in the course of its 2021 announcement, it claimed the feature would get there “later this year” in “select” markets.
Of study course, it’s honest to say that Spotify HiFi missed its launch window by a relatively significant margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi come out however?
Good question. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” troubles when questioned about the destiny of Spotify HiFi through a business earnings phone. Here’s the correct estimate, as documented by TechCrunch:
“Many of the features that we speak about and primarily that is related to audio finishes up into licensing,” Ek explained to traders. “So I can not truly announce any particulars on this other than to say that we’re in constant dialogue with our partners to carry this to marketplace.”
There is a further reason that Spotify may well have delayed Spotify HiFi: for the reason that it received caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just a few months just after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple equally declared (independently, but on the same working day) that they would begin offering lossless, superior-resolution, and spatial audio tunes tracks, all for no additional charge. (Apple was entirely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, whilst Amazon had earlier been charging excess for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Subsequent the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of paying more (most probably) for only CD-excellent songs and (possibly) no spatial audio began to reduce its luster, so maybe Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi provide significant-resolution music streaming?
A great deal of Spotify’s streaming tunes rivals, together with Amazon Tunes Unlimited, Apple Songs, Qobuz, and Tidal, supply “high-resolution” tunes streaming–that is, audio which is encoded at a better resolution and sampling fee than CD-high quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most sector styles agree that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for significant-resolution audio, and people streamers that guidance it provide significant-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify never ever said anything about large-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 study makes mention of a “Studio Sound” aspect in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” imply hello-res new music? Hmmm.
In any occasion, it is a issue of heated discussion no matter if the human ear can actually notify the difference concerning CD-quality and high-resolution audio–or for that subject, regardless of whether most people can discern the variation in between lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap listed here.
Will Spotify HiFi supply spatial audio?
As with superior-resolution audio, Spotify never explained anything about spatial audio–that is, new music tracks that have been blended with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify competitors Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Tidal do provide spatial audio tracks in these types of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
Again, Spotify could possibly actually have spatial audio ideas in the works–and potentially that is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” capabilities from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Properly, anything’s feasible, and Spotify has been regarded to nix substantial-profile features that never ever quite took off.
For case in point, Spotify just lately pulled the plug on Auto Matter, a tiny touchscreen display that you could set up on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-highway Spotify streaming.
For its part, Spotify stated that when Vehicle Point “worked as meant,” it selected to halt generation of the $80 gadget thanks to “product need and source chain troubles,” amongst other aspects.
Spotify also has a historical past of tests, teasing, and rolling out new features that afterwards disappear–or even reappear–without clarification.
But whilst Spotify would seem willing to cancel features that aren’t doing the job, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a venture that Spotify is articles to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it’s worthy of, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is even now reside on Spotify’s web page.
Updated on October 14, 2022 to insert new developments and analysis.