Back in February 2021, Spotify built a daring guarantee to roll out lossless tunes streaming prior to the yr was out. Rapidly forward additional than a year afterwards, and there is still no indicator of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly tight-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the business has permit slip a few aspects about the missing company. Meanwhile, recent rumors indicates that Spotify HiFi may possibly even now see the light of working day, and maybe shortly.
Here’s what we know–and don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi may at last get there.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Initially announced back again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Premium people to “upgrade their sound quality” to a “CD-high-quality, lossless audio structure.”
Normally, “CD-quality” indicates streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling fee.
But the vital phrase right here is “lossless,” which signifies that the audio stream consists of accurately the similar sonic depth as its resource.
The major providing stage below is that you’d be hearing the music in the specific way the artist intended–and indeed, 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 structure, which indicates the audio stream has been compressed and is shedding a honest quantity of depth in the fascination of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi come out?
The small response is that we don’t know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Nevertheless, some current chatter indicates it may land shortly.
In accordance to a submit on Reddit, a longtime Spotify consumer who had recently switched to Apple Tunes claimed they obtained a study thorough a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as perfectly as other capabilities such as “Studio Sound,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an further charge (extra on that in a second).
The Redditor reported the study questioned if they would switch back again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] features.”
Remarkable stuff–if it’s legitimate.
There have been other, previous hints that Spotify HiFi is however percolating, including a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify application again in Might 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” online video that made the rounds a number of months afterwards.
Next months of silence about the challenge, Spotify lastly did talk up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion made available scant specifics:
We know that HiFi good quality audio is important to you. We sense the exact, and we’re energized to supply a Spotify HiFi knowledge to High quality users in the future. But we really do not have timing details to share nonetheless. We will of program update you right here when we can.
We reached out to Spotify shortly after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the firm did “not have anything at all even more to share on HiFi beyond the pleasure for the long run start.”
Extra recently, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned throughout the streamer’s 2nd-quarter earnings phone in late July.
We’ve given that despatched comply with-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we listen to back again.
We’ll also hold our ears peeled all through Spotify’s subsequent quarterly earnings connect with, slated for October 25.
How significantly will Spotify HiFi cost?
All over again, we really do not know for sure, but according to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor in-depth earlier mentioned, the purported survey pegged the rate at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Individual program. Ouch.
Although Spotify has by no means occur out and stated that HiFi would charge additional, the wording of its preliminary announcement–“Premium subscribers in pick out markets will be able to up grade their sound good quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is either an increase-on or involved in a new system, such as the achievable Spotify Platinum tier.
It is also well worth noting that Spotify examined CD-top quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an additional $7.50 a thirty day period for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi supposed to arrive out?
Spotify under no circumstances gave a specific launch date for Spotify HiFi, but throughout its 2021 announcement, it mentioned the characteristic would get there “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of study course, it is truthful to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its start window by a rather big margin.
Why has not Spotify HiFi occur out nonetheless?
Very good query. Back in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” challenges when asked about the destiny of Spotify HiFi all through a company earnings get in touch with. Here’s the precise estimate, as described by TechCrunch:
“Many of the attributes that we speak about and primarily which is similar to audio finishes up into licensing,” Ek explained to investors. “So I simply cannot actually announce any particulars on this other than to say that we’re in frequent dialogue with our associates to provide this to current market.”
There is an additional explanation that Spotify could possibly have delayed Spotify HiFi: because it obtained caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just three months immediately after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple the two declared (individually, but on the similar working day) that they would start out featuring lossless, higher-resolution, and spatial audio new music tracks, all for no added demand. (Apple was absolutely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, though Amazon experienced formerly been charging additional for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Pursuing the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of paying excess (most probable) for only CD-top quality new music and (probably) no spatial audio commenced to lose its luster, so potentially Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi provide significant-resolution tunes streaming?
A lot of Spotify’s streaming music rivals, including Amazon Tunes Limitless, Apple Audio, Qobuz, and Tidal, give “high-resolution” new music streaming–that is, audio which is encoded at a larger resolution and sampling fee than CD-top quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most sector types agree that 24-little bit/48kHz is the threshold for high-resolution audio, and people streamers that support it deliver higher-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify never reported just about anything about significant-resolution audio in its original 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 point out of a “Studio Sound” feature in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” mean hello-res tunes? Hmmm.
In any event, it’s a matter of heated debate no matter whether the human ear can truly explain to the difference concerning CD-top quality and higher-resolution audio–or for that subject, whether or not most individuals can discern the variation amongst lossy and lossless. We won’t dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap in this article.
Will Spotify HiFi offer you spatial audio?
As with superior-resolution audio, Spotify hardly ever said anything about spatial audio–that is, music tracks that have been combined with 3D encompass effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
In the meantime, Spotify rivals Amazon Audio, Apple Audio, and Tidal do provide spatial audio tracks in these types of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Truth Audio.
Once more, Spotify may well essentially have spatial audio options in the works–and potentially which is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” attributes from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Well, anything’s possible, and Spotify has been recognized to nix superior-profile capabilities that by no means rather took off.
For case in point, Spotify just lately pulled the plug on Car or truck Factor, a smaller touchscreen screen that you could set up on a vehicle dashboard for on-the-road Spotify streaming.
For its section, Spotify claimed that although Motor vehicle Factor “worked as meant,” it selected to halt creation of the $80 machine because of to “product need and offer chain concerns,” amongst other aspects.
Spotify also has a history of tests, teasing, and rolling out new attributes that later disappear–or even reappear–without explanation.
But although Spotify would seem prepared to cancel characteristics that are not doing the job, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a undertaking that Spotify is content material to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is really worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is however stay on Spotify’s site.
Up to date on October 14, 2022 to add new developments and investigation.