Back again in February 2021, Spotify created a bold guarantee to roll out lossless audio streaming right before the year was out. Fast forward a lot more than a yr later, and there is nonetheless no indicator of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly restricted-lipped about the fate of Spotify HiFi, but the corporation has enable slip a number of aspects about the lacking services. Meanwhile, latest rumors implies that Spotify HiFi might nevertheless see the gentle of working day, and potentially soon.
Here’s what we know–and don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi might eventually get there.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Initial announced back in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Quality customers to “upgrade their seem quality” to a “CD-excellent, lossless audio format.”
Ordinarily, “CD-quality” usually means streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling rate.
But the critical term listed here is “lossless,” which implies that the audio stream contains specifically the exact sonic element as its resource.
The most important advertising issue in this article is that you’d be listening to the new music in the precise way the artist intended–and without a doubt, 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 signifies the audio stream has been compressed and is dropping a good quantity of element in the interest of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi appear out?
The quick remedy is that we don’t know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. On the other hand, some modern chatter implies it might land before long.
In accordance to a put up on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who experienced lately switched to Apple Audio claimed they obtained a survey comprehensive a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that features HiFi, as effectively as other attributes such as “Studio Seem,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an additional cost (more on that in a minute).
The Redditor stated the study questioned if they would switch back again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] options.”
Remarkable stuff–if it’s genuine.
There have been other, preceding hints that Spotify HiFi is continue to percolating, together with a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify app back in Might 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video clip that designed the rounds a few months later.
Next months of silence about the problem, Spotify lastly did converse up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion supplied scant specifics:
We know that HiFi top quality audio is important to you. We come to feel the identical, and we’re energized to deliver a Spotify HiFi expertise to Premium customers in the future. But we do not have timing details to share but. We will of training course update you below when we can.
We reached out to Spotify soon soon after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the organization did “not have nearly anything even more to share on HiFi past the exhilaration for the long term launch.”
Extra lately, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned all through the streamer’s second-quarter earnings contact in late July.
We’ve due to the fact sent abide by-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we listen to back again.
We’ll also preserve our ears peeled all through Spotify’s future quarterly earnings phone, slated for Oct 25.
How a lot will Spotify HiFi value?
Again, we never know for positive, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor in depth above, the purported study pegged the selling price at $19.99 a thirty day period, or double the $9.99/thirty day period Spotify Personal plan. Ouch.
Though Spotify has by no means occur out and mentioned that HiFi would expense additional, the wording of its preliminary announcement–“Premium subscribers in decide on markets will be capable to upgrade their audio high quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is either an insert-on or included in a new plan, this sort of as the doable Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also really worth noting that Spotify examined CD-good quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it billed an further $7.50 a thirty day period for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi intended to occur out?
Spotify in no way gave a precise launch day for Spotify HiFi, but for the duration of its 2021 announcement, it claimed the aspect would arrive “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of system, it’s truthful to say that Spotify HiFi missed its start window by a reasonably substantial margin.
Why has not Spotify HiFi come out still?
Very good problem. Again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” difficulties when questioned about the destiny of Spotify HiFi through a corporation earnings simply call. Here’s the precise quotation, as described by TechCrunch:
“Many of the options that we speak about and especially that’s associated to new music finishes up into licensing,” Ek told buyers. “So I just cannot truly announce any details on this other than to say that we’re in regular dialogue with our partners to convey this to sector.”
There is yet another cause that Spotify could possibly have delayed Spotify HiFi: due to the fact it obtained caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just 3 months after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple the two announced (independently, but on the same working day) that they would begin presenting lossless, higher-resolution, and spatial audio audio tracks, all for no more cost. (Apple was wholly new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, when Amazon had formerly been charging further for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Adhering to the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of shelling out excess (most probable) for only CD-top quality audio and (most likely) no spatial audio began to eliminate its luster, so maybe Spotify chose to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi provide high-resolution audio streaming?
Lots of Spotify’s streaming new music rivals, together with Amazon New music Unrestricted, Apple Songs, Qobuz, and Tidal, present “high-resolution” new music streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a increased resolution and sampling charge than CD-high-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most market kinds agree that 24-little bit/48kHz is the threshold for significant-resolution audio, and these streamers that aid it deliver superior-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify never said something about substantial-resolution audio in its preliminary 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 will make mention of a “Studio Sound” aspect in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” necessarily mean hello-res new music? Hmmm.
In any party, it’s a make a difference of heated debate whether the human ear can truly convey to the variance in between CD-quality and substantial-resolution audio–or for that make any difference, no matter whether most people can discern the variation among lossy and lossless. We won’t dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap here.
Will Spotify HiFi provide spatial audio?
As with significant-resolution audio, Spotify under no circumstances explained everything about spatial audio–that is, new music tracks that have been mixed with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify competition Amazon New music, Apple New music, and Tidal do supply spatial audio tracks in these types of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Fact Audio.
All over again, Spotify may essentially have spatial audio programs in the works–and maybe that is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” capabilities from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Nicely, anything’s attainable, and Spotify has been identified to nix substantial-profile capabilities that by no means quite took off.
For case in point, Spotify lately pulled the plug on Motor vehicle Matter, a modest touchscreen show that you could set up on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-highway Spotify streaming.
For its section, Spotify reported that although Car or truck Issue “worked as supposed,” it selected to halt manufacturing of the $80 machine due to “product need and supply chain issues,” among other components.
Spotify also has a heritage of testing, teasing, and rolling out new attributes that later disappear–or even reappear–without explanation.
But whilst Spotify seems keen to cancel functions that are not doing the job, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a task that Spotify is content material to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it’s worth, the formal Spotify HiFi announcement is nevertheless are living on Spotify’s web site.
Up to date on October 14, 2022 to add new developments and evaluation.