Spotify HiFi is the favored music streaming service’s long-anticipated entry into CD-quality streaming. Set to launch in 2021, it can enable Spotify Premium subscribers to ‘improve’ their membership to allow them to hearken to higher-quality, lossless audio streams.
Based on Spotify, “prime quality music streaming” has persistently been considered one of customers’ most requested new options. However after years ready for Spotify HiFi to indicate up after an preliminary teaser in 2017, we not too long ago wondered whether it would ever get the green light…
Lastly, on 22nd February 2021, the corporate formally announced Spotify HiFi to the world at its ‘Stream On’ occasion. Extra not too long ago, a leaked video has given us a glimpse of HiFi. The query is, how will it match as much as current lossless audio propositions akin to Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Amazon Music HD and now, Apple Music Lossless?
Spotify is but to share particulars akin to worth, launch date and full system compatibility, however we have pieced collectively all the newest information, ideas and rumours to construct a possible image of Spotify HiFi. Here is all the pieces we all know to date…
Spotify HiFi launch date
Spotify has promised to launch Spotify HiFi “starting later this yr”, however that is as particular as it has been. It hasn’t mentioned precisely when in 2021, however its phrasing maybe suggests it is going to be nearer the tip of the yr slightly than imminently. Extra not too long ago, nevertheless, a Reddit user spotted a HiFi icon in their Spotify iOS app, which may very well be proof that Spotify is hitting again towards arch rival Apple’s new CD quality, Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless tiers.
In a blog post asserting Spotify HiFi, the corporate mentioned: “Starting later this yr, Premium subscribers in choose markets will have the ability to improve their sound high quality to Spotify HiFi and hearken to their favourite songs the best way artists meant.”
The phrases that bounce on the market are “choose markets”. Spotify is at present accessible in some 180 markets, and in 60 languages, so likelihood is Spotify HiFi will land in several territories at completely different factors all year long and maybe into 2022.
The excellent news for subscribers within the US and Europe is that Spotify usually launches new options in these key markets first.
In June, a Reddit user spotted a HiFi icon in their Spotify iOS app, which may very well be proof that Spotify is hitting again towards arch rival Apple’s new Lossless and Hello-Res Lossless tiers.
And in August, a leaked video, posted on-line by a Reddit person, appeared to supply an transient tour of the streaming large’s much-anticipated lossless audio tier. The 57-second video means that Spotify Join might be “one of the simplest ways to hearken to HiFi”.
The Spotify HiFi launch date might additionally rely on the kind of system you employ. Spotify HiFi will ship greater high quality streams via Spotify Connect, so it is potential that newer Join-enabled gadgets (such because the PlayStation 5) might get the HiFi improve earlier than sure older gadgets.
Spotify HiFi worth
Loads of rival music streaming providers already supply their very own CD-quality subscription tiers – and let’s not neglect, Apple has introduced its new Lossless tiers will be free to all Apple Music subscribers – so whereas Spotify’s reputation and consequent current subscription base might see Spotify HiFi entrance the pack earlier than lengthy, worth will little question be a key think about its uptake.
The veteran music streaming outfit is but to announce the all-important month-to-month price, though it not too long ago hiked all of its prices. What we will do is speculate on what the corporate would possibly cost, primarily based on Spotify’s new and daunting competitors.
Amazon Music HD, essentially the most reasonably priced hi-res service earlier than Apple’s massive announcement, used to value £12.99 ($12.99) for Prime members and £14.99 ($14.99) for non-Prime members. Then, Amazon determined to make its Amazon Music HD plan free for all Amazon Music listeners, thus successfully slashing its costs by £5, to £7.99 ($7.99) per 30 days for its Amazon Music Limitless Particular person Plan for Prime members and £9.99 ($9.99) per 30 days for Amazon clients. May Spotify match and even undercut that temptingly low month-to-month price? It most likely ought to, contemplating the Amazon service additionally gives hi-res (higher-than-CD-quality) streams – one thing Spotify hasn’t alluded to together with in its HiFi providing.
Then once more, Spotify is successfully the Coca-Cola of music streaming so there isn’t any purpose for it to get right into a worth warfare with Amazon, an organization with a few of the deepest pockets in tech.
Deezer introduced a everlasting worth minimize to its HiFi streaming tier again in Might 2020. It now prices £14.99 ($14.99, AU$14.99) per 30 days, whereas Tidal prices £19.99 ($19.99, AU$17.99) a month for its highest-quality subscription tier. Like Amazon, Tidal has CD-quality and hi-res streams, whereas Deezer has CD-quality solely. So why would Spotify undervalue itself? Particularly when some 150 million Spotify Premium customers fortunately pay £9.99 ($9.99, AU$11.99) a month for standard-quality streams.
When you think about that context, you should not be shocked to learn that almost all analysts count on Spotify HiFi to value someplace between £15 ($15, AU$20) and £20 ($20, AU$25). Rival providers will little question hope it is nearer to the latter.
Spotify HiFi free trial
Excellent news: regardless of the month-to-month price, some kind of Spotify HiFi free trial is probably going on the playing cards – most likely, we’d think about, for each Spotify Premium customers trying to improve and new Spotify customers who might have traditionally been postpone the service resulting from its lack of higher-quality audio.
On the latter level, those that have discovered high-quality haven in rival providers akin to Tidal and Amazon HD might effectively want teasing away from their most likely extremely personalised profile.
Spotify already gives a 1-month free trial of Spotify Premium, whereas Amazon Music HD recently offered new subscribers a 3-month free trial. Tidal gives customers a 30-day free trial, whereas Deezer dangles a 1-month free trial in entrance of holiday makers to its web site.
Keep watch over this web page and we’ll provide you with a warning if/when information of a Spotify HiFi free trial breaks.
Spotify HiFi high quality
Streaming high quality may very well be one other dealbreaker, so simply how good will Spotify HiFi sound?
Thus far, we all know that the HiFi subscribers will have the ability to eat “music in lossless audio format, with CD high quality”. On condition that bitrates for lossless audio may be round 1411kbps, Spotify HiFi needs to be an enormous step up from current Spotify Premium high quality, which maxes out at solely 320kbps. For the initiated, lossless audio information carry extra information, consequently richer intimately. Take a look at our full information to high-resolution audio for a lowdown on bitrates and file sizes.
Spotify has but to disclose the technical particulars of its higher-quality streams, but it surely’s price noting that when it first teased Hello-Fi means again in March 2017, Premium subscribers have been provided 1411kbps streams. Fingers crossed that is the case when Spotify HiFi makes its official debut later this yr. Once more, nevertheless, it is also price remembering that Tidal HiFi goes as much as 9216kbps within the case of a few of its Tidal Masters tracks, as does Qobuz. And Amazon Music HD additionally boasts a equally hi-res catalogue too. It appears unlikely Spotify will decide to hi-res audio on condition that it has already pegged HiFi as “CD-quality”, slightly than higher-than-CD-quality.
Apple Music will supply three tiers of upper decision audio: CD high quality (16-bit/44.1kHz), Apple Music Lossless (24-bit/48kHz), and Hello-Res Lossless (as much as 24-bit/192kHz). You can select your high quality via the Settings > Music > Audio High quality part of Apple Music. As of June, all of Apple Music’s 75-million-strong music catalogue might be accessible in CD high quality or Apple Music Lossless. At launch, 20 million tracks might be accessible within the highest high quality Hello-Res Lossless format, with the entire catalogue following “by the tip of 2021” – all at no additional value to your Apple Music subscription price. Oh, and there might be support for Dolby Atmos and Apple’s proprietary 3D providing, Spatial Audio, too.
Spotify hasn’t mentioned whether or not it can observe within the footsteps of Tidal, Apple Music or Amazon Music HD of their help of latest and immersive audio streams, akin to 360 Reality Audio tracks and Dolby Atmos Music.
Spotify HiFi system compatibility
Spotify has confirmed that these CD-quality streams might be suitable with Spotify Join, which is a straightforward means of wirelessly enjoying streams from the native Spotify app on a telephone or pill to a Join-compatible system over wi-fi. It cuts out convoluted Bluetooth pairing.
That mentioned, Bluetooth aptX and aptX HD can stream in CD-quality, so so long as a person’s supply (say, the Spotify app and the telephone it is enjoying on) and receiver (a Bluetooth speaker or pair of wi-fi headphones) each help that Bluetooth codec, that greater streaming high quality ought to be upheld.
The finer particulars over Spotify Join compatibility are but to be revealed, however presumably Spotify HiFi subscribers will have the ability to simply play high-quality streams between their telephone (by way of the iOS and Android apps) or pc (by way of the desktop app or internet participant) and the ever-increasing mass of Join-enabled audio system, TVs and audio techniques available on the market. Spotify Join actually has turn out to be one of the well-liked streaming options, so the vast majority of networked, streaming-savvy gadgets on the market ought to help the protocol.
“We’re working with a few of the world’s greatest speaker producers to make Spotify HiFi accessible to as many followers as potential via Spotify Join,” reads Spotify’s assertion.
May we even see Spotify HiFi launch alongside a high-end Spotify-branded speaker? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient. Within the meantime, here is a rundown of our favorite wireless speakers, a lot of which help Spotify Join.
Spotify HiFi catalogue
Spotify Premium claims to supply entry to “over 60 million songs” – however what number of of these tracks may even be accessible in CD-quality to HiFi subscribers?
The corporate has but to launch any particulars as to which songs might be accessible in lossless CD-quality, but it surely’s prone to be within the tens of hundreds of thousands – figures it can share with its rivals. For instance, Qobuz claims to supply the “greatest catalogue of CD-quality lossless and Hello-Res albums on the earth”, placing the scale of its providing at 50 million songs, whereas Amazon Music HD claims “60 million songs in HD”. There is not any purpose to suppose Spotify will not supply essentially the most (or at the very least joint most) streams in CD high quality available on the market.
Spotify is not solely reputed for the scale of its catalogue, although; its catalogue can also be among the many smartest, most versatile and greatest offered. Its vastly well-liked “Uncover Weekly” function makes use of AI and machine studying to generate a playlist of 30 songs which might be related to your listening habits, so little question that might be put to good use to spotlight any unique, CD-quality content material.
The corporate has additionally invested closely in podcasts, together with Renegades: Born within the USA, that includes Barak Obama and Bruce Springsteen.
We’ll replace you as quickly as we all know extra about Spotify HiFi, however one factor’s for positive: the competitors is not going away. Sonos recently announced Sonos Radio HD – an ad-free, CD-quality streaming tier – and rumours are choosing up that Apple Music will launch a lossless streaming tier to enrich its high-end AirPods Max headphones.