Again in February 2021, Spotify built a bold assure to roll out lossless songs streaming in advance of the calendar year was out. Rapid ahead a lot more than a yr later on, and there is still no signal of Spotify HiFi.
So, what is the deal? Spotify has been frustratingly tight-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the business has permit slip a couple details about the missing company. Meanwhile, recent rumors indicates that Spotify HiFi may even now see the mild of working day, and perhaps before long.
Here’s what we know–and really don’t know–about when Spotify HiFi may possibly finally arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
Very first announced back in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify High quality buyers to “upgrade their seem quality” to a “CD-top quality, lossless audio format.”
Typically, “CD-quality” indicates streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling price.
But the critical time period listed here is “lossless,” which means that the audio stream contains precisely the same sonic detail as its source.
The most important providing issue below is that you’d be hearing the tunes in the exact way the artist intended–and without a doubt, 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 format, which indicates the audio stream has been compressed and is dropping a truthful amount of money of element in the fascination of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi appear out?
The brief response is that we never know when Spotify HiFi will get there. However, some new chatter suggests it may well land soon.
According to a publish on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who had a short while ago switched to Apple Audio claimed they obtained a survey comprehensive a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as effectively as other features this kind of as “Studio Sound,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an additional demand (additional on that in a moment).
The Redditor claimed the survey questioned if they would swap back again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] attributes.”
Thrilling stuff–if it is real.
There have been other, previous hints that Spotify HiFi is continue to percolating, including a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify application again in Might 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video that made the rounds a couple months later.
Pursuing months of silence about the problem, Spotify ultimately did talk up about Spotify HiFi at the beginning of 2022, but the vaguely worded statement presented scant information:
We know that HiFi excellent audio is important to you. We truly feel the similar, and we’re fired up to deliver a Spotify HiFi working experience to Premium consumers in the future. But we never have timing specifics to share however. We will of program update you right here when we can.
We arrived at out to Spotify shortly following that announcement, but a rep would only say that the firm did “not have anything at all further to share on HiFi past the excitement for the future launch.”
Extra just lately, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned in the course of the streamer’s next-quarter earnings contact in late July.
We’ve due to the fact despatched abide by-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we hear back.
We’ll also retain our ears peeled during Spotify’s up coming quarterly earnings connect with, slated for Oct 25.
How significantly will Spotify HiFi cost?
Yet again, we really do not know for certain, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor comprehensive over, the purported study pegged the price tag at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/thirty day period Spotify Unique system. Ouch.
While Spotify has never ever occur out and said that HiFi would value more, the wording of its initial announcement–“Premium subscribers in decide on markets will be equipped to up grade their audio high quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is either an insert-on or included in a new system, these kinds of as the feasible Spotify Platinum tier.
It’s also worth noting that Spotify analyzed CD-quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an extra $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi intended to appear out?
Spotify by no means gave a specific launch day for Spotify HiFi, but for the duration of its 2021 announcement, it stated the attribute would get there “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of system, it is honest to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its launch window by a pretty large margin.
Why has not Spotify HiFi arrive out but?
Good dilemma. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” concerns when requested about the destiny of Spotify HiFi for the duration of a enterprise earnings get in touch with. Here’s the actual quotation, as noted by TechCrunch:
“Many of the options that we discuss about and in particular which is associated to songs ends up into licensing,” Ek told buyers. “So I can not seriously announce any details on this other than to say that we’re in frequent dialogue with our associates to bring this to industry.”
There is a different reason that Spotify could have delayed Spotify HiFi: because it acquired caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just a few months just after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple equally introduced (individually, but on the same day) that they would begin presenting lossless, large-resolution, and spatial audio music tracks, all for no further cost. (Apple was wholly new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, while Amazon experienced previously been charging extra for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Subsequent the Amazon and Apple announcements, the prospect of having to pay more (most probable) for only CD-high quality music and (probably) no spatial audio started to eliminate its luster, so potentially Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi present high-resolution songs streaming?
Plenty of Spotify’s streaming tunes rivals, which include Amazon New music Limitless, Apple Audio, Qobuz, and Tidal, provide “high-resolution” songs streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a greater resolution and sampling amount than CD-good quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most market kinds agree that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for significant-resolution audio, and these streamers that guidance it supply significant-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify under no circumstances mentioned something about large-resolution audio in its initial 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” function in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” imply hello-res music? Hmmm.
In any occasion, it is a make a difference of heated debate whether the human ear can truly tell the difference concerning CD-good quality and large-resolution audio–or for that make any difference, whether most people can discern the big difference concerning lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap listed here.
Will Spotify HiFi provide spatial audio?
As with higher-resolution audio, Spotify under no circumstances claimed nearly anything about spatial audio–that is, audio tracks that have been mixed with 3D encompass effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
In the meantime, Spotify rivals Amazon Music, Apple Audio, and Tidal do supply spatial audio tracks in these formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Fact Audio.
Again, Spotify may possibly truly have spatial audio plans in the works–and probably that’s what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” characteristics from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Perfectly, anything’s achievable, and Spotify has been acknowledged to nix large-profile features that never ever rather took off.
For example, Spotify lately pulled the plug on Vehicle Matter, a small touchscreen display screen that you could put in on a auto dashboard for on-the-street Spotify streaming.
For its component, Spotify stated that while Motor vehicle Thing “worked as intended,” it selected to halt generation of the $80 device because of to “product need and supply chain concerns,” amongst other factors.
Spotify also has a background of tests, teasing, and rolling out new attributes that later on disappear–or even reappear–without rationalization.
But though Spotify appears to be inclined to cancel capabilities that aren’t functioning, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a task that Spotify is written content to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it’s really worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is continue to are living on Spotify’s site.
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 to include new developments and examination.