Back again in February 2021, Spotify built a daring assure to roll out lossless songs streaming ahead of the year was out. Speedy ahead more than a yr afterwards, and there’s still no sign of Spotify HiFi.
So, what’s the offer? Spotify has been frustratingly tight-lipped about the destiny of Spotify HiFi, but the firm has permit slip a several aspects about the missing support. Meanwhile, modern rumors implies that Spotify HiFi could continue to see the mild of working day, and possibly quickly.
Here’s what we know–and do not know–about when Spotify HiFi could possibly finally get there.
What is Spotify HiFi?
To start with introduced back again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was described as a way for Spotify Top quality people to “upgrade their audio quality” to a “CD-excellent, lossless audio format.”
Usually, “CD-quality” usually means streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling charge.
But the important expression in this article is “lossless,” which indicates that the audio stream includes precisely the exact sonic detail as its source.
The major promoting position right here is that you’d be hearing the tunes in the precise way the artist intended–and indeed, Spotify posted a video clip 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 losing a good sum of detail in the fascination of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi come out?
The short respond to is that we don’t know when Spotify HiFi will get there. Nonetheless, some the latest chatter suggests it may land soon.
According to a post on Reddit, a longtime Spotify user who had lately switched to Apple Audio claimed they got a study comprehensive a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that offers HiFi, as nicely as other options this kind of as “Studio Audio,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Professional,” “Playlist Professional,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an added cost (more on that in a minute).
The Redditor claimed the study asked if they would switch back to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] features.”
Interesting stuff–if it is true.
There have been other, past hints that Spotify HiFi is however percolating, which includes a “HiFi” icon noticed in the Spotify application back in May possibly 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” video clip that made the rounds a handful of months later.
Following months of silence about the situation, Spotify finally did converse up about Spotify HiFi at the commencing of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion made available scant facts:
We know that HiFi quality audio is critical to you. We feel the identical, and we’re psyched to deliver a Spotify HiFi expertise to Premium buyers in the future. But we don’t have timing particulars to share however. We will of study course update you below when we can.
We attained out to Spotify shortly following that announcement, but a rep would only say that the company did “not have just about anything further to share on HiFi past the excitement for the potential launch.”
Extra not too long ago, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned through the streamer’s 2nd-quarter earnings call in late July.
We’ve given that despatched observe-up inquiries, and we’ll update this tale when and if we hear back.
We’ll also retain our ears peeled for the duration of Spotify’s next quarterly earnings get in touch with, slated for Oct 25.
How a lot will Spotify HiFi expense?
All over again, we really don’t know for guaranteed, but in accordance to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor thorough above, the purported study pegged the rate at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/month Spotify Individual system. Ouch.
Whilst Spotify has by no means come out and said that HiFi would cost added, the wording of its first announcement–“Premium subscribers in find marketplaces will be equipped to enhance their sound excellent to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is possibly an add-on or involved in a new prepare, these kinds of as the attainable Spotify Platinum tier.
It is also truly worth noting that Spotify examined CD-good quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it billed an added $7.50 a thirty day period for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi intended to appear out?
Spotify by no means gave a specific launch date for Spotify HiFi, but all through its 2021 announcement, it claimed the characteristic would arrive “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of course, it’s fair to say that Spotify HiFi missed its start window by a relatively significant margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi occur out however?
Very good issue. Back again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” issues when asked about the fate of Spotify HiFi through a corporation earnings get in touch with. Here’s the specific quotation, as reported by TechCrunch:
“Many of the functions that we speak about and specially that’s similar to tunes finishes up into licensing,” Ek instructed investors. “So I cannot really announce any particulars on this other than to say that we’re in consistent dialogue with our associates to bring this to current market.”
There is a further rationale that Spotify may possibly have delayed Spotify HiFi: for the reason that it obtained caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just three months right after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple the two introduced (separately, but on the exact same day) that they would start featuring lossless, higher-resolution, and spatial audio music tracks, all for no added demand. (Apple was wholly new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, even though Amazon had formerly been charging additional for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Next the Amazon and Apple bulletins, the prospect of paying out more (most most likely) for only CD-top quality audio and (most likely) no spatial audio commenced to drop its luster, so perhaps Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi give significant-resolution music streaming?
Lots of Spotify’s streaming new music rivals, which includes Amazon Audio Unlimited, Apple New music, Qobuz, and Tidal, give “high-resolution” audio streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a greater resolution and sampling charge than CD-high-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most marketplace sorts agree that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for high-resolution audio, and those streamers that assist it provide high-res streams all the way up to 24-little bit/192kHz.
But Spotify by no means claimed something about large-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 survey can make point out of a “Studio Sound” element in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” necessarily mean hi-res songs? Hmmm.
In any event, it is a make any difference of heated debate irrespective of whether the human ear can essentially convey to the difference involving CD-good quality and superior-resolution audio–or for that matter, no matter if most individuals can discern the variation among lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap right here.
Will Spotify HiFi present spatial audio?
As with large-resolution audio, Spotify never reported nearly anything about spatial audio–that is, tunes tracks that have been blended with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify competition Amazon Audio, Apple New music, and Tidal do provide spatial audio tracks in these types of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Truth Audio.
Yet again, Spotify may well actually have spatial audio designs in the works–and most likely that’s what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” features from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Very well, anything’s possible, and Spotify has been acknowledged to nix substantial-profile capabilities that hardly ever fairly took off.
For instance, Spotify recently pulled the plug on Car or truck Detail, a small touchscreen exhibit that you could set up on a vehicle dashboard for on-the-highway Spotify streaming.
For its section, Spotify reported that while Car Issue “worked as supposed,” it selected to halt output of the $80 unit due to “product demand and provide chain issues,” among other factors.
Spotify also has a background of testing, teasing, and rolling out new options that later on disappear–or even reappear–without rationalization.
But while Spotify appears to be prepared to cancel features that aren’t functioning, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a venture that Spotify is information to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it’s really worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is nevertheless live on Spotify’s site.
Up to date on October 14, 2022 to add new developments and analysis.