Back again in February 2021, Spotify created a daring guarantee to roll out lossless new music streaming right before the year was out. Rapid forward additional than a 12 months later, and there is nonetheless no signal 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 couple of information about the missing support. Meanwhile, latest rumors implies that Spotify HiFi could even now see the mild of working day, and potentially shortly.
Here’s what we know–and really do not know–about when Spotify HiFi could possibly last but not least arrive.
What is Spotify HiFi?
To start with declared back again in February 2021, Spotify HiFi was explained as a way for Spotify Premium consumers to “upgrade their audio quality” to a “CD-good quality, lossless audio structure.”
Commonly, “CD-quality” implies streaming audio encoded with 16-bit depth and a 44.1kHz sampling amount.
But the important expression listed here is “lossless,” which signifies that the audio stream is made up of precisely the exact same sonic element as its resource.
The main selling level in this article is that you’d be hearing the new music in the specific way the artist intended–and in truth, 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 usually means the audio stream has been compressed and is getting rid of a good quantity of depth in the desire of conserving bandwidth.
When will Spotify HiFi arrive out?
The quick response is that we really do not know when Spotify HiFi will arrive. Nonetheless, some latest chatter implies it may well land quickly.
According to a submit on Reddit, a longtime Spotify person who had just lately switched to Apple Tunes claimed they got a survey comprehensive a new plan–“Spotify Platinum”–that boasts HiFi, as properly as other functions these as “Studio Seem,” a “Headphone Tuner,” “Audio Insights,” “Library Pro,” “Playlist Pro,” and “limited-ad” podcasts, all for an added demand (far more on that in a instant).
The Redditor explained the survey asked if they would change back again to Spotify “in the nest 30 days” for “one of [those] capabilities.”
Thrilling stuff–if it’s legitimate.
There have been other, previous hints that Spotify HiFi is even now percolating, including a “HiFi” icon spotted in the Spotify application back in May possibly 2021 and a leaked “Hi, HiFi” movie that manufactured the rounds a couple of months later.
Next months of silence about the issue, Spotify ultimately did communicate up about Spotify HiFi at the commencing of 2022, but the vaguely worded assertion supplied scant specifics:
We know that HiFi good quality audio is crucial to you. We come to feel the similar, and we’re fired up to supply a Spotify HiFi knowledge to Premium customers in the future. But we don’t have timing particulars to share but. We will of course update you in this article when we can.
We reached out to Spotify soon just after that announcement, but a rep would only say that the business did “not have nearly anything further to share on HiFi further than the excitement for the upcoming start.”
Much more just lately, Spotify HiFi went unmentioned through the streamer’s next-quarter earnings call in late July.
We’ve since despatched adhere to-up inquiries, and we’ll update this story when and if we listen to again.
We’ll also preserve our ears peeled in the course of Spotify’s upcoming quarterly earnings get in touch with, slated for Oct 25.
How substantially will Spotify HiFi charge?
All over again, we do not know for positive, but according to the “Spotify Platinum” rumor detailed over, the purported survey pegged the price tag at $19.99 a month, or double the $9.99/thirty day period Spotify Specific plan. Ouch.
Although Spotify has hardly ever come out and stated that HiFi would charge added, the wording of its original announcement–“Premium subscribers in pick out markets will be able to enhance their audio high quality to Spotify HiFi”–suggests that HiFi is both an insert-on or incorporated in a new prepare, such as the probable Spotify Platinum tier.
It is also worthy of noting that Spotify analyzed CD-top quality audio streams as early as 2017, and at that time, it charged an further $7.50 a month for the privilege.
When was Spotify HiFi supposed to come out?
Spotify in no way gave a exact launch day for Spotify HiFi, but throughout its 2021 announcement, it stated the element would get there “later this year” in “select” marketplaces.
Of system, it’s honest to say that Spotify HiFi skipped its start window by a pretty massive margin.
Why hasn’t Spotify HiFi occur out yet?
Good issue. Again in February, Spotify CEO Daniel Ed blamed “licensing” challenges when questioned about the fate of Spotify HiFi for the duration of a organization earnings get in touch with. Here’s the actual quotation, as noted by TechCrunch:
“Many of the characteristics that we chat about and specifically that is connected to audio ends up into licensing,” Ek told investors. “So I simply cannot seriously announce any details on this other than to say that we’re in consistent dialogue with our companions to bring this to market place.”
There is an additional rationale that Spotify could possibly have delayed Spotify HiFi: for the reason that it got caught flat-footed by Apple and Amazon.
Just a few months immediately after the Spotify HiFi announcement, Amazon and Apple both equally introduced (individually, but on the identical day) that they would commence offering lossless, large-resolution, and spatial audio tunes tracks, all for no more cost. (Apple was entirely new to lossless and spatial audio streaming, while Amazon experienced previously been charging additional for lossless and spatial tracks.)
Adhering to the Amazon and Apple announcements, the prospect of shelling out further (most very likely) for only CD-good quality music and (likely) no spatial audio commenced to reduce its luster, so perhaps Spotify selected to retreat and regroup.
Will Spotify HiFi present substantial-resolution music streaming?
A lot of Spotify’s streaming songs rivals, together with Amazon New music Endless, Apple New music, Qobuz, and Tidal, present “high-resolution” songs streaming–that is, audio that is encoded at a larger resolution and sampling price than CD-high quality 16-little bit/44.1kHz audio tracks.
Most industry forms concur that 24-bit/48kHz is the threshold for substantial-resolution audio, and these streamers that guidance it produce high-res streams all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz.
But Spotify in no way explained everything about superior-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 point out of a “Studio Sound” feature in addition to HiFi. Could “Studio Sound” signify hello-res music? Hmmm.
In any celebration, it is a make a difference of heated debate irrespective of whether the human ear can really notify the difference concerning CD-top quality and high-resolution audio–or for that make a difference, irrespective of whether most folks can discern the variation among lossy and lossless. We will not dive into lossy-vs.-lossless rabbit gap below.
Will Spotify HiFi present spatial audio?
As with large-resolution audio, Spotify in no way reported just about anything about spatial audio–that is, audio tracks that have been mixed with 3D surround effects–in its Spotify HiFi announcement.
Meanwhile, Spotify competitors Amazon Songs, Apple Tunes, and Tidal do present spatial audio tracks in this sort of formats as Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Actuality Audio.
Yet again, Spotify may basically have spatial audio strategies in the works–and most likely that is what the “Studio Sound” and/or “Headphone Tuner” capabilities from the Spotify Platinum rumors are all about.
Will Spotify HiFi get cancelled?
Well, anything’s probable, and Spotify has been known to nix high-profile characteristics that by no means quite took off.
For illustration, Spotify a short while ago pulled the plug on Motor vehicle Detail, a little touchscreen show that you could set up on a motor vehicle dashboard for on-the-street Spotify streaming.
For its portion, Spotify reported that whilst Automobile Issue “worked as intended,” it chose to halt creation of the $80 machine thanks to “product desire and supply chain concerns,” among other variables.
Spotify also has a history of tests, teasing, and rolling out new features that afterwards disappear–or even reappear–without rationalization.
But though Spotify appears to be ready to terminate functions that aren’t doing the job, it also likes to experiment, and Spotify HiFi could be a challenge that Spotify is material to tinker with indefinitely.
For what it is worth, the official Spotify HiFi announcement is continue to stay on Spotify’s website.
Up to date on Oct 14, 2022 to add new developments and examination.