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What’s Spotify HiFi?

5 min read

It’s been greater than two years since Spotify first introduced plans to launch a Spotify HiFi tier again in February 2021, which begs the query: the place is it? 

The corporate lately provided an replace on the whereabouts of the elusive increased high quality Spotify tier, confirming that it undoubtedly hasn’t been cancelled. 

Hold studying to study all the pieces there may be to learn about Spotify HiFi, together with what it’s, how a lot it may cost a little and when you possibly can anticipate it to reach… 

What’s Spotify HiFi? 

Spotify HiFi is Spotify’s long-awaited lossless audio tier. 

The function will permit Spotify subscribers to hearken to music at CD high quality, that means the decision shall be nearer to that of the unique recordings providing extra depth and readability in comparison with what you at the moment hear when streaming with Spotify Premium.

What audio high quality is Spotify HiFi streaming at?

It’s necessary to notice that Spotify shall be providing audio at CD, lossless high quality, to not be confused with high-resolution audio, which is taken into account to be audio high quality increased than 16-bit/44.1 kHz (which is what Spotify HiFi will stream at).

Lossless audio ensures that there needs to be no lack of high quality within the digital music file, nevertheless it does additionally imply it eats up extra knowledge to stream and if it’s streamed over Bluetooth, there’s doubtless be some compression occurring anyway.

For quite a lot of music streaming providers, digital music information are compressed with a purpose to maintain the file sizes down. For a 3.5-minute tune, a normal compressed audio file is round 2mb. The identical file dimension for a hi-res monitor will be round 20Mb. For instance, Spotify makes use of Ogg Vorbis, which is claimed to ship prime quality sound relative to the bandwidth wanted to stream it.

Which audio codec will Spotify HiFi use?

There are numerous codecs offering increased high quality audio, and Spotify hasn’t made clear which format it’s going to use as but. Tidal HiFi makes use of the FLAC format at 16-bit / 44.1kHz and MQA (Grasp High quality Authenticated) for higher-resolution information (branded as Tidal Masters) similar to 24-bit / 352kHz. We wouldn’t anticipate Spotify HiFi to go that far.

Proper now, probably the most Spotify Premium can provide is 320kbps MP3 on desktop, cellular and pill, so whether or not the service makes use of FLAC or one thing else, the audio high quality the HiFi tier will (finally) be higher than what’s at the moment accessible.

Will I want new audio system or headphones?

Spotify says that it’s working with “a number of the world’s greatest speaker producers” to make sure that Spotify HiFi will be accessed by means of the Spotify Join.

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It’s but to disclose the technical necessities for Spotify HiFi, however given the ubiquity of Spotify on units world wide, we’d think about it’ll be made broadly accessible. Spotify Join streams direct from the music service over Wi-Fi, so higher-quality sound needs to be attainable with units that assist that function.

Over Bluetooth there’s a possible query mark over whether or not you’d actually be getting Spotify HiFi high quality. AptX, aptX-HD and aptX-Lossless Bluetooth ought to facilitate increased ranges of streaming high quality however not essentially lossless audio.

Sony’s LDAC and Savitech’s LHDC codec, that are utilized by quite a lot of audio manufacturers in Asia, open up the Bluetooth bandwidth to assist increased high quality streams, however once more these aren’t actually lossless when it comes to data.

For wired headphones, it’s price contemplating a Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) to present audio information a much bigger enhance. In spite of everything, wired listening continues to be higher and extra constant than listening over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

What tracks shall be in Spotify HiFi?

Spotify is claimed to have a music catalogue within the area of 80 million tracks, which apparently isn’t as a lot as Apple Music’s 90 million+ catalogue, so the query is what number of tracks shall be accessible in HiFi high quality.

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This can clearly depend upon the agreements it might attain with music labels, although apparently these are all in place. Amazon Music HD says it has 90 million tracks in Excessive Definition (which interprets to CD high quality) and 9 million in Extremely HD (Excessive Decision). Apple says all of its catalogue is offered in lossless or extra.

These are huge figures to hit except Spotify can unlock its total library at launch. It will nonetheless be behind Apple and Amazon however barely forward of Tidal, based mostly on present catalogue figures.

When is Spotify HiFi accessible?

Throughout its authentic announcement initially of 2021, Spotify stated that Spotify HiFi would launch towards the top of 2021. Clearly, that didn’t occur.

What we did see round that point was a video on Reddit providing an early take a look at the supposed onboarding course of for Spotify HiFi inside the cellular app. We all know now the service has already been constructed within the backend of the app and is being utilized by folks working at Spotify. 

In early 2022, Spotify took to its boards to reassure customers that Spotify HiFi was nonetheless on its manner and that, whereas the corporate had no timing particulars to share then and there, it will replace followers when the time got here. 

So what’s the maintain up?

Spotify HiFi Reddit post

The preliminary drawback gave the impression to be points in licensing content material for Spotify HiFi however from what we’ve realized that seems to have been resolved.

2023 rolled round and, with no point out of Spotify HiFi on the firm’s March Stream On occasion, followers started to wonder if the service had been deserted in any case. 

This was when Spotify co-president and chief product and know-how officer Gustav Söderström swooped in to reassure followers as soon as once more that Spotify HiFi is nonetheless within the works. 

“We introduced it, however then the business modified for a bunch of causes”, Söderström informed The Verge. “We’re going to do it, however we’re going to do it in a manner the place it is sensible for us and for our listeners”. 

It appears to be like as if pricing is the most recent hurdle, in addition to making an attempt to supply a service that does one thing completely different from different lossless streaming tiers out there.

How a lot will Spotify HiFi value?

We will solely predict what Spotify HiFi will value at this second in time. It’ll solely be accessible to Spotify Premium subscribers, who’ll be capable to improve when the function launches of their market.

Does that imply it’ll value the identical as Spotify Premium does proper now at $9.99 / £9.99 per thirty days? Our presumption is that Spotify needs to cost it greater than the Tidal HiFi and Apple Music, in addition to Amazon Music HD for Prime subscribers. For non-Prime customers its £12.99 per thirty days.

Tidal goes so far as $19.99 / £19.99 per thirty days for its increased high quality Masters tier, however we’re undecided we see Spotify going that far given it’s solely providing lossless audio. Someplace in between is one other risk, however Spotify will face accusations of being dearer than its rivals.

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