Spotify launches new lossless 'HiFi' plan to take on Tidal and Amazon
What you need to know
- Spotify announces a new HiFi audio upgrade available for Premium subscribers.
- Spotify is working to enable HiFi audio for speakers with Spotify Connect.
- The new HiFi audio upgrade will be available in select markets later this year.
Spotify has announced a new HiFi audio upgrade that will provide subscribers a way to listen to their music just as it was intended to be heard. Announced as part of Spotify's virtual Stream On event, the company plans to "deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers."
Spotify states that high-quality music streaming has been one of the most highly requested features for the platform, and while the app allows you manually change the quality from "very low" to "very high," there has not been an option for lossless audio. Some of the best music streaming apps for Android already have such a feature, such as Amazon Music HD and Tidal Masters, so it's good to see one of the top platforms finally gain this feature.
The benefit of HiFi audio streaming is important for giving your favorite tracks more depth and clarity and will benefit both audiophiles and casual music listeners, as highlighted by Billie Eilish:
Of course, having the best wireless headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM4 will help to enhance your listening experience even further, but Spotify HiFi should provide a boost to your music without the need for better hardware. Spotify is also working with major speaker manufacturers to enable Spotify HiFi through its Connect service.
Spotify HiFi will be available in select markets later this year as an upgrade for Premium subscribers, although exact pricing and launch details have not been announced.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
Tidal has HIFi, Master Quality Audio & Dolby Atmos. Spotify is late to the party!
TBH, I have the xm4's and I can't tell a difference between compressed and lossless. I've tried on Deezer and Tidal. Maybe I just don't have the ears for it... But from what I've researched, any Bluetooth headphones, regardless of codec, still don't have bandwidth for lossless, even though they claim to.
The XM4 actually has a DAC built in that can do it, but you do need to tune the headphones. In your Sony app, you can enable the capability for Tidal (and I believe Deezer). It will then train the sound to your ears and enable the capability. While some people do have difficulty with hearing it, I can most certain hear the difference with my XM3's... almost night and day. It's definitely night and day between Spotify and Tidal Masters right now.
Just thought I'd bring some standards into this. CD audio is 16 bit audio sampled at 44.1KHz (times per second). That gives you a 705.6 Kbps bit stream per channel, or 1,411.2 Kbps for both (1.4112 Mbps). Is that what we are talking about streaming? Didn't dig into the BT SIG profiles, but not sure anything goes that high.