Spotify’s lossless music streaming service is coming to the world at a much faster pace than you might have anticipated. The music app’s new high-res tier is now available in over 80 countries, according to reports. And while we still don’t know exactly when it’s coming, there’s an indication that it will be available on Bluetooth-enabled Hi-fi systems soon.
Hi-fi audio quality over Bluetooth
Spotify has been in talks with music labels to launch its own lossless CD quality tier. But while it is reportedly nearing completion, the service has yet to announce a launch date. And the CEO of the popular streaming service, Daniel Ek, has been silent on when the service will come to fruition.
Several months ago, Spotify users noticed an icon in the iOS app that said “HiFi”. According to a Reddit video, the company is building a new service that will allow users to stream high-quality audio to compatible wireless speakers. It’s unclear whether this feature will launch for all Premium subscribers or just those with a more expensive plan.
For those with a more affordable premium subscription, it’s important to consider what you’re paying for. Spotify Premium users can opt for a maximum audio quality of 320kbps. That’s not as high as some competing services like Tidal and Qobuz, which offer lossless streams at up to 9216kbps.
The higher-quality audio tier of Spotify will use a codec called Ogg Vorbis, which should deliver more impressive sound. Bluetooth connections can degrade the quality of streaming, though. However, the service says it’s working with major speakers manufacturers to improve the experience.
As with any new feature on Spotify, it will likely launch first in key markets and later on other countries. But if you’re interested in getting a taste of Spotify’s higher-quality audio, you can start by signing up for a trial. Depending on your device and region, you might be able to try the new feature out for a month or so.
Although the lossless tier is still in its infancy, it’s certainly an improvement over the 320kbps streaming that users can enjoy today. Aside from better audio, it’s also less data-intensive, requiring fewer downloads.
Spotify Connect can also be used to stream Hi-Fi quality streams over Wi-Fi. Though aptX-Lossless Bluetooth should facilitate the quality, users should also make sure their wireless speakers and headphones support the higher-quality sound.
In the meantime, if you’re an audiophile or simply appreciate the emotional connection of listening to your favorite songs, you can check out Amazon Music HD. This online music service launched in 2016. They offer 90 million tracks in High Definition, plus nine million tracks in Ultra HD.
Lossless audio quality on the way
Spotify is on the cusp of launching its lossless audio tier. The company recently confirmed that the feature will be available in select markets, as well as being an add-on for Premium subscribers. This means that it will become a competitively priced addition to the service.
Lossless streaming has been around for years. It is a digital audio format that allows for more sonic detail, preserving the artistic intent of the song. Some services like Tidal offer lossless music for free, while others charge a fee. While the quality can be subjective, it’s clear that many fans would benefit from a higher-quality listening experience.
Although lossless streaming has been around for some time, dedicated services have been incredibly expensive. Spotify is hoping to make its new lossless audio tier affordable for as many fans as possible.
One of the biggest questions about Spotify HiFi is what kind of catalog it will contain. The company has not confirmed this, but it’s likely that the service will feature tens of millions of songs.
Until now, the company has only talked about “CD-quality” music in relation to the Platinum tier. However, a recent Reddit thread mentions the possibility of high-res audio on the service.
While the company has not confirmed that it will support 360 Reality Audio tracks, it is partnering with major speakers and headphones manufacturers to bring lossless audio to consumers. It’s also working with Bluetooth headphones that have the right protocols.
Those who are interested in high-res audio should use the Spotify Connect app. This is the easiest way to play music streams over wi-fi. Moreover, it’s compatible with lossless audio formats, so you can test your equipment to see if it’s up to the challenge.
During the Stream On event today, Spotify announced that it’s adding a lossless tier to its Premium subscriptions in certain markets. But the launch date remains unclear.
Hopefully, we will hear more about the service soon. For now, we’ll have to wait until 2021 for it to arrive. In the meantime, we can look to Qobuz and Deezer for CD-quality streaming options.
High-res audio tier is parked for now
If you’ve been following the streaming music giant for the last few years, you’ve probably heard of the Spotify HiFi tier. However, it hasn’t been made available to its paying subscribers yet. This is a shame because the service is supposed to have some pretty sweet perks. For one thing, it’ll give you a higher bitrate than your standard Spotify tat, thus the name.
The big question remains: when will it hit the streets? A spokesperson for the company told us that “it’s not something we’re currently working on,” but the best we can tell is that they’ll be unveiling it soon. At least, that’s the plan.
According to the company’s recent product road map, it’s only a matter of time before fans of the aforementioned tier get their fix. It’s also worth noting that there’s a good chance you’ll be competing with users of rival services like Apple Music and Amazon Music, who each offer their own iterations of the same high-end audio streaming. One way to keep up is to subscribe to a mix of tiers, or just stick with your favorite. In the meantime, you may want to consider some of the more budget-friendly alternatives. Some have even found a home on the free market. With that said, it’s still early days, and you never know what the future holds. All we can say is that it’s worth keeping an eye out for when it arrives. Until then, here are some of the more interesting things we’ve learned about the service so far. Hopefully, we’ll hear more from the company in the next few months. You can expect a lot more from the high-res audio tier in the coming years.
It’s available in 80 new countries
Spotify is reportedly planning to offer a new subscription tier with lossless audio. According to reports, the service will be available in select markets later this year. But, when will it actually roll out?
Last February, Spotify announced its plans to add a premium tier to its music streaming service. The tier, dubbed ‘Platinum,’ would feature lossless streaming and “hi-re” music. This would come in addition to the features of its regular Platinum plan, such as a headphone tuner and Audio Insights.
Spotify’s new premium tier is expected to start at around $20-30 a month. It will provide users with “CD-quality” lossless audio. However, details on how the new service will work have been scarce.
Some have suggested that it will be part of the standard Spotify app, while others have said that the company will be working with some of the world’s biggest speaker manufacturers. While it is unclear whether the company will be selling its own hardware or relying on third-party devices, it is likely that it will offer wireless streaming.
However, while the company says that it will eventually offer tens of millions of songs in high-resolution lossless audio, there has been no concrete information on how it will enter the market. For instance, it is still working on licensing deals.
Apple and Amazon have also launched high-resolution lossless streaming services, but they don’t charge an extra fee. They’ve reportedly gotten the better end of the bargain. Both offer a catalog of 60 million songs in HD, with some in Ultra HD.
While the two companies offer different levels of quality, they do share one thing: a hefty price tag. When they first launched their services, Spotify charged $7.50 a month for CD-quality streams, but now the same songs are available for $9.99 a month.
If the company decides to offer high-res music for free, it could boost its reputation among audiophiles. Even if it is only available to a select group of users, it is sure to draw some attention. Plus, it will be easier to tell the difference between a CD and a lossless recording.