Spotify is coming out with a HiFi music tier to rival Tidal
Lossless music coming later this year.
If you’re a Spotify user and have been enviously gazing at your smug Tidal-using friends, your time is coming. That’s because Spotify is bringing a new HiFi lossless music tier later this year, so you don’t have to get another streaming service to listen to higher quality music.
Spotify HiFi will have “CD-quality, lossless audio,” streamable to your devices and all Spotify Connect-enabled speakers. Maybe the days of derision for music streaming’s lower bitrates are coming to an end, with an industry-wide push for higher streaming quality.
Now, before you get all giddy, Spotify hasn’t announced exactly when the HiFi tier will arrive, or how much it will cost over your normal subscription. It’ll only be available in “select markets” at launch, which probably just means the US and UK, with maybe Canada getting some HiFi love.
Spotify takes requests for new features from its subscribers, and higher-quality streaming is apparently one of most requested. That’s perhaps unsurprising, as the service tops out at 320kbps currently.
With fierce competition in the streaming space, Spotify is late to the party with higher quality recordings, but this might be more about keeping existing subscribers, who might jump ship to competing services from Tidal, Amazon Music HD, or even Qobuz.
The only top-flight streaming service without a lossless tier? Apple Music, but then again all of Apple’s AirPods range are limited to the AAC codec, which has a max bitrate of 250kbps over Apple’s Bluetooth implementation. Not much incentive for Apple to offer Hi-Res when you look at the technical constraints.
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