Spotify introduced virtually a yr in the past that it will launch a brand new subscription tier for its Premium members known as Spotify HiFi earlier than the top of 2021. Because the identify suggests, Spotify mentioned the brand new, dearer tier would distinguish itself by providing “lossless CD-quality” audio — a big step up in high quality over the corporate’s present most streaming high quality, which remains to be based mostly on a lossy compression system. However 2021 is now in our collective rearview mirror and, to this point, there’s nonetheless no signal of Spotify HiFi.
And considerations are rising that even Spotify can’t say for positive when or if it would really launch the brand new tier. Now, 9to5Mac has noticed a message from the corporate on its neighborhood assist web site that doesn’t precisely fill us with confidence:
Hey of us,
We all know that HiFi high quality audio is necessary to you. We really feel the identical, and we’re excited to ship a Spotify HiFi expertise to Premium customers sooner or later. However we don’t have timing particulars to share but.
We are going to after all replace you right here after we can.
Digital Traits reached out to Spotify to ask in regards to the timing for Spotify HiFi, however an organization spokesperson merely replied with the very same message as above. So whereas it’s clearly too early to declare Spotify’s lossless audio ambitions lifeless, it’s protected to say the characteristic is in important situation, with an unsure prognosis for survival. We’d prefer to assume that if Spotify HiFi was merely delayed as a result of some last-minute hiccups, the corporate would provide its members one thing to cling to timing-wise, but it surely as a substitute went with the frustratingly obscure “sooner or later.”
In the meantime, Spotify’s competitors have been fortunately touting their superior audio high quality. Each Amazon Music and Apple Music now have lossless audio libraries which are the identical measurement as their lossy catalogs, and each providers embrace extra catalogs of hi-res audio and Dolby Atmos Music at no further cost. Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz additionally provide higher-quality catalogs, however these plans value a bit greater than their regular paid subscriptions.
Does “lossless CD-quality” audio matter and may you actually inform the distinction? These may look like the identical questions, however there are refined variations. Sure, when listening to lossless CD-quality audio on a high-quality speaker system that will get its audio stream direct (versus by way of Bluetooth out of your telephone), you may hear the distinction. It may well range from monitor to trace, however on the whole, it’s higher than the lossy compression you’d usually hear.
Nevertheless it’s a lot more durable to say if it issues to most listeners. Given the immense recognition of wi-fi headphones and true wi-fi earbuds, which should already deal with the lossy compression of Bluetooth audio, a majority of Spotify listeners may not even personal the tools they’d want to listen to the development.