Spotify is hi-fi. Well, “HiFi.” It has taken longer than competitors such as Tidal and Amazon Music, but today the leading subscription music service announced a new lossless streaming level that allows listeners to get the most out of their digital music library. The news came on the company’s Spotify “Stream On” virtual event.
Spotify HiFi will be available later this year and “will deliver CD-quality music, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks.”
Spotify has previously done small tests of higher quality streaming, but now it will launch the feature more widely – with the proviso that it will only be available “in select markets.” Prices have not yet been announced. Higher quality streaming has apparently been among the best requests from customers; as it looks today, Spotify tops out with 320 kbps audio.
Amazon rolled out Amazon Music HD in 2019. A lossless plan costs $ 14.99 per month (or $ 12.99 for Prime customers), a premium over the standard Amazon Music Unlimited service. Tidal, which has supported high-definition audio from the very beginning, is priced slightly higher at $ 19.99 each month for the “Hi-Fi” plan. Tidal offers what it calls “Tidal Masters” which goes up to high-resolution 96 kHz / 24 bit sound. Smaller services like Qobuz have also sought to appeal to audio files with lossless streaming.
Apple Music, on the other hand, still lacks some form of lossless streaming level, despite Apple selling the highly advanced AirPods Max headphones.