This year, Spotify users around the globe will be able to get their hands on the Spotify HiFi 2021, which can deliver everyone’s favorite songs in a high-resolution audio, much like the Tidal HiFi service.
It is no surprise that high-quality music streaming is one of the most demanded services, and Spotify confirms this. Previously, users had been limited to 320kbps of streaming speed, and those without a Premium plan were receiving only half of the (160kbps) (so one might as well listen to an MP3.) Spotify HIFI 2021 is here to change all that, and will offer CD-quality, lossless audio at upwards of 1411kpbs. This is about four times more the amount of data we currently hear when streaming a song.
To begin with, this service shall be available only in select markets. The exact cost of this service is not known either, but a ballpark figure is about the same as a Spotify Premium, ranging from $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 per month. Also, one catch is that not every song from the Spotify catalog may have a HiFi version available. Here is everything you need to know about the Spotify HiFi 2021 :
Spotify HiFi 2021 Release Date
This blog post titled Five Things to Know About Spotify HiFi from the Spotify newsroom says that the new service will be available in the later half of 2021, and will serve as an upgrade to Spotify Premium, which many users are already using. These Premium subscribers (reminder : select markets only) will then be able to upgrade their sound quality to Spotify HiFi, thereby experiencing their favourite songs just as artists intended in the first place.
But since only select markets will enjoy this subscription, Spotify HiFi will not be going live everywhere at the same time.
Following previous trends, it is likely that Spotify will roll out new features starting with the US and Europe. However, it is now available in 80 new countries, so it is hard to predict which part of the world will get access to the service first.
Another caveat is that not every Spotify Connect device gets the upgrade at the same time, meaning that the release date may not apply for all devices either. A slightly older AV receiver will get access to this much later than the PS5 or Sonos One. This means that despite its launch, the Spotify HiFi will not be available for all devices in one go.
Spotify HiFi price
Coming to the price, there is no price set or stated right now. According to the company, more details will be coming through in the months to come, so one can only speculate about the price. It is highly likely that the Spotify HiFi will cost anywhere between $15-$20 per month in the US. It is certain that it will cost more than the Spotify Premium, which is at $9.99 per month right now.
Another factor that adds to this assumption is that a Tidal HiFi subscription costs $19.99 per month, as does a Deezer HiFi subscription. Some other Hi-Res Audio streaming services like that Qobuz and Amazon Music HD cost a little less, priced at $14.99. So Spotify is likely to hit the sweet spot between these two price points.
Spotify HiFi Stream Quality
Coming to the next part – how good is the Spotify HiFi in terms of getting what you pay for? Well, it is said that songs streamed on this service will sound as good as any CD, maybe even better.
According to Spotify, Spotify HiFi is equipped to stream CD-quality lossless audio to user devices. In an ideal scenario, these devices should be connected to a network and enabled to use Spotify Connect. Doing this over bluetooth is likely to diminish the overall quality. Considering that Spotify is currently running at 320kbps, this is a pretty big leap, and can perhaps bring Spotify’s potential audio quality at par with other players like Deezer, Deezer and might we add, Apple’s Digital Masters.
The main thing to derive out of all these speculations is this – lossless audio formats offer more details and data than their regular counterparts. When you listen to a lossless audio, you may hear new details in songs that you’ve never heard before, because the data was compressed. A more immersive, wider experience is what one gains out of this, especially with the right equipment like headphones or some good speaker system.
Spotify HiFi Song Catalog
Spotify currently boasts of a 30 million-song catalog, but we don’t know how many of these songs will actually be available on the Spotify HiFi. It is very likely that not all of these 30-million songs would be available, but more popular hits from major record labels should be available. Such tracks are already available to other services through file distribution by the label itself. Smaller labels and older titles may not make the cut though.
Spotify HiFi 2021 – Verdict
Spotify is currently asking select users if they would like to upgrade to the new premium tier. This also comes with a premium price – since the A/B testing is on, certain users have been offered this lossless streaming for 10$ a month, and some luckier users are getting a free vinyl with it for just 5$.