Spotify is going hi-fi. Well, “HiFi.” It’s taken longer than competitors like Tidal and Amazon Music, but today, the leading subscription music service announced a new lossless streaming tier that will allow listeners to get the most from their digital music library. The news came at the company’s Spotify “Stream On” virtual event.
Spotify HiFi will be available later this year and “will deliver music in CD-quality, 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 done small tests of higher-quality streaming in the past, but now it’s going to launch the feature more widely — with the caveat that it’ll be available only “in select markets.” Pricing is yet to be announced. Higher-quality streaming has apparently been among the top requests from its customers; as it stands today, Spotify tops out at 320kbps audio.
Amazon rolled out Amazon Music HD in 2019. The 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-resolution audio since its very beginning, is priced slightly higher at $19.99 monthly for the “Hi-Fi” plan. Tidal offers what it calls “Tidal Masters” that can even exceed high-resolution 96 kHz / 24 bit audio. Smaller services like Qobuz have also sought to appeal to audiophiles with lossless streaming.
Apple Music, on the other hand, still lacks any kind of lossless streaming tier, despite Apple selling the very high-end AirPods Max headphones.