Deezer’s hi-fi service is no longer exclusive to Sonos

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Streaming platform Deezer has announced that its HiFi tier (previously named Deezer Elite) is rolling out on a host of Wi-Fi speakers that support Google Cast. Along with increased availability, the HiFi tier will also support voice control through Google Assistant.

Previously exclusive to Sonos, Deezer HiFi will, over the next few months, also be on Sony, Samsung, Yamaha, Bang & Olufsen, Onkyo, AudioPro, Devialet, and Pioneer Wi-Fi speakers. The service will be accessible via Chromecast Audio or, if using speakers that have Chromecast built-in, Deezer’s mobile app. Deezer HiFi uses FLAC lossless compression, and the platform has a minimum bitrate standard of 1,411 kbps — the same as uncompressed CD audio.

CD-quality audio is hard to find on streaming platforms, as most services use lossy compression for audio playback. SoundCloud, for example, streams songs at 128 kbps using MP3, Spotify has three forms of lossy compression using Ogg Vorbis, and Apple Music runs at 256 kbps using AAC encoding. Deezer’s free and Premium+ also compress audio at lower bitrates (64 kbps on the low end for if you’re trying to conserve data, and 320 kbps on the high end), but lossless audio, like it offers on its HiFi tier, is less common. Tidal is currently the only other major player to offer CD-quality streaming, though Spotify has been testing it out as well.

While a good chunk of people say they can’t tell the difference in quality with anything over 320 kbps, studies have shown that most can distinguish between standard and high quality audio by listening for longer than 30 seconds, or training their ear over time. Audiophiles and normals alike, then, should be pleased with Deezer HiFi’s widened compatibility.

Deezer HiFi is priced at $19.99 per month, and a complete list of supported speakers and devices can be found on its website.

Comments

Qobuz also offer CD quality and HiRes audio streaming. Granted the French company is not as widely known as the others in the article

Are you sure 1411k is the minimum bitrate? Since you say they’re using FLAC, you would expect the bitrate to be roughly half the bitrate of CD-quality audio, not the same. 1411k bitrate means either
a) they are streaming uncompressed CD-quality audio (i.e. their FLAC implementation is broken), or
b) they are streaming compressed audio that is higher than CD-quality.

Since b) would mean that their entire catalogue is higher than CD-quality, it seems like it would be proudly trumpeted if true.

I suspect their average bitrate is something like 700k. And something highly compressible could go much lower.

FLAC’s encoding bitrate is variable (can be CD quality, can also be lower than CD quality) but Deezer uses FLAC files that have a minimum 1,411 kbps bitrate.

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