When Can We Expect Spotify HiFi?

It is almost the end of 2022, and Spotify is still streaming at 320kbps. Back at the start of 2021, Spotify announced it was going to offer a new membership tier that would introduce lossless, CD-quality streaming to their subscribers. Soon after this announcement, Apple Music upgraded its library to lossless streaming at no additional charge. Amazon Music had also gone HiFi a couple of months before too. Other services like Tidal and Qobuz had already been offering HiFi streaming for some time. Since these announcements, Spotify has yet to reveal when their HiFi streaming tier would become available. Some wonder if Apple Music throwing in lossless streaming at no additional charge was a way to combat Spotify’s announcement, hence the extended delay.

Does Spotify HiFi Have A Release Date?

Since February 2021, Spotify has yet to reveal a specific date as to when it would release its HiFi streaming tier. No official time frame has been revealed, even with Spotify’s promise that they would be rolling out HiFi streaming in select markets around the time of year we are currently in. As we’re about to go into 2023, Spotify remains silent on when it would start offering CD-quality streaming like its competitors. It has also not been confirmed if Spotify will be still offering lossless streaming as its own tier, or integrating it into its current premium plan.

Advantages Of Lossless Streaming With Spotify

Spotify’s highest streaming quality is currently at 320kbps. This is a compressed “lossy” format that is designed to throw away frequency data the algorithm deems unimportant in order to make way for more bandwidth. Individual music files become smaller, making room for more files to be stored. If you’re listening to Spotify using Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, chances are this doesn’t make too much of a difference, as Bluetooth signals also gave their own compression. However, music streamers with wired headphones, IEMs, and speakers will miss out on significant resolution. CD-quality or “Redbook” audio quality is normally 16bit 44.1kHz, which preserves more frequency information, and results in more high-resolution music listening for certain setups.

Despite not being the best music streaming service for pure audio quality, Spotify is still a massively popular platform. Earlier this month, millions of subscribers excitedly shared their Spotify Wrapped to social media, and it has become a major yearly trend. With Spotify still being a top player in music streaming, maybe they don’t feel the need to prioritize lossless streaming just yet. For us audiophile nerds that just happen to like using Spotify’s interface, and appreciate the easy discoverability of new artists, we can just hope that lossless streaming will become available when it is ready.

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Alex S. is a sound designer and voice-over artist who has worked in film, commercials, and podcasts. He loves horror movies and emo music.