Spotify users are still waiting for the streamer’s promised HiFi tier, which was supposed to bring CD-quality music streams to the service last year. Now, after a lengthy silence, Spotify has piped up with a HiFi update, but the news won’t be music to your ears.
Responding to users queries on its community support site, a Spotify moderator said (as first spotted by 9to5Mac) that the streaming giant is still “excited” about Spotify HiFi, but that it didn’t have “timing details to share.”
Here’s the full post from the Spotify community site:
We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don’t have timing details to share yet. We will of course update you here when we can.
Reached for comment, a Spotify rep told TechHive that the company did "not have anything further to share on HiFi beyond the excitement for the future launch."
Spotify first announced Spotify HiFi nearly a year ago, with the streamer promising that it would–at last–bring “CD-quality, lossless audio” to subscribers.
At the time, Spotify said that Spotify HiFi would arrive “this year,” meaning sometime in 2021. But the service has yet to materialize, and Spotify’s audio streams still max out at only 320Kbps in the lossy Ogg Vorbis format.
In the meantime, other streaming music services have leapfrogged Spotify as far as audio quality goes. Apple, which used to deliver only lossy music streams, announced back in May that it would offer lossless audio all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz (which is considered high-resolution audio, rather than “CD-quality” or 16-bit/44.1kHz audio) along with Dolby Atmos-powered spatial audio, all for the same price as its standard music streaming tiers.
At the same time, Amazon announced that it would drop the premium pricing rates for its lossless, high-resolution, and spatial audio music tracks, essentially offering the same pricing structure as Apple.
Meanwhile, hi-fi music streamers that were charging extra for CD-quality and high-resolution audio tracks have been tweaking their pricing tiers. Qobuz, for example, lowered its Qobuz Studio plan from $15 a month to $13/month, while Tidal now offers a cheaper CD-quality tier for $10 a month in addition to its $20/month high-resolution streaming plan.
Spotify never detailed whether it would charge extra for its promised HiFi service, nor did it discuss whether high-resolution or spatial audio streaming would be on the table.
Updated shortly after publication with additional comments from Spotify.