Spotify has announced plans to launch Spotify HiFi. This will ultimately allow for lossless audio streaming.
Spotify claims that the new HiFi mode will enable “CD quality” audio on existing devices and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers. The company didn’t go into details about HiFi mode bitrates and codecs. Spotify currently uses Ogg Vorbis on desktop and mobile, and AAC on its web player.
The company has been testing lossless audio for some time and has been selected for A / B testing since early 2017. We are currently participating in services that provide lossless audio such as Tidal, Amazon, Quobuz, and Deezer. Most of these also provide high-definition audio that exceeds the technical limits of audio CDs. This is an advantage if Spotify chooses to limit it to 16-bit / 44.1kHz audio-only, as “CD quality” means.
Especially missing from this list is Apple, which has not yet shown interest in providing lossless audio through either the Apple Music streaming service or the iTunes store. This may be the reason Spotify eventually chose to deploy lossless audio support. This is to provide yet another differentiator for Apple’s fast-growing alternatives.
Unfortunately, Spotify HiFi isn’t available to everyone at launch. The company has announced that it will roll out this feature only in some markets when it is released later this year. However, this is probably a close follow-up to the industry, as the lossless tier of other streaming services is generally only offered in certain regions of the world and may be due to a license agreement with the label. Not so surprising to those who are.
More details on this will be announced in the future.