Spotify users will have access to higher quality music starting later this year

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,011   +130
Staff member
Bottom line: It's taken nearly four years but Spotify is finally getting into the lossless streaming audio game. Spotify HiFi will debut later this year as an option for Premium subscribers although unfortunately, not much else is known about the service at this hour.

Spotify is finally getting into high-end audio. The streaming music giant on Monday during its online “Stream On” event announced a new subscription offering catering specifically to audio enthusiasts. Spotify HiFi will deliver music in a CD-quality, lossless audio format to devices and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers.

Spotify said it was also working with some of the world’s largest speaker manufacturers to make HiFi available to as many people as possible through Spotify Connect.

It’s been nearly four years since word first got out that Spotify was testing a lossless audio format. It’s unclear why it took the streaming service provider so long to make an official announcement. Perhaps the company was waiting for bandwidth to be less of a concern (hello, 5G) or maybe they wanted to wait and see how the competition fared with their respective offerings.

Unfortunately, Spotify was very light on details during the streaming event and the accompanying press release wasn’t illuminating, either. As such, we don’t know exactly when higher-quality tracks will be available, which markets will have access to them first and how much it’ll cost.

Spotify did note that "Premium subscribers in select markets will be able to upgrade their sound quality to Spotify HiFi," suggesting it could be some kind of paid add-on.

Spotify earlier this month said it now has 345 million monthly active listeners on its platform and 155 million paid subscribers.

Images courtesy PopTika, Sensay

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toooooot

Posts: 1,455   +728
I used deezer hifi for half a year. It almost worked for me. Allow me to explain myself. It is over 20 dollars per month if I remember it correctly. It only serves a single user/device. This, when you can split the cost of all other streaming services and actually enjoy cheap and convenient music and other types of the media...
I don't want a service that costs over 15 dollars and cant be shared with family members.
They definitely want to compete with deezer hifi, will see what quality/price they can offer.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 271   +229
More numbers to impress folks - Flacs don't take up much room - but add in home videos, photos , ripped media etc .
Oh I can tell the difference between 192/96 and redbook Opus at 144 variable .

Well I can't - maybe I could train myself to listen at minute 1.22 for that high hat .
My ears will only get worse.

All the other factors are more important - The mastering, the amplifier, DAC, headphones, speakers , the room set up , listening environment etc

Say for $600 you can now get an excellent USB dac $150 , Headphone amp $150 , headphones on special $300 - you would have a great sound - sure it can be better - but you don't need to.

probably still need $2000 -$4000 for great listening room - but $1000 will get you a happy set up at midrange volume ( harder to do low and higher volume well )
 

Austinturner

Posts: 117   +116
Too bad you'll still own nothing
I think it depends on the person, I never really bought music and didn’t like the stuff they played on the radio. Spotify lets me listen to a huge range of music and change my tastes as often as I want, same as streaming tv and movies.

If you know you really like a certain artist or genre and you’ll play it a lot, that makes sense to own.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 662   +926
There is or used to be a way to get all the music from your list with deezer.
I am not ashamed I "backed up" all of my library while I paid for the service.
Remember gentlemen, backing up your files is a smart thing.
Well done, but for me I'd rather cut out the middleman and start with the files, and build out to a cloud service as necessary for specific use cases. For example, build a playlist locally and then put together an analogue using YouTube in order to share it.
 

Bulllee

Posts: 159   +114
Well done, but for me I'd rather cut out the middleman and start with the files, and build out to a cloud service as necessary for specific use cases. For example, build a playlist locally and then put together an analogue using YouTube in order to share it.
I remember those days,probably not too far back.
Good luck again.
 

yukka

Posts: 909   +95
I love my Spotify family subscription. It does what I want and works on all my devices. PC, Mac, Sonos, mobile devices, Echo dot etc. I pay roughly what I would have paid for a couple of old CD albums a month. Probably less. Of course, having all that music available that easily without it taking up space like all my CDs in the loft is frowned upon by some.

I’d like to hear the HiFi audio but I doubt I’d pay extra for it unless it’s completely ridiculously better and noticeable. The highest quality Spotify streams are already pretty good.

 

SixTymes

Posts: 124   +84
"CD-quality, lossless audio is coming to Spotify"

although better I suppose, and at least they are offering less compression. "CD-quality" is only 16bit, it already uses/used high compression, it is LOSS of data, or the real engineering phrase, data reduction. To get true "lossless" or high quality audio near the original recording you would need a 24bit source recording.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 662   +926
What's the problem? I save money in the long term by not owning, have decent algorithm to find new music and my friends use it.

I guess I am just not "woke" enough lol
Not being utterly dependent on companies that really could care less whether you live or die is worth the expense. It just goes to show how effective their conditioning is that you are unable to see that
 

yukka

Posts: 909   +95
Not being utterly dependent on companies that really could care less whether you live or die is worth the expense. It just goes to show how effective their conditioning is that you are unable to see that

I buy my food online and don’t think that company cares (and they can charge £4 a delivery- a month of Spotify is only £9.99, the same price as a couple of good steaks). And if Spotify went out of business I would pay a different music streaming service the same figure. And if the world ends and these companies just disappear, I think electricity will be an issue so I’ll probably just play my acoustic guitar for a bit and use any remaining batteries for more important stuff. Maybe you see buying music as some kind of archive for future generations. Good on you. As I said, CDs in my loft. Welcome to them. They just take up space.
 

trieste1s

Posts: 37   +49
TechSpot Elite
"CD-quality, lossless audio is coming to Spotify"

although better I suppose, and at least they are offering less compression. "CD-quality" is only 16bit, it already uses/used high compression, it is LOSS of data, or the real engineering phrase, data reduction. To get true "lossless" or high quality audio near the original recording you would need a 24bit source recording.
The best-hearing humans can discern at max 14 bits, so 16 bit is more than adequate. Remember that bits are binary, so 16 bits has 4 times the granularity compared to 14 bits. Add in dithering and you'd have to be superhuman to distinguish between 16 bits and 24 bits.

24 bits is great as a creating and editing format and for pure bragging rights.

16 bits is perfectly transparent to human hearing as a final delivery format.

https://wiki.xiph.org/Videos/Digital_Show_and_Tell

It needs to be at least 96 KHz / 24-bit, preferably 192 KHz, without all the loud mastering, and then we'll talk.
Getting the mastering right, avoiding all that "hot" compression, tweaking the stereo field a little wider, are way more important than sampling at 24 bits and 96 or 192 kHz. An argument might be made for sampling at 48 kHz so that the high-pass filter can be less steep, other than that... just bragging rights.
 

mrvco

Posts: 117   +109
Far too little, far too late. Because Qobuz... I can buy what I love and subscribe for everything else including Roon support for my home rig.
 

Amariami

Posts: 41   +12
24 bits is great as a creating and editing format and for pure bragging rights.

16 bits is perfectly transparent to human hearing as a final delivery format.

You're right but it depends on the situation which stuff you're used to is a small device like a headset, earphone, laptop speaker, your phone speaker 16bits seems enough.

Getting the mastering right, avoiding all that "hot" compression, tweaking the stereo field a little wider, are way more important than sampling at 24 bits and 96 or 192 kHz.

when you're using a big sound system like home theater limiting audio files to 16bits and 48KHz could produce a weak signal wave to the speaker. 16bit its half binary can cause clipping not good for wider, in my experience must be created minimum at 32bits-float to prevent clipping.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bfloat16_floating-point_format
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_bit_depth
https://www.audiorecording.me/32-bi...epth-vs-24-bit-complete-beginner-guide.html/2

Big Speaker is analog needs a good sinewave signal (pure signal). Audio files created in a digital signal so they need to transfer and process to a sinewave signal. More sampling rate = Good sinewave signal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveform

Bitrate is important too
 
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trieste1s

Posts: 37   +49
TechSpot Elite
You're right but it depends on the situation which stuff you're used to is a small device like a headset, earphone, laptop speaker, your phone speaker 16bits seems enough.
It's human hearing itself that has been tested to hit maximum amplitude discrimination at or very slightly above 14 bits, not the delivery device. Please do not propagate falsehoods in basic audio engineering.

when you're using a big sound system like home theater limiting audio files to 16bits and 48KHz could produce a weak signal wave to the speaker. 16bit its half binary can cause clipping not good for wider, in my experience must be created minimum at 32bits-float to prevent clipping.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bfloat16_floating-point_format
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_bit_depth
https://www.audiorecording.me/32-bi...epth-vs-24-bit-complete-beginner-guide.html/2
Clipping is the phenomenon of creating square waves when a digital signal is amplified to a positive amplitude level I.e. above the 0 db level. This occurs at all bit depths. It will also occur at 24 bits and 32 bits if mastering pushes peak signals above 0 db. This basically has nothing to do with the bit depth and everyone will appreciate it if you get the basic mathematical facts about audio correct first before tackling the slightly more advanced ones.

Big Speaker is analog needs a good sinewave signal (pure signal). Audio files created in a digital signal so they need to transfer and process to a sinewave signal. More sampling rate = Good sinewave signal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveform
No. You need to read up on the Nyquist-Shannon Theorem first of all.
Here, 2 extremely good videos for you to watch and get started on the right track:
Watch the second video if you want to jump straight into the technicalities of basic audio.

Bitrate is important too
Bitrate alone is a meaningless metric, otherwise 48 kbps mp3 would be better than 24 kbps Opus or USAC. Bitrate is purely a measure of the rate of bits, literally, how many bits per second. The sophistication of a codec lies with its psychoacoustic model, the mathematical compression algorithms it utilises, the frame latency, frame sizes, frame size switching algorithms, speech vs music switching algorithms, stereo image compression algorithms, etc.

I welcome you to hydrogenaudio.org to lurk around and read articles on the very basics of audio.
 
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