Published on February 23rd, 2021 📆 | 7491 Views ⚑0
Spotify HiFi will be available by the end of 2021
I’m sure you love blasting your favorite EDM on the speakers and have an extensive Spotify playlist for the same. Spotify is great, to find your favorite tracks, curated playlists, and share them. For an average consumer, the audio quality is almost imperfect to the years and if you ask me I feel the same. 320 kbps audio is the maximum bitrate that Spotify offers currently, and now plans to expand to the Hi-Fi audio streaming service tier.
Great! But what exactly is Hi-Fi?
Hi-Fi stands for high-fidelity audio which is producing a sound almost identical to its source. Take note that it is high fidelity and not absolute fidelity as some distortion will be present when the signal runs through wires. Hi-Fi audio is not new and dates back to the 1930s when lossless audio compression was devised to maintain accurate sound output in vinyl records. The CDs and vinyl records have a better chance of reaching audio fidelity than digital records and are therefore so pleasant to the ears. Hi-Fi strives to deliver that same lossless, uncompressed audio output to its users.
Hi-Fi audio does require a compatible device like a headphone or speaker to make out any difference in the quality. It is surprising that although even cheap speaker manufacturers and headphone brands are including it, the quality varies from person to person and product to product. You might not even notice a difference in Spotify’s upgraded tier if you aren’t that concerned about the nuances of music. Still, it is nice to have an option to play the music like it was recorded at the studio.
Spotify currently has a premium plan that can deliver you 320 kbps music output devoid of the persistent advertising bundled with the free program. Spotify is seemingly behind in the implementation of the Hi-Fi wave as Tidal, a rival audio streaming service has been providing hi-fi audio tracks with its plan titled Tidal HiFi. Nobody took it seriously until Tidal and Amazon music started offering premium audio quality recently. I would not dwell into the details of which one is better as the service is not launched yet.
I’m skeptical about the pricing though. Spotify has a larger userbase than it had last year, and the growing number of users means an identical pricing tier or even a higher one. Amazon offers HD Hi-fi music at 14.99 USD while Tidal Hi-fi is 19.99 USD, both of which are not cheap. If Spotify manages to keep the pricing below 15 USD, I don’t see why anyone would not opt for the service.
Will Spotify Hi-Fi require upgrading to a new set of speakers or headphones?
No. The compression is lossless, that is the whole idea behind Hi-Fi. It simply means sending music back to your device without any loss in audio quality like you observe in 320 kbps tracks. As long as you have a decent pair of earphones or speakers, hi-fi is pretty much comprehensible to your ears. The pricing and release date are both undisclosed at the moment. Now Apple music will only be left behind with AAC format audio streaming that does not have a hi-fi audio streaming tier for its users.