Lossless Dreams: Will Spotify’s HiFi Tier Ever Arrive?

In Short
  • A recent Spotify HiFi leak suggests it's coming soon, yet again.
  • The platform announced HiFi almost three years ago, and it hasn't made it still.
  • One of the reasons for this has to be due to Spotify's demographic, as not many people may be interested in the lossless tier.

Patience is a virtue they say, and more so in the Tech industry, especially if you are a consumer. However, it doesn’t take very long for that virtue to turn into hopelessness. That’s exactly what’s happening to Spotify users like me, who have been waiting patiently for a HiFi tier. I’m convinced it’s coming very soon, to our grandkids that is.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Spotify’s HiFi tier was announced three years ago as a means to allow users to listen to lossless music. While the firm still keeps teasing it, its launch date still remains a mystery.

Spotify HiFi: Don’t Hold Your Breath

2021 was when the platform announced its Lossless tier, and it’s been leaks after leaks in the last three years and there’s still no signs of progress or release date. The leaks continue in 2024; we saw a few screenshots of the lossless tier last month.

From the screenshots, it looks like those who waited patiently all these years are in for disappointment. That’s because the quality of the upcoming HiFi tier is 24-bit 44.1kHz, which is not as good as Tidal’s 24-bit 192kHz.

Spitify HiFi leak
Image: 9to5Google

Apple offers three kinds of higher resolution audio with the highest rated Hi-Res Lossless tier delivering up to 24-bit/192kHz, the same as Tidal’s plan. Plus, Apple’s Lossless audio support comes as part of any Apple Music subscription, meaning you don’t need to pay extra to stream at a higher quality.

We see a lot of “well, lossless music is indistinguishable from 320kbps music anyway” comments coming. While that’s true to some extent, but it’s rumored that the HiFi tier will cost $20 per month. That’s the price you pay to get Spotify Premium for your entire family and that’s half of Tidal’s $11 monthly price and Apple Music’s $10.99 Individual plan.

You’re essentially paying double for a very basic lossless experience. But again, Spotify’s strength wouldn’t just be the quality but other things, as we explain below.

Spotify Knows Its Strengths

It’s the Spotify app. I’ve used Amazon Music and YouTube Music extensively, and Spotify still takes the lead. Sure, YouTube Music’s recommendations can compete with Spotify’s, but in terms of features, cross-device syncing capabilities, and just the overall user experience, Spotify continues to be the leading streaming platform. The firm knows it very well, and that’s probably why they keep hiking the prices of their Spotify Premium plans often.

Besides, lossless music isn’t a very big selling point for the platform. Those who want the feature are but a minority in Spotify’s gigantic demographic and user base. This is definitely one of the primary reasons why the HiFi tier hasn’t been a priority.

Top Spotify Alternatives to Use Right Now

Tidal and Apple Music stand as the two main competitors to Spotify. While both platforms are great, we’re sure many ex-Spotify users on them will eventually come back to the platform. And Spotify knows that. Tidal and Apple Music’s search and recommendations aren’t as good.

Regardless, I’m sure the hype for HiFi is dead, and even if its arrival sparks interest, that hype will die again in a few weeks.

Should You Care About Lossless Audio?

Since the headphone jack’s departure from both Android and iPhones, most of us carry a decent pair of truly wireless earbuds that unfortunately don’t support lossless codecs like LDAC or LHDC. Even more so, most users may fail to realize there’s more to music than muddy, thumpy bass. As someone who enjoys soundtracks via IEMs (In-ear Monitors), I can say there’s a lot you’re missing out on.

best budget IEMs in India featured image

Or maybe not, because people listen to music not as a hobby but to pass the time. Priorities are different. Researching and spending money on the best audio gear could be expensive and time-consuming. The bottom line is, that it’s worth giving HiFi a shot, and you might just give a bit more, much-needed priority to lossless music.

It doesn’t have to be lossless music. Get an IEM, familiarize yourself with its sound signature, and play with EQ, all while streaming music on Spotify’s high-quality setting. We bet the experience will be far better than listening on wireless earphones. Lossless is the next step but getting a good audio gear should be the first priority.

What do you think about Spotify HiFi? Are you still hopeful to listen to lossless audio from the platform, or have you moved on? Let us know in the comments.

comment Comments 6
  • Michael says:

    I am sticking with Spotify because my unlimited data plan is only 35gb and then slower after. Only time I would use Hi-Res is at home anyways on my 1gig wifi. So, I am sticking with Spotify. I think people are jumping ship to early, and it might be here July 2024 with the $1 a month increase to $11.99. I will not pay the $20 for it. If they do that and force it on Premium users, then yes, I will movie to Tidal, not Amazon Music. I think Amazon Music has even worse caps on playlists than Tidal.

  • Krishang Kashyap says:

    I think music streaming business is solely in “winner takes all” category. If I find a service that provides the catalog of music I listen to and HiFi tier then I will never switch again. Frankly Spotify has been testing my limits for quite a while and something else comes before there unicorn tier, I will switch.

    • Abubakar Mohammed says:

      You’ve raised a very good point! I’ve been on a music streaming platform hunting spree recently. I’m using Apple Music right now and am pleasantly surprised at how good it is.

  • Bruce Cannady says:

    As a former longtime Spotify subscriber, I moved on from them about three yrs ago, when I realized I could get lossless music from Amazon Music, and since I have Prime, the yearly subscription would cost me less. A no brainer. And 3 YEARS LATER, still no lossless on Spotify! EMBARRASSING! I’m sooo done with the whole idea of Spotify.

  • Marco says:

    I hope lossless will land soon on Spotify because with it Spotify will become the most complete music streaming platform. And on Android smartphone I could use Spotify to set random alarm sounds from my library daily.

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