You may not have noticed it yet, but Amazon has revised the pricing of its Spotify HiFi service. Now you can get it for a much lower price than it was before. That makes Spotify HiFi an even better deal.
Spotify is one of the world’s most popular digital audio streaming services, with 406 million monthly active users and 90 million tracks. It has grown from an initial launch in Sweden in 2006 to more than 180 countries today. In February, it announced plans to add a new high-end subscription service with lossless streaming. The plan was initially planned to cost around $20 a month. However, in December, it was reported that the price had been reduced to $10 a month.
Although the HiFi tier isn’t yet available, it is expected to come out in 2022. Spotify hasn’t been able to provide a firm date, but has said that it will be available by the end of the year. This is likely to be a trial for new users, and it may be a great opportunity for existing Premium subscribers to upgrade their audio quality.
Lossless audio is a format that gives listeners a more immersive experience. This allows them to hear the song as it was intended. But the downside is that it uses more data and consumes more bandwidth than a standard 320kbps stream. Apple Music, for example, uses 256kbps, which uses 3-6MB of data per song. While this is better than the 320kbps Spotify is currently offering, it isn’t quite up to par with lossless.
There are some competing services, like Qobuz and Tidal, which offer high-quality streaming. Both also have lost-quality options, but Qobuz claims to have the biggest catalogue of CD-quality lossless albums in the world. Amazon Music Unlimited, which offers a $10-a-month subscription, includes both high-fidelity streams and Dolby Atmos.
On Wednesday, Spotify executives discussed the company’s future with investors. They didn’t say much about the HiFi service, but hinted that it would be available in a few markets by the end of the year. One potential problem is licensing issues. Since it will be a new tier, the company is in constant dialogue with music labels.
Some users have spotted a glitch on the iOS app that shows a “HiFi” icon. A Reddit thread cites a video of an onboarding process for the feature. As of this week, no information has been released about the actual service, but it does show a slide out menu that shows what type of streaming you will be using.
One user on a Reddit thread claims to have seen a leak of the Spotify HiFi interface. Specifically, he saw a drop-down menu with a slider that showed the strength of the internet connection. If the connection is strong enough, you should be able to smoothly play back a lossless stream.
Another user reports that a glitch in the iOS app has revealed a hidden language about the high-fidelity service. According to this user, the service will be “CD-quality”.
However, Spotify has yet to officially announce a time frame for the service. Its official blog hasn’t mentioned it since June, but it’s possible the company will announce a launch date in the next few months.
Amazon revises pricing for Spotify HiFi
Spotify is set to launch a high-fidelity streaming music service later this year. The company’s new tier is called the HiFi, and is an upgrade for Premium subscribers. It’s the company’s way of competing with Apple Music and Tidal, two other major streaming services offering high-resolution audio.
But what’s the actual price of Spotify’s HiFi? While the company’s official blog says that the new service “will be available in select markets soon,” it didn’t say how much it would cost or when. What’s more, Spotify isn’t telling us what kind of music it’s going to offer in the lossless tier. That’s not to say that they’re not testing it.
The feature was first announced at a Stream On event in February of last year. It’s a subscription tier that will allow Premium users to enjoy CD quality audio streams, and is designed to compete with similar offerings from Apple Music and Tidal.
The service is not available yet, but users are being prompted to sign up for an invitation. Although the service won’t be available to everyone at launch, it’s expected to be coming to a Spotify near you sometime in 2022. If you’re willing to pony up the extra money, you can get a bundle that includes free vinyl, discounts on vinyl purchases, and a discount on a headphone tuner.
Amazon recently introduced a new higher-resolution audio tier to its Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, which is currently priced at $10 per month. Amazon also has a free, three-month trial for its Amazon Music HD. In addition to the aforementioned streaming tier, Amazon offers nine million tracks in High Definition, as well as a growing library of Dolby Atmos tracks.
Last year, Apple Music added Lossless support to its platform. It’s a little known fact that it has a vast catalogue of music available in the format. Aside from this new tier, Apple has also launched Spatial Audio, which is a technology that uses a variety of different acoustics to enhance the sound of songs.
Amazon Music HD is also getting some attention for its HiFi tier. While not as impressive as the Apple version, it’s still a step ahead.
This is the first time a streaming service has offered a lossless tier at a reasonable price. While this tier is available only in select markets worldwide, it’s the company’s first foray into high-fidelity music streaming.
The Spotify Hi-Fi service will compete with other services like Tidal and Amazon Music HD. But unless you can afford a $10-a-month subscription, you won’t be able to experience the benefits of the new tier. For now, though, you can expect the usual Spotify 320kbps-quality streaming.
The company’s official blog hasn’t mentioned the HiFi tier in nearly two years. That’s probably for good reason. There’s no real timetable for its rollout, so it may take some tweaking to get it ready.
ABX test for lossless streaming
While a lossless streaming service is not available yet, the service that it will be competing with, Qobuz is coming to the US in 2019. Spotify’s HiFi will be rolled out later this year and while the service is not a lock for the title of music service with the best sound quality, it is certainly one of the best known. It is also one of the most expensive if you go with the Premium or HiFi tiers. For those looking for a no frills alternative, the one-time introductory offer for the first month is a bargain at $7.50 a month. So if you are in the market for a quality music service, look no further.
The best way to determine whether your favorite music streaming service is worth your hard-earned dollars is to test out their high quality audio with the aid of an ABX test. This may take the form of a ten track ABX test or a free download from the streaming service’s app store. Alternatively, you could opt for a quick online ABX test using the company’s website. After which, you’ll be presented with the most impressive graphical presentation you’ve ever seen. Alternatively, if you prefer to stick with the old fashioned method, just pop open the Spotify app on your iPhone or Android phone and a few taps of your thumb away you’ll find yourself enjoying high quality audio. Just make sure to turn off notifications from the app on the go.
Despite the hype, you may be surprised to learn that the ABX test is a relatively painless process. Even better, the results are emailed to you as soon as you complete it. Plus, you may be able to get a taste of the music as well. Whether you are looking for a lossless streaming service or are simply curious about what’s available, look no further than the ABX test to determine which service best suits your needs.