Spotify will roll out CD-quality audio streams later this year

Spotify HiFi is coming soon to "select markets," but there’s no word on how much the new audio tier will cost.

Credit: Spotify

Spotify is finally going the lossless way, with the streaming audio giant announcing that it will soon offer the option of CD-quality audio streams.

Spotify HiFi will arrive later this year in “select markets,” Spotify announced Monday during its online “Stream On” event.

Until now, Spotify’s music streams have topped out at 320Kbps in the lossy Ogg Vorbis format, although it has tested CD-quality audio streaming in the past.

Spotify has yet to say how much it’ll charge for its new Spotify HiFi tier, although during one of Spotify’s tests back in 2017, the company charged an additional $7.50 per month for CD-quality audio. Spotify currently charges $10 a month for individuals or $15 for families.

In its announcement, Spotify added that its HiFi streams will also be compatible with Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, and that it will be “working with some of the world’s biggest speaker manufacturers to make Spotify HiFi accessible to as many fans as possible.”

Now that Spotify is bowing a high-quality audio tier, it will join a select group of streaming services such as Amazon Music HD, Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz, all of which offer CD-or-better audio streaming. Amazon Music HD, Deezer, and Qobuz charge $15 a month for their hi-fidelity music streams, while Tidal charges $20 a month.

Word of Spotify’s new HiFi tier is welcome news for those who’ve wanted higher-quality audio from the streaming service, but in terms of sheer audio quality, it still falls short of the high-resolution streams offered by the likes of Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Qobuz.

While CD-quality music files are encoded with 16-bit resolution and 44.1kHz sampling rates, high-resolution audio is generally considered to be tracks encoded with 24-bit resolution and 48kHz sampling rates or higher. Of course, it’s debatable whether the human ear can tell the difference beyond a certain point—but most people can discern the difference between CD-quality and lossy music streams.

Now that Spotify has joined the lossless audio club, the pressure is on for such lossy-only competitors such as Apple Music, Napster, Pandora, and YouTube Music to step up their game. Given Apple’s strong presence in the earbuds and headphones market—we’re thinking of the $549 AirPods Max, of course—it’ll be interesting to see whether Cupertino takes the next step into the high-fidelity audio game.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags music

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Patterson

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?