Why I don't think Spotify HiFi is coming any time soon (and why it doesn’t matter)

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Becky you're just plain wrong here. There's a major difference between Apple Music and Spotify - the Connect option which allows seamless connection to hifi streamers.

You've wrongly only focused on Bluetooth connections, erroneously assuming hifi users don't care. Well you assume wrong. Hifi users employing the Connect option will embrace a true CD quality streaming option.

Sorry, your piece is big on assumptions, big on Bluetooth, but short elsewhere.
 

bill k

Active member
Dec 21, 2021
1
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I know how to get Spotify to offer hi-res. I switch to Tidal A week later Spotify will offer hi-res. I was on Spotify forum about this. Scores of people from all over the world were complaining. We will eventually switch streaming services. You are right about aptx hd being lossy. But it still has 576 kbps, compared to 320. And spotify makes far more money from their premium members than the free ones.
 
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Friesiansam

Well-known member
Need to locate, check, share or simply hear a track right now? I defy anyone to tell me that they haven't found themselves heading to Spotify's extensive catalogue as their first port of call. Yes, you may buy your music later (in hi-res or physical format) but come on, Spotify is most obliging initially.
Not being willing to pay for sub-CD quality music, I have only used free Spotify and, last few times I tried to listen to something, it was impossible due to over-insistent advertising. I don't use Spotify any more.
 

Hifiman

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
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I wonder if WHF staffers now plan to apply the same logic to their other group reviews? ‘We are going to stick with the inferior sonic quality product that costs the same or more than its rivals because it is, let us think, currently the most popular? Your ancillary equipment may not be good enough to tell the SQ difference anyway? The superior products may use up more of your mobile data if you forget to choose their data sparing options? People stick with what they know?’
I remember Blackberry coming up with comparable arguments in 2007.
 

Patrick dv

Member
Mar 25, 2021
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Becky you're just plain wrong here. There's a major difference between Apple Music and Spotify - the Connect option which allows seamless connection to hifi streamers.

You've wrongly only focused on Bluetooth connections, erroneously assuming hifi users don't care. Well you assume wrong. Hifi users employing the Connect option will embrace a true CD quality streaming option.

Sorry, your piece is big on assumptions, big on Bluetooth, but short elsewhere.
Correct It is the Connect option. That is why I use Tidal. Spotify seems to have a bigger database and algorithm
 

mizzor

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2015
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It has not been proven that more than 0.0001% of people can make the difference between spotify high quality and losless or high res in a blind test!
 

arconreef

Member
Dec 22, 2021
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This article feels very out of touch. I am currently using Amazon Music HD, and I hate it. It F***ing sucks. The mobile app in particular is just awful. Tidal is no better. I am waiting for Spotify to roll out their Hi-Fi feature so that I can finally justify switching over. The reality is that I, like most people (including audiophiles), spend the majority of my time listening to music while away from home through bluetooth devices on my phone, but I also have an audiophile grade setup at home that I use to listen to high fidelity music on the weekends. I am definitely not going to pay for two separate streaming services, so I am stuck with Amazon Music until Spotify can offer an acceptable alternative. The reality is that 16-bit 44.1khz CD quality audio is already very good, and most of the music I listen to isn't available in "Ultra Hi-Fi" on Amazon Music or Tidal anyway. CD quality is good enough for me. I just wish Spotify would hurry up and implement it so I can finally make the switch.
 

mizzor

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2015
46
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This article feels very out of touch. I am currently using Amazon Music HD, and I hate it. It F***ing sucks. The mobile app in particular is just awful. Tidal is no better. I am waiting for Spotify to roll out their Hi-Fi feature so that I can finally justify switching over. The reality is that I, like most people (including audiophiles), spend the majority of my time listening to music while away from home through bluetooth devices on my phone, but I also have an audiophile grade setup at home that I use to listen to high fidelity music on the weekends. I am definitely not going to pay for two separate streaming services, so I am stuck with Amazon Music until Spotify can offer an acceptable alternative. The reality is that 16-bit 44.1khz CD quality audio is already very good, and most of the music I listen to isn't available in "Ultra Hi-Fi" on Amazon Music or Tidal anyway. CD quality is good enough for me. I just wish Spotify would hurry up and implement it so I can finally make the switch.
That's what I thought and when I switched to Spotify for convenience I noticed I couldn't hear the difference while I get annoyed by "ultrasound" device because I hear very well the frequencies which are trimmed in lossy recordings which most people can't hear... don't bother, spotify is the way to go
 

Rezonater

Active member
Dec 22, 2021
4
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I use both Spotify Premium and Tidal. Spotify for the far superior curation and Discover Weekly - Tidal for when I fire up the big system. I found a fantastic service that instantly syncs playlists on both services. Tidal doesn’t have about 15% of the tracks.
I would love to dump Tidal, as many features don’t work like download files not playing properly with CarPlay - or worst of all, its propensity to degrade into angry gangster rap. Put on some Spanish guitar… 4 hours later you will be listening to someone yelling how they slapped their lady and popped a cap into someone’s butt. (Seriously, try it).
Apple‘s library is gleaned right from every top 40 radio list from the last 30 years. “Oh, you like Massive Attack… here’s some Radiohead… oh, you like *insert name*… here’s some Radiohead”.
Unfortunately, we don’t get Qobuz in Canada.

So for me Becky, I’m really really eager for Spotify to go hifi. Most of what I listen to isn’t in MQA anyways, nor does my Chord DAC decode it.
 

robsrand

Member
Dec 23, 2021
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I've been jumping around from service to service lately, and lately have gone with year-long subscriptions to Tidal and Spotify. Sadly I think you're right: Spotify doesn't really need to make this happen. With the equipment that the overwhelming majority of people use for listening to music, they'll never know the difference - and most of the people I've talked to don't even want to know the difference. Unless I'm wired into my LG V phone (while it lasts), I'm hard-pressed to tell the difference either.

I still wish Spotify would make it happen. But lately I've become happier with the curation/content on Tidal, and their apps have worked well enough for me... so I can just stick with that when my Spotify runs out on 2/7/22.

Another commenter is right about one thing: Amazon HD is hot garbage. They can't even pay me to use their android or Windows apps again.
 

highflyin9

Active member
Dec 23, 2021
2
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Like arconreef and Rezonater I greatly prefer the features (Discover Weekly, playlists, etc.), interface, and larger library, however you can easily hear a difference when listening to Amazon HD tracks. Spotify at 320 sounds like it chops off the top treble detail, which might be preferable for people who like "warm" sounding music, but you do lose that information.

I used both services for a while but found it annoying to have to add all my liked tracks from Spotify to Amazon, so I ended up just cancelling Amazon given that Spotify said they would be offering lossless this year. Given they have a long history of not listening to their customers (see their suggestion boards) I wouldn't be surprised if they put this off to concentrate on podcasts or whatever.

I figure other services suggestion algs will catch up. If Spotify doesn't have HiFi by then our segment will move on to something else. Honestly I would pay more for lossless on Spotify as it's not uncommon to pay a premium for a premium service. Also anyone listening on premium equipment is not going to be as price sensitive as a general consumer. The whole thing is frustrating to me.
 

dnburgess

Member
Apr 7, 2021
2
0
20
Sadly I agree with the general premise of the story.

In my case I stay with Spotify primarily because of their UI and discovery tools - Release Radar, New Music Weekly and the six Daily Mixes. Even play counts are very handy when one stumbles across an unfamiliar artist. These are the primary way I discover new music. There doesn't seem to be anything as well-realised on another higher res service.

So I use Spotify for discovery (often in the background while I work) and Apple Music for "Appointment Listening", when I want to listen to an album on my main system.
 

robdmarsh

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
414
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19,070
This article feels very out of touch. I am currently using Amazon Music HD, and I hate it. It F***ing sucks. The mobile app in particular is just awful. Tidal is no better. I am waiting for Spotify to roll out their Hi-Fi feature so that I can finally justify switching over. The reality is that I, like most people (including audiophiles), spend the majority of my time listening to music while away from home through bluetooth devices on my phone, but I also have an audiophile grade setup at home that I use to listen to high fidelity music on the weekends. I am definitely not going to pay for two separate streaming services, so I am stuck with Amazon Music until Spotify can offer an acceptable alternative. The reality is that 16-bit 44.1khz CD quality audio is already very good, and most of the music I listen to isn't available in "Ultra Hi-Fi" on Amazon Music or Tidal anyway. CD quality is good enough for me. I just wish Spotify would hurry up and implement it so I can finally make the switch.
Wow, big hatred for Amazon HD. What is exactly that you don't like? It's much cheaper than all the other hi-res services, has a pretty extensive catalogue and seems to have learnt about my music tastes (which covers a lot of different genres) and introduces me to good new music all the time. Song history is good (though too short at only 250 songs), my discovery playlist, my station are all good features. I've never tried another service cos they're all too expensive but I don't really get the hatred for Amazon.
And no, I'm not Geoff Bezos' cousin.
 

robsrand

Member
Dec 23, 2021
3
0
20
Wow, big hatred for Amazon HD. What is exactly that you don't like? It's much cheaper than all the other hi-res services, has a pretty extensive catalogue and seems to have learnt about my music tastes (which covers a lot of different genres) and introduces me to good new music all the time. Song history is good (though too short at only 250 songs), my discovery playlist, my station are all good features. I've never tried another service cos they're all too expensive but I don't really get the hatred for Amazon.
And no, I'm not Geoff Bezos' cousin.
I had huge issues with reliability. The windows desktop app was the worst in that regard - it'd just go silent or shut down on me without me doing anything, and I couldn't get it restarted. The android app would crash a lot too, freeze up, not work with Android Auto, etc. And their support was worthless (compared to the great support at Amazon when I shop for everything else). For a company the size of Amazon, it just doesn't strike me as a serious effort.

This may be more of a preference thing, but I also hated when going to artist pages only to have all their works - albums, singles, compilations, live, etc. - lumped into one list sorted out by popularity. And it wouldn't separate bands/artists with identical names. The catalogue sorting in Qobuz was also really lacking, last I checked, but at least they can be forgiven because it's a small company - and they told me it's something they're working on. Tidal, Spotify, and Apple all do it quite well. For a company the size of Amazon, what's their excuse?

And it's not even much cheaper, now that Apple changed the game and forced Tidal to cut its pricing. Both have lengthy free trials.
 

robdmarsh

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
414
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19,070
I had huge issues with reliability. The windows desktop app was the worst in that regard - it'd just go silent or shut down on me without me doing anything, and I couldn't get it restarted. The android app would crash a lot too, freeze up, not work with Android Auto, etc. And their support was worthless (compared to the great support at Amazon when I shop for everything else). For a company the size of Amazon, it just doesn't strike me as a serious effort.

This may be more of a preference thing, but I also hated when going to artist pages only to have all their works - albums, singles, compilations, live, etc. - lumped into one list sorted out by popularity. And it wouldn't separate bands/artists with identical names. The catalogue sorting in Qobuz was also really lacking, last I checked, but at least they can be forgiven because it's a small company - and they told me it's something they're working on. Tidal, Spotify, and Apple all do it quite well. For a company the size of Amazon, what's their excuse?

And it's not even much cheaper, now that Apple changed the game and forced Tidal to cut its pricing. Both have lengthy free trials.
Ok, thanks for your reply. I definitely know what you mean about not separating artists out with identical or even similar names. The way they lump all their works together is also annoying. I haven't had the reliability issues that you've been having though. The app has always been pretty responsive. I was also in Brazil for six months earlier this year and I used my account over wifi and 4g flawlessly. Price-wise Amazon HD is £7.99 a month for prime users, they brought the price down twice since I got an account with them, and gave the reduction to people like me who already had an account.

Btw, do you use a stand alone hifi streamer for better sound quality and if so do you have any recommendations under £500? I am definitely looking.
 

cryanhorner

Member
Jun 21, 2021
6
0
20
have to disagree here. as someone who cares about audio quality and primarily streams at home, but is constantly annoyed at being the one person i know who doesn't use spotify and can't open other people's spotifiy playlists (and nobody can listen to lists i make either), i've been refreshing your website for months hoping to see it announced.

in the meantime i've been boucning around from 3-month trials on each other platform, hoping to buy time for spotify to announce.

ubiquity is annoying, but being the one person on the outside is even more annoying. i'm the one person i know who doesn't use a mac, who doesn't have an iphone, etc. i don't intend to be contrarian, i just choose these things based on specs, and others seem to choose them based on bandwagon mentality, and so i pay the price for lack of compatibility with my friends.

if spoify had a true lossless option, i'd buy it.

i'm even more sad that my preferred streaming service, youtube music, will never offer such an option. they have by far the best assortment of underground / rare / hard to find music, since it's all user-uploaded and not dependant on licensing agreements etc. i use youtube to find all my music and make playlists, and then cross my fingers that i can find maybe 70% of those tracks on tidal when i'm trying to listen on my home system.
 

Samo

Member
Jan 1, 2022
3
0
20
I have to disagree with this article. As a parent I'm looking for a family plan that provides me with the high quality source for my hifi equipment in my home office and living room, but also provides family accounts for my wife and kids to stream on their smart speaker. I mainly listen in my office, and my hifi setup isn't astronomically expensive, I play from my PC via an external DAC and I can 100% tell the difference between Spotify and Amazon HD when playing some well mastered tracks. The quality of percussion, especially cymbals and hi hats just sounds noticeably more real. I do value Spotify's more integrated features, such as being able to pause the music playing on my PC from my phone and easily moving the stream from the office to the living room to the car etc. Spotify also offers much better access to new music and suggestions that I wouldn't have heard of before. I'm currently trialling Apple Music but everyone forgets to mention that getting HD out of their system isn't easy unless you also purchase Apple's hardware, there's still no way to get HD through their PC apps! I'll be moving my family plan back to Amazon Music until Spotify up their game. I also didn't previously notice any substantial issues with the Amazon Music apps on my PC or phone, though their recommendations are definitely inferior to both Apple and Spotify's offering.
 

Henri

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
8
3
525
" The reality is that 16-bit 44.1khz CD quality audio is already very good, and most of the music I listen to isn't available in "Ultra Hi-Fi" on Amazon Music or Tidal anyway. CD quality is good enough for me. "
So if that's the case, try Deezer.
Upside = cheap, reliable, very, very large catalogue, pays the artists more than Spotify and all streams are available as a CD quality 16 -bit, 44.1khz option.
Downside = Deezer has no comparable connect feature as good as Spotify, however this is only an issue if you (like me) have a high quality amp/streamer/DAC set up and a 'big rig' kinda thing - and even then how much that affects you depends on your equipment design and features.
I was curious and was waiting for Spotiy HiFi (because connect would obviously make things easier in the end, but that was the only reason) but have now cancelled ny account - not interested right now. I don't need hi rez at all (ala Tiday/Quobuz - CD quality is enough for me.
 

Pbengt

Member
Feb 28, 2022
1
0
20
Once a month I seek out more info on Spotifys reluctance to offer the high rez files they suggested were close
I finally settled on Amazon for their HD ad UHD.
I do not like the HEOS interface that I am forced to use to get UHD.The tie breaker would be if Spotify finally supported the high rez music as it has a superior user friendly app, also supported by my Denon 3700.
I care about price and have tested all the other companies that offer this but Spotify still has the best user user system.
Just a different view on why I want Spotify but won’t budge until they match the resolution. Being retired I have care mainly about quality and price only.
 

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