Spotify Hifi NZ

Spotify has announced that it will be making lossless audio available to users “later this year” via a new called high-end subscription called Spotify HiFi.

The news was announced via Spotify’s online event, Stream On, and the service promises “CD-quality, lossless audio format.” In-depth details about the new tier are still pretty thin. But according to a blog post on Spotify.com the new service “will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers.”

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If you’re not sure what any of this means. Don’t worry. It’s a bit confusing. CDs – a technology that launched in 1979, btw – bitrate is always 1,411 kilobits per second (Kbps). The standard bitrate for Spotify (AAC) is currently 128kbps for free users. 96kbps for mobile users and 320kbps for Spotify Premium users who have tweaked their settings.

But that’s the thing. The streaming rate you get on Spotify will depend on what device you’re using, your internet connection and whether you’re a Premium member or not. So there is no “standard” bit rate.

Spotify will be the latest music-streaming service to offer its users high-end audio. With Tidal (NZD$14.99) and Amazon Music HD (NZD$20.95) already providing similar services.

Spotify music quality (as of Feb 2021)


Spotify freeSpotify Premium
Web playerAAC 128kbit/sAAC 256kbit/s
Desktop, mobile, and tabletAutomatic: Dependent on your network connection  Low: Equivalent to approximately 24kbit/s Normal: Equivalent to approximately 96kbit/s High: Equivalent to approximately 160kbit/sAutomatic: Dependent on your network connection  Low: Equivalent to approximately 24kbit/s Normal: Equivalent to approximately 96kbit/s High: Equivalent to approximately 160kbit/s Very high: Equivalent to approximately 320kbit/s

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