Owners of Sonos multi-room systems in the UK can now access Deezer Elite, with the CD-quality streaming service going global in 150 countries from today.

Update 19.03.15

Sonos owners in the UK can now listen to Deezer Elite, the latest CD-quality music streaming service, and the upgrade is free to existing Deezer Premium+ subscribers - but they'll need to commit to paying £9.99 a month for a full year. That makes it cheaper than rival CD-quality streaming services such as Tidal and Qobuz which typically cost £20/month.

Deezer persists in referring to its Elite service as "high-definition audio" when in fact - as we have repeatedly pointed out - it is streaming at 16-bit/44.1kHz, the same resolution as CD. That means its streaming service is using the same audio quality as rivals such as Qobuz and Tidal.

In an email to its subscribers today, Deezer says: "You can now listen to performances as the artist intended with digital lossless capture of the original analogue audio sources. Experience the music at five times the bitrate [of MP3]: 1411kbps vs 320kbps."

The Premium+ option allows users to explore 35 million tracks in FLAC lossless quality (16-bit/44.1kHz), but initially the Elite service is only available on Sonos until the end of 2015. Deezer is expected to develop the CD-quality service for other platforms in due course.

More after the break

First published 10.03.15

From March 19th, the service will be introduced in more than 150 countries – the UK included – in a phased roll-out that will first give existing Deezer subscribers the chance to upgrade for free.

The service streams lossless FLAC files at a standard of 1,411kbps "or above" and first launched in the US last autumn. But this exclusive partnership with Sonos is now expanding it further.

For the sake of clarity, we should point out that Sonos can't handle anything above CD-quality streaming (16-bit/44.1kHz) so any reference to "high-resolution streaming" is slightly misleading. Certainly the Deezer Elite service will offer lossless CD-quality streaming on Sonos, like Qobuz and Tidal, but not better-than-CD true high-resolution audio formats such as as 24-bit/96kHz and 24-bit/192kHz.

MORE: Deezer Elite brings "CD-quality" streaming to Sonos

Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Canada are among the regions that will sample Deezer Elite for the first time as it looks to become the "largest global high-definition streaming service".

MORE: Read our Qobuz review

MORE: Read our Tidal review

If you're a Sonos owner and a Deezer Premium+ subscriber, you can upgrade for no extra cost if subscribing for a year. Sonos promotional users, meanwhile, can upgrade for €36 for a year.

Pricing for new users is yet to be announced and will be confirmed in March, with a 30-day free trial to be included. Features include the chance to search through a 35 million-strong library.

MORE: Best music streaming services 2015 – comparison review

In addition, Deezer Elite gives you the opportunity to discover new music courtesy of FLOW and other radio offerings, recommendations and playlists. You can also use multiple devices.

"Our partnership with Sonos offers the ultimate experience for music fans, combining the best wireless home music system with the best music streaming solution,” said Tyler Goldman, CEO of Deezer North America. 

"With over 200,000 new users in the first few months since launch, making the service available globally is a natural next step to satisfy the unmet needs of audio enthusiasts across all markets."

MORE: Sonos – everything you need to know


andyjm's picture

Misleading tag line.

As your article points out that the Deezer / Sonos combination won't be able to handle anything above standard CD (16/44.1) resolution, why put -

 "Own a Sonos multi room system...How does the idea of high definition streaming sound to you?"

 - as the tagline for the story?

The truth is, if you are using Sonos then high definition sounds unobtainable.

Andy Clough's picture

Deezer Elite

It's Deezer that's using the term "high definition", not us, which is why whenever we refer to it we put it in quote marks. As we've clearly explained in the news story, Deezer Elite offers CD-quality streaming but not true high res.

Graham Luke's picture

"Slightly misleading"?

"Slightly misleading"?

Would that be like referring to so-called 'high resolution' audio as 'better-than-CD'?

There's a lot of sound argument out there to say it's not better, only bigger and far more expensive.

Indeed, that's like serving Weak Sauce with your Snake Oil...

Tonkerdog's picture

The Beosound Moment that is

The Beosound Moment that is detailed underneath uses Deezer, so should make a tangible difference to those playing through Beolabs!

PJ1200's picture

I am a little confused by

I am a little confused by this. 

Is this solely through the Sonos app - so NOT through the Deezer app?  If so, it would be a shame to just allow the 'Elite' part to stream solely to Sonos as I also stream Deezer content through my Airstream to my AVIs (which are considerably better than the Sonos units I have)?  Is there any prospect of the Elite part being rolled out to the app too?

Also, how do I subscribe to this?  It looks like my Premium+ account will be automatically upgraded.  I pay this as a £9.99 per month service through iTunes.  Will I charged a one off, up front fee of £119.88?

Thanks - I am looking forward to this.

Andy Clough's picture

Deezer Elite

Our understanding is that Elite will initially only be available through Sonos, but we'd expect it to be rolled out through the Deezer app generally at a later date. We've contacted Deezer for clarification.

Monder's picture

"CD Quality Sound!"......(In one place)

So I've received my mail from Deezer about this and the service seems to be available right now. I don't think it results in a one off payment of £119.98, it's more of a contractual commitment to continue to pay £9.99 per month for 12 months rather than the current month by month basis for the premium+ package we have now.

As the end result will be an identical cost, I think I will do this as I have come to really rely on Deezer day-to-day. This is because I use it on my phone (on the train, in the car), on my laptop at my desk, AND...on my Sonos. Given the ubiquity of Deezer in my life and Sonos just making up a portion of that however, I would be a bit miffed to be expected to pay double the price for a facility which I can only use on one of my Deezer enabled devices and when I'm static at home.

This couple with the fact that I currently only own a low end Play:1 (at some point will upgrade to a Play:3 pair and move the Play:1 elsewhere) I just wouldn't be paying for it if I had to pay full price.

Monder's picture

"CD Quality Sound!"......(In one place)

Okay so upon checking my credit card statement it has in fact charged me for the 12 months in one big lump. Oh well...

sansui au719's picture

Bring it on

As a Bluesound Node owner I want genuine Hi-Res streaming and I want it at £10/month. I'll give it a year. The competition is heating up. Only the greed of the recording companies is holding it up. No wonder they hate pirates, when their own black ships rule the seas and all its plunder.

In the meantime I'm with TIDAL (for now), paying too much but not willing to go backwards to the 320kbps of Spotify or the limited library of Qobuz.

jaipee's picture

Deezer Elite still using many mp3 audio files

As of Sept. 2015 Deezer Elite still using many mp3 audio files instead of the supposed CD-like flac. Deezer told me that lesser known, rarely requested titles could still be in the mp3 format. As I am myself often or mostly listening to "rare" sounds on my Sonos/Deezer Elite setup, I still get 5 - 10% of the titles in mp3. I wonder if this is going to change over time, if Deezer Elite is actively working towards a pure flac reserve. You can check the track format of each title/album within the Deezer website.