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Spotify HiFi launch imminent? 'HiFi' icon spotted in service's iOS app

Spotify HiFi icon found in iOS app
(Image credit: TheMonarc/Reddit (Spotify) )

Hot on the heels of Apple announcing Apple Music lossless and Spatial Audio earlier this week, we have a new clue that suggests the previously announced Spotify HiFi lossless tier could be with us soon.

One Reddit user, TheMonarc, has apparently been able to find the Spotify HiFi menu in a song in its iOS app, indicating that Spotify's long-awaited higher quality offering may launch imminently. So far, the only official word from the green streaming giant is that it'll arrive sometime this year.

According to the Reddit user, a glitch in the Spotify app for iOS meant that they were able to access the HiFi menu. As first reported by 9to5Mac, the user explains: “I successfully opened the ‘HiFi’ menu by quickly tapping the glitched icon upon app launch.” The tipster shared some screenshots, which feature a small HiFi button in the bottom right of the screen to deploy Spotify HiFi. 

Spotify announced in February that it had designs on a CD-quality subscription tier, initially saying the HiFi service would launch later this year as an add-on for Spotify Premium subscribers. However, considering the popular streaming platform has since raised its prices, while arch-rival Apple Music has just announced it's making lossless – CD quality and 24-bit hi-res – and Spatial Audio listening free to subscribers from June, it’s unclear what Spotify’s current stance on pricing is.

Again, the HiFi icon on Spotify apparently appeared in the lower right corner of the app. Clicking on it led to the advice: "Use wired devices or speakers that are capable of playing lossless audio, 16-bit/44.1kHz quality or higher, to successfully listen to music in HiFi."

If Spotify HiFi is indeed about to launch, the premium music streaming war will be ready. Amazon just made its HD subscription tier free to all Amazon Music users and Apple Music is not going to charge more for lossless. Tidal, our current favourite service and 2020 Award winner, still charges £20 ($20) per month for its HiFi membership, while Qobuz also asks a significant premium over Amazon and Apple. So, the ball's in your court, Spotify... 


Understand why Spotify HiFi is missing something – but will it matter?

And Apple Music's new service isn't perfect either... Apple Music lossless: which devices will (and won't) play lossless and Spatial Audio

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.