Spotify HiFi could arrive as 'Music Pro' add-on – but with hi-res audio twist

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(Image credit: Spotify)

Three long years after Spotify announced it would bring a lossless audio-quality tier ('Spotify Hi-Fi') to its service, could it finally be around the corner? It's a question we ask hesitantly – borderline reluctantly – having been here before, time and time (and time) again. But after months of silence since the last launch rumours, fresh hope has come via new code unearthed by determined Reddit user Hypixely (as spotted by The Verge).

Months after digging up code in the Spotify app that suggested a new 24-bit streaming tier would be offered within a 'Supremium' (not 'HiFi') tier, Hypixely has picked up his shovel once more to excavate the latest goings on.

According to the latest Reddit post, Spotify has removed all 'Supremium' mentions and is rolling with a new strategy: a 'Music Pro' add-on (rather than a whole new tier) that offers 24-bit hi-res quality, plus advanced mixing tools, a headphones 'Optimization, Externalization, Spatialization' feature, and an option to filter your library by criteria such as mood or genre.

Spotify initially promised to deliver music in 'CD-quality, lossless audio format', but reports in recent months indicate that it could actually offer next-level 24-bit hi-res audio – not surprising considering Apple, Amazon, Tidal and Qobuz already do. This is backed up in the latest code, which (as you can see here) directly references streaming 'up to 24-bit/44.1kHz FLAC'. That still comes up short of the 24-bit/192kHz maximum bitrate offered by competitors, and it will be interesting to hear the reason behind this limit if it is indeed the ceiling. Could it be something to do with the Spotify Connect protocol the company plans to offer higher-quality audio through? Questions will no doubt be asked, though much of the world's hi-res streaming catalogue is offered in 24-bit/44.1kHz anyway.

As for support for Dolby Atmos Music, immersive 3D audio mixes that are offered by Amazon and Tidal and which power Apple Music's spatial audio streams, Hypixely hasn't found anything in the code. 'The only thing I can find in the code is Dolby Vision which is for videos,' he commented. Of course, this doesn't categorically mean it isn't part of Spotify's plans.

He also comments that, two days after his Reddit post, the 'Music Pro' mentions in the latest version of the app file, were deleted, with the 'headphone enhancements and the lossless ones' the only remaining references.

So, the puzzle continues to be pieced together; the wait continues...


All the latest leaks and rumours around Spotify HiFi lossless tier

An excruciating timeline of our six-year wait for Spotify HiFi

Hi-res music streaming services compared: which should you subscribe to?

I spent a week playing with Spotify's AI playlist curator, and things got a little strange

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.

  • manicm
    It's all (Profanity deleted by moderation) in the wind until something actually arrives.
  • Terry Webb
    In Hollywood they would probably call this project, " stuck in pre-production hell ".
  • Winter
    Terry Webb said:
    In Hollywood they would probably call this project, " stuck in pre-production hell ".
    Now now ! Let's hear no more about spotify hi fi .