Waves streaming service launches offering SuperHD sound

Hot-on-the-heels of Tidal's star-studded launch comes news this morning of a new streaming music subscription tier aimed at the most discerning audiophiles, superfans and potential investors.

The new Waves service aims to fill a gap at the hitherto unimagined ultra-high-end of the streaming music market and is backed by a group of superstar - but publicity-shy - music artists.

While rivals have opted to offer entry-level free services, 320kbps streams or more recently CD-quality, lossless streams, Waves will only be offering one, high-end, ultra-exclusive price tier - Premium Gold S+.

Waves' Premium Gold S+ service uses a new SuperHD format, with a monthly subscription price starting at £200 per month with no upper maximum limit.

Information on the new format remains thin on the ground but What Hi Fi? has uncovered some details: “True high-resolution music is impossible for many people to hear but thanks to our new codec, and a unique unpacking, decoupling and upsampling process, SuperHD brings your music collection to life.

"SuperHD will make all of your music sound better, whatever your equipment, from a high-end hi-fi to the external speakers on a midrange smartphone, and in a way that's quite literally impossible to measure."

"The limit is your mind – and possibly your wireless network's data allowance,” said a Waves spokesperson.

The company claimed Premium Gold S+ “would redefine what it means to hear sound”, thanks in no small part to the company's secretive new SuperHD audio quality.

The company also revealed the artists behind the music service will be joining together to form a new supergroup, the Waves Allstars. The band will reportedly launch its debut album, working title 'Full Stream Ahead', today [1st April], but it will only be available to Premium Gold S+ members (and only in certain territories).

Waves Premium Gold S+ membership comes with a number of extra 'pay-as-you-go' features, from Skype calls with the artists involved to guest vocal spots on future Waves Allstars' tracks. This allows for an ever-increasing scale of cost options, which Waves is referring to as 'You Pay, We Play'.

Social media reaction to the new Waves service was mixed, with many users suggesting it would only benefit the richest, most successful artists.

At the time of writing the new Waves Allstars Twitter account has hit 1 million followers and #WavesGold is trending worldwide.

MORE: Best music streaming services - comparison review

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).