Help Wizard

Step 1


[All Platforms][Music] HiFi Quality - Lossless Streaming 16bit 44.1khz

I've just started a trial of Qobuz - they offer the standard 320kbps as well as lossless FLAC streaming (and high res downloads if you purchase them) the sound quality is noticeably better and on classical it's just wonderful to get all that resolution through your hi-fi or headphones! The catalogue has a way to go to get to Spotify's level, but they are getting there. The iPad app isn't' too bad (the desktop app is in need of an upgrade but I hear they are putting all their efforts into mobile apps right now).
So - lossless streaming - if Qobuz can do it then so can Spotify, they must have the same source - and obviously if you are asking £20 a month then those record labels and distributors take enough notice to make the high res tracks available for streaming. What this all means is soon, very soon, we will get lossless streaming and closely followed by high res downloads - but if Spotify aren't careful it will be Apple who get there first with an audiophile premium offering, and when they do it will be a much harder market place to make money in!

Updated on 2022-01-07

Hey folks,


We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don’t have timing details to share yet.


We will of course update you here when we can.


Take care.


@Zorq don't know if you're monitoring this post but I finally got to complete my test using headphones of high resolution music and compressed music.


I compared my Galaxy Buds+ and wired Sony MDR-V6 listening to Qobuz mp3 quality versus lossless. On my initial trial I was not able to tell a substantial difference. So I dropped my testing. I think this speaks to the quality of Qobuz's 320kbs mp3. I think we have been shortchanged by what Spotify called "Very High" quality. They said about "Very High" quality that it was up to 320kbs. Since Ogg-Vorbis is supposed to be superior to mp3 why then does it sound inferior to other services?. That can only mean we weren't getting 320kbs in most cases. Frauds!


Yesterday I spent time listening to the same tunes on Deezer lossless, Amazon Prime [not lossless] and Spotify in comparison to Qobuz.  I now agree with your premise.


I took a pair of headphones that I own namely the Soundcore Q30 and was listening to some old music; the Talking Heads. Qobuz was clearly the standout. I was shocked that I could hear such a difference between lossless Qobuz and even lossless Deezer.


While I like everything about Deezer It makes me suspect whether they are giving us true lossless music. The difference could be the masters that they're receiving from the music rights distributors. I don't know for that sure. I like that I can see and adjust the resolution in the app in Qobuz [and Amazon Unlimited] it is reassuring.


But although in my opinion Deezer has the right mix of features, and they have a decent discovery algorithm, it's music sound quality that wins. My experience just reinforces my feelings about Spotify needing Hifi to be relevant.


Even if the sound difference is subtle in most cases, Music listeners deserve the best that their money can buy them. Some old music sounds incredible with the right listening tools in lossless. And many artists are now getting keenly interested in highlighting those differences by producing really breathtaking recordings.


Look at artists like Billie Eilish or Weeknd [hope I'm spelling those right]. It's kind of laughable that Spotify interviews Eilish for their marketing piece and then handicaps her presentation on their own network By not delivering Hifi. She's got to be getting jabs about that!


Bandwidth is not an issue today for much of Spotify core listener base. It boggles my mind that company that tries to be so relevant in so many ways has made so many gaffs and missteps in the last year or so. Music streaming has become a brutally additive market.


I'd like for Spotify to succeed. They're getting battered right now. I hope they emerge from this with an increased focus on their core music business.   The should release Hifi now, even if they can't deliver 192kbs, 24bit. Without out it they have made themselves irrelevant.


Till they deliver CD quality at least, I can't contemplate returning to their service. Qobuz has got them beat on several key points for the audiophile and serious music lover.



This link suggests that Spotify currently command a significant lead over the other music streaming sites,  with Apple Music a distant 2nd.

However for all the reasons that you,  me and many other former subscribers to Spotify suggest,  there is increasing discontent with their product.  Breaking of promises,  apparent reluctance to offer cd quality music,  controversial diversification of product to include intrusive podcasts,  wilfull ignoring of subscriber's reasonable requests to have options to hide sexually provocative podcasts,  unreasonable reluctance to offer an easy means to turn off auto-play,  ethical concerns regarding their investment into war technology etc etc are having an undeniable negative effect on their user base.  What may be now a trickle will become a torrent as entitled users become more frustrated,  more technically aware and more disillusioned with being ignored.


I,  and apparently many others, waited 9 months under the illusion that cd quality music was coming by the end of 2021.  Eventually under pressure Spotify offered a patronising,  inadequate response in January 2022 that cd quality will be coming under their Premium subscription,  but offered  no date.  I have since moved to Qobuz,  playing through Roon,  and I couldnt be happier.


This is though a quickly changing and developing market.  It is impossible to predict how things will be in 1 year.  If Apple are serious about this market,  it will strive to dominate and will acquire,  or seek to destroy,  whatever stands in its way.  Amazon has similar financial clout.  To survive Spotify has to continue to evolve;  its current music/podcast model is unpopular,  it has to find solutions and return to providing its customers with what they want.  Otherwise its substantial lead will  deteriorate,  and/or it will become vulnerable to takeover. 


Daniel Eke may not be able to resist the billions of $ which may be held under his nose.


Guys, please stop moaning. They just do not care about the people who care about sound quality. If they lose us forever, they think that they will make better profit than when offering us better quality.


That is a well thought out business decision. If you do not like it, they will be happy if you go elsewhere.




It really is that simple. End of the story.



Then maybe all the music, tech and streaming blogs on the internet needs to stop asking the same relevant questions.  We WERE their target customer 11 months ago when on 22nd February 2021 Spotify announced Spotify Hifi would be released before the end of the year,  suggesting that "high-quality music streaming" has consistently been one of its users' most requested new features.


Has this changed at all?  All of its competitors are providing this. 


I would respectfully suggest we remain their 'target audience' unless podcasts assume pre-eminence now.  Tech creep ( DACs,  better headphones,  cheaper and portable storage,  faster broadband both through landlines and 4g/5g ) and human curiosity will DEMAND better streaming products.


And I have moved on to Qobuz.  When the other streaming services refine their software to a comparable quality to Spotify,  there will be less inertia.  I wish other frustrated subscribers  would also trial the alternatives.


Music is an important lifestyle choice for me;  Spotify disappointed me with a false promise and woeful lack of transparency for 9 months regarding its change of plans and apparent intransigence towards its customers. 


@superlexa, they've been leading people around for a long time, handing out some promises and then just ditching those people. That's not the behavior of a world-class company, it's the behavior of a small salesman from a small market. I'm sure most people just haven't listened to high definition music and so they're just unaware that you can have a totally different, amazing experience listening to music. Because after listening to good quality music, you're unlikely to go back to low quality music, plus spotfy's price tag is clearly overpriced. I understand if they would pay artists a decent fee, they even pay very little to artists, where all that money they collect from both artists and users goes, it's a mystery.




When you move up in total system resolution, the more the difference is evident. With most of my equipment the difference is not subtle at all. Space, sound stage, clarity, definition are remarkably different, that is easy to A/B for everyone. In tonality, bass is far more clear and better resolved. Timbres are more rich. Mids and highs more fluid. In comparison, Spotify 320 kbps sounds muddy and veiled in tonality, and constrained in space and time (decay).


The differences also depend on the master quality, I am not sure that the same master was used in all of my Spotify vs Qobuz vs Tidal vs Apple comparisons. All in all, I also find Qobuz being the best sounding. It's pity I don't like its interface as much. Its connect thing doesn't really work, either. Anyway, my streamers all support it, and I play it from Roon. 



@Zorq I agree with you. Its been hilarious to listen to some music on Qobuz that I thought was poorly mastered. There is a marked if not breathtaking improvement in comparison to Spotify's "Very High". Rediscovery is both exhilarating and irritating. What a fool I've been! I was planning on replacing 9 speakers thinking something was wrong with my two AV systems. 


Don't know if you saw my earlier posts but I have a mini 5.1 system on my desk in my office. I listen critically for hours a day a reference levels. It been characterized flat with Room Equalizer Wizard. I'm so obsessed with maximizing my listening enjoyment that I keep a calibrated sound pressure app running to make sure I can blast without ruining my hearing. 


And yes, at every step in resolution, from Spotify's so called "Very High" to FLAC at 44.1kHz, 16bit all the way to 192kHz, 24bit, I can hear a difference. The biggest jump occurs when you jump from lossy 320kbs to CD quality. I would be content IF Spotify would deliver that Hifi CD quality they promised. 


But once you hear the difference, there's no going back. I guess it similar to what happens when you first hear a high performing, highly tuned audio system over a mediocre one. Its not possible for me to settle for Spotify anymore. 


Got a question for you. Have you done a A/B comparison of lossless FLAC ripped CD's versus lossless streams? Even when I import music on Qobuz at CD or higher, My ripped CD's sound slightly better and have improved imaging. What do you think accounts for this? What's been your experience?



Have you done a A/B comparison of lossless FLAC ripped CD's versus lossless streams? Even when I import music on Qobuz at CD or higher, My ripped CD's sound slightly better and have improved imaging. 


I think that comparison depends on many variables, depending how your streamer is set up (EM noise, DAC, PSU etc).

When I listen via the same streamer, there is a slight advantage for ripped WAV played from local HDD via PCIe or even via NAS (powered clean). I'd say the streamed FLAC is totally competitive with ripped FLAC in my systems, even if it marginally loses against ripped FLAC and WAV and even more to the original high end CD player/transport (that uses the same DAC) -- the biggest perceived difference being the way the bass notes are delivered (more real impact) and the dynamics of the attack & decay. Perhaps even more precise imaging. But all of this will depend on each particular playback element (streamer, CD player, etc).


I agree the biggest quality jump is from lossy 320 kbps to lossless CD quality, but every step up is still discernable, if the analog part of the system keeps up in resolution (the Wadia paradigm). For the most part I am fine with Qobuz CD res FLAC, which is what I'd expect from Spotify, too.


bring on hi fi quality.whats the hold up.





I think you're reading our replies incorrectly, or at least mine I should say. I personally am not moaning about Spotify.


Firstly, I have moved on. I put my money where my mouth is, or I guess I should say my ears are, and subscribed to Qobuz. I was able to transfer my playlists through Soundiiz. This was based on a suggestion that came through this forum. I'm not using Spotify, not even the free ad-supported version on principle. Not one ad-supported penny from me until they fix this sound quality deficiency. I'm doing this in spite of the fact that I really do like Spotify. I'm just a principled person like that.


Secondly, I do believe that Spotify is listening. I'll tell you why. A number of my posts (and those of others I've corresponded with) are only up for a couple of seconds before they're taken down by the moderators. These are generally my posts where I try to give some objective reviews of Spotify or of what I believe are the reasons or the delay. Now it seems I'm being prevented from sending private emails too.


I suspect some of these are hitting too close to home. I find it amusing. So I believe they are paying attention to what people are saying here. But this is beginning to seem like a forum that is monitored, and dare I say manipulated.


I'm not so sure that only 25,513 people voted for this. How many people on the street, in the media, or on this thread are saying lossless doesn't matter? Almost everyone here is upset about the delay and most of the people here have moved to some other service or are threatening it.


My presence on the forum is to try to get a message to Spotify in a useful, honest, and civil way.


I also appreciate the community of people that are here. For me right now this is the best part of Spotify. Hilarious.