Spotify HiFi is finally on the way — although you'll pay more than Apple Music for the privilege

Spotify logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Getty Images / NurPhoto)

For years, I was one of the Spotify faithful, waiting as patiently as I could muster for the HiFi update so that I could enjoy my music in the best quality possible. I’d already switched over to Apple Music, TiDAL, and Qobuz by the time Spotify started adding features I wasn’t interested in like audiobooks, merch stores, and other things unrelated to music streaming — but is this latest announcement too little too late for someone like me?

Coming later this year, Spotify will apparently add a new pricing tier that will provide hi-res streaming, and… not much else. The news comes from an inside source via Bloomberg.

Finally! But is it enough?

This new streaming tier is likely going to cost “40% more” than what users are paying right now, putting the increase to about $5. After the streaming service’s most recent price rise to $11.99, that would make this new “Supremium” tier cost $16.99 — one of the most expensive music streaming subscriptions that you can buy.

Will you get your money's worth? Unless Spotify can justify the price with more than just hi-res streaming, probably not. In the time that it has taken the green circle to get hi-res streaming onto its app and into its library, TiDAL has dropped its subscription fee to $9.99 per month, Apple Music added hi-res streaming to its standard subscription fee of $11 per month, and only Qobuz (the one for nerds, like me) is more expensive with its top-level hi-res ‘Sublime’ tier costing $17.99 per month. The latter comes with a 60% discount to the Qobuz download store, where you'll find an enormous library of tracks that you can buy and own digitally. If you just want streaming, then there's the Studio subscription — which costs $14.99, less than Spotify's potential new tier.

Let’s ask again then — is this new tier too little too late? Yes, most likely. It’s certainly not enough to pull me back to the streaming service, and given how much cheaper it would be now to move to a different service that offers hi-res streaming, it’s not likely that users will want to move over. Unless, of course, Spotify can justify the extra cost in another way. It’s a weird, difficult-to-parse decision from Spotify, particularly after all the price rises over the last few months, and one that doesn’t really make sense.

Whatever happens, it looks like we’re finally getting Spotify Hi-Fi — whether people will subscribe, however, is another question entirely.

Apple Music | $10.99 per month

Apple Music | $10.99 per month

An Apple Music subscription is one of the best value streaming subs you can buy, with all the bells and whistles. There's nothing locked behind another pay wall — just access to all the hi-res tracks that you could ever want, along with Spatial Audio and human curated playlists. If you've never had a subscription before, you can get a month for free to see what you think.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.