Spotify could soon give us the essential upgrade we've wanted for years

The long-awaited upgrade to Spotify Hi-Fi lossless audio could finally arrive, three years since it was first announced

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Since it was first announced back in 2021, Spotify Hi-Fi has tended to be grouped alongside Tesla's full self-driving as a product that's often promised but never delivered. But it looks like the long-anticipated upgrade to higher quality Spotify streaming is really coming this time. 

If you haven't been following this one, here's the quick version: Spotify promised a higher quality streaming tier three years ago, and then went quiet; leaks suggested it was coming as part of a rumoured "Supremium" service last summer which then didn't arrive; and now it appears to be coming in a new "Music Pro" add-on.

That's according to code examined by Reddit user Hypixely (hat-tip to The Verge), who has been combing through the Spotify app's code to unearth signs of better quality streaming. And the bits of code they've found have been pretty clear: one snippet says that "lossless has arrived".

Is Spotify Hi-Fi really happening?

It seems to be. The code indicates that the app will be supporting FLAC files of up to 24-bit/44.1kHz quality, which is slightly higher than CD quality: that uses the same sampling rate but is 16-bit rather than 24-bit, whereas FLAC is a 24-bit format.

The new tier or add-on, which appears to be called Music Pro, won't just offer higher quality audio. I It looks like it'll also have what The Verge describes as "some kind of headphone optimization feature" that can enhance the sound for certain models of headphones; the code lists Apple's AirPods as one such model. 

Hypixely says that the code suggests that the Music Pro service will also offer more advanced library filtering, and possibly more AI playlist features too. We've been experimenting with the new playlists and we're very impressed so far: as Andy Sansom says, "I'm normally a bit sceptical of AI features, Spotfy's AI DJ is just a bit cringe if you ask me, but this latest one seems to be playing all the right notes."

It's unclear yet what Music Pro will cost, but as we've seen with lossless audio elsewhere it'll only be worth upgrading to if you'll be listening on some of the best headphones or other high quality audio kit: the difference between a decent quality audio stream and a lossless one is noticeable on good audio hardware, but if your earbuds and headphones are more cheap and cheerful you probably won't notice any significant difference.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (