Do you remember where you were when Spotify first promised to deliver a hi-fi streaming tier? It sometimes feels that the audio streamer has been promising a hi-fi service since I was a child, and while I'm exaggerating I'm only exaggerating a little bit: Spotify said it was about to launch Spotify Hi-Fi back in 2021, which is an eternity in the streaming audio market. But it looks like it's finally coming, although of course it'll probably cost extra.
According to Bloomberg, Spotify is preparing to introduce a version that insiders call “Supremium”. It’ll be the most expensive Spotify plan – prices aren’t detailed yet but it’ll almost certainly cost more than the $9.99 / £9.99 Spotify currently charges Premium subscribers – and will deliver higher quality audio, presumably using a lossless audio codec.
The report also says that Spotify is going to add features to the current Premium plan, with some free hours of audiobook listening.
How does Spotify Supremium compare to other services?
It’s late to the party. Apple Music started offering lossless music back in 2021 and doesn’t charge me any extra for that tier: I pay the same flat rate as part of my Apple One subscription. A stand-alone Apple One sub is $10.99 / £10.99 a month, and like Spotify there’s a family plan and a student version. I’ll be surprised if Spotify Supremium isn’t more expensive than what Apple’s offering.
Whether it’s worth paying extra for really depends on what you’ll be listening to it with. I’m a bit of an audio obsessive so at home I listen on AirPods Max and when I’m out and about I’ve got a set of Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds, so in both scenarios I’ve got some of the best headphones for listening to higher quality streams. But if you’re more of a budget headphone fan, it’s probably not worth spending the extra cash because you’re not going to notice any difference.
The release date hasn’t been confirmed yet but Bloomberg says that it’ll be later this year, and that initially it’ll be in non-US markets: American subscribers will have to wait a little bit longer for lossless.