Spotify leaks suggest lossless audio is almost ready

After years of waiting for Spotify to release the lossless audio tier it promised, some leaked UI elements suggest the project is alive and kicking, if not (dare I say) possibly close to release.

Spotify’s current bitrate tops out at 320kbps, but that could soon change if screenshots taken from version 1.2.36 of Spotify by Redditor OhItsTom are accurate. They show what users could expect from the lossless feature, including a device compatibility checker and lossless streaming quality of up to 1,411kbps, and it could go even higher.

Another section mentions lossless quality of up to 2,117kbps can be achieved, which could consume 15.9MB of data per minute. Listening support of up to 24-bit/44.1kHz may also be available for “limited songs” via the FLAC audio format, something that’s also previously been referenced in Spotify build code samples.

The screenshots also show a compatibility checker that tells users if their device, connection type, and bandwidth can support lossless audio. This is presented alongside some advisory blurbs that suggest downloading music in lossless quality for the best offline listening experience and warn users that most Bluetooth devices “don’t fully support lossless sound.” Instead, users are prompted to use wired devices or listen wirelessly via Spotify’s Connect feature.

These UI elements are visuals only for now (lossless playback isn’t working yet), according to OhItsTom, who also claims Spotify is internally referring to the feature as “enhanced listening” instead of HiFi now. Other screenshots that reportedly reveal the features’ mobile app introduction screen suggest Spotify is also rebranding HiFi to “Lossless” — one of several names that have been speculated since it was announced back in February 2021, alongside more recent rumors of a “Supremium” tier it may fall under.

The existence of these UI elements inside the app could indicate that Spotify is finally prepared to release this long-awaited feature, but it’s not easy to forgive three years of ghosting and broken promises. Spotify has made some efforts to reassure its users that HiFi / Lossless / whatever we’re calling this is still “coming at some point.” But other audio streaming services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Tidal have long offered high-resolution audio. At this point, we’ll believe it when we see it.

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