Which Hi-Res and Hi-Fi streaming to choose in 2024Which Hi-Res and Hi-Fi streaming to choose in 2024
Which Hi-Res and Hi-Fi streaming to choose in 2024

Which Hi-Res and Hi-Fi Streaming Service to choose in 2024?

Music streaming has finally defeated other formats, occupying as much as 67% of the market (as we wrote) and surpassing even performers’ concert tours in terms of earnings. Obviously, a modern music lover or audiophile, even a vinyl fan, cannot discount streaming services – especially since there are now enough options for high-quality streaming.

6. Spotify Premium/HiFi

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6. Spotify Premium/HiFi

Free version – yes | Trial – 30 days | Number of compositions – more than 100 million | Maximum bitrate – 320 – 1,411 kbps (16/44, AAC, Ogg Vorbis) | Spatial Audio – no | Video clips – yes

Pros – the most accessible platform

Cons – sound quality is not ideal

Verdict – we are waiting for the promised Spotify HiFi

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Spotify HiFi with lossless streaming was announced in 2021 and, according to indirect data, should be opened at the turn of 2023-2024 – so the streaming service has already become “almost” Hi-Fi. In the meantime, you can connect a version with 320 kbps – offering a coherent, but sometimes harsh sound – however, as always with compressed formats. But smart playlists, recommendation service and ergonomics of the platform are beyond praise.

5. Deezer HiFi

5. Deezer HiFi

Free version – yes | Trial – 30 days | Number of compositions – more than 100 million | Maximum bitrate – 1,411 kbps (16/44, FLAC) | Spatial Audio – no | Video clips – yes

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Pros – solid library, many exclusives

Cons – no Hi-Res

Verdict – an interesting streaming that is too early to discount

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One of the oldest streaming services today is more alive than any other – in terms of the number of exclusive albums and artists, the system has few equals. Yes, there is no newfangled surround sound, and CD quality was only recently activated – but, as they say, a proven horse does not spoil the furrow. Moreover, the quality of presentation is quite confident – clear and rhythmic, with a well-balanced spectrum, without predominance of high frequencies. An excellent option if you don’t chase Hi-Res.

4. Amazon Music

4. Amazon Music

Free version – no | Trial – 30 days | Number of compositions – more than 100 million | Maximum bitrate – 9,216 kbps (24/192, FLAC) | Spatial Audio – Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio | Video clips – yes

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Pros – flexible platform, decent sound, Dolby Atmos support

Cons – small selection of Hi-Res tracks, sometimes rough sound

Verdict – a very interesting streaming service

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Amazon Music offers a huge number of songs, although the Hi-Res recording segment is just beginning to emerge on the platform. But, as a pioneer of the technology market with Amazon Music, the company could not bypass the surround sound format on its own platform – the result, I must say, surprises even the seasoned. As is the sound quality in this case – it is truly luxurious, perfectly balanced and timbrally reliable. But tracks in other formats, even in 2.0 Hi-Res, are no longer so pleasing – the presentation sometimes seems rough.

3. Tidal HiFi Plus

3. Tidal HiFi Plus

Free version – yes | Trial – 90 days | Number of compositions – more than 100 million | Maximum bitrate – 9,216 kbps (24/192, Hi-Res PCM, ALAC, FLAC, MQA) | Spatial Audio – Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio | Video clips – yes

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Pros – audiophile sound quality

Cons – problems with activating Dolby Atmos on external devices, sometimes the sound is too soft

Verdict – a service for connoisseurs of good sound

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A proven audiophile service, Tidal, was the first on the market to offer Hi-Res streaming and attracted a lot of fans of good sound to its camp. Since then, competition in the market has increased exponentially; the platform almost went bankrupt, but was able to solve all its problems. Today Tidal is one of the leaders in the market for high-quality digital content, offering the same sound, almost devoid of digital coloring – soft and enchanting. Sometimes, however, it is too soft – it feels like an additional filter has been applied, slightly smoothing out the high frequencies on Hi-Res.

2. Apple Music

2. Apple Music

Free version – no | Trial – 30 days | Number of compositions – more than 100 million | Maximum bitrate – 9,216 kbps (24/192, AAC, ALAC) | Spatial Audio – Dolby Atmos | Video clips – yes

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Pros – perfect integration into its own ecosystem, incredible support for Dolby Atmos

Cons – slightly bright sound up to 16/44 format

Verdict – a must have for owners of Apple equipment

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The case of BlackBerry clearly shows that you can be any kind of monopolist and a recognized market leader – until the Apple company entered the segment. So the Apple Music service literally in the blink of an eye began to offer both Hi-Res and Dolby Atmos – and in such quantities that your head is spinning. The Spatial Audio mastering itself is fantastically good, and the wealth of choice is mind-boggling, the Hi-Res, again, is excellent – the only complaint is the 16/44 with exaggerated high frequencies.

1. Qobuz Studio

1. Qobuz Studio

Free version – no | Trial – 30 days | Number of compositions – more than 100 million | Maximum bitrate – 9,216 kbps (24/192, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV, WMA Lossles) | Spatial Audio – Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio | Video clips – no

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Pros – the best sound quality, the ability to download Hi-Res tracks

Cons – weak support for Dolby Atmos

Verdict – audiophile’s choice

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Qobuz Studio is simply the best sound quality available today, period. It’s not for nothing that almost all audiophile exhibitions now use this service – although there are few variations with surround sound, this is not required on a High-End system. One that can reveal all the richness of detail in Hi-Res – natural, perfectly balanced and covering the entire frequency range without embellishment.

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