Apple Music Hi-Fi may be on the way

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Apple Music Hi-Fi will have to take on Spotify HiFi.
Apple Music Hi-Fi is only a rumor. But there’s at least one good reason to think it’s true.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple Music Hi-Fi, a version of the streaming music service offering higher-quality audio, could debut “in the coming weeks,” according to an unconfirmed report.

What the new streaming rate will be is unclear. But it will have to take an on improved version of archrival streaming service Spotify.

Hits Daily Double — not a significant source of Apple leaks — reports that the iPhone-maker is preparing a “high-fidelity audio streaming tier.”

Even better, it’s not going to cost extra. This enhanced version of Apple Music reportedly will be available at the same $9.99-per-month rate.

But a launch date isn’t clear at all. Apple Music Hi-Fi will be out in a weeks, at the same time as the third-generation AirPods, according to Hits Daily Double. But the wireless earbuds aren’t expected until the third-quarter of 2021 at the earliest.

If the report of an increase in Apple’s audio quality is true, the move is probably in response to the recent announcement of Spotify HiFi. The two streaming services are locked in a battle for customers and Apple is unlikely to let its rival have an obvious advantage.

How ‘high’ is Apple Music Hi-Fi?

Whatever Apple’s new streaming rate turns out be, it’ll have to be better than 256kbps, the current rate. That’s below Spotify’s 320kbps rate.

That said, streaming rates don’t tell the whole story. Apple uses the AAC format, which is lossy. However, many users think it sounds better than the Ogg Vorbis format used by Spotify.

Still, Spotify HiFi promises a “CD-quality, lossless audio format.” Apple Music HiFi will have to compete with that.