Does Spotify Premium stream @ CD quality?

How come Spotify shows up on my Klimax DSM/3 as 44.1/16, which is of CD quality? Am I missing something?

Thanks @jmtennapel, maybe Linn know better.

I’ve had Spotify Premium for some time, but never considered playing it for serious listening, but today is a surprise when I hooked it up to my Linn streamer.

Spotify is limited to 320kbps. The fact that the Linn is showing it as lossless doesn’t mean that it is; maybe it cannot show anything below 44k, which seems a bit odd.

@hungryhalibut, that is not correct, please see below:

I wonder if they are secretly trialling the much promised Hifi tier?

1 Like

What app is the tablet running compared to the one you show later on your phone as they don’t look to be the same app. Perhaps one is possibly getting info from diferent parts of the chain.

I only said ‘maybe’.

1 Like

I wouldn’t have thought Spotify would be able to just switch it on without the user being warned and then able to select different qualities for different devices,

Imagine being restricted on data on your phone, then running Spotify through your car on a long journey, then finding out you have gone over your data. So even if you have Premium, you should still have a user selectable download limit on each device

So I think there has to be a Software Update to accompany this

It is the same app, linn kazoo, on different devices.

The magic is in the 1.4 Mbps. Looks promising.


Yes, it does indeed, you can set the audio playback quality per device (low, normal, high, very high or automatic), but the trouble is you don’t know exactly what it means by “high” or “very high” in terms of bit rate. So I am quite surprised to see PCM 44.1 khz / 16 bit 1.4 mbps on the linn kazoo app when I select the linn streamer as the end-point.

It says on their website very high is 320kps.

I got that, but I am still skeptical that the Spotify app is strictly implemented per their specs? And I think that is the reason they intentionlly use the ambiguous terms like auto, low, normal, high, very high, so that they are open to various interpretations.

I doubt that the linn streamer incorrectly calculates the inbound sample rate.

But is it inbound and not the outbound to the DAC. If you play a flac file what does it show on the same app… This to me looks like the rate after decoding to PCM. I could be wrong. But it would seem strange to openly be playing them with no marketing or otherwise as essentially it would be an open unknown beta which I doubt they would do.

According to Linn docs:

Note that Spotify is a stream directly from the Spotify cloud servers, it is NOT an Airplay or Songcast stream from your Spotify control device. This will allow you to start the Spotify playlist and turn off your control devices,

1440Kb/s or 1.4Mb/s is consistent with 2ch. 1l6bit at 44khz.
Maybe Spotify are sending out cd quality as some firm of test?
The OP needs to confirm via his ears it sounds better than mp3 at 320kb/s

I have never listened to mp3 320 kbps before except some radio channels for background music.

The Spotify stream sounds pretty good to ears with fairly accurate timber, strings plucked & decay on some acoustic music, etc.

I think I will need some extended listening sessions with Spotify to see if I can live with it long term.

Hmmm… I was just thinking that Spotify sounds unusually good today! I have no way (that I know of) of checking the kbps I am getting. So nothing scientific.

1 Like

Hi guys,

Linn show the decoded ‘output’ format, not the input encoded format. I have good confidence that is just a 320Kbit compressed stream.

On Naim solutions we are on very latest eSDK3 libraries, fully certified for current and future requirements based on the v3.7 release and a bit of tidying up on the soon to be released v3.8. For Non disclosure reasons we can’t discuss what is hiding inside your equipment, but it might be beneficial based on the thread of this forum. :sunglasses:

Best wishes

Steve Harris
Software Director
Naim Audio Ltd.


Thanks @Stevesky for a very helpful & informative response.
So, the keyword here is the “320 kbit compressed stream”, meaning it is 44.1/16 compressed down 320 kbit (if I understand you correctly).