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Deezer’s hi-fi service is no longer exclusive to Sonos

Streaming platform Deezer has announced that its HiFi tier (previously named Deezer Elite) is rolling out on a host of Wi-Fi speakers that support Google Cast. Along with increased availability, the HiFi tier will also support voice control through Google Assistant.

Previously exclusive to Sonos, Deezer HiFi will, over the next few months, also be on Bang & Olufsen, Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Harman Wi-Fi speakers. The service will be accessible via Chromecast Audio or, if using speakers that have Chromecast built-in, Deezer’s mobile app. Deezer HiFi uses FLAC lossless compression, and the platform has a minimum bitrate standard of 1,411 kbps — the same as uncompressed CD audio.

CD-quality audio is hard to find on streaming platforms, as most services use lossy compression for audio playback. SoundCloud, for example, streams songs at 128 kbps using MP3, Spotify has three forms of lossy compression using Ogg Vorbis, and Apple Music runs at 256 kbps using AAC encoding. Deezer’s free and Premium+ also compress audio at lower bitrates (64 kbps on the low end for if you’re trying to conserve data, and 320 kbps on the high end), but lossless audio, like it offers on its HiFi tier, is less common. Tidal is currently the only other major player to offer CD-quality streaming, though Spotify has been testing it out as well.

While a good chunk of people say they can’t tell the difference in quality with anything over 320 kbps, studies have shown that most can distinguish between standard and high quality audio by listening for longer than 30 seconds, or training their ear over time. Audiophiles and normals alike, then, should be pleased with Deezer HiFi’s widened compatibility.

Deezer HiFi is priced at $ 19.99 per month, and a complete list of supported speakers and devices can be found on its website.

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