Amazon Ups Audio Quality with Amazon Music HD

Amazon Music today launched a new lossless streaming tier called Amazon Music HD dedicated to delivering a higher quality streaming experience.

The tier provides access to than 50 million songs in “High Definition” CD quality with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz plus “millions” of songs in “Ultra HD” with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.

Current Amazon Music subscribers can try Amazon Music HD at no additional cost for 90 days and Amazon is offering a free 90-day trial to new subscribers.

The cost to subscribe to Amazon Music HD is $12.99/month for Prime members, $14.99/month for Amazon customers, or an additional $5/month for those who already subscribe to Amazon Music’s Individual or Family Plan.

Amazon said its new streaming tier will play the highest quality audio the listener’s device and network conditions will support, and is compatible with a variety of devices, including desktop, mobile (iOS & Android), select Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. The streaming service is also compatible with many third-party devices, including most products from Denon and Marantz with HEOS Built-in, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser, and others.

Pledging to “always offer customers the best quality recording available for streaming,” Amazon singled out iconic albums such as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue as exemplary examples of hi-res recordings along with songs like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and St. Vincent’s “Digital Witness,” both “now available uncompressed in Ultra HD quality, revealing nuances that were once flattened in files compressed for digital streaming.”

Amazon’s press announcement quoted longtime hi-res music supporter and rock icon Neil Young as saying, “Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses. This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”

For more information on Amazon Music HD, visit

brenro's picture

Can't stream to the Echo Dot connected to my sound system with a mobile device in HD. This was not ready for prime time.

jnemesh's picture

I signed up for the 90 day free trial...and immediately set it up on my Bluesound Node 2i. The good news is that it is fully supported on that device, and it does stream the "HD" tracks at full quality. The bad news is that the interface is pretty horrid. It's hard to find what you are looking for, and the search feature is surprisingly bad compared to Tidal. You also can't select a song and then jump directly to that album or the artist like you can on other services. However, despite the rough interface, the service has it where it counts...more music, and more music in HD quality than on Tidal (VASTLY more!). If they can improve the interface and search before my 90 days are up, I am going to switch.

jnemesh's picture

The service also doesn't require you to have an MQA compatible DAC, unlike you should be able to get the most out of this service without having to buy into a proprietary system, or replace your existing gear!

snowdog57's picture not listening to their customer's desire for higher-res option. Used to rely quite heavily on iTunes for everyday listening. Amazon stepped in (finally) and beat Apple to the punch for us non-$$$ music fans. Plus, at $7 less per month than Tidal - I signed up immediately. As a side, I subscribed to Tidal for a year or so, but never warmed up to their lack of recommendations based on my listening history... and that interface, yikes!

Self Righteous's picture

You don't appear to be able to create a favourites artists folder similar to the ones on Spotify, Tidal & Qobuz, just albums or playlists. But as jnemesh says the interface is a nightmare, so I may have missed the process.