Posted on 17th September, 2019


Amazon has finally taken the move and is offering better-than-CD-quality audio streaming through its new Amazon Music HD service.

Part of Amazon Music Unlimited, the new HD service offers over 50 million tracks in either CD or 24-bit quality from just £12.99 per month.

Unlike Tidal's MQA format, there is no need for special equipment to 'unfold' the Amazon stream in its highest resolution. So, that's down to whether-or-not you are bothered about Master Quality Authentication which, if you are making the move from Spotify purely for better quality streaming, you might not be.

Amazon Music HD

Additionally, the other mainstream-ing services, such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music can only offer compressed files at the moment whereas Amazon is one of only a handful of companies that provide high-quality FLAC streams. 

All you have to do is download an app or Amazon's player onto your desktop machine to listen in HD.

Amazon Music HD

Musician Neil Young launched the ill-fated hi-res Pono player several years ago, but that doesn't seem to have lessened his enthusiasm as he stated:

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.

The service costs £12.99 a month for Prime members and £14.99 a month for regular Amazon customers. If you already subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited, you can upgrade for an extra fiver a month.

Amazon Music HD

Amazon is undercutting both Tidal (£19.99 a month) and Qobuz (£25 a month), so it will be interesting to see how this dents the other's memberships.

Amazon is currently offering 90-day free trials of Music HD, which includes Family memberships.

We at SNUK are excited by this as high-res streaming could well become the norm. We just have to wait to see how the other services react and, just as important, see if the content producers (aka musicians) start getting a fair cut.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Technology
Tags: amazon  tidal  qobuz  amazon music hd