Joining the likes of Tidal and Deezer, Amazon has stepped up its audio quality to offer high-fidelity streaming. This makes the tech behemoth the first of its major competitors, Apple and Google, to catalogue a large selection of its library in lossless audio format.
Amazon promises “unlimited access to fifty million songs in HD”, which is essentially audio at CD quality – 16-bit / 44.1kHz. It also has “millions” more tracks available in a higher resolution, which they are labelling as Ultra HD. This translates to a quality of 24-bit depth with sample rates from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz, delivered in FLAC file format.
Their new service is set to undercut the price of Hi-Fi streaming service, Tidal, with a discount for Amazon Prime members. Tidal is currently priced at £19.99/$19.99 per month for its CD-quality service, while Amazon’s new service comes in at £14.99/£14.99 for non-Prime users, and £12.99/£12.99 for those with a Prime subscription. “With this pricing, we are signalling to the world that quality is for everybody,” says Steve Boom, vice president of Amazon Music
In recent years, even CD-quality audio has traditionally been an afterthought for the masses, with setups that can provide higher quality listening mainly sought out by audiophiles. Amazon hopes to provide high-resolution audio for consumers that may have compatible systems at home. It’s worth noting that iPhone and Android devices generally have a built-in DAC that is only capable of reproducing audio at 24-bit/44.1kHz quality, so without an external DAC, you won’t get the full Hi-Res experience on mobile.
The service has launched and Amazon has a 90-day free trial available that you can check out at amazon.com/music/unlimited/hd. It will be available in the US, UK, Germany and Japan.