Amazon Music HD Review & Comments

nicfaz

Active Member
Interesting stuff, thanks Ed. Can you elaborate on the issues getting the amazon app to play nice with external DACs?

All they need now is an equivalent to the echo dot that can output digital and it will be easy lossless / high resolution wherever and whenever.
 

Canti1982

Active Member
Tried it the other day into my Chord Qutest but as you state the lack of asio/wasapi support means your stuck with whatever windows has been set to. This is a fairly big oversight for anyone wanting to try out their hires content which seems to be one of their marketing points. Other than this the app seems fine but until they get this working I will be sticking with Tidal with Roon. Roon support would be nice but I can't see this happening any time soon.

Saying all of this I'm probably not their target audience and for the majority of people this will not be an issue.
 

Kaledii

Active Member
I stopped my spotify subscription and added this to my other Amazon subs and very happy with it.
It should also be noted that integration goes beyond just the bluesound system mentioned. The Heos system also has full integration, including access from the Heos app to the catalogue, or via the Amazon app, and plays high resolution files just fine.
 

Built To Chill

Well-known Member
Very informative, thank you. For what it’s worth, another platform Amazon HD (and “Ultra HD”) music is apparently available are Denon products with HEOS built in:


Pleased to see my AVR on the list, but haven’t had a chance to test yet. The icing on the cake would be if this allows easy Alexa control of high res music on half decent equipment. Denon AVRs can be set as an audio out device for an echo.

edit: Sorry @Kaledii - just saw you beat me to it!
 
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Eddy555

Distinguished Member
As I'm sampling the HiRes Deezer offering, I'm somewhat surprised that Deezer doesn't support gapless on the Windows app (maybe in the Beta it does) or on Android - which for £20 is a non-starter for me.

@Ed Selley does Amazon HD playback gapless (really this shouldn't be a necessary question these days, but there you go)?
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
THANK YOU ED - Excellent article.


ISSUE 1:
I use Chord Mojo and Audioquest Cobalt. Both DAC’s indicate via LED Light that Amazon Music HD upscales everything. So this is not high res.

ISSUE 2:
Other issue more specific to iPhone/iPad - regardless of wi-fi speed the quality drops to Standard and sounds horrible, but then goes back up. Lots of people have reported this.
 

Fergal82

Distinguished Member
I bought an echo link thinking that would allow me to stream hi-res audio via amazon music to my amp but I then discovered it doesn’t support high res streaming. It still sounded pretty good to me nonetheless. I wonder if it’ll get an update to support this in the future.

Not a fan of BluOs myself so I’m patiently waiting to see what else becomes available.
 

steve sph

Active Member
Decent review - cheers for that.
I took advantage of the three free months offer a few weeks back and I'm more than happy to be cancelling my Tidal subscription and paying for a year of this at virtually half the price when my three months gratis are up.
For me this is excellent value for money and the likes of Tidal/Spotify/Deezer must be seriously worried.
 

Grumpyrocker

Active Member
I've little time for "HD" music, it's snake oil and unscientific. However in the past Amazon's MP3s have left a lot to be desired. Compared to many rivals the sound quality of files on offer was very poor. So an increase in sound quality is welcome.

Otherwise it's just selling unhearable stuff to people who imagine they've got magic ears.

I've been using the free trial and it does sound good. But the lack of WASAPI on the PC client means it's not for me. One can't make best use of the files on offer.

Me and my non-magic (normal human) ears will stick to Google Music for now.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
I stopped my spotify subscription and added this to my other Amazon subs and very happy with it.
It should also be noted that integration goes beyond just the bluesound system mentioned. The Heos system also has full integration, including access from the Heos app to the catalogue, or via the Amazon app, and plays high resolution files just fine.
Thank you. Does HEOS integration allow playing at correct rate, without upsampling. So a 24bit/44.1 song will play as 24bit/44.1?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I use Chord Mojo and Audioquest Cobalt. Both DAC’s indicate via LED Light that Amazon Music HD upscales everything. So this is not high res.
We have discussed this elsewhere. Whatever is happening here is specific to your hardware and OS (have you checked what the Audio MIDI settings in OSX are currently set to?). Amazon is not upsampling content. As noted in the content, Windows left to its own devices will also default to 96kHz with but this can be bypassed.

I've little time for "HD" music, it's snake oil and unscientific.
Let me guess, you read THIS and forever decided it was the last word on the subject?
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
We have discussed this elsewhere. Whatever is happening here is specific to your hardware and OS (have you checked what the Audio MIDI settings in OSX are currently set to?). Amazon is not upsampling content. As noted in the content, Windows left to its own devices will also default to 96kHz with but this can be bypassed.



Let me guess, you read THIS and forever decided it was the last word on the subject?
Hello Ed, thank you for your points.
Apologies as I should have mentioned that I use Cobalt and Mojo via my iPadPro - USB-C.

i Am Aware of the Audio Midi settings issue on Mac with Amazon MUSIC HD as there is no exclusive mode.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Just to clarify Mojo/Cobalt shows actual Track RESOLUTION via iPadPro USB-C and iPhoneX lightning [via TIDAL HIFI or other Apps].

however Amazon MusicHD App on iOS upsamples all tracks. So many people have reported this MASSIVE ISSUE on Amazon’s own Forums.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Just to clarify Mojo/Cobalt shows actual Track RESOLUTION via iPadPro USB-C and iPhoneX lightning [via TIDAL HIFI or other Apps].

however Amazon MusicHD App on iOS upsamples all tracks. So many people have reported this MASSIVE ISSUE on Amazon’s own Forums.
I am aware that both show the resolution of the signal they are receiving. What they're receiving and what the software is sending is not the same thing though. The culprit is the OS and not Amazon. If I connect a Mojo to this laptop and play any of the following services without adjusting the settings first. I get 24/96 (green indicator) on the Mojo;

Amazon Music HD
Amazon Music Unlimited
Spotify
Deezer
Chrome

This is because- to repeat myself- Windows is dicking about with the sample rate not the individual programs. If there's an issue in iOS, it's specific to that but it's still more likely to be a screw up than the deliberate implementation of upsampling.
 

ggrossen

Active Member
Ed - thanks for your review on this, not many reviews around. I subscribed to the 90 day free trial and have been testing with BluOS (that sounds best) and the app on the ATV. The ATV app sounds pretty good and displays the lyrics but doesn't sound quite as good as BluOS. I did ask NAD on question on the hi-res tracks as I was worried that BluOS was only showing standard res and they told me 'The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (2012 Remaster)' is 24/192 and since then I've noticed quite a few more as the NAD displays the resolution on its screen - so fairly easy to tell - George
 

Morty

Active Member
I've been using Amazon HD Music on my marantz for a while now and its really good with one caveat.The heos app is so restricted on amazon.You can select songs or albums but you cant stack them or make a playlist.If you use alexa or amazon music app to select music it streams bog standard 256kbps.Bloody stupid if you ask me.If they fix this it will be superb.
 

rpr

Active Member
I trialled it using the HEPS app via my Marantz 7012. Yes there were tracks up to 24/192, however my bugbear is currently you cannot access your Amazon playlists and purchases via Amazon Music on HEOS.
 

vkvedam

Active Member
Question to all the HEOS users, does it offer bit perfect?
 

Goodmane

Active Member
I've little time for "HD" music, it's snake oil and unscientific. However in the past Amazon's MP3s have left a lot to be desired. Compared to many rivals the sound quality of files on offer was very poor. So an increase in sound quality is welcome.

Otherwise it's just selling unhearable stuff to people who imagine they've got magic ears.

I've been using the free trial and it does sound good. But the lack of WASAPI on the PC client means it's not for me. One can't make best use of the files on offer.

Me and my non-magic (normal human) ears will stick to Google Music for now.
Given most streaming services do 320kbps, and I have yet to hear of anyone succeed in a blind test between such files and lossless I'm not willing to suffer inconveniences and device incompatibilities.

I'm surprised the Echo Link doesn't support lossless yet. The Echo Link seems almost ideal for my purposes anyway, but I don't care enough to justify the spend just yet. The DAC in the echo link should be in the mainstream Echo dot, or perhaps a cheaper than the Link, bigger brother, e.g. Echo Dot Premium.
 

vkvedam

Active Member
I don't know
Thanks for being honest.

Here's my experience, did these comparisons back to back.

1. HEOS > Marantz SR6012 (Digital) > KEF LS50

2. Google CCA > Topping D50 DAC > Marantz SR6012 (Line-In) > LS50

I can't comment on HEOS as the DAC changed here. All the listening was done in 'Pure Direct' mode.

Option 2, no contest at all. Stopped using HEOS ever since and uninstalled.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Amazon MusicHD App on iOS upsamples all tracks. So many people have reported this MASSIVE ISSUE on Amazon’s own Forums.

See here photo evidence.
Device player source = iPadPro.
Dac connected = Audioquest Cobalt.

Amazon Music HD App Window shows - track is 44.1KHz.
Amazon Music HD App Window shows - device is 96KHz. This is correct as Cobalt DAC is upto 96KHz.
Amazon Music HD App Window shows - track playing at 44.1KHz. [THIS IS INCORRECT. COBALT LED LIGHT IS ‘LIGHT BLUE’ WHICH MEANS IT IS RECEIVING 96KHz. IF IT WAS CORRECTLY RECEIVING 44.1KHz THEN IT WOULD BE GREEN.]

3A98FC96-5434-4A7B-9B90-3FAD56F793B6.jpeg


D3AC1730-6EB8-47E4-843D-E3DE002CC6A7.jpeg
 

rpr

Active Member
Notes on Amazon Music in HEOS:

  • With HEOS, you can search Amazon Music for radios, playlists, artists and albums.
  • Songs from Amazon Prime Music or Amazon Music Unlimited will be played without being added to the HEOS queue.
  • There is no My Music (incl. your personal playlists) functionality. This is planned as a future feature update.
  • The German Bundesliga matches are not available to stream via HEOS.
 

Kaledii

Active Member
Question to all the HEOS users, does it offer bit perfect?
Yes it does - certainly through the Heos app. You can tell because when playing a track (from any source) there is a little 'i' in the top corner than when selected gives you details of the file being playing, including bit rate, sampling rate and depth. I have several Heos speakers, 2 AVRs (Marantz), Cinema bar and Marantz standalone streamer and all play high resolution files from Amazon correctly.
 

Kaledii

Active Member
I've been using Amazon HD Music on my marantz for a while now and its really good with one caveat.The heos app is so restricted on amazon.You can select songs or albums but you cant stack them or make a playlist.If you use alexa or amazon music app to select music it streams bog standard 256kbps.Bloody stupid if you ask me.If they fix this it will be superb.
Did not realise that the amazon app streams at 256kbps. Good to know and will check myself tonight.
 

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