Amazon Music HD Review & Comments

peahead

Well-known Member
All this coming out and nothing available in my country...
I wonder if you could use a VPN to change your country ?
 

matthewricha

Active Member
Hello Ed,

I found a 24bit/192KHz Album on Amazon Music HD.
Solo - a Starwars story.
It sounds amazing.
Holy crap Jokerr, you're not wrong it sounds fantastic, great album! Thanks for the recommendation.

20191108_131540-1429x897.jpg
 

pjr918bmw

Active Member
The big issue for a lot of people is, like IOS probably, that you cannot get "HD" with Chromecast devices. To be fair amazon don't hide this but it really is a pain. It actually streams a down sampled version to 44.1khz @ 256kbs I believe.

At least with Tidal you can get full fat "HD" on Chromecast - unless somebody is going to tell me I'm wasting £20 a month coz it's not!

And yes I fully accept that the Mastering quality and speakers/room are way way more important once you get to 48khz but my attitude is if its available and I've paid for it - I want it! :rolleyes:
 

SunnyIntervals

Active Member
I've got Android and you can't stream HD or HiRes to chromecast either, only way I've managed to get it to my amp is bluetooth
 

whitesnake11

Well-known Member

pjr918bmw

Active Member
Sunny Intervals....
That's a thought but even if the Bluetooth is aptx- hd i' m not sure it's even full fat "HD" or "UHD" stupid naming by amazon but there we are!
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Been trying out for a few days now comparing to my Tidal trial and Spotify.

My conclussions:

If your happy with quality of Spotify its still the best for usability/ease of use and compatability with many Devices (TVs, smart speakers, cars) plus Spotify Connect.

If you must have best quality files Tidal at £19.99 is out when an annual Amazon HD sub can get you CD & Hi-Def quality for £10.50.

Tidal only worth keeping if your kit works with it or you like the curation features & video files.

Listening with my reasonably Hi-end KEF LSX speakers/sub or my high end Shure SE846 IEM's the HD content in Amazon HD sounds equally as good as the Tidal MQA tracks.

I will continue with the Amazon trial for the 3 months and likley do the annual renewal.

Will still keep Spotify going for now even though they have recently confirmed they see no need to move over to HD content which IMO I think is short sighted. Spotify should keep standard at £9.99 and add a HD content level at £12.99.

If using most Android devices you are limited to 24/48 while with Tidal App or Tidal in UAPP you will get higher bitrates so Tidal may still be worth paying the extra and I think Tidal also works well with Roon while I dont think Amazon HD does. NOTE: Hiby R5 Android DAP works fine bitperfect for 24/192 & 24/196 as it bypasses default Android audio driver.

Its great when used with my 24/192 motherboard sound in my PC to my KEF LSX.

So really for me its Spotify 320kbps ogg at £9.99 or pay annual for upto 24/192 flac with Amazon HD at £10.50.

Final comment. Most will be really hard pressed to hear the difference of a 24/44.1 or 24/48 flac track compared to 24/96 or 24/192 so the current Android phone limitation is not a deal breaker IMO. You can get Android DAP's that solve this issue anyway.
 
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Jokerr

Well-known Member
QOBUZ top tier service is now only 15.99 for first 100,000 USA Subscribers.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Can someone confirm whats needed for the 3D Audio?

I've just connected my Audeze Mobius in 7.1 mode and playing the Best of 3D Music and sounds bloody amazing!

I'm in the room with the players !

3D Classical :D
 

meagabyte

Active Member
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.
Just got my first echo device which came with the three month trial. Setup the Dot in the kitchen where I have stereo grouped Heos1s.
If I ask Alexa to play tunein it uses the HEOS, if I ask for something from amazon music it plays from the dot. Is this a limitation of the “free” amazon music with adds or have I don’t something wrong lol
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I think Hi Res Audio is mostly a scam to resell existing content again and for the hifi industry to sell new DACs etc. The logic that 384 is better than 192 etc is simple, but this does not translate to better sound which is how its being presented.

This video is from a Mastering Engineer with 40 years in the business who is expert in analogue, CD and true Hi Res recording. If you are an audiophile, watching it may save you a fortune.

Here are some of his conclusions, but please subscribe at AIX and make up your own mind:-
  • Experienced audio engineers listening to professional audio equipment will struggle to tell the difference between the best Hi Res and Standard Res recordings
  • 95% of Hi-Res recordings are identical to Standard Res - just packaged in a bigger box
  • How can a Pink Floyd recording mastered on tape now produce a Hi-Res format?
  • Vinyl is inferior to CD
  • Anything above 24/192 has no value even in studios
  • The label “Hi Res” means nothing
  • A remastered recording may sound better but it cannot be Hi Res

It’s odd to me that so much focus is placed on Hi Res, when most Hi Res content makes no measurable distance to sound quality.

In 99% of rooms, some sounds from your hifi will sound 4 times louder than others. Why isn’t there the same focus on correcting these errors which anyone will hear?
 

Django44

Standard Member
I think Hi Res Audio is mostly a scam to resell existing content again and for the hifi industry to sell new DACs etc. The logic that 384 is better than 192 etc is simple, but this does not translate to better sound which is how its being presented.

This video is from a Mastering Engineer with 40 years in the business who is expert in analogue, CD and true Hi Res recording. If you are an audiophile, watching it may save you a fortune.

Here are some of his conclusions, but please subscribe at AIX and make up your own mind:-
  • Experienced audio engineers listening to professional audio equipment will struggle to tell the difference between the best Hi Res and Standard Res recordings
  • 95% of Hi-Res recordings are identical to Standard Res - just packaged in a bigger box
  • How can a Pink Floyd recording mastered on tape now produce a Hi-Res format?
  • Vinyl is inferior to CD
  • Anything above 24/192 has no value even in studios
  • The label “Hi Res” means nothing
  • A remastered recording may sound better but it cannot be Hi Res

It’s odd to me that so much focus is placed on Hi Res, when most Hi Res content makes no measurable distance to sound quality.

In 99% of rooms, some sounds from your hifi will sound 4 times louder than others. Why isn’t there the same focus on correcting these errors which anyone will hear?
 

Django44

Standard Member
I'm streaming to a naim uniti atom with chromecast and the sound drops out at the start of every track,not sure if this is a compatibility problem with chromecast and amazon,also not getting album artwork on atom display all the time so a bit miffed really
 

clydebest

Distinguished Member
Getting back to what it's all about the music it does not matter a Hoot if the music is in SD or the buzz word HI-FI if it's not what you want to listen too... i have put thousands of tracks in to my Library and other than the CHI-Lites (pub band version) all are original recordings or Remastered many are HD and UHD played through HI-RES compliant devices i have... are good to Excellent..

So we now have most major paid Music Streaming sites now offering HI-res in one guise or other .. i have had Three... Deezer HI-FI .. Tidal ... Amazon Music HD ... I have found the Music Choice on Deezer and Amazon to be much wider and better than what Tidal has to offer.. Sound Quality wise all Are excellent .

Then there is Price this is what makes Amazon the winner (unless of course you sub via Turkey etc) at 12.99 - 19.99 and 24.44£ PCM.
 

Maxson

Active Member
There's a couple of things I want to know about Amazon Music HD:

First off, does it play gapless? One of the worst things about mp3 and streaming is when you play an album that was made with no gaps, you get breaks in the sound which I find jarring when immersed in the music. The format is supposed to be FLAC which can play gapless, but does it?

Second, with the format being encoded in FLAC, can you download the FLAC files? That's the one thing I've wished for from Amazon music. The sound of mp3 320 is good enough but I prefer to download FLAC.
 

whitesnake11

Well-known Member
There's a couple of things I want to know about Amazon Music HD:

First off, does it play gapless? One of the worst things about mp3 and streaming is when you play an album that was made with no gaps, you get breaks in the sound which I find jarring when immersed in the music. The format is supposed to be FLAC which can play gapless, but does it?

Second, with the format being encoded in FLAC, can you download the FLAC files? That's the one thing I've wished for from Amazon music. The sound of mp3 320 is good enough but I prefer to download FLAC.
It plays gapless on phones etc, however on echo devices the gap is still there, not sure why though.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Just chipping in with my experience.

Listening on my iPhone with a FiiO i1 DAC/headphone amp, and Beyer DT770 Pros.

I'm just happy that listening on the go no longer means streaming mp3.

Up until now, if I wanted to listen to my music, I carried my DAP (a FiiO X3 2nd Gen). Now I just listen on my phone. The quality is comparable, which wasn't the case pre-HD.

There are still a few issues, but I suspect these will be ironed out sooner rather than later.

All-in-all, well done to Amazon for this, which ever way you look at it, it's a game-changer. MP3-quality streaming is no longer the only mainstream option, and that has to be a good thing.

And thanks to Ed for the (typically) well-informed and well-written article.

By the way, quality on the iPhone is still limited. The i1 can go up to 192. The iPhone can. The Amazon HD software can. But the lightning output is still limited by iOS to 24/48, which is 'a bit better than CD'. But as I say, CD quality will certainly do for now.

And let's just stop and think where we are. Almost every piece of music you would ever want to listen to is now available to you anywhere in Europe, in the same quality as your CD collection, for around £10 a month.
 

vkvedam

Active Member
Well, I took the plunge and signed up for the 90 day free streaming. I really wish if they can update settings for Chromecast so that I can assess it in depth.
 

Mike255

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.
I have a Marantz 7011 and have just subscribed to the 90 day free trial of Amazon HD Music.
I’m a bit confused as to how I can get access to Ultra HD tracks on the Amazon playlist through my 7011 using the HEOS app. I only seem to be able to play tracks by using Bluetooth using Airplay, accessed from the Amazon Music app on my iPad, which is of course limited to a lower 24/48 resolution.
I rang Denon customer service this morning and they told me that at present you can’t use the HEOS app to play Ultra HD tracks through the Marantz because Amazon haven’t provided that facility to Denon as yet. Denon told me that I would have to purchase one of the HEOS speaker range to do that (I understand Bluos are an alternative?).
Any advice would be gratefully received!
 

meagabyte

Active Member
I have a Marantz 7011 and have just subscribed to the 90 day free trial of Amazon HD Music.
I’m a bit confused as to how I can get access to Ultra HD tracks on the Amazon playlist through my 7011 using the HEOS app. I only seem to be able to play tracks by using Bluetooth using Airplay, accessed from the Amazon Music app on my iPad, which is of course limited to a lower 24/48 resolution.
I rang Denon customer service this morning and they told me that at present you can’t use the HEOS app to play Ultra HD tracks through the Marantz because Amazon haven’t provided that facility to Denon as yet. Denon told me that I would have to purchase one of the HEOS speaker range to do that (I understand Bluos are an alternative?).
Any advice would be gratefully received!
In the HEOS app, make sure the AVR is selected.
Add amazon music to the HEOS app by going to music sources - online music. and it will allow you to search for UHD tracks.
 

ian986

Active Member
I have managed to get Flac 48hz/24 bit playing through Heos

I must admit the heos and amazon is pretty poor as previous post mentions. The only reasonI went for Amazon is for Dolby Atmos Music ! So far not managed to get anything although I am getting Dolby Surround, But according to Denon reciever it coming through in Stereo and Denon changing to Dolby Surround. See attached photo.
 

Attachments

Mike255

Active Member
In the HEOS app, make sure the AVR is selected.
Add amazon music to the HEOS app by going to music sources - online music. and it will allow you to search for UHD tracks.
I’ve done that, and when I get this page:
016E6B01-0D6A-4225-8E86-AA0C222B7BBB.png


And then click on the Amazon music icon, I get this:

707013FF-3490-4B30-B04F-995E8EDC4D33.png


Seems I must be doing something wrong...
 

meagabyte

Active Member
hmm never had that. maybe log out of the HEOS account and back in again.
When i added amazon music i had to sign in to it using amazon account as well.
 

Mike255

Active Member
OK, I’ll try logging out of my HEOS account and in again and see what happens.
 

mickbirch2000

Active Member
Lots of publicity saying Amazon Music HD is streaming some Dolby Atmos music but I have yet to find any??
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Been listening for about a week now mostly via my KEF LSX/Kube 8b speakers and noticeable improvement over Spotify with my 24/192 sound card in PC for HD as well as Ultra HD.

Not any noticeable difference between Tidal MQA to Ultra HD with Amazon, just larger files.

All tracks playing in file bitrates too (no conversion). My Tidal trial just run out today and won't be renewing when price is so much higher than Amazon HD. Never bother with the Tidal Video's or currated content.

Tidal is still technically better on a mobile for now as most Android Apps do Amazon HD at 24/48 max. Still sounds great to me and especially at £10.50/month for the annual sub!

Note: Hiby R5 Android DAP does play Amazon HD at all correct bit levels all the way to the 24/192 ones.
 
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mickbirch2000

Active Member
Found some tracks using the Amazon music app on my phone that are called 3D music?? I presume Amazon are using video terms again, this time to describe multi-channel music, anyway using the Bluos app it doesnt find any so called 3D music.
 

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