Amazon Music HD will compete with Tidal.
Streaming audio services are a convenient tool for listening to music, because they offer huge libraries of audio recordings. However, for objective reasons, their quality leaves much to be desired, because lossless audio takes up much more space, and to listen to such recordings online you need a good internet connection. Therefore, there are practically only a few services on the market that offer high-quality audio. The most popular of these is Tidal, a monthly subscription to Hi-Fi audio which is priced at $ 19.99.
But now Tidal has a new competitor from Amazon. The company notes that its catalog contains more than 50 million songs in high quality (High Definition – 16-bit 44.1 kHz), as well as millions of records in the so-called ultra-high quality (Ultra HD – 24-bit, 192 kHz). Amazon Music HD offers all the music in FLAC format, not MQA, as Tidal does. The monthly subscription is $ 12.99 for Amazon Prime members and $ 14.99 for everyone else.
In order to comfortably listen to HD-music you will need an LTE connection with a speed of 1.5-2 Mbit / s. For Ultra HD – 5-10 Mbps. It should also be borne in mind that about 50 MB of data is used to play one HD song, Ultra HD – about 150 MB. While non-Hi-Res tracks weigh, as a rule, up to 10 MB. In this context, the pleasant fact is that users can download lossless audio for offline listening, for example, via home Wi-Fi.
The Amazon Music app on iOS supports external DACs; the Android version does not. I also note that AirPlay supports HD audio transmission, Google Cast does not. Bluetooth lossless headphones with support for aptX / aptX HD or Sony LDAC, which offer 24-bit 48 kHz audio, are suitable for listening to lossless audio.
Amazon Music HD is already available in four countries: USA, UK, Germany and Japan. Users are offered a 90-day trial subscription. You can listen to music on both mobile and desktop devices, as well as gadgets from Amazon. Third-party players (Sennheiser, Sonos, Pol Audio, Denon and Marantz with HEOS and others) will also receive support for the service.