Amazon Music HD

xela333

Member
Dec 29, 2019
1
0
20
I've been using Amazon HD for just over 2 months now, though that would give me a good amount of time to give it a fair review.

Have to say, I've just gone back to Spotify. The major drawback of Amazon HD is the smartphone app, which is absolutely awful. On the face of it, it looks clean, sharp and easy to use. But after using Spotify's excellent ecosystem for years, it is a million miles away. Some examples are not being able to download all of your music collection for offline playback, you have to do to each individual track to download it. Unless you put it in a playlist, but you still have to download again if you add new tracks. Simply selecting a new song to play will open up the full screen music controller, when I'm just trying to browse. Cannot remove a track from my library when I'm playing it. And had a few songs become corrupt after download.

Also, lack of integration with anything thats not Alexa.

These are just a few examples and make the whole experience incredibly infuriating for me. I also struggle (maybe in my old age or equipment) to really discern the different of the UHD tracks and Spotify tbh (Using Shure 215's and an APTX HD Transmitter)

So all in all, would not recommend.
 

Sorepaws

Member
Jan 1, 2020
2
0
20
While the laptop and phone apps work very well there is a real hole in the support for streaming devices that audiophiles maybe using. Amazon are aware of this but there seems to be little progress in making sure that your streaming amp (or other system) can play anything better than AC3. Tidal does at least support FLAC on their "Masters" tracks. I should add that my experience is using equipment that is listed as a "partner" to Amazon.
My work around is to use a laptop to connected by an optical link to my chosen audio system.
As described in the review above there is a good selection of HD and UHD artists including many remastered tracks.
 

Friesiansam

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2015
61
14
10,545
I signed-up for the free trial when it was first reported on. I was running the app on PC and playing through my Audiolab M-DAC and Shure SRH1540s. I tried a number of tracks that I also have on the PC, as CD quality FLAC files and found the quality of the HD (CD quality) tracks was disappointing, flat and lacking treble and any sparkle and UHD didn't appear noticeably better. Amazon's idea of lossless is not the same as mine.

I only use streaming to try before I buy on CD and free Spotify is good enough for that.
 

Dave Faraway

Member
Nov 16, 2019
2
0
20
It was a really difficult call, I agree with the comments before. Amazon Music HD is far away from the Spotify app, but having the chance to use the two. In the end I renewed my subscription on yearly basis as Prime member. Now, at the beginning the integration of the app was terrible, Alexa which I have was way happier to send music to My Sonos devices from Spotify rather than their own service, this actually improved and by the moment is almost on par. Nevertheless their app on my iPhone lacks Spotify perks like an equaliser inside the app.
Music quality: The reason I renewed, my current equipments which barely reach (or miss) the HI-FI mark show a remarked improvement over Spotify. This is the case over my iPhone and Sony wireless Earbuds/headset, my Sonos amp Home Theatre and the House's Little Man Headset Amp fed through a Cyrus Soundkey as DAC. By the moment I subscribed I was unhappy with the Spotify general equalisation/sound quality. So I am suffering rather than happily enjoying Amazon Music HD but I rather have their Hiccups than paying for something like Tidal which is more expensive and no value for money on my current set up. Amazon Music Hd has improved my enjoinment of my audio equipments and is going nowhere at the moment.
On the other hand I found no difference from Spotify on the old and forgiving Sonos Play3 and my car stereo. I mean none at all. It is obvious a case by case judgement if worthy. In my case, I am happy to have jumped to the High Resolution on the cheap.
 

MechaNikos

Member
Feb 11, 2020
1
0
20
As much as enjoyed listening to Amazon Music HD tracks over the trial period, I did not renew as I found the lack of integration extremely frustrating. I tried numerous combinations, but was unable to get bit-perfect playback on any of my external DACs.
When they offer an API so that third-party devices/transports can connect and stream, I will consider signing up again. Spotify has a much better interface, suggestion algorithms and most importantly the “Spotify connect” feature.
 

arbitrabbit

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2014
1
0
10,520
For me the lack of Chromecast support on the iOS app is the deal breaker... that's how I get high res audio to my receiver and almost every other service supports it (TIdal, Qobuz...not least Spotify etc). Amazon needs to sort its internal politics if they want to make an impact in the competitive audio streaming industry.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
389
163
570
Workarounds , lack of support for some hardware or poor integration. It is all unacceptable. Spotify would rule the world if it upped the quality.
 
Mar 6, 2020
1
0
20
Does not support hires playback on Android Devices.

Subscribed to the Amazon Music HD service expecting to enjoy hires music on my Samsung Note 10+ with a hires USB DAC. Upon streaming a few Hires tracks I noticed the app was reading the capabilities of my phones internal DAC for the speakers rather than the USB DAC that is the current audio device.

I emailed Amazon music's customer support and was told promptly that it is not possible to play Hires content on my device.

Looking into this further it says on the Amazon Music site under the section 'Who can get Hires' that all recent Android devices will play at up to 24 bit 48 KHz. This is not Hires, yet Hires capabilities are clearly advertised for the Android app on the Play Store. This false advertising unless we are now considering 48 KHz Hires.

I should add that Hires support up to 192 KHz is available for recent iOS devices using a USB DAC, so why not Android? It uses the same Universal Audio 2.0 standard as iOS and windows, and furthermore, why advertise the app as Hires capable on this platform?

I unsubscibed one hour later.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
322
89
18,970
Does not support hires playback on Android Devices.

Subscribed to the Amazon Music HD service expecting to enjoy hires music on my Samsung Note 10+ with a hires USB DAC. Upon streaming a few Hires tracks I noticed the app was reading the capabilities of my phones internal DAC for the speakers rather than the USB DAC that is the current audio device.

I emailed Amazon music's customer support and was told promptly that it is not possible to play Hires content on my device.

Looking into this further it says on the Amazon Music site under the section 'Who can get Hires' that all recent Android devices will play at up to 24 bit 48 KHz. This is not Hires, yet Hires capabilities are clearly advertised for the Android app on the Play Store. This false advertising unless we are now considering 48 KHz Hires.

I should add that Hires support up to 192 KHz is available for recent iOS devices using a USB DAC, so why not Android? It uses the same Universal Audio 2.0 standard as iOS and windows, and furthermore, why advertise the app as Hires capable on this platform?

I unsubscibed one hour later.
Hi-res relates to anything above 16/44, thus 24/48 is classed as high-res. (24/48 is commonly used in most studios with only a few going up to 24/96)

Bill
 
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Lurker

Member
Jun 26, 2020
1
0
20
Does anyone know what codec Amazon HD uses? Can I purchase & download a .flac file, or do they use something else?
 

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