Amazon has launched a “High Definition” tier for streaming lossless music called Amazon Music HD.
The HD library consists of 50 million songs with a bit-depth of 16 bits and sample rate of 44.1kHZ, the same quality as a typical CD track. The bitrate of 1,411kbps is more than double that of most music streaming services.
Amazon also added “millions” of songs it refers to as “Ultra HD”. These tracks have a bit-depth of 24 bits and are sampled at rates between 44.1kHz and 192kHz.
Both the HD and Ultra HD songs are delivered in the FLAC file format.
According to The Verge, the difference in quality is clearly audible on iPhone and Android phones. An external digital-to-analogue (DAC) converter is recommended for songs sampled at a higher sample rate than 44.1kHz, as this is the highest sample rate quality for built-in DACs.
Amazon is one of the first major music streaming platforms to introduce this option, beating out the top two services, Spotify and Apple Music.
Other streaming services that offer lossless streaming include Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer.
The Amazon Music HD Individual Plan costs $14.99 per month. Amazon Prime subscribers will pay a discounted price of $12.99 for the service. It is also available on a Family Plan at $19.99, which allows streaming on up to six devices simultaneously.
The service is currently available in a free trial period for 90 days.