Ahead of next week’s hardware announcement, Amazon has rolled out a lossless streaming section within its Amazon Music service. It’s called Amazon Music HD . If you’re already an Amazon Music subscriber, you can subscribe to the new service for an extra $5 per month. If you’re a Prime member, you can subscribe to the service for $13 per month for Prime members. If you’re not a Prime member, it’ll cost you $15 per month. Oh yea, there’s also free 90-day trial for anybody who wants to try Amazon Music HD right now.
Clearly, Amazon is making a big move to cater to audiophiles. With Amazon Music HD, you’ll be able to stream millions of audio tracks in “High Definition,” which is roughly CD quality, or “Ultra HD,” which is up to 24-bit/192kHz and the highest-resolution audio that’s available for streamers. All this is interesting because, well, Amazon Music HD is going to be able to stream higher-resolution tracks than both Spotify and Apple Music, and it’s also going to cost a few extra bucks less than Tidal’s $20 per month subscription. Basically, this could shake up the streaming market for people who want to listen to higher-end audio.
Of course, this also means that Amazon needs to come out with some speakers that can actually handle these new high-res tracks. Right now, Amazon’s current line of Echo smart speakers are good for what they are – affordable smart speakers – but they aren’t designed to handle these new Ultra HD audio tracks. They could play them, for sure, but you wouldn’t be able to hear the tracks in all their lossless glory; they’d probably sound the same as the music you already stream to.
Amazon’s big hardware event is September 25, and there’s a really good chance that we’re going to see Amazon’s first jab into reference-quality speakers. We may even see new or upgraded models of Amazon’s higher-end components, like the Echo Link and Echo Link Amp.
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