Amazon’s new music streaming service will be the first to bring HiFi audio to the masses

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Amazon’s new music streaming service will be the first to bring HiFi audio to the masses

Amazon Music Unlimited is the new-ish music streaming service from Amazon that offers 90 million songs with an average bitrate of 850 kbps.

That’s about two-and-a-half times the bitrate that Spotify Premium offers, but it’s also not as high-fidelity as Amazon Music Unlimited offers. The company note that it also offers millions of those songs in Ultra High Definition with an average bitrate of 3,730 kbps. For comparison’s sake, a CD is 1,411 kbps.

The higher the bitrate, the less audio you’re losing in the compression process, which means the tracks you hear on Amazon Music Unlimited are going to be a lot closer to what the artist and producer created than what you’ll hear on lower bitrate audio streaming services.

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Amazon Music Unlimited also offers spatial audio – otherwise known by Sony as ‘360 Reality Audio’ and Dolby as ‘Dolby Atmos’ – which attempts to recreate the immersive audio experience of hearing music played live. To check out what this actually sounds like, you can head over to their website.

Most phones, tablets, laptops and Chromecasts made since 2014 will support HD and Ultra HD playback, as will standard mobile reception, and wired headphones and speakers with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. If you’ll be listening primarily on wireless headphones, you’ll want to ensure you have advanced Bluetooth.

But considering the amount of people walking around with high-quality headphones listening to audio-quality worse than your Mp3 player when you were a kid, it’s safe to assume that the market for Amazon Music Unlimited is going to be huge. But why will Amazon Music Unlimited succeed in bringing HiFi audio to the masses where previous streaming services, most notably Tidal, have failed? Two main reasons:

  • The competitive price
  • The Amazon ecosystem

Amazon Music Unlimited is the top tier of Amazon’s music streaming services, the company also offer Amazon Music Free and Amazon Music Prime, which comes free with an Amazon Prime subscription but only offers a catalogue of two million songs.

Amazon Music Unlimited offers a three-month free trial, and then costs $11.99 per month for new subscribers. For comparison, Spotify Premium costs $11.95 for lossy quality.


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Then, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription you can access their family plan, which offers six accounts for $17.99. If you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker, you can also get a plan that limits your subscription to only that device for $5.99.

Amazon’s advantages over Spotify when it comes to attracting customers to its service offerings are numerous. The popularity of its standard Amazon Prime subscription for online shopping is well known, while Amazon Prime Video’s ascension to a major player in the Australian streaming market has proven the company’s streaming nous. Then you add the popularity of Amazon Echo, Alexa and Fire devices, and you start to see the extent of the developing Amazon ecosystem.

Add the ever-growing number of people who have high-quality headphones and speakers, and you can see why lossless audio offerings are the future of the music streaming market, and why Amazon may now be leading the pack.

For more information about Amazon Music Unlimited, head here.

This article was written in partnership with Amazon.