Amazon Music HD - Thoughts, comparisons

Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Curious if anyone has any experience using Amazon music hd. Is the lossless quality really as good as they claim ? If you have used the service and have had Spotify premium. What are your thoughts and comparisons? Would you or have you made the switch ?
 
Good4it

Good4it

Audioholic Chief
I use it. VERY limited catalogue though. It sounds a little better than normal stream but not near as much verity.
It offers HD and Ultra HIGF DEFINITION but I personally can’t tell the difference if there is any.

Just my personal opinion. YMMV
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
I use it. VERY limited catalogue though. It sounds a little better than normal stream but not near as much verity.
It offers HD and Ultra HIGF DEFINITION but I personally can’t tell the difference if there is any.

Just my personal opinion. YMMV
How would you compare the apps interface to others ?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Good4it

Good4it

Audioholic Chief
I have a Yamaha RX A3080 and a Denon x4400h and listen on both. The app is DIFFERENT for each. Both are pretty easy though. To me anyway.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
There's already a thread discussing it here https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/amazon-offers-lossless-and-high-bit-rate-streaming.115830/

I have spotify premium (and still use free Pandora as well) but don't really plan on trying Amazon at this point, have already tried tidal and qobuz and didn't find the change worthwhile (altho I liked qobuz more than tidal due interface/selections). Maybe someday if Amazon brings the price down and improves on a few things....
Thanks for posting that thread. I tried Tidal to, and didn't like the interface one bit. So I just kept using my Spotify premium. I had never really even thought about Amazon's HD music much, until they offered me a pretty sweet deal for being a prime member now 10 years.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
I have a Yamaha RX A3080 and a Denon x4400h and listen on both. The app is DIFFERENT for each. Both are pretty easy though. To me anyway.
I would be running it through my laptop if I try it.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for posting that thread. I tried Tidal to, and didn't like the interface one bit. So I just kept using my Spotify premium. I had never really even thought about Amazon's HD music much, until they offered me a pretty sweet deal for being a prime member now 10 years.
What deal was that? Think the best I've been offered is the $12.99/mo for prime customers.
 
D

dlavall

Enthusiast
Thanks for posting that thread. I tried Tidal to, and didn't like the interface one bit. So I just kept using my Spotify premium. I had never really even thought about Amazon's HD music much, until they offered me a pretty sweet deal for being a prime member now 10 years.
Tidal interface is AWFUL! It keeps trying to play after shutting it doewn. They do have a pretty good library though. I wish they would open source their API so that developers (like myself) could write better apps.. There is a music streaming app that comes with Ubuntu Linux that has a hook for it, but there's no way to compile a separate app to install on a streaming device.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Well I decided what the hell, I might as well try it for the free period and compare it to my paid subscription of Spotify.
Now as far as the variety and number of tracks comparison, that is still to be determined.
For the audio quality vs thing (spotify). I've spent the last 2 days going back and fourth comparing what tracks I could. As for sonic characteristics, there is a improvement. How huge a difference I am still debating that. Where I seem to notice the most difference is in staging, size and separation. And I would say that was immediately noticeable. Details in the upper frequencies is better also, not by large amount, but it is noticeable.

So for now I like what i'm hearing. But the jury is still out on it's song recommendations. I think Spotify does a good job in that department.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Well I have noticed something strange . I just tried comparing Michael Buble- Birds flying high on both spotify and amazon. Same album (2005) and the difference was so drastic it was like two completely different recordings.
The amazon one sounded ok, but thin and slower. The spotify one sounded, thick and rich, great midrange, just all around completely better. So im not sure what the hell is going on here. Tracks were supposed to be identical, both were 3;57 long.
The difference was so noticeable to the other (better) half, she thought it was two different singers.
Anybody have any ideas as to what gives.
 
Hamid Khan

Hamid Khan

Junior Audioholic
Well I have noticed something strange . I just tried comparing Michael Buble- Birds flying high on both spotify and amazon. Same album (2005) and the difference was so drastic it was like two completely different recordings.
The amazon one sounded ok, but thin and slower. The spotify one sounded, thick and rich, great midrange, just all around completely better. So im not sure what the hell is going on here. Tracks were supposed to be identical, both were 3;57 long.
The difference was so noticeable to the other (better) half, she thought it was two different singers.
Anybody have any ideas as to what gives.
Maybe differences in bit rate and resolution in the file type between both!
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Curious if anyone has any experience using Amazon music hd. Is the lossless quality really as good as they claim ? If you have used the service and have had Spotify premium. What are your thoughts and comparisons? Would you or have you made the switch ?
I applaud Amazon for their introduction of HD because their MP3's, delivered for free download with the purchase of some CD's listed on Amazon, just sound awful. Still, I'm not at all interested because I think iTunes/Apple Music delivers the best over all experience: Library, CD Burning, CD Ripping, Browsing, Radio, and iTunes Store for free and unlimited Apple Music Streaming/Downloading for just $9.99 monthly. And, the most important things, comprehensive music catalog and high quality sound, are superb. My experiments contrasting and comparing 24/192 downloads in iTunes Library with Apple Music AAC downloads, each processed via OPPO-205 DAC, indicates I can barely distinguish between the 24/192 downloads and the AAC downloads. This revelation suggests, 1. Apple Music sounds as good as anything any other streamer has to stream and 2. There's no reason for me to buy Hi-Res downloads, or pay another streaming service for MQA or so called HD music. In fact the only thing I'll be downloading now and into the future are 5.1 multi-channel music offerings from Acoustic Sounds since iTunes/Apple Music does not offer or process multi-channel music. To enjoy the multi-channel I have Foobar 2000 on my PC connected to my OPPO via HDMI and I also copy multi-channel to thumb drive for glitch free gapless pleasure via OPPO usb drive ports.
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
Maybe differences in bit rate and resolution in the file type between both!
Yes, that would be ones first thought. But a higher bit rate and resolution, should not take the soul from the music.
I think there is some sort of foolery going here, (not sure what it is yet )
While I can agree there seems to be a little more clarity, the tonal richness is gone, bass notes almost seem to be just one note, the life and spirit of the music just seems off. It almost seems like, they are just taking lower quality recordings and just upconverting them.

Well, anyways I will keep investigating (auditioning) this so called amazon HD service. But if things don't change, I will be keeping my Spotify subscription.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
I did some A/B comparisons between Amazon HD and my lossless rips using the same song(s). I can instantly switch between the 2 the way I'm set up. It's pretty close but I think my FLAC files sound better than Amazon's Ultra HD 24/96.

That said it does sound very good and it wasn't night and day to my ears. I spent some time doing it over a couple of different songs.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Actually, now that I think about it I compared with my mp3 download of TOOL's new album also and it sounded better than Amazon HD too...
 
Truthslayer

Truthslayer

Full Audioholic
I did some A/B comparisons between Amazon HD and my lossless rips using the same song(s). I can instantly switch between the 2 the way I'm set up. It's pretty close but I think my FLAC files sound better than Amazon's Ultra HD 24/96.

That said it does sound very good and it wasn't night and day to my ears. I spent some time doing it over a couple of different songs.
Agreed Pogre, It just one of those audio things in which it can be difficult to describe.
Where or I should say what, I notice the most is on vocals, piano and horns. Although there is a clarity to it, it's as if the soul has been sucked out.
 
Hamid Khan

Hamid Khan

Junior Audioholic
Yes, that would be ones first thought. But a higher bit rate and resolution, should not take the soul from the music.
I think there is some sort of foolery going here, (not sure what it is yet )
While I can agree there seems to be a little more clarity, the tonal richness is gone, bass notes almost seem to be just one note, the life and spirit of the music just seems off. It almost seems like, they are just taking lower quality recordings and just upconverting them.

Well, anyways I will keep investigating (auditioning) this so called amazon HD service. But if things don't change, I will be keeping my Spotify subscription.
It is interesting you have mentioned using lower quality audio files and up converting them. I have experienced this type of dishonesty in audio sources. Example, the availability of certain audio tracks or albums recordings, are sometimes difficult to find in good quality resolution files. Where lower resolution files would be converted back to lossless formats and be labeled as such. Naturally, no one suspect this would be done, but after listening to different file types or different resolutions with the same track. I realize not all lossless tracks and albums are lossless audio. How I get around this trickery, I simply download multiple lossless and lossy tracks of an album from different services or sites, which I analyze and compare. However, I am not saying this was done in this case but, it is something I would pay attention too. I would say if you can hear a difference then there is a difference. How much of a difference I would not know? But trust your ears, usually compresses files like mp3 or lossy formats in general lacks the ability to produce the tonal attributes of instruments, meaning it is difficult to distinguish between instruments what being used in the recording.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Agreed Pogre, It just one of those audio things in which it can be difficult to describe.
Where or I should say what, I notice the most is on vocals, piano and horns. Although there is a clarity to it, it's as if the soul has been sucked out.
I don't think I'd go as far as soul suckingly bad, but I did detect a difference. As a streaming option with a pretty good library it definitely sounds better than their basic and comes close to cd. I probably won't keep it when time comes to start paying for it but I was pleasantly surprised and the library is pretty extensive for my tastes in music.
 

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