Amazon is reportedly readying a high-fidelity music streaming service that's set to launch by the end of the year. According to Music Business Worldwide, Amazon is in discussions with various large music rights-holders regarding the upcoming launch of the new streaming platform, which is likely to cost $15 per month.

Screen Shot 3

"It's a better bit rate, better than CD quality," one source told MBW. "Amazon is working on it as we speak: they're currently scoping out how much catalog they can get from everyone and how they'll ingest it."

Probably the best known hi-def music streaming service currently is Tidal's HiFi plan, which costs $19.99 per month and offers CD-quality lossless streams at 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. Subscribers to the plan also benefit from Tidal's partnership with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) to deliver guaranteed master-quality recordings directly from the master source, which is billed as "an audio experience that the artist intended."

The rationale behind this is that while HiFi audio is a superior sound, it's still limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit resolution, whereas MQA audio is the highest possible resolution (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit). MBW understands that Amazon has not partnered with MQA for its own HD tier, suggesting it will use a different audio technology. It's not clear though whether the hi-fi service will be a standalone platform or a new tier option to be offered as part of Amazon's Music Unlimited service.

Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across the board and doesn't offer users a higher sound quality price plan, while Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format and lets Premium subscribers choose the bitrate depending on how they're listening. On mobile you can elect to stream in Low (24 kbit/s), Normal (96 kbit/s), High (160 kbit/s) or Very High (320 kbit/s) quality, which is handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data, but none of these options could be called "hi-fidelity" streaming.

News of Amazon's plans for a hi-fi audio streaming service comes a week after Amazon launched a free, ad-supported music streaming service for owners of devices that support Alexa, but who are otherwise not Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers.

Tag: Amazon

Top Rated Comments

squizzler Avatar
65 months ago
What you guys gonna listen HiFi music on? Your Bluetooth headphones?

Need a proper system for this sort of thing.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Intellectua1 Avatar
65 months ago
I hope this challenges all services to add a Hi-Fi tier.
Funny thing, I got a free 3 month trial to Tidal from GQ so after running across some comments about the better sound quality I decided to use it thinking I'd be able to test the Hi-Fi version which is their main differentiator from other services but they don't even let you trial it so if I can't see how their sound is different from the others how do they expect me to switch.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
P_Devil Avatar
65 months ago
I tested Apple Music and Tidal hifi together on my wireless Beats Studio 2’s and no no the greatest headphones... Tidal definitely sounds better! Which is I kept Tidal
Placebo. Unless you conducted a volume-matched, blind ABX tests, your results are flawed due to the placebo affect. Not only that but you listened over Bluetooth where listening tests have shown that it doesn't matter if your source file is lossless or lossy. It's all being re-compressed via AAC or SBC over Bluetooth anyways and doesn't matter. You'll need LDAC if you even want to attempt to hear a difference between lossy and lossless using Bluetooth, even then it's likely a wash.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
autumnpatchouli Avatar
65 months ago
So the Partridge Family Christmas album will sound even better than it does on our $8.00 a month Amazon Streaming Service?! Wow!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zoomp Avatar
65 months ago
Apple already has all the files in master quality because that’s how it’s been collecting from labels for years. If only there was a will for change... no excuses anymore.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scooz Avatar
65 months ago
What you guys gonna listen HiFi music on? Your Bluetooth headphones?

Need a proper system for this sort of thing.
Cables and speakers do still exist. Headphone amps and USB DACs beyond Apple‘s Lightning dongle, too. And there’s AptX which should work with a Mac OOTB.

Tidal and Amazon also run on non-Apple devices.

Plenty of ways.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPad Air 12

12.9-Inch iPad Air Now Rumored to Feature Mini-LED Display

Thursday April 18, 2024 7:37 am PDT by
The rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air that is expected to be announced in May will be equipped with a mini-LED display like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, according to Ross Young, CEO of research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants. The existing 10.9-inch iPad Air is equipped with a standard LCD panel, and the move to mini-LED technology for the 12.9-inch model would provide increased brightness for...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...