High Fidelity Pure Audio launch titles confirmed

4 Oct 2013

High Fidelity Pure Audio disc

The first batch of "High Fidelity Pure Audio" Blu-ray discs – and prices – have been confirmed, with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Nirvana and the Rolling Stones on the release schedule. 

We first reported on the new High Fidelity Pure Audio format back in June, when the first discs were slated for a September release in the UK. Well, it's now October and the first batch of launch titles are due at the end of the month, October 21st. 

At launch there will be 27 titles to choose from, with releases from artists such as Bob Marley, Queen and Marvin Gaye also on the schedule.

Pure Audio discs are available to pre-order for £16.99 each from Universal Music's online store now, and each purchase also comes with a download voucher for an MP3 version for getting your music on to other devices.

High Fidelity Pure Audio uses Blu-ray technology to deliver uncompressed music. Three different sound formats are available, these are PCM, Dolby True HD, and DTS-HD Master Audio, with minimum 24-bit/96kHz audio.

Olivier Robert-Murphy, Global Head of New Business at Universal Music Group, said: "We are very excited about the potential for High Fidelity Pure Audio, allowing music lovers to experience the work of artists in a way that has never before been possible.

"Once you hear High Fidelity Pure Audio you can feel the full richness and depth of an artist’s vision." We look forward to giving that a go.

But can a new physical audio format really survive and thrive with the increasing prevalence of downloads and streaming systems?

And does Universal have a wide enough range of music in the pipeline to appeal to a wider demographic? Let us know what you think in the comments.


by Max Langridge

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Why use discs? What about memsticks? No moving parts, no laser, no scratches. Why do they keep flogging the "disc" format and all the hardware to run and interface it?

Oppo is the way go for audiophile quality sound without the audiophile price tag. Still a bit more expensive thant the run of the mill Blu-Ray players, but cheaper than the $2k+ players I've heard of.

So far I've listened to Supertramp's Breakfast In America and Nirvana's Nevermind. The sound on Nevermind is ok, very loud but still somewhat clean sounding. The vinyl edition of this album sounds much more dynamic. BIA however sounds amazing so it may be hit or miss depending on the mastering done for the album.

The price seems to be closer to that of vinyl. I wonder if the sound quality can come close as well. Let's hope so.

I dont understand how an album recorded on tape can benefit from the blu ray treatment, ultimately doesnt it more and more reveal the weakness of the old recording technologies, and introduce things that you would never of heard because the record producer was counting on it not coming out once it was on Vinyl etc?

It would be lovely if pure audio states clearly, in its website, the technical features of the nature of the recording in every Pure Audio Blu ray.  I would like to buy one of them at 24/192 as a sample but I do not  know wich ones offer such especification.

If you purchased one of these discs from Amazon (at around £8 cheaper once postage costs are considered) do you know if you still receive the download voucher for the mp3 copy ?

I suggest we all wait until Neil Young's Pono Music project becomes available and then reassess how we listen to high-fidelity audio.

if you use a external dacs spdif input it would auto downsample the disc,but you could buy a cablesson hdelity hdmi audio extractor feed it hdmi from bd player or ps3 it will convert hdmi signal to full 24/96-192 khtz spdif to feed your dac the highest sample rates via spdif.

do we will find more player supporting this ? 

example: Mini Hifi and also car stereo and tablet ?


To get the best out of the discs, you'd be better off getting a dedicated Blu-ray player such as the Marantz UD7007. You couldn't use a CD player as all these titles are on Blu-ray discs.

I only have a ps3 player. Could I buy these disk and use optics out from ps3 into a rega dac and will that sound good or do I need another player now? I would want the source to be perfect if I'm buying these disks and my understanding is that using a CD player or bd as a transporter means you can use any semi decent player and use an external dac?


Rolling Stones GRRRRR is available on Amazon at only £10.99 cheaper than the 256kbps download!


In France you can choose different fileformats to download if I remember well ... also lossless, don't know about hi-res.

I admire Universal for giving customers a choice, but I'm not convinced this will be that much of a success (I'm prepared to eat my words though). And that's from someone who usually prefers owning something I can actually hold in my hands.

With websites like Linn Records offering the same albums in the same quality, for roughly the same price, I'm not sure why you'd buy the disc. At least with the digital download you can easily covert it to another format/quality if you need to.

When I got my NaimUniti I thought that I could stop upgrading, but now I may have to buy a better Bluray player than my Panasonic BWT720. It's certainly good that they're offering titles which are more commercial, unlike most other hi-res sites, but I'd agree with andy_holl, in that it would be good if they would also be available as FLAC downloads.

Linn offers 24/44 Studio Master downloads for £18, so the price is about the same, and I wouldn't have to buy another box. 

Yes, this is maybe because you own a very good blu-ray player. Other thing is, that you need to compare the GRRR BR with GRRR CD and not with some other albums/editions, because the mastering on those different discs/vinyl is not the same. I will buy this BR and borrow the GRRRR CD from a friend to make a comparison and I will report here.  I have another example : My Pixies - Minotaur 24/96 Blu-ray audio disc sounds worse to my ears than the same original CD in my system.

Hi Frodo,

I bought GRRR on BR several weeks ago and it sounds superb played on Marantz UD7007. I have owned most of the 50 tracks on vinyl and Cd, and the HD is the best so far IMHO. Caveats: The menu is clunky and defaults to the PCM output - you have to turn on the TV to view/make changes. Sounds much better in pure direct stereo than any processed 5.1. The early 1960s tracks have been butchered by the mastering. As my gran would say - you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

For £10 you get 50 tracks. VFM. Hope others will follow suit. 

This is great, but the biggest problem for me is lack of truly good blu-ray players! Those disc won't sound great thru some 200 € player and 800€ AV receiver. Probably they will sound less good than an normal CD disc played on some really good CD player! I'm writing this because my old Marantz CD 63KI sounds far better with normal CD's (connected analog) than SACD or  DVD-audio of the same album through my  Pioneer LX81 receiver and BDP-LX55 player (connected with very good HDMI cable).I believe that with those pure audio BD's the situation will be similar - my CD player will still sounded better, maybe not so fast and precise, but far more rich, warm and musical...

So we really need some reference blu-ray player which is built similar than a very good CD players, or perhaps some external DAC with HDMI input and support for DTS-HD and Dolby HD!

The best record I've heard (on my sistem) is Patritia Barber on High Fidelity Pure Audio and if it's format's adventage- it's great. But as a commertial project it's a dead body.


While I appluad the release of "High Fidelity Pure Audio" I have to agree with your question regarding another physical format.


Surely making them available as FLAC would have far fewer costs for them and allow them to offer music at a more reasonable price.


The price of music in the UK (particularly physical formats) is crazy - artists and labels moan about piracy - if CD's were £5 for a new release they'd sell a lot more and there'd be a lot less piracy.

Not at that price, put it closer to the price of a CD and they might be on to a winner.