Just hours after Amazon became the first of the “big three” music streaming services to launch a CD quality and hi-res tier, several audio brands have now confirmed their hardware support for it.
As per Amazon’s announcement, Amazon Music HD (16 bit/44.1kHz) and Ultra HD (24-bit) streams are now compatible with Amazon's own devices, including select Echo devices, Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire Tablets, as well as every speaker in the Sonos ecosystem.
Most Denon and Marantz products with HEOS built-in support the service, including but not exclusive to Denon's 2017-2019 AV amps, Denon's CEOL N-10 and DNP-800NE streamer, Marantz's 2017-2019 AV amps, Marant'z NA6006 streamer and ND8006 streaming CD player.
The HEOS-branded range, which includes the HEOS HomeCinema soundbar and HEOS 1, 3, 5 and 7 wireless speakers, supports the CD-quality streams (Amazon Music HD) only.
You can add BluOS products – NAD electronics, Dali speakers and Bluesound multi-room devices – to that support list now too.
Select (tbc) kit from McIntosh and Sennheiser are also compatible.
Owners of supporting kit who are also Amazon subscribers in the UK, US, Japan or Germany can access 50 million tracks with a CD-quality bitrate of 16 bit/44.1kHz (Amazon refers to these as HD tracks) plus millions more in 24bit and up to 192kHz (which Amazon refers to as Ultra HD) – if they sign up to Amazon’s premium tier service of course. It costs £12.99/$12.99 a month for Prime subscribers, or £14.99/$14.99 if you don't have Prime.
As well as beating Spotify and Apple Music to the mark to offer CD-quality and hi-res streams, Amazon is also undercutting the current CD-quality/hi-res streaming competition – such tiers from Tidal and Qobuz cost £20 per month.
While streaming may be dominating music industry growth, the question that arises out of Amazon Music HD arrival: is the world really big enough for three high-quality streaming services? We look forward to seeing which of the trio triumphs.