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Amazon Music HD hi-res audio tier is now free for all Amazon Music users

Amazon Music HD hi-res audio tier is now free for all Amazon Music users
(Image credit: Future)

The streaming wars are hotting up! Amazon has announced that Amazon Music HD, the company's lossless and hi-res audio service, will now be free for all Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers.

The news comes hot-on-the-heels of Apple Music adding lossless audio (and Spatial Audio) at no extra charge, and leaves the soon-to-launch Spotify HiFi looking like it will have to be free to keep in line with the competition. 

It remains to be seen how Deezer, Tidal and Qobuz will convince customers to keep paying extra for its lossless and hi-res audio tiers now that Apple and Amazon offer the same quality, in theory, at no extra cost.

The Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan costs £7.99 ($7.99) per month for Prime members and £9.99 ($9.99) per month for Amazon customers, while the Family Plan is £14.99 ($14.99) permonth – and both now include lossless audio. The Amazon Music HD tier was previously an additional £5 ($5) per month. For current subscribers to Amazon Music HD, there will be no extra charge for HD starting with their next billing cycle.

Amazon Music HD gives you access to 70 million songs in CD-quality and hi-res audio – double the bitrate of many standard music streaming services. Tempted? You can get a 3-month free trial to try out the service.

In our five-star review of Amazon Music HD we called it "up there with the best" and noted that it was "excellent value" compared to rival HD streaming services such as Tidal and Qobuz.

Amazon Music HD 3-month trial FREE
Intuitive desktop and mobile apps, good CD-quality and a hi-res library – all free for three months! New subscriber to Amazon Music Unlimited? This freebie is a no-brainer. View Deal

So what is Amazon Music HD? And should you really try it out? 

Amazon has been in the music streaming business for well over a decade, first with its Amazon Prime offering, and then with its fully-fledged Apple Music and Spotify rival, Amazon Music Unlimited. As of late last year it has also gone a step further by taking on the likes of Tidal and Qobuz with its own CD-quality and hi-res music streaming tier. And, you guessed it, this is the service we're talking about: Amazon Music HD.

You can access Amazon Music HD through three different avenues: a web browser, a dedicated desktop app or through an Android or iOS mobile app – although it’s worth noting that you can’t actually stream CD-quality music or hi-res tracks on the web browser mode.

Amazon refers to HD tracks as having a ”bit depth of 16-bits, a minimum sample rate of 44.1 kHz (also referred to as CD-quality), and an average bitrate of 850 kbps”. What the service calls UHD tracks, on the other hand, “have a bit depth of 24-bits, sample rates ranging from 44.1 kHz up to 192 kHz, and an average bitrate of 3730 kbps.”

It's a great service: it's easy to use, has an extensive library of CD-quality and hi-res music and it is cheaper than its competitors. Our advice? A free 90-day trial seems like a no brainer.

MORE: 

Spotify HiFi tier (finally) launching to offer CD-quality streaming

Apple Music Spatial Audio will work with all headphones

The best music streaming services for music fans

  • kdbur
    I signed up 3 months ago at £129.99 for a year ( I already had yearly prime) so I was a bit annoyed to see this at £79.99 now.

    I got on the amazon customer service chat bot and they put me through to a real person who immediately cancelled my music subscription and refunded me the whole £129.99, allowing me to re-sign up at the new yearly price of £79.99.

    You can't ask for more than that and I was very pleased, if a little surprised. Thank you Amazon!
    Reply
  • Gray
    kdbur said:
    I signed up 3 months ago at £129.99 for a year ( I already had yearly prime) so I was a bit annoyed to see this at £79.99 now.

    I got on the amazon customer service chat bot and they put me through to a real person who immediately cancelled my music subscription and refunded me the whole £129.99, allowing me to re-sign up at the new yearly price of £79.99.

    You can't ask for more than that and I was very pleased, if a little surprised. Thank you Amazon!
    Excellent outcome.
    I recently experienced a 'too good to be true' level of customer service from them.
    Like you, I was a bit surprised, but it's certainly welcome.
    Reply