Amazon launches Amazon Music HD with lossless audio streaming

Amazon has a new, high-quality streaming tier of its music service called Amazon Music HD. It’s priced at $12.99 per month for Prime members ($14.99 per month for everyone else) and you can add it to your existing Amazon Music subscription for an additional $5 per month, whether you’re an individual or family plan subscriber. What you get for the additional cost is access to more than 50 million songs in what Amazon is calling HD (16-bit, 44.1kHz or around what you’d expect from a CD), and then “millions” in Ultra HD (24-bit, up to 192kHz), which the company says is the highest available quality for any music streaming.

The most popular music streaming offering for quality-seeking audiophiles to date has probably been Tidal, which launched to serve that specific need. Tidal hasn’t exactly been able to compete with industry-leading music streaming services like Apple and Spotify in terms of subscriber numbers, but its continued existence suggests there’s a demand out there for better quality music. Amazon might be well-positioned to capitalize, as they can offer this easily alongside their existing offering as a niche upsell without likely too much in the way of additional cost.

You can try out Amazon Music HD for free for 90 days at launch (PS: There are both streaming and download options for the high-quality music), which is a generous initial free sample period as far as these things go. That should be plenty of time to figure out if your ears care as much about the added fidelity you’ll get — but be warned, it might be so good you’ll never be able to go back to pedestrian, standard-definition streaming quality.