This week, Amazon announced a new version of its music streaming service. It's Amazon Music HD and it's a high quality streaming music service that will cost you $12 per month – undercutting competitors like TIDAL, Spotify and others.
However, right now Amazon is offering a 90-day free trial of Amazon Music HD. Allowing you to check out the service for a decent amount of time before you have to fork up the $12 per month.
Why Amazon Music HD?
Amazon Music HD combines high-quality audio and lossless audio for a pretty impressive experience.
As you can see from the chart above, on the left, is what music normally streams in. It's lossy compressed audio that is up to 320Kbps. That allows the music to stream more efficiently over Bluetooth and spotty WiFi/Cellular networks. And to put it plainly, the audio is trash.
Then there's high-definition audio, which has lossless audio and streams at up to 850Kbps. That's more than double the standard streaming bitrate. It also supports 16-bit/44.1 kHz.
Finally, there's Ultra HD. This combines even higher-quality audio with lossless audio. And it has a bitrate of up to 3730kbps, more than 10x the bitrate of standard streaming. There's also support for 24-bit/192 kHz.
Why does this matter?
While the standard streaming might sound okay to you, and it probably will since that's what we've been hearing for many years. You're losing audio information at that slower bitrate.
Listen to music at a higher bitrate, like the 850Kbps that Amazon Music HD has, and you'll really notice a difference. You'll hear more instruments and parts of the song you're listening too.
Of course, if you use it with a good pair of headphones that support that higher bitrate, you'll notice an even bigger difference.
Now it is true that with this higher bitrate audio, you are going to need a faster data connection, but not that much faster. Amazon says you only need a speed of 1.5Mbps to really take advantage of this. Which is nothing, in 2019. However, keep this in mind if you are not on an unlimited plan and decide to stream over your data connection.
How do I sign up for Amazon Music HD?
You can sign up for the Amazon Music HD free trial here.
The first 90 days are free, afterwards, you're going to be charged $12 per month. So if you don't want to keep it, make sure to cancel before the 90 days are up.