Amazon has just announced that subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited in the U.S., UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain are receiving a free upgrade to Amazon Music HD. This comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Apple is adding hi-res and spatial audio to Apple Music in June 2021 at no additional cost.
With this free upgrade, Amazon Music subscribers will have access to a library of 70 million lossless audio tracks at CD quality with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz. Along with that, customers will also gain access to seven million songs in Ultra HD quality with a bit depth of 24 bits and up to 192kHz sample rate.
When it comes to spatial audio, Amazon Music subscribers won’t be left in the dark there either. Amazon has a growing library of songs in two different 3D audio formats. The first is Dolby Atmos, the same format soon to be offered by Apple Music.
The second format is known as 360 Reality Audio, a format you may be familiar with if you’ve ever used the Sony products which support it, such as the Sony WF-1000XM3, Sony WH-1000XM4, or Sony’s RA5000 and RA3000 speakers.
With this announcement, it makes Amazon Music the first streaming service to standardize lossless audio at an affordable $9.99 per month subscription cost, just barely beating Apple to the punch. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber then the deal is even sweeter, dropping the price down to $7.99 per month.
That’s a far cry from the $19.99 a month that Tidal charges its subscribers for lossless audio, and beats out Amazon Music HD’s previous price of $14.99 for non-Prime members. Now, the question is, will we see a mass exodus from Tidal, and will other players such as Spotify and YouTube Music join Amazon and Apple by offering lossless audio at no additional cost?