Amazon HD

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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#1
Does anyone know what streamers accept Amazon HD. If my understanding is correct, it streams up to 24 bit/192 KHz and its $12.99 mo if you are a member of Amazon Prime. Seems as good and cheaper than Qobuz. But what streaming hardware is currently available that supports Amazon HD?
 
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asiufy

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#3
May I ask why you'd bother?
Between Tidal and Qobuz I have all the streaming I need. And honestly, I'd rather keep Amazon off my music.
 

marty

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#4
Alex,
I'm pretty happy w Tidal and Qobuz as well but 1) Amazon HD is far cheaper than either 2) Tidal may not be with us much longer 3) I have no great desire to support JayZ if I can't get the best SQ from Tidal.

Downside of AHD- we don't know how many tunes they have in 192 yet. They just say "millions" although my guess it will increase. It's only been out for 2 weeks.

The main liability of Tidal is SQ vs Qobuz. The main liability of Qobuz is selection vs Tidal. I'm hoping AHD will have it all; selection, SQ w higher sample frequencies, and cost.

I can dream, can't I?
 
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asiufy

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#5
C'mon Marty, all of $7? Really?
I don't care for Jay-Z, but I care even less for Amazon. So I'd rather give my money to Jay-Z, who's probably too incompetent to do anything with my data anyway, while Amazon will sell the heck out of it.
Qobuz is all but a few months old. They'll sort out the catalog, and add the titles, and become as comprehensive as Tidal in the stuff that matters. They can keep the Jay-Z stuff and the rap/hip-hop out of there, thank you.
If everybody jumps ship to Amazon, that's exactly what they want. That'll kill both the incumbent (Tidal) and the upstart (Qobuz). That'll leave us with the pure evil (Amazon) as the only choice. And then Amazon wil downgrade everything to an MP3 or just dump whole chunks of their catalog, and you won't have neither Qobuz nor Tidal to go back to.
Am I being paranoid? Not really. Does anybody remember Netflix all but a few years ago? The size of their catalog was HUGE. They had TONS of classics. Now it's pitiful. Once they got a foothold in the market, they could care less to keep an extensive catalog, and let go of a lot of stuff ("dead weight").
Sorry to vent/rant. I've been asked too many times here in the store about this Amazon business, and I feel very strongly about this, as I love the Tidal/Qobuz arrangement right now, specially with the Roon integration.
 

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
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#6
I don’t have any issue with ownership and agree with Marty. Amazon has the potential to be the market leader here with selection / sound quality / pricing. Once their service is integrated into Roon, then it can be more widely used by audiophiles and we will have more data points.
 
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marty

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#7
Alex
The majority will not use the premium feature of Amazon HD which has a premium price. MP3 is for the masses and will remain so. I care more about extensive hi-rez classical and jazz libraries and Qobuz has been disappointing in that regard. And "world music"? fuggetaboutit. I agree about Room integration- that will be a big hurdle, that once cleared, could really get me to go down the AHD rabbit hole.
Marty
 

asiufy

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#8
Qobuz has an exceptional jazz library, at least to my tastes, and I do like me some "world music". But like I said, Qobuz library in the US is a portion of what it is in Europe, so they'll eventually get there, and expand. But they'll only do so if we're not stingy with our $20 or so. Their business rely on people ponying up the $20 every month, and I gladly do so.
 

XCop5089

Active Member
Sep 5, 2015
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#9
Having failed to commit to any of the big players, following a number of free trial subscriptions, I have high hopes for Amazon HD.

The app interface is user-friendly and okay, it's may seem a bit naff to some, but I quite like the feature which allows you to display the lyrics at the same time as you are listening to the music! Streaming was never going to be my main source (I still enjoy listening to CD's/SACD's and everything that is on the hard disk of my Melco N1ZH/60.2.

I use streaming media to investigate new music and for the odd trip down memory lane, when I get nostalgic for 70's/80's/90's music I don't own. For this reason, I found the offerings from Qobuz and Tidal to be a bit expensive. Also, Qobuz Hi-Res remasters have sounded a little "off" to me, when listening critically!

Amazon manages to achieve great sound quality in standard HD (CD quality) and Ultra HD (up to 24/192) sounds sublime to me. Connectivity was straightforward, streaming from the app on my iPad to my dCS Vivaldi Upsampler via Apple Airplay.

The catalogue is extensive to say the least and so far I have NOT failed to find anything I've searched for! As an Amazon Prime customer (I have no interest in the politics of others), the cost will be £12.99 per month after the expiration of the 90-day FREE trial period.

I think I've found a winner!
 

asiufy

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#10
You do know that Airplay is lossy and limited to 16/48, right?
 
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XCop5089

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#11

asiufy

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#12
Have you compared the same album, Qobuz vs Amazon HD via Airplay? I mean, 16/44 versions, not MQA, hi-res, etc.?
If you're getting better sound through Amazon HD via Airplay than Qobuz through the dCS app, I'd call your dealer right away, something's wrong with your dCS setup.
 

Skylab

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May 14, 2016
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#13
I find the sound of Amazon HD to be very good, especially of course the ”UltraHD” stuff. my only “issue” is that I can only play the hi-res UltraHD material actually at full resolution by using the FireTV stick, which requires me to have a TV on, something I would rather not do. If anyone does find a streamer that can be controlled purely with an IOS app, that has a digital out, I would love to know about it.
 

dminches

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Oct 22, 2011
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#14
You do know that Airplay is lossy and limited to 16/48, right?
I thought Airplay 2 goes up to at least 24/192, no?
 
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Skylab

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May 14, 2016
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#15
So as a follow up to my own question, in order to have the full Ultra HD (96/24) sent to my Bryston so I am using its DACs, I bought a Marantz NA6006. I don’t know how Marantz makes gear this nice for $600. It’s crazy. But it works perfectly - it has a digital out, which the Bryston confirms is providing 96/24. So the limitation of Airplay/iOS devices is gone. This is pretty cool!!!
 
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Jun 22, 2017
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#16
Amazon is cd quality not hires like dsd or mqa. Also, I know of no streaming software that will combine streaming from amazon as well as reading your ripped music. Roon support is mandatory as well as dsd/mqa quality plus using Ethernet to communicate to the dac. Will never use the flawed usb connection to the dac
 

Skylab

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May 14, 2016
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#17
That’s not really accurate / true. There is a LOT of 96/24 on AmazonHD, and even quite a bit of 192/24.
 
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#18
There are quite a few so-called hires 24/96 and 24/192 that are just rebook quality. Just like not all vinyl recordings sound better than digital and not all digital sounds better than vinyl. I don't think I ever heard a DSD or MQA that didn't sound better than redbook and most of the time, better than vinyl. I sold my $15k TT setup after setting up my latest digital pieces.
As soon as Roon gains access to Amazon, I will do some testing between Amazon's hires and Tidal's MQA.
 

dminches

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Oct 22, 2011
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#19
There are quite a few so-called hires 24/96 and 24/192 that are just rebook quality.
While that may be true, you said that Amazon HD was redbook only and that isn't true.
 
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Skylab

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May 14, 2016
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#20
There are quite a few so-called hires 24/96 and 24/192 that are just rebook quality. Just like not all vinyl recordings sound better than digital and not all digital sounds better than vinyl. I don't think I ever heard a DSD or MQA that didn't sound better than redbook and most of the time, better than vinyl. I sold my $15k TT setup after setting up my latest digital pieces.
As soon as Roon gains access to Amazon, I will do some testing between Amazon's hires and Tidal's MQA.
Well I don’t have the same impression of DSD. I have never tried MQA. But it doesn’t matter. Digital for me is only for background music and sampling new music. For that AmazonHD is perfect because the quality is now very good, even if there is better, and the catalog is enormous. For music I want to listen to repeatedly, if it’s something new that I do not have, it will be purchased, and wherever possible, on vinyl or tape.
 
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