Is Amazon Music HD Worth It? Review, Pricing, Free Trial
Originally $12.99 when it first launched, Amazon has just dropped its monthly subscription price to Amazon Music HD to just $9.99. Unlike the basic Prime Music tier, you don’t need to be a Prime member to get Amazon Music HD (though keep in mind that if you just sign up for Amazon Music HD you won’t get the rest of the Amazon Prime perks).
Does Amazon Music HD Offer a Free Trial?
Regular pricing to Amazon Music HD is $9.99 a month, but right now the site is offering a 30-day free trial (which essentially gets you a free month of streaming). Your free trial gets you access to more than 75 million songs in HD quality, and more than seven million songs in Ultra HD (UHD) quality. Amazon Music HD also now offers a growing catalog of songs in 3D on devices like the Amazon Echo Studio.
Listen to everything with no ads and unlimited skips. You can even download your favorite tracks to play them offline.
How Do I Listen to Amazon Music HD?
Amazon Music HD is available to stream on your iPhone and iOS devices, Echo devices, Sonos speakers, Fire TV devices, Android phones and on most laptop and desktop computers.
Connect to Amazon Music HD on your phone or computer through the Amazon website or by downloading the Amazon Music app.
What Devices Do I Need for Amazon Music HD?
Keep in mind that the audio quality you hear will only be as good as the device you’re playing your tunes on. Amazon recommends its Echo Studio speaker for Amazon Music HD. At just $199, the Echo Studio is an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that gives bigger names like Sonos a run for their money, and it’s the only way to get Amazon Music’s 3D audio for now.
Amazon Music HD vs. Spotify
So is Amazon Music HD better than Spotify? The short answer is, yes. Amazon Music HD currently offers music streaming in higher quality than Spotify, meaning you’ll hear your favorite tracks in high-definition, lossless audio.
While Spotify tracks stream at 320kbps, Amazon Music HD audio streams up to 850kbps (for reference, most CDs play music at 1411kbps). With that comparison in mind, Spotify’s 256kps is similar to MP3 quality — decent enough for everyday listening but hardly the rich, finely-detailed audio you want if you’re a true music fan.
Amazon Music HD vs. Apple Music
Amazon Music HD is also better than Apple Music… for now. Amazon Music HD offers high definition (HD) and Ultra HD (UHD) streaming, both of which are encoded by the lossless FLAC codec, which preserves more of the original recording file. HD audio also streams up to 850kbps, which is more than what Apple Music used to offer with its 256kbps.
However, Apple recently unveiled its new Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos, and Lossless Audio tiers, which are now a free upgrade for existing Apple Music subscribers. What that means: Apple has made its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio using the company’s own ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. The Spatial Audio offering, meantime, competes with Amazon’s 3D music tracks.
Still, this is a new technology for Apple Music so there will be some initial kinks to work out. Some users also prefer the Amazon Music HD interface to Apple Music.
The Bottom Line
Amazon Music HD gets you the familiarity and use of Amazon with a library of tens of millions of artists and songs. There are a ton of exclusive releases and playlists, and many hard-to-find tracks are on Amazon as well.
Sign up for a 30-day free trial to Amazon Music HD here. Once you free month is up, continue for just $9.99 a month (basically the same price as Spotify or Apple Music). There’s no annual commitment though, so you can cancel anytime. Find out more about Amazon Music HD on Amazon.com.