For a few extra dollars a month, Amazon Music subscribers can bump up their music quality to CD quality and above in Canada.
The online retail giant has launched ‘Amazon Music HD‘ in Canada with songs that feature a bit depth of 16-bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (CD quality). Beyond that, over one million songs are in Ultra HD, which the company says is better than CD quality. This has a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz.
The new feature is available today, and existing Amazon Music subscribers can try it free for 90 days. After that, it costs $12.99 CAD per month, $5 more than what Prime members pay for the service. New subscribers get a 90-day free trial. If, for some reason, you’re not a Prime member who is paying for Amazon Music, and you want to upgrade to Music HD, your monthly cost will be $15 a month.
The company also has a ‘Family Plan HD’ for $20 per month, or $200 a year.
Beyond higher quality audio, Amazon Music HD members also get access to the company’s library of 3D songs that can be played back on the Amazon Echo Studio. The Echo Studio is the company’s highest quality speaker and it works well, but in my tests, music sounded a lot better with the 3D effect turned off, so to me, this part of the Amazon Music HD package isn’t worth it.
Overall, it’s nice that Amazon is upping its music quality, and I’m sure that lots of people with large speaker setups will be stoked to have better sound. This price undercuts Tidal as well. It’s still not as high-end as Tidal’s FLAC files, but at this price, it might be enough for some people.
If you’re confused about the multiple tiers of Amazon Music, you can read our prior reporting to get a better handle on it.