Thinking About Hi-Res, Lossless, and Spatial Audio (Premium)


Apple’s push into hi-res, lossless, and spatial audio has already upended the market, with Amazon lowering its prices to match and Spotify in an uncertain place. And while this transition to higher-quality streaming is something we’ve been anticipating for years, knowing which way to turn can be difficult.

Amazon was the first mainstream music service provider to offer hi-res audio via its Amazon Music HD tier, which is capable of three levels of streaming: Standard Definition (SD, up to 320 kbps), High Definition (HD, up to 850 kbps, with a bitrate of 16-bit/44.1 kHz), and Ultra HD (up to 3730 kbps, with a bitrate of up to 24-bit/192 kHz). Amazon offers 75+ million songs in its catalog; all of them are available in HD and over 7 million of them are available in Ultra HD.

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