High resolution audio from Amazon

This is very disturbing to me. It gives me very little confidence that Amazon really knows what they are doing. If they only have a true CD-quality source file, that’s exactly what I want to receive at my end.

Their music catalog is, of course, very tempting and, apparently, they also stream via Roku, which would be an easy path to my system. But I don’t think I’d buy in (except for maybe a trial period) unless Roon is supported.

I just tried AmazonHD with my iPad connected via the CCK to my Woo Fireflies DAC/amp and I am getting the Amazon app to play the native high-resolution stream up to 24/192 kHz. I don’t believe the iPad upsamples (like a PC with a MIDI driver); I tried a lower resolution album and it didn’t scale up to the max bit rate.

It’s not easy for me to do a good A/B test in this setup and I haven’t done any extensive listening but first impressions is that it sounds equivalent to the bitperfect stream I get from Roon to this endpoint.

Does your Fireflies DAC indicate incoming sample rate?

Does it have an LED indicator or something?

The iPad app alone won’t tell you the true sample rate being output. You need to confirm at the DAC end…

Are you able to see the rate on your dac?

I’ve tested this on the iPhone X and two different types of iPad thru the camera adapter. They all have upsampled to 192k since that’s the highest Amazon can output to in my dacs. Tried this on both the original Chord Hugo and Hugo 2. They show the incoming single using different colors.

I can play a cd quality and a Ultra HD file and both output the same. Of course their app tells you it’s playing at the correct level.

If I switch to the Qobuz app, the output changes according to the file type.

Also, 192/24 files are the only ones that play correctly since they match the output level. It’s when playing a lessor file that I need it to change to correct rate. Upsampling in the app sounds worse than receiving the native file rate and having my dac do all the upsampling.

Amazon “hd” has lots of issues, but their artist “stations” work a lot better than roon radio. For one thing it dosen’t just up and quit like roon radio. But mainly they play a lot more variety with great selections of well-matched material.

Have to also say their “now playing” UI is similar to roon but better/cleaner looking (except for not being able to turn off lyrics).

Not much discussion about sound quality of Amazon Music HD. At present it streams to Windows app using the audio stack in shared mode, and SQ is inferior to Qobuz. Disappointed the developers did not enable Wasapi exclusive mode as Tidal and Qobuz have. I signed up for the 90 day free trial but have given up listening to it, staying with Qobuz until they offer exclusive mode, if Amazon ever does. Even though they are advertising streaming up to 24/192 it does not seem audiophiles are their target market.

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Much the same here, tried it for a day or two, couldn’t see the point since it doesn’t have a remote app for Windows, and it doesn’t take exclusive control of the audio so who knows how it’s messed up.

Not quite sure whether Amazon are thinking straight. What’s the point of very high resolution streaming to a phone when in all likelihood the user will be listening on cheap headphones, or even Bluetooth headphones or speakers which will mean the audio is massively downsampled and compressed. Is anyone really going to blow their mobile data streaming 24/192? Even if it worked without dropouts? Nor is there surely much to be gained by HD for a rubbishy little Alexa speaker playing background music in your kitchen. And us tiny minority of music loving hi-fi enthusiasts won’t put up with Windows messing with our audio. So what are Amazon thinking?

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I have assumed that Amazon is just using Amazon Music HD as a loss leader, a way to sell more products from their partner companies. However the fact that they are streaming some 24/96 and 24/192 content would indicate that they do have some audiophiles there. Wasapi exclusive mode is built into Windows all they have to do is enable it in their app, if they do and the resultant sound quality is close to Tidal and Qobuz they could really shake up the streaming market. Right now we can’t tell how good their masters are because of poorer sound quality from using shared mode.

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I quit listening to Amazon after a day or two.

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There seems to be a lot of hoop jumping to get Amazon Ultra HD to play through a high-end rig unless you attach a laptop or desktop directly to your DAC via USB. Even then, you have to use Windows’ upsampler to get to 24/192. Is this correct?

That’s why I’m sticking with Qobuz!

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@asindc in Win 10 Pro with Amazon Music HD I have to go into Windows Sounds and set sample rate and bit depth to match the file I want to play. Do this for each song. Really a pain.

I also have to turn system sounds all the way down and volume on the device (my external Yggdrasil DAC) all the way up. Even then sound is still going through the audio stack in shared mode and is almost certainly not bit perfect, and sure does not sound as good as Qobuz so not worth the trouble.

If Amazon would just enable Exclusive mode that should give us bit perfect, automatic sample rate and bit depth switching.

Everyone who is on the free trial needs to go into the Amazon Music HD app and under help > tell us how we’re doing ask for Exclusive mode and Roon integration.

Feedback from inside the app is the best way to get Amazon’s attention.

This gives me the impression that my initial concerns are valid, that Amazon cares no more about delivering the best music experience possible than Apple does.

There’s a reason why people buy Porsches and Corvettes rather than Mazda RX8s.

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I’m keeping my free trial just to see if they get their act together with their software before trial ends. But at this point just using Qobuz at work and roon at home.

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It’s not on any platform except BlueOS. Every other one resamples to system audio.

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Using an AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt with my iOS Devices feeding the Cobalt Output thru an Analog to Optical Adapter Into my KEF LS50 Wireless Sounds great! At least up to 24/96, which is fine for me.

Tomorrow i will get a new Fire TV Cube, will see if this thing supports Amazon Music HD via HDMI, which also translates to Optical In for my KEF LS50 Wireless, so 24/96 also. But there are not to much content with 192/24 anyway, so this may be OK.

Unfortunately the Fireflies DAC doesn’t display the bit rate so can’t say for sure. Will try more listening tests this weekend.

I am gaily oblivious, Amazon doesn’t get to the southern tip of Africa, maybe they will have ironed out the wrinkles before they do :clown_face:

Mind you neither does Qobuz, Rock on Tidal

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It upscales all audio to max rate of your Dragonfly DAC. It won’t rate switch so not bit perfect. You won’t get higher than 48/24 on a FireTv box either. Android is stuck at system audios max rate of 48/24 again all content is output at this rate regardless of source.

This to me is a problem . I want bit perfect .

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