(Pocket-lint) - Amazon has introduced a lossless tier to Amazon Music, perhaps pointing the way toward the hi-res HomePod and Sonos One rival we're expecting to see from Amazon at its event next week.
Obviously there are other hi-res streaming services available such as Tidal, but currently, key rivals Spotify and Apple Music don't offer lossless meaning that Amazon has stolen something of a march.
Naturally, pricing is a little steeper than the standard version of Music Unlimited, but it still is significantly cheaper than Tidal. Amazon Music HD costs $14.99/£14.99 a month ($12.99/£12.99 a month for Prime members) for the Amazon Music HD Individual Plan or it's $19.99/£19.99 for the Amazon Music HD Family Plan. You have the option to cancel anytime.
If you've already got an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, it'll basically cost you $5/£5 extra a month.
Amazon Music HD is offering more than 50 million HD songs, with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1kHz (akin to CD quality).
In addition, you can stream millions of songs in Ultra HD (yes, it really has decided to use that name, but it means lossless audio so better than CD quality) and it's here that Amazon does better than Apple and Spotify with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz. It's using FLAC rather than MQA - the format of Tidal's choice.
Naturally, Amazon Music HD is compatible with many hi-res supporting devices, including most products from Denon and Marantz with Heos, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Sonos, McIntosh, Sennheiser and more.
Amazon says the service will play the highest quality audio your device and network conditions will support. Amazon Music HD is now available to stream in the UK, US, Germany, Austria and Japan.