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Amazon Music HD Available on Sonos

  • 17 September 2019
  • 111 replies

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111 replies

Simply press the cast icon and you can choose whuch speaker to play from it also shows the quality of the track. Just listening to Liam Gallaghers new album which apparently is in ultra HD

Perhaps I should wait for the glowing references to 'night and day' differences to be reported before I rain on the parade, but I just clocked the stream cast from the Amazon Music app to a Sonos speaker at around 315kbps. This is from both 16-bit (HD) and 24-bit (UHD) content. On that basis it would appear to be casting in SD.
I’m more than happy with 320kb/s SD lossy, or the 850kb/s (Average) HD bitrates described... and judging from this link, I definitely cannot hear a tone at either 20 Hz, or 20,000 Hz. I am quite confident Ultra HD will be rather lost on my 'oldish' ears.

It’s nice to see however that Amazon have grouped the HD/Ultra HD service into the one single price band and it is a competitive price, so I have signed up for their service, but am hoping to see the HD service available to Sonos via an Alex voice controlled session and not just via the Sonos App.
People are saying 'You CAN hear the difference on my xxxxx equipment' and I'm not doubting it. I can hear the difference that Amazon Music HD brings on my headphones. There's no argument that it makes a difference, I don't think anyone's trying to deny it.

Where it's not making a difference, disappointingly, is on Sonos hence why I came to the Sonos forum to hear other views and facts as to whether I'm doing something wrong. From what I've been told here, it doesn't look like it, and the format/codec Sonos uses does not create a perceptible difference between, say, regular Spotify and Amazon Music HD.

People keep repeating it doesn't sound any different when casting from Amazon's app to Sonos, but that's because Alexa casting prevents anything but SD.

It's interesting that Tidal is claimed to be perceptibly different to, say, Spotify. Is there hope for Sonos and Amazon Music HD, or is this it....?
I am on the side of the "can't hear anything better beyond 320 kbps" but the important thing is that all other variables have to be eliminated. If that isn't being done, all bets are off; for instance if the HD stream is from a different master.

Are those that are hearing differences addressing this issue?
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Does Sonos support playing Amazon UltraHD tracks at their bit rates above 16/44?

They’ll stream at CD-quality (16-bit HD) audio through the Sonos app.


It is interesting to see how many here want to know the bitstream rate to decide how good the sound is. Classic examples of psychoacoustics, and also a part of today's world/marketing that thrives on keeping people dissatisfied to drive GDP growth.

There was a time when I refused to think of listening to lossless CD rips on a local NAS over WiFi as opposed to through my exotic brand name interconnects for the sound degradation that would bring, even when that mode would have been a lot more convenient as well as less messy. Fortunately, I escaped from that well and never looked back.

Having recently brought in music videos via a TV into my Sonos environment, it is striking how poor is the video quality of timeless performances, from even just a couple of decades back, of jazz/blues/rock to the extent that a less able performer of today, recorded and seen in HD mode, seems a better watch. Thankfully, there was not much wrong with the sound quality of well recorded music of even five or more decades ago, so all one has to do there is turn the TV off, and enjoy what is the better music.
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When set to uncompressed audio, the analog line-in on Sonos players (not the TV input on the home theater players) will convert incoming audio streams into 44.1/16 bit WAV. If you’re sending a higher bit rate into that input, it’ll go through the DAC (as all incoming signals are converted to digital so they can be sent across the network) and converted before played. 


As far as I know, Airplay streams in lossless ALAC 44.1/16 bit even if the source is a higher bitrate, Airplay will compress it to 44.1/16 bit before sending it over your network. 

Hi getjams, the team is working on bringing Amazon Unlimited HD streams to Sonos using voice control with Alexa, more to come soon and we’ll share here when it’s available.

Amazon just announced the Echo Studio, which supports HD, presumably via Alexa. So, probably not too far in the future that the Alexa ecosystem will be updated to support HD streaming via voice or casting.

I have a significant visual impairment. It is said many people hone one sense when others are impaired.

I know when I first ripped my CDs lossy, I was in a few cases disappointed how some music sounded ‘wrong’.

I never heard any difference on Sonos gear, however, but I was convinced enough to re-rip in a lossless format. You know, just in case 😋

There is no right or wrong in any of it.

I have never spend much time with headphones - quality ones - so I accept that someone with more sensitive ears will hear more of the difference between lossy and lossless using these; when I refer to audible differences, I refer to those heard on speakers in a typical domestic listening environment. That said, it also depends on what bit rate lossy was in your instance, and what codec was used.

And ripping and storing in lossless format IS the way to go, particularly now that memory drives are so cheap.

Of course there is no right or wrong about these subjective experiences - as long as they are held out to be subjective ones, and therefore agreed to be susceptible to subjective failings that all humans are hard wired to be susceptible too. So when we point out that there are no differences that can be heard in blind tests, that is all we point out to those making equipment or music listening assessments - to not get fooled into thinking that there is much science behind the subjective opinions posted and being relied on. There are far too many of those around, that claim to be an absolute truth.

Now that S2 is released and Sonos Arc, will Sonos support the UHD/3D formats from Amazon Music HD?


What the hell happened?   Now Amazon says Sonos is not supported for HD, and it is Sonos that is blocking this.  
I know that “ultra” isn’t possible, but we can’t even stream CD quality now.
Amazon’s “ultra hd” playlists used to appear but now are gone.


Do you have a source?

What the hell happened?   Now Amazon says Sonos is not supported for HD, and it is Sonos that is blocking this.  
I know that “ultra” isn’t possible, but we can’t even stream CD quality now.
Amazon’s “ultra hd” playlists used to appear but now are gone.

That’s odd, as my Amazon Music HD service in the Sonos App is showing HD playlists here on my iPhone.🤔

Ryan, when is this service going to be available in Australia? I recently got a SONOS MOVE, and to my surprise I cannot add AMAZON MUSIC HD to the SONOS APP! Any idea why?? However I can stream it from the amazon app, but defeats the point of having a SONOS control centre.


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Hi Luis, I don't have a timetable to share, but I'll make sure to add your interest on getting Amazon Music HD in Australia on Sonos.
Maybe, I am wrong here, but according to Amazon Music I am getting 24 bit/48khz through Sonos. I am doing this by using Airplay which I send to my Apple TV and then out to my speakers.
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Hey guys!


Without going through four pages of content, can anyone simply verify whether Sonos speakers support Amazon HD?


I would be using my Mac desktop app to source the music.


Thank you so much

According to sonus support, amazon HD is not supported.? 

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According to a comment on this thread, Alexa-initiated playback is not streaming in HD. Is that correct?
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The FAQ says:

Which Amazon devices support Amazon Music HD?

Alexa-enabled Echo devices (2nd generation and later), Fire TVs and Fire Tablets all support HD quality audio.

What about Sonos speakers with Alexa built in? Will they play music in HD via voice commands?
Where in the app does it show the stream format for a song playing?

I've tried every tapping everywhere and can't find it.

Me neither. Logically one would expect to find it in the same place as with Deezer HiFi, i.e. the info or '...' menu.

In fact the more I poke around, the more I find functional deficiencies compared to Deezer HiFi, for example no means to 'favourite' a track or album into My Music. Basically it's a read-only client.
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I don’t think Sonos supports anything higher that 16 bit / 44.4 KHz. Years ago when I was trying to figure out how to rip my CD collection for playback, Sonos, posted that they (at the time) did not support higher bitrate playback. That was for my ZP90 (renamed to Sonos Connect, for you newer to Sonos folks).

Admittedly, that could have changed, but i can’t find anywhere in their website that it has.
@Ryan S , is this an upcoming feature? Doesn’t appear to exist currently.
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I'll check in on that for you adam2434 to make sure I have the right answer. From what I've heard, it should be largely the same library, but I don't think there's a conversion to the HD that takes place if the track is only in 24/96.

The team is still working on some things as well, so you'll see the service on Sonos change a bit over time. Though I don't have specifics to share right now on those changes.

I've just returned the Sonos move to Amazon. Amazon and Sonos have confirmed that it does not stream Amazon HD music.

Another thing - I talked to Amazon Customer Service today. They told me that tracks the are natively Ultra HD 24/96 FLAC are played in SD AAC in Sonos, not HD 16/44.1 FLAC.

I can see some 'Ultra HD' content in the Amazon Music app on my phone which is in 24/44.1. The same content streams on Sonos at 16/44.1. (It's clocking around 1 to 1.1 Mbps.)

I can't speak for 96kHz though as my phone is not capable of handling it, and in any case I wouldn't know where to look for 24/96 music.

Basically Amazon has to be able to stream at whatever rates are mandated by the native client app's platform.