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Amazon Music HD Available on Sonos

  • 17 September 2019
  • 101 replies
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Userlevel 7
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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.

 

Userlevel 7
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Until I see a trusted source doing true blind testing of various formats and reporting that HD is better I’m going with the science on this and calling HD audio snake-oil.

No reason not to spend your money on it if it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling but that is a lot of money to part with for a feeling.

Conversation on another thread surfaced this issue: going by what is commonly understood, CD lossless streaming is not HD; only those formats that exceed CD resolution are called HD or Hi Res. There is enough on Google to support this statement. How Amazon calls CD resolution as HD is a mystery, and appears to be something that they have done unilaterally in an attempt to redefine HD to being what they are doing. I have no idea if this will succeed.

Sonos is a beneficiary of this stunt, being also labeled HD capable overnight with nothing have changed from what they have been capable of since their inception.

Of course none of this has a bearing on whether HD music of any resolution, including what Amazon touts as Ultra HD, can be audibly picked out from the same mastering/recording downsampled to CD quality; no one anywhere has demonstrated that in a controlled blind test. Where Amazon makes use of the higher content capability to add more to the recording is a different matter; it will sound different, perhaps even better, using more speaker tech in the process, but that is a different discussion.

Userlevel 2
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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

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.

Perhaps you should expend the pretty meagre effort. You’ll find the answers a couple of pages back.

 

Userlevel 2
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Thanks for being such an incredible help!

 

 

Your question required several answers, which I found (again) in a quick scan of the thread. I don’t see why it should be necessary to repeat them.

Userlevel 2
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Your question required several answers, which I found (again) in a quick scan of the thread. I don’t see why it should be necessary to repeat them.

 

Then please don’t and move on.  Your response doesn’t help at all.

Anyone that doesn’t mind answering is more than welcome to and I would be grateful for it.

Especially helpful to those of us just joining the conversation, have a short attention span and don’t want to have to wade through several pages for an answer that could simply be posted here in a few sentences.

 

a short attention span

Your first post onto the thread was 2 hours ago...

 

How do you know if its HD. No display on the sonos app.

Until I see a trusted source doing true blind testing of various formats and reporting that HD is better I’m going with the science on this and calling HD audio snake-oil.

No reason not to spend your money on it if it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling but that is a lot of money to part with for a feeling.

My audio card runs at 48 bit 192khz. Through near field monitors. HD files of that quality are limited. Mostly classical recordings. You can tell its HD and the difference is like night and day. 

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

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

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

 

Which is 100% false.  It streams Amazon Music HD (aka CD quality) just fine.  It does not stream Amazon Music Ultra HD (aka snake oil nonsense).  

Well you had better tell Sonos and Amazon.

 

Here's the reply from Sonos and Amazon confirmed this. So dont know where you are getting your info from. 

 

Hi there, thanks for your feedback. At this time we support Amazon Music, but not Amazon HD. We can certainly take this as a feature request and ensure it is forwarded to the appropriate department. 

 

Have you read the first post of this thread?  It IS supported, at CD quality, but not yet via voice control. 

Amazon ‘HD’ (CD quality) streams to Sonos in FLAC. I’ve measured it.

When I last checked, casting from the Amazon native app to Sonos was only in SD.

Sonos doesn’t support ‘UHD’ (which everyone else tends to call ‘HD’ or ‘HiRes’). Although there may be a marketing-driven inevitability to HiRes the science doesn’t support it. Any ‘night and day’ differences can be explained by more careful mastering or simply a mismatch of levels. Anyone who can truly and reliably distinguish HiRes from RedBook in double-blind tests based on the same master should rent their super-human/super-golden ears to the industry.

 

Wouldn’t be the first time low level support got something wrong.  Stick with the guys here, they are not low level. 

I’m streaming Amazon “HD” through a beam, two 1’s and a sub. It definitely sounds better than SD, especially orchestral strings. The shrillness is gone. HD is well worth the money. 

I’m streaming Amazon “HD” through a beam, two 1’s and a sub. It definitely sounds better than SD, especially orchestral strings. The shrillness is gone. HD is well worth the money. 

Yes 16-bit/44.1 kHz, or perhaps 16-bit/48 kHz  rates are about as good as it can get for most folk. Which is what the AmazonHD audio service may achieve/can go upto.

Anything more than that though, in the ‘Amazon UltraHD’ world, is not going to make a difference at all (not to me at least) … although my dogs ears might prick up a little more, perhaps ?

It’s perhaps a ‘fair’ move that Amazon chose to bundle the HD/UltraHD services together under a ‘reasonable’ subscription charge, rather than trying to charge a further subscription for what would be just for my dogs listening pleasure.😀

I’m still extremely happy with 320 AAC or MP3, for general streaming/listening, truth be told, but I  guess my ears are old and not what they once were.

There are a lot of options to play Amazon Music on Sonos. Let’s see if I have this straight. If I tell my Beam to play from Amazon Music through the built-in Alexa it will only play in SD quality. But if I tell the Sonos app or the Alexa app or the Amazon Music app or my Fire TV stick to play the same music on the Beam, it will play in HD quality. What if I pair an Echo with my Beam (using Alexa groups) and tell the Echo to play from Amazon Music?

I also have an Echo Input plugged into the Aux port on my Play 5. Will that play HD?

Userlevel 3
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@The Nadz Playing the line-in audio uncompressed will give you the best quality for that connection, however it still won’t play the audio in HD.

@John G Thanks for your response but I am a bit confused. Seems like there is a lot of conflicting information being shared about this topic.

Above @Ryan S wrote “They’ll stream at CD-quality (16-bit HD) audio through the Sonos app” however you are saying that the best audio quality is through the line-in port but it still won’t play the audio in HD. So which is it, can we play in HD on Sonos speakers or not? I assume that at a minimum since the Fire TV stick plugged into my TV supports Amazon Music HD I can play it through the Beam connected to that TV. What about casting from the Amazon Music app or Alexa app?

Userlevel 3
Badge +7

@The Nadz Sorry for the confusion, I will attempt to clarify. When accessed through Amazon Music HD directly in the Sonos app, the players will grab and play the 16 bit CD quality streams. Through line-in, you'll start with whatever stream the connected device (Fire TV stick) can play, then the TV will hopefully allow it to pass to your Beam unaltered, and at that point, the Beam will play it as TV audio, because it doesn't know that what's coming in is music.
TV Audio is played at the highest quality possible, but it's treated differently than other Line-In data, or music streams. In your case, it's hard to say for certain which would sound better, and that may be up to you and the other listeners in the home to decide.

Please let me know if this helps or if I can explains things further.

Thanks @John G. That clears up a lot but I still have a few questions. Which of these will play Amazon Music in HD? I own 3 Sonos speakers (Beam, One, and Play 5) and the # of ways to play Amazon Music seem endless. BTW, I’ve already confirmed that the Amazon Music app on my Smart TV does not support HD.

  1. Alexa app cast from Android (or Airplay from iPad) to Sonos
  2. Amazon Music app cast from Android (or Airplay from iPad) to Sonos
  3. Amazon Echo paired to Sonos (using Preferred Speaker setting in Alexa app groups)
  4. Amazon Echo Aux Out or cellphone headphone jack connected to Aux In port on Play 5

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