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Amazon Music HD vs Spotify Premium – Which is better?

There are a few music streaming services currently available to enjoy an essentially endless playlist of seemingly unlimited music. By paying a monthly fee, it is like having access to the radio station’s record vault, and you can choose any song instantly.

But which of these services is the best? Today, I will examine the Amazon Music HD vs Spotify Premium question to see which one fares best. Amazon is pushing the quality angle, while Spotify boasts a wide range of podcasts, having recently recruited the Podfather Joe Rogan.

I have taken an in-depth look at both, and this is what I’ve discovered…

Playback Quality

Playback Quality

Amazon has come out swinging and can be proud of the quality, which is possible when listening to their audio. One big question is, “Does Amazon Music HD support FLAC?” And yes, it does support lossless FLAC (Free-Lossless Audio Codec) audio, which provides higher than CD quality sound. A big plus for Amazon.

The next important playback question is, “What’s the resolution of Amazon Music HD?” Tracks can stream up to an impressive 850 kbps, compared to Spotify’s 320 kbps.

Think of this like looking at a picture. The higher the resolution, the greater the detail, which is the same for audio. More bandwidth results in a higher depth of sound. With a streaming resolution more than double, Amazon Music HD comes out ahead in this department, too.

Pushing the limits…

Beyond HD audio, some devices are compatible with receiving Ultra HD audio tracks. These tracks max out at an astounding rate of 24-bit/192kHz. However, your audio device will usually require an external DAC (Digital to Analog Converter).

Requiring an additional piece of equipment for cleaning up any external interference won’t be for everyone. For anyone serious about their music, often referred to as an audiophile, this will be like music to their ears.

If quality is your main focus, then you can already push Spotify to the side, and jump on Amazon Music HD right now.

Having a Slick Interface is Essential

Having a huge range of audio tracks available at your fingertips is one thing. But how easy is it to navigate the menus? Creating playlists, searching for tracks, and library organization are crucial to a successful interface.

So which of these two is the most user friendly music streaming service? And which is a more aesthetically pleasing experience when making interactions?

It’s not always about looks, but sometimes it is…

Having a Slick Interface is Essential

There’s no mistaking that Spotify has the more attractive layout for both their mobile and desktop systems. It’s not that Amazon’s is unattractive; it just doesn’t have that same appeal and comfortable feeling provided by Spotify.

Spotify’s homepage cleverly has all your most-used functions readily available while at the same time encouraging exploration. Amazon has a very similar range of functions, but navigation is much more rigid and lacks the fluidity offered by Spotify.

Can you help me find what I’m looking for?

When searching for particular bands or tracks, Spotify is a lot more forgiving when making spelling errors or having an auto-correct interface. Even if a letter or two is mixed up, you will usually still be presented with what you intended to look for.

If the same issue arises while searching within the Amazon menu, you will most likely be required to notice your error and complete another search. Having the program understand you, even if misdirected, is like having a friend that knows what you’re thinking.

Playing to their strengths…

When analyzing Amazon Music HD vs Spotify Premium, each has specific advantages. Amazon has an awesome feature known as 3D audio. While the library available with this function is currently limited, it is still impressive. Using Dolby Atmos technology and Sony 360 Reality Audio, sound moves around.

This goes beyond anything you will have previously experienced through surround sound. It sounds like you are standing in the center of an orchestra with individual instruments arriving from multiple directions.

Spotify doesn’t have anything as tricky, but it does have over 700,000 podcast episodes available, with more being added daily. When searching for podcasts using Amazon Music HD, you will be returned with an empty search results list.

Which music streaming service is best for new music?

music streaming service

Both Amazon and Spotify use algorithms to learn your listening habits, making new and exciting suggestions. This is an area that Spotify has had a head start on, and it shows with a much more comprehensive and confident approach.

You will find yourself regularly visiting Spotify’s “Made for You” section with a great mix of both known and unknown artists and tracks. Amazon’s “Playlists for You” relies too much on a wide aim and lacks the confidence to narrow its suggestions down.

See what your friends are listening to…

If you have friends or family members that also have a Spotify account, you can check-in and see what they are listening to. Taking a look at other user’s profiles will give you access to their recently played playlists and artists.

With a Premium account on Spotify, it is possible to create collaborative playlists. This is perfect for situations like going on a road trip with friends, dinner parties, or when getting together around the pool.

The Correct Equipment

The Correct Equipment

Listening to Spotify Premium can be done using any combination of smartphone, tablet, computer, and speakers or headphones. Of course, the same can be said for Amazon Music HD. But there’s a reason you would choose HD and Ultra HD streaming.

To take full advantage, you need equipment that can offer the best results. Most modern smartphones and tablets support 16-bit/44.1kHz or higher playback, with this being available from the iPhone 5 and later. However, your headphones or speakers might not be up to the challenge.

Choosing the right speaker…

For taking advantage of the ever-growing list of 3D music, along with the dynamic HD and Ultra HD audio Amazon has on offer, you’ll need a great speaker. So you have an idea of what’s required, I’ve put together a few products that offer fantastic results.

Amazon Echo Studio

Obviously, the Amazon Echo Studio will be fully compatible with all that is on offer and provides some serious results at a reasonable price. Containing five speakers and having the ability to automatically tune itself to a room’s acoustics, you can experience your music like never before.

Sony SRS-RA3000

Utilizing Sony’s latest 360 Reality Audio, the SRS-RA3000 creates an incredible feeling of immersion when listening to compatible audio. Compatible with both Bluetooth and WiFi, you can enjoy this quality from multiple sources.

Choosing the right headphones…

You know those incredible headphones you bought for a transcending audio experience? Owning an incredible set of cans will improve your listening. However, combining them with the lossless high-fidelity of Amazon Music HD will blast you out of the stratosphere.

Sennheiser HD600

For the ultimate in audiophile engineering, look no further than the Sennheiser HD600 open-back headphones. Every aspect of these headphones has been considered to offer the ultimate in artifact and disturbance-free listening.

Our in-depth Sennheiser HD660S Review and Sennheiser HD800 S Review are also well worth a look.

Bose QuietComfort QC35 II

From the company that took the industry by storm with their noise-canceling technology, check out the Bose QuietComfort QC35 II headphones. With three levels of superior noise cancellation, you can truly immerse yourself in a blissful audio experience.

Find out more in our comprehensive Bose QuietComfort 35 II Review.

Need Great Speakers or Headphones?

Luckily we have plenty of both. Check out our in-depth Sony HT-S350 Soundbar Review, our Sony SS-CS3 3-Way 4-Driver Review, our Marshall Stanmore II Wireless WiFi Alexa Voice Review, as well as our reviews of the Best Alexa Speakers and the Best Smart Speakers can buy in 2021.

Also, take a look at our comprehensive Amazon Echo Buds Review, our Sennheiser HD 599 Review, our Best Bluetooth Headphones for Commuting review, our Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Review, and our Bose QuietComfort 25 Review for more amazing products currently on the market.

Amazon Music HD vs Spotify Premium – Final Thoughts

So which music streaming service should you choose?

Well, that depends on what type of equipment will be used. If investments have been made in quality speakers and headphones, Amazon Music HD would be the way to go.

Most people, though, are not going to take full advantage of what’s on offer from Amazon. The slightly more user-friendly interface of Spotify, along with closing in on one million podcasts available, will be the better option.

With some more experience and improved software updates, Amazon looks promising. However, on this occasion, Spotify wears the crown.

So, until next time, may your music make you move.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what is what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear hear and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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