I just wanted to make everyone aware that Amazon High Definition music is available for $15 per month and sounds very good streaming to a Bose Soundtouch 300 using the Bose Soundtouch app. It seems like a very good alternative to the more expensive Tidal and Qobuz streaming services. Of course, you can stream from your iPhone, iPad, or Windows computer.
While Amazon, Tidal, and Qobuz can stream at 24/192 (maybe higher), the Bose Soundtouch 300 internal DAC will down convert to 24/96. Many people believe that 24/96 is optimal for high definition music. IDK. CD quality is 16/44.1.
I don't know about any other Bose Soundtouch devices. I guess you would have to try them and see if it works OK and how it sounds.
If you decide to purchase Amazon High Definition music (or Tidal or Qobuz), you can get an even better listening experience by purchasing a Dragonfly Cobalt DAC and streaming from your iPhone, iPad, or Windows computer to a pair of quality headphones. When using an iPhone or iPad, you will need an Apple lightning to USB/lightning camera adapter available on Amazon.
I've been using Tidal and Qobuz, but Amazon Music might be worth taking a look at. I stream to my Oppo 203 DVD which is connected to my Bose Soundtouch 300 using HDMI. To get the real benefits of HD music, you would really need a more upscale sound system.
I also bought a Dragonfly Cobalt DAC that I can plug into my laptop, iPhone, or iPad and really get great high def results with reasonably good headphones.
We've been listening to Amazon Unlimited Music through our SoundTouch Systems for some time now. I'm curious whether these SoundTouch devices can handle High Def Audio. Maybe that's why we haven't seen the app include Tidal by now. I used to be able to listen to flac files on my Onkyo Receiver, but it died, then I got a Denon Receiver, but it died too. My Bose gear lives on. I have two SoundTouch Wireless Adapters connected to two Bose SoundDock 10's. I have another Bose SoundDock 10 with it's Bluetooth Adapter. I have the SoundTouch SA-4 with the 851's out in the yard and the SoundTouch 30 on the Kitchen Counter. Our original Bose SoundDock was given to our daughter who still uses it in her home. All are several years old, still going strong. We love the Bose sound. I'm just looking toward the future. Thanks for listening...
There's probably more about HD that I don't know than what I do know. However, when I play Tidal and Qobuz through my Oppo 203 to my Bose Soundtouch 300, I am quite sure it sounds better than Apple Music through my Apple TV to the Bose. The Apple TV downgrades everything to 48/16 whereas my Oppo 203 can output 192/24.
As far as I know, the last device in the digital chain converts the music from digital to analog using it's DAC. I believe the Bose Soundtouch 300 can do 96/24. At least this is what I see reported when using Roon. I have no idea about your Bose devices, but you could convert your Amazon account to high def and give it a try. If it doesn't sound better to you, convert it back to save a few dollars.
To really enjoy HD music, we would need a much higher end music system with streamer, DAC, receiver/amp, and speakers. However, you can purchase a Dragonfly Cobalt or similiar DAC to plug into your iPhone, iPad, or computer to enjoy HD music through headphones. I purchased a pair of Sony WH1000's and they sound great. The Dragonfly Cobalt is well worth the price IMHO.
Thanks for posting this. I'm going to sign up for the 3 month free trial of Amazon HD.
Jan 9, 2016
My experience playing FLAC files from DLNA device to SoundTouch 10, 20 and 30 series III speakers is that 16 bit FLAC files work but 24 bit files do not - if you try a 24 bit you get one of the generic Bose errors like "we can't play that right now" or similar and I think official Bose material says FLAC support is 16 bit only. I think ALAC files are the only other lossless format that SoundTouch supports - I have never tried them but those can supposedly go up to 32-bit and like 384 sample rate and the same Bose material that mentions FLAC is restricted to 16 bit also mentions ALAC files but doesn't mention any limitations with bit depth or sample rate.
In any case, no idea if the SoundTouch hardware is actually capable of 24 bit or not but if it is and 24-bit FLAC is not supported then another big oversight & disappointment. As for lossless streaming services, I don't know that much about them but my understanding is that Tidal and Amazon HD both offer all content in at least 16-bit/44.1khz but some content is available at 24 bits - if SoundTouch hardware does not support 24 bits perhaps explains why Tidal has never been offered as a SoundTouch music service.
Just to be clear, the Bose Soundtouch 300 will play HD files. If they are 192/24, they evidently get down converted to 96/24 by the Bose Soundtouch 300 internal DAC. It is quite possible that different Soundtouch devices have different capability, so we should be careful when saying what Bose Soundtouch devices can and cannot do.
I just realized that the Bose Soundtouch app supports Amazon Music. So, if we were to sign up for Amazon HD music, I suppose we could use Soundtouch to play it on our Soundtouch device (s). I may sign up for Amazon HD 3 month free trial and give it a try.
Right now, I'm paying $20 for Tidal, $25 for Qobuz, and will be paying $10 for Roon for a total of $55 per month. If Amazon HD works well, I could drop all of these and pay Amazon $15. Seems like a no-brainer.
I just signed up for the 90 free trial of Amazon High Definition. Listening now using Amazon Music app on Dell laptop playing through Dragonfly Cobalt DAC to Sony headphones. Also did a short trial using Bose Soundtouch app on Dell laptop streaming to Bose Soundtouch 300.
This may just be the answer for Bose Soundtouch customers who want an affordable answer for high definition music.
Thanks for taking the dive, I'm tempted but my wife asked if we would really hear a difference. Can you discern a difference in audio quality? Specifically with no external dac, just straight from the net to the SoundTouch device through the built in app?
While at Amazon's Homepage, I searched for "Amazon Music HD" and the resulting page has a new icon that looks like the app icons that my ipad uses. So I wondered if there was a separate app for the HD Music. So I went into Apple's App site specifically to look for an app for Amazon's Music HD. There is none (that I can see, anyway) so to me, the app for Amazon Music that's built into Bose SoundTouch should be able to provide the HD version. It should only be a matter of whether or not your Amazon account is signed up for Music HD.
So, jimgfitz, tell me, what you hear (with and without the dac)? Thank you.
The High Res definitely sounds better to me. That includes streaming to my Bose Soundtouch 300 but especially when using my Dragonfly Cobalt DAC. If you are paying $10 for Amazon Music, it is well worth an extra $5. If you don't think so, just switch back at any time.