Buy Hi Res Music
Want to build a library of high-resolution music but don't know where to start? Whether you've only just taken the plunge into hi-res audio, or are wondering what other online stores have to offer, we've rounded up some of our favourite hi-res download websites.
buy hi res music
With major music labels such as Sony, Warner and Universal making their extensive music catalogues available to these hi-res download services, there's a huge variety of genres, file formats and download options available for fans of high-resolution audio.
We've knocked HDtracks in the past for shunning more current or popular music in favour of jazz, classical and dad-rock, but glance at the home screen and Bestsellers tab now includes the likes of Billie Eilish, Halsey, Muse and more.
That said, there are still some people who prefer to own their digital music collection instead of effectively renting it. While some of these listeners use lossy formats like MP3, others prefer lossless or hi-res formats.
The project also spawned an online music store where you could buy and download hi-res music. But despite the early enthusiasm for the idea, neither the player nor the store was ultimately able to grab much more than a small niche audience, and both were shuttered in 2017.
Digital music sound quality is commonly expressed by using two values: bit depth and sampling rate. These are the two variables that are used when analog audio is converted into digital audio. The higher each of these values is, the better the digital audio quality.
Dedicated hi-res music players like those made by Astell & Kern, Sony, Fiio, and Pioneer are your best bets for portable hi-res audio. These products are designed specifically to deliver a great hi-res audio experience, right out of the box.
As with 4K and HDR in the video world, high-resolution audio is on the rise as well. While it is currently something that audiophiles pay more attention to than do most music listeners, that seems set to change, with even certain phones offering built-in hi-res playback.
Now Warner Music Group and MQA have announced that the two companies have signed a deal that will see the label offering music in the high-resolution MQA format. This makes Warner the first major label to do so, though some independent labels have already made their music available in the format.
What this means is the audio sample reproduces the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better-than-CD quality music sources, a sound that closely replicates the quality that the musicians and engineers were working with in the studio at the time of recording.
Taking advantage of premium audio formats has never been an easy feat, leaving starved connoisseurs in the dust. While pristine high-res music has been available for some time now (with gradual improvements to codecs and processing), audio hardware has been creeping slowly behind.
The veritable Mac Daddy (or is it Daddy Mac?) of online stores, HDtracks has one of the most extensive collections of high-resolution pop, rock, classical, and jazz music on the web. David Chesky, a noted composer, musician, and producer, co-founded and chairs the site, and continues to develop its catalog.
Formerly known as the Classical Shop, and now going by the name Chandos (featuring the Classical Shop), this store hosts music from more than 200 labels and boasts a massive collection of classical and jazz tracks numbering over a million. There are also a claimed 80,000(!) new tracks being added every month across other musical genres such as pop and rock, though many are offered with only CD quality as the highest resolution. A host of subgenres in the classical and jazz realm are also available in hi-res studio masters.
Pristine Classical has a large selection of music that offers a serious blast from the recording past, with many selections pulled from recordings that reach back into the early 1940s, plus occasional additions from the early scenes of jazz and blues. All of the tracks have been meticulously remastered, though they will cost you a pretty penny in some cases.
But lately, Plex has been getting a lot more serious about other kinds of media as well. It has added podcasts, a capable photo organizer and even a live TV plus DVR option. Last year, the company augmented its music chops in a big way by adding Tidal to its list of supported services. On Friday, April 26, the company announced that integration was expanding even further, including a new "Artist TV" feature that adds music videos to artists' profiles and lets users fill in missing records in their Plex library using Tidal.
Mere days after launching a free, ad-supported version of its music streaming service, a new report suggests that Amazon has its sights set on a premium version of Amazon Music, which would offer better than CD quality streaming audio, for more discerning listeners. Music Business Worldwide cites "high-placed music industry sources," who claim the new, high-quality tier will launch before the end of 2019 and likely cost in the vicinity of $15 per month.
If you're a fan of high-quality digital audio, you now have another option when it comes to streaming music services. French company Qobuz, long known for its excellent collection of hi-res tracks, launched in the U.S. with four different price plans:
The catch: you need a great set of headphones to fully appreciate what a high-res music player can do. So before you invest in an überplayer, buy a really decent set of headphones, and they will make a bigger, more noticeable difference in sound quality than a high-res music player. Frankly, you'll be throwing your money away if you spring for the player, and pair it with just a so-so set of headphones.
The better the headphone, the more detail and resolution it can retrieve from the sound of your music. As for high-res music files of 48 kHz/24 bit or better, it's a safe bet you don't have all that many in your collection, so the good news is a great set of headphones will make standard resolution (CD quality) FLAC or Apple Lossless files sound better than ever.
aybe you've been interested in starting a high-res music library, or like me, you've already got one going. I have audio components at home that can play these files, but once my library began to grow, I wanted to enjoy the uncompressed and fully detailed sound that high-res music delivers in my car, too.
There are growing options to buy high-res music, including my go-to online retailer HDtracks. With these growing options to purchase music in digital formats, like FLAC, WAV, and DSD, you can load these files on a USB drive, a portable high-res player, or even on your smartphone.
Then, there's the old tried and true method, a car stereo's AUX input. If you want to store your music library on a portable high-res player, you can simply use its analog/headphone output and connect it to a stereo's analog input using a stereo mini cable. It's still one of the simplest and best-sounding ways to enjoy your music. Part of that is the purity of high-res music, and part of it is the great DAC (digital to analog converter) that these portable players include.
While Bluetooth is super-convenient for audio streaming (and hands-free calling), it won't pass high-res audio. Yep, it's wireless, it's in the majority of car stereos, and its techology has evolved into being really, really good for music. But, it's not high-res. So if you want that truly uncompressed music experience, Bluetooth isn't the best way to get it done.
Most car stereos offer an AUX input, so plugging in a portable high-res player or a smartphone loaded with music is simple. However, more and more aftermarket car stereos now include high-res capabilities using a built-in USB port, even on some of the most affordable models. Many of these stereos work with the FLAC and WAV formats, so you can load up a USB drive and cruise on down the road.
If you want to take that next step into system expansion, you can also add a combination amplifier/DSP to your stereo. The added power from an external amp will bring out the details in your music. Some of these amps and DSPs even offer an AUX input, so you can connect your phone or high-res player directly to the DSP. This would let you bypass the factory stereo entirely, but will require a really long auxiliary cable if your DSP is mounted in the rear of the car.
Yes, really. Car audio manufacturers have concentrated on upping their game for all their audio components. Speakers, specifically designed with high-res audio in mind, tend to have wider frequency responses. And while these ranges are beyond the perfect human hearing of 20-20,000 Hz, these super- and sub-sonic frequencies still color the tonal qualities of the music we listen to.
Amplifiers have followed suit, with wider frequency responses to complement the added power and control they provide to get the most out of your speakers and music. I have a Morel MPS 4.400 4-channel amp, rated for a frequency response of 10-30,000 Hz, powering the Morel speakers in my Subaru for really sweet high-res sound.
I've heard this one many times: "High-res in a vehicle? What's the point with all the noise while I'm driving?" The point is that, even with any road noise and interior vibrations, better quality music files will still sound better than lower quality files. And hey, that means you can turn it up and not hear the disappointing limitations of compressed music, like those swishy cymbals and muddled bass. Yuck!
We at Astell&Kern believe in the power of music & provide the original sound without distortion.Our portable and home audio products offer the exact presence with tiny details bit for bit, exactly as it was recorded.Experience music and let it move you the way it has never been done before, with Astell&Kern.
Pandora and Spotify are just a few of the many, many online streaming music services that let you listen to your favorite songs and compositions while jogging, driving to the supermarket, or just sitting in the laundromat watching clothes dry. They're a musical convenience. That said, there's a price beyond monthly subscription fees. Streaming music services typically compress audio into smaller, more manageable files that are easily streamed. For most people, MP3- or CD-quality audio gets the job done, but if you have a thirst for audiophile-quality sound, you need to check out a service that offers Hi-Res Audio. 041b061a72