best streamer for Amazon Music HD


Hello,

Newbie here, forgive me if I butcher the lingo.  I'd like to get some opinions on the best streamer compatible with Amazon Music HD.  This is the only streaming service I use.  Ideally I'd like to have a streamer that let's me remotely control Amazon Music from my phone with streamer connected to internet via ethernet. 

Looked at Amazon site and based on their recommendations it was mostly streamers that used DTS Play-Fi, Denon/Marantz HEOS, and beyond that not sure if any other options or how they would work.  Was initially leaning toward the Audiolab 6000N based on reviews and price, but the reviews for DTS Play-Fi were not great.  For one it said it wasn't streaming directly from the internet but rather transferring music from my phone to the streamer, and when I went to the Google app store the reviews are horrible. 

So now thinking either a Denon/Marantz HEOS or Bluesound streamer, but don't quite understand how they would work or how is usability, so any experiences to share would be helpful.  One question I have is with Bluesound would I be controlling streamer with the Amazon Music app or Bluesound app?  

Any feedback from your experiences with these streamers or any recommended Amazon music HD streamers would be greatly appreciated.  Amazon is the only streaming service I use, never tried any other hi-res services and am pretty happy with Amazon so don't care about other streaming services or Roon, hopefully that makes it simpler. 

Recently upgraded from my longtime vintage system Pioneer SX-980 & JBL 4311B to Focal 1038 & Raven Audio Nighthawk. Currently streaming Amazon from my phone directly to my DAC (Topping D50s)  using bluetooth AptX HD.  Only other music source is occasional vinyl which I'm looking to upgrade and will ask for help in another post.

The other option would be to wait it out since Amazon Music is pretty new and see what better streamers come out.  My only real complaints with my current bluetooth method are that HD music sometimes cuts out due to slow connection when playing HD or UHD, I can't play music and take videos of the kids at the same time, and the desire to improve sound quality.

Thanks in advance.


arnoldo
Amazon is a listed music service in the BluOS app.  Once signed into your Amazon account via the BluOS app, you will be able to choose that service each time without signing in again (as long as your subscription is valid of course).

Control would be through the BluOS app via phone or tablet.

For the record, I don’t subscribe to Amazon.  Tidal subscriber.
I see, thanks for clarifying. 
I have subscribed to Amazon Music HD and I am really enjoying listening to Amazon FLAC files Playing via my HEOS app on my Marantz AV 7703. The Fidelity is incredible. Mind you, I have a Bluesound Node2i playing TIDAL files through my HT By-Pass Marantz PM14S1 that sounds really great; but, this Amazon HD might be the ticket. Furthermore, listening via HEOS I can monitor the album art via any HDMI output on my Marantz AV7703. So nice to finally not have to open my hibernating phone to see what artist is playing. 
Cool, some questions for you:

-How is the usability of Amazon Music HD on the HEOS app?  Do you have all the same functionality as the native amazon music app?  Any major drawbacks?  

-Overall how do you like the HEOS app?  How is the user interface?  Does it operate smoothly?  Think I recall reviews about people having trouble logging in, connectivity issues with internet, issues crashing/freezing up...

-Have you tried using Amazon Music through your Bluesound node 2i Bluos app?  Any pros/cons of the BluOS app vs HEOS app?  
First, I must state that my AV7703 is hardwired with Cat 6 LAN cable routed from downstairs to upstairs Media Room through my garage and attic. That is a run of at least 250 ft. There is zero latency at this length of run.  As for the HEOS app functionality, I am satisfied with the options. I am outputting the video to a Samsung 1080p computer monitor using HDMI via DVD i.  The album cover art is in color and is brilliant with the artists name and song name. The options available are Loop, Play last track, Pause and Play next track. There is a button selection for Queue. It displays the time played and shows time left to play. Furthermore, and the app does NOT have this feature, the track display shows the codec and the sampling freq and the bit-rate, i.e. FLAC / 44.1kHz / 24 bit. 
I am still comparing the two platforms, HEOS vs BLUOS on a Node2i; but, right now, I like the HEOS enough to not be distracted. 
BTW, in case it was not obvious, I am controlling all of the HEOS functionality with my Marantz remote control, not a glitchy iPhone. However, when I pull up HEOS on my phone it is mimicking what my Marantz is doing. Advantages of this is I can be downstairs and still have control over my HEOS. Just realized also that I can pull up the Amazon app on my phone and select my AV7703 as my endpoint and use the functionality of the Amazon app to control it all. 
I have a Blue Sound Node2i which I use for the interface through its Blue OS. I am using the external DAC on the Marantz SA8005 through the optical cable. I tired this connection with Tidal and Spotify before, and I was very disappointed with both of them. Tidal is better but It lacks something somehow. I then moved to Amazon Music HD. This set up is perfect in anyway. The instruments are much more clearer and the bass is defined better. You can use the internal DAC on the Node2i but I find it inferior. 
That's great amosm.  Are you happy with the functionality of Amazon on BluOS?  How does it work with playlists?  Can you add songs to Amazon playlists?  Or do you create a playlist on BluOS?  I already have a lot of playlists and songs added on Amazon app, wondering if I BluOS will recognize or if I can import them to BluOS.  Generally not sure how BluOS interacts with native Amazon app features.
I'm also an AmazonUHD fan. It coincides well with typical Amazon account, add-on to Prime membership. Cancelled Tidal when AmazonUHD launched.

Have both Denon AVRX6400H (HT system) and NAD C388 w/BluOS2i (2ch system). Both AmazonUHD capable, NAD is also Tidal native-MQA capable.

They both work splendidly over Wifi for me using mesh-capable Asus routers (x3 for coverage of 1 acre). Funtioning very similarly, using PC/Android app and Alexa (voice control). They will also receive Bluetooth, but aptX won't provide same sound quality (limits of BT bandwidth) and limits of BT range (if you step away). If using HEOS or BluOS, they will keep playing (if you leave - to get gas for the mower) and control range is limited by Wifi connection (control device must be on same network). Think of them as (because they are) Wifi connected remote controls that don't stop playing just because the remote left (to get gas). HEOS works easier with Alexa - just say, "Alexa, play modern country in the basement." (wife), and Denon turns on, TV turns on, GoldenEar Tritons come to life with UltraHD (FLAC) quality Tim McGraw - happy wife. BluOS's Alexa integration isn't done as well (they don't have the deep pockets of Sound United for app development folk). BluOS requires, "Alexa, tell Bluevoice to...". If you've used voice command tech, you already know fewer words is always better to avoid confusing Alexa.

HEOS also displays album art and stream quality onscreen (with TV connected), which is very nicely done with album art repeated blurred in the background layer - which color-matches the display for each track to terrific effect (again, thank you Sound United). NAD C388 doesn't have HDMI out, and nether does Node2i. There is an HDMI MDC module for NAD, but I cannot find confirmation that album art is displayed, so I think it is not.

I don't have experience with Marantz, but same tech is shared between Denon/Marantz twins. The downside of Denon/Marantz... class AB amps, and they run HOT. I added an ACinfinity rack fan to keep AVR-X6400H from melting the Xbox1S sitting on top of it; or, you could use it to make popcorn halfway through a movie. I also have a 12ch ATI class AB amp, and it doesn't get hot (and also has no internal cooling), so it's not the amp class or multiple channels - Denon/Marantz just run hot. On the other (un-burnt) hand, NAD C388 class D (Hypex UcD) runs completely cold while delivering 400wpc into 2ohms - no cooling fan req'd (+1 for class D).

For usability and Amazon UltraHD streaming integration, I recommend Denon/Marantz - don't place anything on top or let small children play around it with Crayons. BlueOS works equally as well, without on-screen album art display and wonky voice control. Both deliver great sound quality and PC/Android app control. Another cool feature is if I startup BluOS on my laptop, start some music, turn off the laptop (music still playing), then start BluOS app on the Android tablet, it shows the same as PC app, and just picks up control seamlessly - same with Android phone. You can have them all running BluOS at the same time - change song on one device, and watch it change on the others. Quite seamless across control devices!
Answering your question about creating Amazon playlists in BluOS app.

You can access Amazon playlists - that were created in Amazon Music.
You cannot create/delete or modify Amazon playlists from within BluOS app.

Here's what I do... If I want to create/delete/modify an Amazon playlist, open Amazon Music app and make the change there. Go back to BluOS, and you will see the change has been made.
Here is a typical example: I'm using BluOS to listen to an Amazon station "Modern Folk", and hear a track that I want to add to a playlist. Open Amazon Music app, search for the track, add it to the Amazon playlist. Bring up the playlist in BluOS, and the track will be there.
Is this ideal? No, but it works.
I found the topic thread during my regular check for a good streamer for Amazon Music HD. So I couldn’t resist to jump in.

I am a fun of Amazon Music HD, mainly due to extensive music content HD/UHD.

My experience with BluOS + Amazon HD was disappointing. Check here:
https://support1.bluesound.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360037587193-Amazon-music-support-roadmap. I would be interested if Denon app, HEOS, can manage big (> 10000 songs) list of Albums/Artists, here I mean browsing and filtering.

I have some hopes from Sonos Port. In June Sonos will switch to new OS and new App and it will support high resolutions. And Sonos app is one of the best.


Reviving this thread. Have some questions.

I have them all (Tidal, Qobuz and Amazon HD) and prefer Amazon HD as their Ultra HD content has increased quite a bit during the past few months. Also, their native app is quite good.

Want to stream to a Marantz SR6014 receiver (used as a pre-amp for the Parasound A21 power amp). I have a Chromecast (not Chromecast Audio) and an Apple TV connected as the only two HDMI sources into the AVR.

Marantz AVR has HEOS and Apple Airplay 2 capability.

I get the best sound quality when I use the Amazon Music HD account HEOS app on my phone / tablet . However, the usability of the Amazon Music account on the HEOS app is beyond horrible. Unusual as the Tidal account usability on the HEOS app is pretty decent. Takes time for a selected track to play. Stops at end of track (does not continue to next track). Also, cannot play my favorite playlists / tracks.

There is an option to use Airplay 2 with my Amazon Music HD app on my phone / tablet but that does not sound as good (just CD quality).

However (go figure), Airplay 2 option works good while using the Tidal app on my phone (I get Master quality and it does sound better than playing Tidal via HEOS app which is CD quality). So confusing.

Qobuz: I wish there were an easy way to stream effectively to my receiver. Does not sound as good when streaming through my Apple TV or Chromecast (that are connected to my AVR via HDMI).

Any sugggestions? Anyone found workarounds for Amazon Music HD on HEOS?

I am not familiar with DNLA / UPNP but it sounds complicated / expensive.

TIA.

I ended up getting the bluesound node 2i, so can't help much with HEOS. 

If your receiver has bluetooth with aptx-hd and your phone also does, can see how that sounds.  I use it when I just want background music because the bluesound app isn't as good as amazon app.  For me it sounds good.  

I don't think DNLA/UPNP is compatible with amazon music, but not an expert.
I always used my Bluesound Node 2i as a streamer for Qobuz HiRez, Tidal Mqa and now Amazon HD. As a Dac I have a Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro Mqa. Quality and ease of connection to Amazon HD account is flawless with the BlueOS App. Sound quality is excellent. HiRez library is really huge. You can find the Chesky Records album library in CD quality (16/44). What Amazon HD at the moment is lacking is the interface with respect to Tidal or Qobuz. 
For a standalone streamer the Cocktail Audio line supports direct streaming of Amazon HD/UHD music. 
There's also the Arylic Audio S50 for $200 that streams amazon music.  Has digital outs. Supposedly the app is similar to bluesound.  Have never tried but has decent reviews.
I tested Amazon HD before settling with Amazon Unlimited.  While testing HD, I noticed that some albums / tracks are listed as UHD but are playing at CD quality 16/44.1khz.  Amazon Executive Tech support told me that there are albums (e.g. Nora Jones' "Come Away With Me" album) that is listed as UHD is mis-tagged.  Given this fact, I don't think it makes any sense to pay the premium just to see resolutions on the APP that may or may not be accurate.  From what I can tell, I can still access all HD and UHD content but do not see the resolution on the Amazon Music APP.  

Also, I believe the reference article from audiophilestyle is spot on... The only streamers I am aware of that can stream natively, within its app, are Bluesound/NAD (BLUE OS) and Marantz/Denon (through HEOS APP).  


Actually, if you can try an Amazon Music downloader to download lossless songs from Amazon Music HD to the local computer, then you get access to use Amazon Music on any streamer without limits.
I use Blusound node 2!