How much is Amazon Music unlimited? Apple Music and Spotify receive lots of attention, but the streaming music service world is much larger than those industry juggernauts.
Amazon Music Unlimited doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some competing services—it lacks live radio, for example, and a recent price-hike has lessened the value for Prime members—but it offers more than 100 million songs, hi-res audio, impressive Amazon device compatibility, and a deep podcast well. Our Editors’ Choice options—LiveOne, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Spotify, and Tidal—offer a few more perks, but Amazon Music Unlimited is a great all-arounder for streaming audio.
How much is Amazon Music unlimited?
When it debuted, Amazon Music Unlimited lacked a free listening tier, much like Apple Music and Tidal. Not anymore. You can now listen to select ad-supported playlists and thousands of stations (for example, All Hits, Fuego Latino, and Holiday Favorites) via the web, Amazon Music mobile apps, Echo smart speakers, and Fire TV devices. Spotify’s free tier, on the other hand, lets you explore the service’s full 100 million-song catalog. That said, some albums only appear on Spotify Free after a two-week delay.
Of course, Music Unlimited also offers the industry-standard $10.99 per month premium plan for its ad-free Individual tier. Amazon Prime subscribers receive a slight discount that drops the fee to $9.99 per month (or $99 per year)—on top of their $139 per year Prime fees. No, Music Unlimited isn’t included with a Prime membership. Amazon Music Prime is. More on that later.
In addition, Amazon has a $15.99 per month (or $159 per year) Family Plan that covers six people. This offering rivals Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, and Tidal’s similar packages. A massive 90-day free trial—which is cut down to 30 days for the Family Plan—is available if you want to try it before subscribing. Amazon Music Unlimited’s trial period outclasses rival trial periods, except for the one offered by SiriusXM Internet Radio. That service also has a 90-day free period.
Another key promotion to keep your eyes on comes around Amazon Prime Day. New subscribers get the 90-day trial period extended by an extra 30 days, giving you four months for free during this limited window. For new members, this is a sweet deal. Keep your eyes open for Prime Day promotions if you’re considering upgrading to Music Unlimited.
Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Look, Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Tap owners receive a discount, too: they pay just $4.99 per month for a single device, which is just a dollar more than LiveOne’s ad-free Plus plan.
That’s impressive. However, you cannot listen to HD, Ultra HD, or spatial audio with this plan. If you want to stream to multiple smart speakers, you need to upgrade to an Individual or Family plan. Amazon Music Unlimited’s voice-controlled device plans come with another big limitation: You cannot use them to stream music via apps or a web browser; you must use one of the aforementioned devices.
Students who have a Prime Student account ($7.49 per month, $69 per year) receive a discount that drops the Music Unlimited fee to just $0.99 per month. Non-Prime students pay $5.99 per month.
Amazon Music Unlimited does not let you record audio. If you want that feature, your only option is SiriusXM Internet Radio, the Editors’ Choice pick for streaming audio services focused on live audio.
Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Amazon Music Prime
Curious about the differences between Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Music Prime? We’ll break it down. Amazon Music Unlimited is a standalone streaming music service that offers more than 100 million music tracks.
Amazon Music Prime, on the other hand, is bundled into your Prime subscription. Music Prime offers the same robust musical catalog as Music Unlimited, but here’s the rub: your musical selection is shuffled. You are allowed a single, 50-track on-demand playlist. Outside of that, you cannot pick and play what you want, whenever you want it. Both are ad-free listening experiences and are available on numerous devices.
If you don’t care too much about shuffled tracks, and just want to dabble here and there, Music Prime is a decent option, especially since it comes included with an Amazon Prime subscription. That said, you don’t have access to any of Unlimited’s HD, Ultra HD, or spatial audio offerings.
Signing up for Amazon Music Unlimited updates the service and replaces Amazon Music Prime as your Amazon jukebox, so you needn’t worry about launching the wrong streaming service.
Music Library and Audio Quality?
Music Unlimited contains more than 100 million songs and dozens of stations in its catalog, including the expected Classical, Decades, Rock, and Hip-Hop stations. You can even find more obscure musical offerings within Amazon’s catalog, such as video game soundtracks and fan covers. In a nice touch, any Amazon Music Prime playlists that you’ve created in the past carry over to Music Unlimited. You can, of course, create new ones, too.
Several parts of Music Unlimited’s interface are designed to help you discover or buy music. Almost everywhere in the layout, you’ll find recommended albums and playlists based on your listening habits. Thankfully, these suggestions don’t feel forced upon you. In fact, we find them helpful.
The left navigation menu contains sections for Purchased and Imported music. The former has Amazon Music-purchased tracks that you can stream or download. The latter houses the files that you uploaded to Amazon’s servers using the Amazon Music desktop app’s now-defunct music uploading feature. Spotify, it should be noted, lets you upload music from your desktop.
We were pleased to see “Immigrant Song,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Black Dog,” and other Led Zeppelin classics appear on-screen after keying the band’s name into Music Unlimited’s large search box.
They’re the real tracks, too, not tribute works by bands no one cares about (though those also show up in the search results). The tracks sound good, as they stream up to a clear, 320Kbps bitrate in standard quality. This matches Tidal’s Premium (320Kbps) service tier for the same $9.99 per month.
Music Unlimited has one of the best lyric features we’ve seen in the streaming music space. Instead of offering a static page like Deezer, Music Unlimited has karaoke-like scrolling text that moves in time with the performance. It’s really cool, and we’d like other services to adopt similar lyrics integration.
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