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Amazon Music Prime vs. Music Unlimited: What’s the difference?

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon Prime gets free music, but Music Unlimited offers more features.
  • Amazon Prime Music has limits, Unlimited has hi-res audio and full-on demand.
  • If you have Amazon Prime, try Music Prime first, then upgrade to Unlimited if needed.


Amazon gives customers a lot with Amazon Prime. You get the stuff you expect, like free one or two-day shipping, extra deals on Amazon Prime Days, access to Amazon Prime Video, and even some perks for Twitch users, Kindle readers, and more. Another perk is access to Amazon Music Prime, which is a nearly full-featured music streaming service.

Alternatively, people can get Amazon Music Unlimited. You don’t need an Amazon Prime account to get it, and it also has more features than Amazon Prime Music. The differences between the two are more than skin deep, however, so let’s take a look at both services and what they do differently.


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Music Prime is a Prime subscription perk

You might not even know you have access to it

Amazon Music Prime 2

Pocket-lint

Amazon Music Prime is the version of Amazon Music that comes as part of an Amazon Prime membership. It lets you listen to all the songs on the service along with ad-free podcasts. Currently, Amazon boasts over 100 million tracks and an unknown number of podcasts, although Amazon does say that there are millions.

In addition, Amazon Prime Music has shuffle mode streaming, no skip limits on playlists or existing stations, and the service lets you download music to listen to offline. Offline playback is limited to the user’s All-Access Playlist. It’s usable on any platform that supports Amazon Music, although some platforms may have additional limitations. For example, Fire tablets like the Fire HD 10 may not have access to the full music library.

Related

How to cancel Amazon Music Unlimited and alternatives to try

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Music Unlimited unlocks high-def audio

It has all the goods, including podcasts

Amazon Music Unlimited 3

Pocket-lint

Amazon Music Unlimited is the highest tier of music streaming that Amazon offers. You don’t need an Amazon Prime account to use it, although you do get a small discount if you have one. Non-Prime customers pay $10.99 per month for the service, whereas Prime members can get it for $9.99. This version of the service is similar to Amazon Music Prime on the surface, including having full, on-demand access to 100 million music tracks, the entire library of podcasts, and cross-platform support.

Amazon Music Unlimited also adds some extra features. One example is HD and Ultra HD music, which is what Amazon calls its Hi-Fi mode. It also introduces spatial audio and better support on Fire TV and Fire tablet devices. With the family plan, it lets you stream on up to six devices at once as well.

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What is Amazon Music Unlimited and how does it work?

Everything you need to know about Amazon Music Unlimited prices, quality and device support.


Amazon Music Prime vs. Amazon Music Unlimited: Key differences

The differences grow the more you look

Amazon Music Unlimited 1`

Pocket-lint

Let’s go down feature-by-feature and discuss the differences between the two. We’ll also compare it to the free Amazon Music option available.

Amazon Music Free

Amazon Music Prime

Amazon Music Unlimited

Price:

Free

Free with Amazon Prime

$10.99 per month ($9.99 if you have Prime)

Number of songs:

100 million

100 million

100 million

Podcasts:

Yes

Yes (except Fire TV devices)

Yes

On-demand listening:

No, radio stations only

No, shuffle mode only

Yes

Radio stations:

Yes

Yes

Yes

Audio quality

Up to 320kbps

Up to 320kbps

Up to 320kbps, HD, and Ultra HD (lossless)

Spatial audio:

No

No

Yes

Ad-free:

No

Yes, except podcasts on Fire Tablets

Yes

Limits:

One device, limited skips

One device, unlimited skips on All-Access Playlist

Up to six devices with the family plan, unlimited skips

Alexa support:

Yes

Yes

Yes

Offline support

No

All-Access Playlist only

Yes


It’s only when you get down the nitty-gritty that the differences really start to show. For example, with Music Unlimited, you get ad-free playback of everything on the service all the time on every device. For Music Prime, podcasts aren’t available on Fire TV devices, and you’ll hear ads when listening to podcasts on Fire Tablet devices. However, by and large, the biggest difference between the two is that Unlimited has full on-demand support. Amazon Music Prime sometimes lets you listen to songs you want, but usually defaults to a shuffle mode.

Related

Amazon Music Unlimited vs Spotify: Which is best?

Spotify has long been the streaming service of choice, but with the rise of Amazon, is it time to switch to Amazon Music Unlimited?

Should you try Amazon Music Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited?

If you have Prime, use Amazon Music Prime

Amazon Music Prime 3

Pocket-lint


Fortunately, this is an easy question to answer. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can try Amazon Music Prime without paying additional money. It comes as a perk of your membership, so there is no risk in trying it out. If you like what you see and want the whole experience, then simply upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited. It’s the same app, and you can upgrade directly through the app. Plus, Amazon usually has a free trial lasting anywhere from one to three months. It is three months as of this writing. Simply cancel the free trial if you decide you don’t want to use it.

An Echo Dot sits next to a house plant and Funko pop.

Amazon Music Prime

Prime members enjoy complimentary access to Amazon Music, featuring an ad-free library of 100 million songs, an extensive collection of top podcasts without ads, and a wide array of playlists and stations, all included with their Prime membership at no extra charge.

Related

How to cancel Amazon Music

Amazon’s music service might be solid value, but if you’re looking to cancel this is how to get it done.

But which Amazon music service is better?

The one with more features is clearly better

Amazon Music

Pocket-lint

That is also an easy answer. Amazon Music Unlimited is the superior choice. The hi-res music option, full on-demand support, and full offline support alone make the comparison pretty easy. Yes, it is the more expensive option, but you’d be paying about the same price for Spotify, YouTube Music, or Apple Music either way. Of its mainstream competitors, only Apple Music offers hi-res and spatial audio. The features available at this price aren’t easy to find. Amazon has a pretty good streaming service.


With that said, Amazon Music Prime is still a pretty sweet deal. Like Amazon Prime Video, it’s included with the regular Prime membership price, so people who don’t need the extra features or HD audio features can get by without any issues with Music Prime. As mentioned, it also uses the same app as Music Unlimited, so you can set up your library, All-Access playlist, and everything else. If you decide to upgrade later, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of porting playlists and library from one service to another.

Amazon Echo Pop on a bedside table

Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music Unlimited is enhancing its library with an increasing range of spatial audio tracks, utilizing Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio technologies. Prime subscribers can access Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99 monthly or choose an annual membership for $99. For customers without Prime, the service is available at $10.99 per month.

Related

How to create and edit Amazon Music playlists with Alexa

The catch? It only works with Amazon Music. Here’s how it works.

FAQ

Q: How do I cancel Amazon Music Prime or Unlimited?

Well, Amazon Prime Music comes as part of your Amazon Prime subscription. So, if you cancel regular Amazon Prime, you’ll cancel Amazon Music Prime, Amazon Prime Video, and any other perks you get with the subscription. For Unlimited, Amazon has a dedicated webpage for its music services. Head there to start canceling Amazon Music Unlimited.


Q: Does Amazon Music Prime and Unlimited work with Alexa?

Yes. In fact, all three versions of Amazon Music do, including the free one. Each one has its limitations based on its price tier, though. That is, of course, except for Unlimited, which has no restrictions. I didn’t have an Amazon Alexa device handy to test all three tiers. However, with the free variant, you can ask Alexa to play free music, and it’ll start a radio station with advertising. Amazon Music Prime does the same thing except it has no advertising. Unlimited will let you request specific songs or playlists.

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