Downloading HD Music and Studiomaster Recordings
The CD collection is ripped in 16 Bit / 44.1 kHz, the USB audio server is fully configured, and the connected DAC sounds great. What's missing is that little extra oomph of audiophile high-bit candy to get out that last ounce of dynamics and audio information so that you appreciate the advantages of High Resolution Audio (HRA) in 24 Bit / 96 kHz or 24 Bit / 192 kHz or better.
In the following, a selection of download links for
A) Online Shops for HD Audio Downloads which offer the download of HD Tracks, and:
B) Free HD Music Downloads - samples, high-resolution tracks and audiophile snippets in FLAC, WAV and more highres file formats
And for all of you who like to listen to HD radio and highres streaming sites, check out our overview of Online Lossless Radio Streams.
- Tip 1: www.hdtracks.com
HDtracks is the premiere online music store for audiophiles and serious music fans who demand the best sounding music. It is the purpose of HDtracks to provide the largest online library of studio-quality high-resolution music downloads complete with liner notes [whenever available]. HDtracks provides the highest quality recordings with an online experience not available anywhere else by supplying downloads in 24 Bit with 44.1, 48, 88, 96, or 192 kHz, with the highest resolution they offer being 352 kHz / 24 Bit audio. Hdtracks works with 100s of records labels including the largest major labels and distributors. The store is the first of its kind, and remains the destination where true audiophiles go for their quality audio downloads and exemplary customer service.
Only for 24bit96 users: Get your HD Music Discount Code for HDTracks.com now!
- Tip 2: www.promates.com
At ProMates Music Store the aim is to provide the best HD Music quality and, if possible they deliver music in the sample rate at which it was originally recorded. Here it is possible to download very high quality DXD recordings, with international artists like New York Philharmonic and Michala Petri. You can also purchase these albums in a lower sample rate, as not everybody needs the highest possible definition.
- Tip 3: www.primephonic.com
As part of the "label of the month campaign", Primephonic offers a Sono Luminus compilation for free in FLAC quality.
7digital is a comprehensive global download store with an extensive catalogue of both 16-bit / 44 kHz and 24-bit / 192 kHz tracks in most major markets. 7digital offers in-depth editorial features including festival coverage, artist interviews, weekly album deals and staff recommendations. Hi-Res downloads are available on 7digital's Android and iOS apps and can be accessed by users in the UK, United States, Australia, Canada, parts of Europe and Latin America with new territories being added regularly.
Small but classy download shop for classical music in high resolution.
Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez launched in 2013, becoming the first music download service to offer mainstream albums in Direct Stream Digital (DSD), the audio format used to produce Super Audio CDs (SACD). Super HiRez also sells FLAC and ALAC files in hi-res. Acousticsounds has deals with all the major labels and many independent independents, and music from all genres. And you can purchase Vinyl LPs and Audio-Equipment as well.
Analekta is the largest independent classical recording company in Canada. The HighRes-Download-Shop offers Analekta's entire catalogue in physical CD, MP3 and two types of FLAC formats: 44.1kHz or 88.2kHz (check each title for actual details). Customers can also preview all pieces in full length for free, purchase pre-paid packages or pay as you go. Analekta has a loyalty points system that offers free recordings after a number of purchases. Deliveries are offered world-wide.
This is a great place to discover new music from artists you never heard before and support them directly. Bandcamp offers all styles, except classical music. HD Downloads in FLAC and ALAC.
Bleep.com was launched in January 2004 by independent music and film company Warp, and have since cemented a reputation as the best download boutique store catering for passionate music fans. Being the first download store to offer DRM-free high quality format music made Bleep one of the first companies to put their faith in the integrity and intelligence of their customers. As well as Warp, they work closely with such key independent labels as Domino, Hyperdub, Stones Throw, XL, Ninja Tune, One Little Indian, k7, Planet Mu, Rough Trade, Kompakt as well as leaders and distributors of independent film, literature and publishing. Having this relationship allows Bleep to filter through the music and bring the highest quality from the four corners of the globe through various spectrums and styles of music and art to you.
This is the "Independent Music Specialist" offering a huge range of excellent and exciting tracks.
Burning Shed is an online label and store specialising in Singer-Songwriter, Progressive, Ambient/Electronica and Art Rock music. Burning Shed hosts the official online shops for Porcupine Tree, Panegyric (King Crimson), Kscope, Ape (Andy Partridge/XTC), No-Man, Jethro Tull, Thomas Dolby, Medium Productions (Jansen, Barbieri and Karn), Peaceville and Hatfield and the North, amongst others. All rights remain with the artists whose music Burning Shed releases and more profits go directly to the artists than with sales generated elsewhere. Burning Shed 24 - https://www.burningshed.com/store/24 - sells the 24 bit downloads available from Burning Shed. Titles include albums by Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree, Anathema and others. Hi-res flac downloads of music by the likes of XTC/Andy Partridge, no-man, The Pineapple Thief and Peter Hammill are also available from the site www.burningshed.co.uk.
Bowers & Wilkins is now offering its own high-bit music in excellent quality.
Old-fashioned-looking store of the label Cedilla, but very easy to use. Many of the HD Music files are available in FLAC 24-bit (Studio Quality).
- New: www.chandos.net
chandos.net offers the complete Chandos catalogue in CD/SACD format as well as a variety of download formats (320kbps MP3s, lossless downloads in FLAC and ALAC, and now Studio Master Albums in 24bit/96Khz FLAC, both in Stereo and Surround), for over 60 world class classical labels along with complete electronic booklets and front cover images. Designed for the classical music enthusiast this online shop is one of the world’s premium DRM-free download stores dedicated to classical music. As a classical music devotee, you have access to thousands of tracks from the world’s leading independent labels, with free sampling of any track. Every classical genre is supported, from early music to contemporary, and everything in-between.
You love classical music - this is your shop! Sometimes free samples available.
The label classicrecords.at and therefore the online store was founded in 2012 and provides only organ music in various qualities. The hd-music-download qualities include MP3 (256k), AAC (320k), CD quality (44.1 / 16), and - depending on the master data recording - a sample rate of 48kHz, 96kHz or 88,6kHz and a resolution of max. 24bit. Furthermore many recordings are offered on physical CD (Sony) or via CD on Demand. classicrecords.at also produces recordings as part of live concerts or studio recordings.
Only Danish Music - recordings available as exclusive lossles hi-res files.
At eClassical you can download albums in FLAC 16 and 24 bit with sample rates up to 192kHz. Their pricing is per second. You can pre-listen to a whole track in 30 second segments. Download booklets in pdf for most albums. If you don't like the music you purchase, just let them know and they will send you the money back. No questions asked. Their guarantee covers all downloadable music at eClassical.com. At the moment the labels offered by eClassical are focused on the independent sector – so currently the emphasis is on labels like BIS, Harmonia Mundi, Accent, Atma, Chandos, Danacord, Glossa, Hänssler Classic, Ondine, Opera Rara, Pentatone, Profil, Signum and Tudor (and about 200 others!).
Some Free Hi-Res Download TEst Files available as well.
The award-winning Gimell label features audiophile recordings by The Tallis Scholars available to download in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound formats at resolutions up to 192kHz/24bit. FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC) and WMA file formats are available. The Tallis Scholars are the world's finest and busiest vocal ensemble specialising in sacred music of the Renaissance era.
Another small, classy store. Some of the musicians blog here, too.
HD-Klassik.com (= Cybele Records GmbH) offers "first classical music downloads" of several audiophile classical music labels as high-resolution FLAC and DSD Downloads as well as USB flash drives, as SACD and CDs and more - all this means timeless fascinating music in highresolution.
HifiTrack was first launched in 2008 in Hong Kong targeting the CAS (Computer as Source) and mass audience. We are now partnering with over 40 local and international, major and independent music labels to offer HD digital music files pay-per-download service to our users from all over the world. We also carry DSD files.
HifiTrack is the first Hi-res music download site in Greater China, and it is one of the firsts in the world.
Music from ancient reel-to-reel-tapes in high-bit quality (DSD / Flac). One of the first companies to offer High Resolution downloads since 2006. Also offering downloads from private labels.
HIGHRESAUDIO is founded by a team of experienced, visionary and enthusiastic music specialists in Germany. They embrace the transformation brought by technologies to the music industry and audiophiles in the pursuit of the ultrasonic music experience. HIGHRESAUDIO develops innovative services and applications, business models and shape new commercial opportunities for record labels, artists and manufacturers of digital audio products. The shop has currently signed 109 labels including Warner, Universal and Sony and offer close to +6300 albums and offers only native and original digital 24-bit "Studio Masters" in FLAC, ALAC, DXD from 44.1kHz to 352.8 kHz as wells DSD 2.8 MHz (DSD64).
Hyperion Records is an independent classical label in the UK. They make 75 new recordings each year and our web site is offering albums in Studio Master FLAC & ALAC of all of our recordings released over the past three years and we adding new titles on a monthly basis. These are 24-bit files and at whatever sampling frequency (44.1 kHz, 88.2 kHz or 96 kHz) was used by the recording engineer at the time of recording. Our metadata is peerless.
Itrax.com was among the very first high-res download sites in the world following e-onkyo in 2007 and is the only high-res site that offers exclusively high-res recordings in both stereo and surround. Every track was recorded at 96 kHz/24-bits or higher...there are no transfers of older standard-res analog tapes into high-res digital formats. They offer a wide variety of formats and different mixing perspectives at real 96 kHz/24-bit resolution. If you want to hear what real high-resolution audio sounds like, check out iTrax.com.
This is a small Australian label with only classical music. All the lossless files are available as Studio Master Quality Downloads
Insiders' tip for DSD and HiRez Downloads.
From running hi-res download stores in Japan since 2005, Onkyo have built a reputation as pioneers in the field. Their onkyomusic stores include an expansive catalogue of music in 16-bit / 44 kHz and a large selection in 24-bit / 192 kHz. Onkyomusic is available to users in The United States, The UK, Germany and Japan (called e-onkyo in Japan).
Primephonic offers an extensive catalogue of classical music for customers to explore. The mission is to deliver music files in DSD, FLAC and WAV formats. An uncensored and uncondensed classical music experience, available to all customers.
Very good selection of classical music available as FLAC in highresolution.
Small but nice selection of HD Music Downloads.
THE shop for classic rock and R&B. Alas, few downloads, but good own-combinations.
Soundliaison offers High-Resolution Audio Downloads and original Studio Masters in PCM, DSD and FLAC.
Great Site from Norway for independent, non-profit, very modern music. You can choose to download the music in 24bit/96kHz high definition audio.
Technics Tracks is a modern store with millions of tracks in 16-bit / 44 kHz and hundreds of thousands of tracks in 24-bit / 192 kHz. Their editorial features include "Technics Selections" and exclusive artist interviews. The store is currently available for users in Germany and the UK. The store also has apps for Android and iOS.
Warning: Please note - Pirated Copies!
When searching with the usual search engines for "24/96 downloads," you will get a huge number of hits for very attractive and freebie download offers from privately digitalized records or compact cassette rips. There surely is nothing to say against digitalizing your own vinyl collection with an A/D Converter - however, to upload or download these is quite another matter.