Japanese HiFi Music Store Expands to the US, UK, and Germany

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Hifi audio is the “next big thing,” with multiple companies trying to take hold of the market. This is true both on the streaming audio side and on the digital storefront side, with companies like Tidal, WiMP, and Pono.  But how many consumers care about high resolution audio?  Is it just a niche market?

That remains to be seen…

Onkyo Music is the latest company to bank on widespread adoption of high res music. The company is expanding their Japanese high resolution digital audio store, which has been around since 2005.  They’ve partnered with 7digital to expand to the U.S., U.K., and Germany.  They plan to expand further in the near future.

Onkyo Music sells FLAC files, the majority of which “have a bit depth of 24-bit and a sample rate of 96kHz,” although some releases have a sample rate of 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, or 192kHz.

The service is in beta on the web, and is also offered through iOS and Android apps. Albums are $15-$20 and tracks are around $1.29 – $1.99.

Onkyo, Onkyo Music’s parent company, makes a variety of high res audio products.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u


6 Responses

  1. Name2

    This explains the smattering of 16 and 24 bit flacs now appearing in the 7digital store.

    Bjork’s CD doesn’t come out until March 8, but I was able to buy a 16/44.1 flac download last week.

  2. Corey Koehler

    Is there market? IMHO there is. Niche is the safest bet but as the technology to deliver this stuff gets better and people start hearing the difference it could grow.

    I wonder if this doesn’t become standard, as in Spotify or other music services just add it as an upsell at first then eventually part of the package.

    Either, there is more money in it if people are willing to pay for it. A new revenue stream for musicians. That’s good right?

  3. Anonymous

    DVD-A and SACD never really caught on so it’ll probably be a niche market at best.

    Plus the average person is probably listening to music through some pretty mediocre hardware at best.

    • Name2

      DVD-A and SACD (and BluRay audio) come with hurdles galore. Unless you follow those sites that host piracy software tools.

      And that would be wrong.