What does Exclusive Mode in Amazon Music do?

Amazon Music
Isolated sounds: play Amazon Music without interruptions

If you’re using the Amazon Music app on your computer, you may have noticed a setting called Exclusive Mode. It appears as an option when you select which set of speakers you want the music to play from. What does Exclusive Mode do? Wonder no more.

Amazon Music Exclusive Mode

Amazon’s Exclusive Mode is actually a very neat feature that I haven’t seen in other streaming music apps. Basically, it devotes the selected speaker exclusively to the sound from Amazon Music, cutting out all other computer sounds.

That means that your music playback won’t be interrupted by the notification chirps that alert you to new emails or even those annoying autoplaying video ads that many web pages include (any auto-playing ads that might appear on this website are Oscar-winning productions and should be watched intently).

You can switch on Exclusive Mode by clicking on the little speaker icon in the bottom right of the Amazon Music window, selecting your chosen playback source (ie. a set of Bluetooth speakers) and then clicking the little Exclusive Mode slider, as shown below.

Amazon Music Exclusive Mode

Now you can listen to David Bowie without any ch, ch, ch, chimes.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at


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  • That isn’t at all what exclusive mode is. Exclusive mode is supposed to allow the app to use Exclusive WASAPI mode instead of shared mode. This allows the app to bypass the windows mixer (and similarly on macOS) and lets the app change the output bitrate and bit-depth automatically to match the content you are playing. It more or less lets your audio application to talk directly to your DAC, and let it tell it what settings to use.

    • “Amazon’s Exclusive Mode is actually a very neat feature that I haven’t seen in other streaming music apps”
      Hate to be *that* guy but uh..
      Other streaming apps that have (a real) exclusive mode just off the top of my head
      2. Tidal

  • Unfortunately that’s not what Amazon Music exclusive mode does. It actually does what Barry says which is mostly pointless.

  • I’m using a firefly red from audioquest and after selecting the music exclusive mode the audio sound improves quite a bit so it seems to do wh what Max explains in its comment.

  • Nope, Amazon music exclusive mode does NOT “change the output bitrate and bit-depth automatically to match the content.” The only way to match the Amazon music file bitrate/sample rate to one’s music playback chain is to manually change Windows (or Mac’s) mixer setting EVERY time the Amazon songs’ resolution changes.
    I have many others have complained to Amazon support repeatedly, but as of now, Amazon has no plans to repair this huge flaw in the Amazon music app.
    To rub salt to wound, Amazon arbitrarily labels their songs “Ultra HD” even if they are only 24bit/44.1kHz or 24bit/48kHz even though these resolutions are generally not considered “high resolution” in the community.
    I have requested Amazon support to display the actual bitrate/sample rate on their songs instead of just “Ultra HD” to save the trouble of clicking/opening new window to find out if the song is actually in high resolution. I encourage others to make similar two requests to Amazon support so that Amazon may be motivated to do something.

  • Exclusive Mode seems to bypass other audio processing on Windows. I have a equalizer app (Peace) that is disabled when I turn Exclusive mode on. To my ears sound is improved with Exclusive Mode.

  • Tidal has true exclusive mode as explained by Max Morin. My dac displays the actual sample frequency and I see a change when I switch to exclusive mode in Tidal (96k to 44.1k for a non MQA track). In Amazon Music nothing happens be it a HD or UHD track and even if I set oversampling in Windows to 384k.