Acoustic compressional and shear wave velocities (VP, VS) of anhydrous (AHRG) and hydrous rhyolitic glasses (HRG) containing 3.28 wt% (HRG-3) and 5.90 wt% (HRG-6) total water concentration (H2Ot) have been measured using Brillouin light scattering (BLS) spectroscopy up to 3 GPa in a diamond-anvil cell at ambient temperature. In addition, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to measure the speciation of H2O in the glasses up to 3 GPa. At ambient pressure, HRG-3 contains 1.58 (6) wt% hydroxyl groups (OH–) and 1.70 (7) wt% molecular water (H2Om) while HRG-6 contains 1.67 (10) wt% OH– and 4.23 (17) wt% H2Om where the numbers in parentheses are ±1σ. With increasing pressure, very little H2Om, if any, converts to OH– within uncertainties in hydrous rhyolitic glasses such that HRG-6 contains much more H2Om than HRG-3 at all experimental pressures. We observe a nonlinear relationship between high-pressure sound velocities and H2Ot, which is attributed to the distinct effects of each water species on acoustic velocities and elastic moduli of hydrous glasses. Near ambient pressure, depolymerization due to OH– reduces VS and G more than VP and KS. VP and KS in both anhydrous and hydrous glasses decrease with increasing pressure up to ~1–2 GPa before increasing with pressure. Above ~1–2 GPa, VP and KS in both hydrous glasses converge with those in AHRG. In particular, VP in HRG-6 crosses over and becomes higher than VP in AHRG. HRG-6 displays lower VS and G than HRG-3 near ambient pressure, but VS and G in these glasses converge above ~2 GPa. Our results show that hydrous rhyolitic glasses with ~2–4 wt% H2Om can be as incompressible as their anhydrous counterpart above ~1.5 GPa. The nonlinear effects of hydration on high-pressure acoustic velocities and elastic moduli of rhyolitic glasses observed here may provide some insight into the behavior of hydrous silicate melts in felsic magma chambers at depth.