Tidal vs. Qobuz

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Northy

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Hi folks, my next upgrade will be an Auralic G1.1 steaming transport. In order to get the best sound quality, I think there are only two major streaming services, Tidal and Qobuz offering the most hi-rez selections. I would like to hear from my comrades here about your experience with either of these services. My number one priority is the sound quality but want to make sure I have access to a good library of music too. Please let me know what you think and any recommendations or alternative services I may have overlooked! :)
 

Robert D

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I like Tidal a lot. I find a single album will sometimes have 4 version or more on there. 2 versions of MQA at different bit rates. Sometimes I find older versions mastered earlier sound better. It's nice to have the choice.
 

PVMIKE

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I have had both Tidal and Qobuz. I ended up dropping Tidal for several reasons. Before I get into those reasons I do have to say that in my opinion Tidal has more older music I am familiar with. I chose to stay with Qobuz because they have more music I wanted to explore. I also liked the sound quality more. I can't give you numbers, I just like the sound better. I also do not care personally to support the owners of Tidal for several reasons I will not get into here.
 
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I have both. Enjoy both. Somewhat different title coverage as not all content is available on both and unfortunately I enjoy some of the material only available on one or the other, so have both. Sound quality is good on both but is dependent on quality of original recording. I do find myself listening to Tidal more as their recommended playlist seem to match my taste.
 

DanR

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I have both. Enjoy both. Somewhat different title coverage as not all content is available on both and unfortunately I enjoy some of the material only available on one or the other, so have both. Sound quality is good on both but is dependent on quality of original recording. I do find myself listening to Tidal more as their recommended playlist seem to match my taste.
Great point about the recommended playlists on Tidal. Once you listen for a good amount of hours it puts together what I think are great suggested play lists. I listened to one this morning for an hour and a half it was excellent!
 

MisterB

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I had both Tidal and Qobuz for a while. Flipped back and forth between the two, comparing the same albums, and, based on nothing more than my ears and my perceptions, Qobuz's FLAC sounded better to me than Tidal's MQA. Qobuz does a "Weekly Q" playlist that's based on your listening habits, but I don't think Qobuz gives recommendations to the extent Tidal does. Wasn't really a consideration for me as I like what I like and don't venture too much outside of those genres.
 

andrew.hendler

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Another vote for Qobuz. I had Tidal first, and then both for a while, and for the past couple years use Qobuz exclusively. I like Qobuz better for a number of reasons - some of which have been mentioned:

- I'd rather have high-res flac than MQA. My system is setup better for flac, and, logically, you have to assume that high res flac is as good or better than MQA, because there is no lossy compression. While the Auralic G1.1 can handle MQA, it does so with Auralic's own algorithms, so it is not really unpacking the MQA at least as the MQA people intended. That said, if your DAC handles MQA, you can pass the signal through the G1 entirely to the DAC and it will unfold as intended.

- I like to buy/own digital albums that I really like. I enjoy building a collection, and if any of the music services cease to exist, I'll still have my music. Qobuz has a "Sublime" membership tier that, in addition to streaming, gives you high discounts on all high res albums they sell. It works out that high res from Qobuz is cheaper than 44/16 from anywhere else.

- To the previous point of music services ceasing to exist, there has been some rumor that Tidal isn't doing well - and could possibly be out of the streaming market in a couple years. Now, to be sure, this is stuff I read on the internet - but I haven't read anything similar about Qobuz.

- Early on, there were albums from Tidal I couldn't find from Qobuz. I don't have that problem anymore; everything I want is on Qobuz. The selection has really improved. I don't know if it has everything tidal has still, but I listen to a wide range of music - and can't remember the last time I couldn't find something.

- I use Roon as my primary music software. At this point, it's so good I can't imagine using anything else; it's not cheap but well worth it to me. It integrates equally well with Tidal and Qobuz, however, I believe Roon's recommendation is better than either - and Roon will recommend albums on Qobuz for me. Roon has also launched Roon ARC, which allows you to stream your own music files, along with your streaming services all through the same app to your phone or anywhere over the internet. Therefore, I don't use the streaming apps individually anymore - so if there is a difference in the recommendation engine, It would be irrelevant for my use case.
 
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Northy

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Thanks very much to everyone for your tips and opinions. One thing for sure, I will not have subscriptions to both services at once. But I may sign up for their free trials and see for myself.
 

ES347

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..Qobuz here..rarely is there an album that isn’t available via their search engine
 

Northy

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Happy new year folks, I hope everyone had a great break! Santa Clause delivered the Auralic G1.1 mid December and it has been set up and is breaking in. I am truly impressed with its fidelity, robust speed, and the amazing Lightning DS control app. My own files ripped from DVD Audio discs at 96/24 sound awesome streamed from 1TB SSD. As I mentioned before, Qobuz is still not available in the Great White North. So I signed up with Tidal for a 2-month trial for $4 with their upper tier choice. Since my Holo DAC cannot decode MQA, I am capped at CD quality. The unit also can stream natively from Amazon Music up to 384KHZ. I am wondering if any of you are using Amazon's streaming service and how you like it.
 

Northy

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I went ahead and took advantage of Amazon's three-month free trial. I have to say the quality of the files is not bad. The bonus for me is that there are many 96 and 192 KHZ files available which I could not enjoy with Tidal.
 
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