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Qobuz still sounds better than Apple Music?

lugia

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Hey everyone! I've been listening to lossless music for quite a while and made the switch from Qobuz to Apple Music when they released the lossless functionality but in my car via Bluetooth Qobuz still sounds more clear than Apple Music? The sound system in the Model 3 is pretty decent but it shouldn't sound that different. Has anyone else experienced this before as well? I'm not sure if Apple Music is just worse than Qobuz sound quality wise but I don't have a DAC so I can't actually verify if it is any worse with a decent set of headphones. PlexAmp sounds better via Bluetooth as well but it might be that Apple says this in their FAQ

Rich (BB code):
Can I listen to lossless audio over Bluetooth?

We will deliver music using lossless audio compression to your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
Lossless will play back normally on Bluetooth speakers and headphones. However, Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.

Although Bluetooth doesn't support lossless audio Qobuz still sounds way more clear than Apple Music in my car? Someone on Reddit suggested that it might be that Apple Music is using ALAC instead of FLAC?

Thanks for taking the time to read the thread, let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!
 

tmtomh

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Whatever the cause might be, it's not ALAC vs FLAC. If you are listening via Bluetooth, it might be the Bluetooth codec that each service uses - there are some quite audible differences among them.
 
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lugia

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Whatever the cause might be, it's not ALAC vs FLAC. If you are listening via Bluetooth, it might be the Bluetooth codec that each service uses - there are some quite audible differences among them.
That must be it honestly, I can't think of it being anything else.
 

bevok

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It could be the volume level of Qobuz as well. When I’ve done informal comparisons in the past that was the case. But equally it would be interesting to know what Bluetooth codec is being used. If LDAC then you do have a pretty high data rate - at that point perhaps Apple Music is set to stream in AAC on mobile or somehow files have downloaded in AAC?
Personally id put money on volume level, AAC is a very good lossless codec and you need to listen pretty critically to fault it. Well I should say I can’t but there are surveys with similar results.
 
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lugia

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It could be the volume level of Qobuz as well. When I’ve done informal comparisons in the past that was the case. But equally it would be interesting to know what Bluetooth codec is being used. If LDAC then you do have a pretty high data rate - at that point perhaps Apple Music is set to stream in AAC on mobile or somehow files have downloaded in AAC?
Personally id put money on volume level, AAC is a very good lossless codec and you need to listen pretty critically to fault it. Well I should say I can’t but there are surveys with similar results.
I went out and purchased a lightning to 3.5mm adapter and with my HD 6xx Qobuz also sounds better still. I'm not sure what exactly Apple is doing, if they have different masters or what but the difference is still there with my headphones ‍♂️
 

Headchef

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Apple are doing some very clever audio processing, they can identify instruments, voices, artefacts, etc very accurately and then pass it through the Dolby processes “on the fly”. It’s this which will ultimately give them the market dominance and ability to de-code/master for each and any device that the original “mastered for iTunes”/“Apple Masters”/etc file is squirting out of.

if I had stock in Tidal or MQA I’d be getting rid right now!
 

Tangband

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Hey everyone! I've been listening to lossless music for quite a while and made the switch from Qobuz to Apple Music when they released the lossless functionality but in my car via Bluetooth Qobuz still sounds more clear than Apple Music? The sound system in the Model 3 is pretty decent but it shouldn't sound that different. Has anyone else experienced this before as well? I'm not sure if Apple Music is just worse than Qobuz sound quality wise but I don't have a DAC so I can't actually verify if it is any worse with a decent set of headphones. PlexAmp sounds better via Bluetooth as well but it might be that Apple says this in their FAQ

Rich (BB code):
Can I listen to lossless audio over Bluetooth?

We will deliver music using lossless audio compression to your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
Lossless will play back normally on Bluetooth speakers and headphones. However, Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.

Although Bluetooth doesn't support lossless audio Qobuz still sounds way more clear than Apple Music in my car? Someone on Reddit suggested that it might be that Apple Music is using ALAC instead of FLAC?

Thanks for taking the time to read the thread, let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

The difference you hear is dependent of your hardware.
I have compared Qobuz and TIDAL with Apple music lossless/high resolution with my high-end Genelec monitors and there is absolutely none of the differences you mention. They all sound the same, and slightly better than spotify 320 kbit/s.
Apple lossless are lossless, there is no worse quality than Qobuz or TIDAL.
 
Last edited:

DeLub

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I don't really understand how Apple Digital Master could sound better than lossless. An album gets a digital master logo if lossless source files of at minimum 16/44.1 are delivered to Apple. The files then undergo an "Apple process": sample rate is reduced to 44.1kHz (if necessary) and the files are lossy compressed to 256kbps AAC files. Don't get me wrong: these files are (almost) indistinguishable from the lossless source files... but I don't get how they sound better.

What Apple is doing, is described here.
 

Ata

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I believe Apple Digital Masters are (mostly) 24 bit. The document you linked says:

"The deliverable for Apple Digital Masters is the original 24 bit PCM file."
 
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lugia

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The difference you hear is dependent of your hardware.
I have compared Qobuz and TIDAL with Apple music lossless/high resolution with my high-end Genelec monitors and there is absolutely none of the differences you mention. They all sound the same, and slightly better than spotify 320 kbit/s.
Apple lossless are lossless, there is no worse quality than Qobuz or TIDAL.
Are you using iOS or a Mac computer?
On my iPhone it sounds a tad worse than Qobuz but on my new MacBook it doesn’t happen. Even via Bluetooth.
 

Ata

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Apple, Qobuz, Tidal, etc all get their digital files from the same sources, the music distribution houses or the artists directly. There are no real reasons these same files should sound different other than minute differences in DACs or internal software (player) resampling. If you can hear difference, check your setups or try a different player.
 
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