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Sound quality: Spotify Premium vs Qobuz. Convince Spotify very high quality has good enough sound quality.

Foulchet

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I had 4/5 on the NPR test but even if you hear a difference (really small I admit, highs region is where I notice the difference) that does not mean that the MP3 sounds « worse ». In fact it can sound more pleasing.
However on the long run I notice that I feel more « satisfied » with a long session of Lossless than MP3. MP3 sounds also more fatiguing quickly and finally I notice that I have to set the overall sound level higher with MP3 to match the enjoyment.

Of course we are on ASR and it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy but I really did not really consciously expected this.
 

iMickey503

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take this for what it's worth but Spotify has been one of the only online streaming services that has bad or damaged tracks uploaded and there's no way to report them or do anything about it at least from inside the application.

some of their uploads for example of RATT seem to be very low quality or maybe there's something else wrong with the track but I've noticed this more often than not with Spotify compared to other music streaming services.

98% of the time it's just good.

I did extensive listening test between Amazon HD and Spotify. I only did a few songs back-to-back while testing the same exact one and I'm still not ready to give a verdict yet but I can tell you Spotify as well able to hold its own
 

phoenixdogfan

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Spotify also provides gapless playback to my Chromecast and DLNA devices which Qobuz doesn't (absent intermediate use of Roon or Audirvana). Pretty good odds I'll be dumping Qobuz when Spotify goes lossless.
Anyone know how much it will cost in the US? And how is it for Classical music?
 

BN1

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Spotify Hifi should be released later this year. I don't know its pricing or if it will be available in my country, but it probably will be the best streaming service for me if it's available here. However, I don't have that choice now so I will be choosing between Spotify Premium and Qobuz.

My setup is PC -> Topping E30 -> Topping L30 -> Focal Clear.

I don't have golden ears. I did the NPR test and only got 1 out of 6.

I use Spotify Premium in very high sound quality without volume normalization. As far as I know, Spotify Premium with very high sound quality is 320 kbps OGG Vorbis. Qobuz is either CD 16 bit / 44,1 kHz or Hi-Res (24 bit / up to 192 kHz).

The positives of Spotify Premium:
1. It's way faster. It works smoothly. Qobuz is slow. Starting Qobuz is slow. It takes seconds for songs to start to play while Spotify is instant.
2. Spotify has an excellent music discovery feature. Qobuz is way worse in this regard.
3. Spotify is easy to control with several devices. For example, I can control it with my phone while listening via headphones that are plugged in to a computer.
4. Spotify is cheaper. It is 6,49 euros per month while Qobuz is 19,99 euros. The higher price of Qobuz isn't a dealbreaker, but of course the cheaper the better.
5. Spotify should have adequate sound quality.
6. Spotify playlist has a song limit of 10 000 songs, which is higher than Qobuz's limit of 1 000.

The positives of Qobuz:
1. Higher sound quality. Either CD or Hi-Res. Whether the difference compared to the 320 kbps OGG Vorbis is audible or not is a different question.
2. WASAPI Exclusive. I don't know if this makes a difference or not - I read that Windows 10 should have a good sound system so WASAPI exclusive isn't needed, but I still use it just to be sure.

I want to like Spotify. It's cheaper, faster, has a better music discovery and I can control it with several devices. However, sometimes I feel that Qobuz sounds better. Maybe it's the WASAPI exclusive? Or different mastering? Is it just a placebo? If I go with Qobuz, will I be paying more just to benefit from a placebo? Maybe I just enjoy knowing that I have the highest sound quality even if in practice I can't differentiate it from Spotify Premium very high quality?

If the Spotify Hifi is available here later this year I will probably go with it. But until that it's Spotify Premium vs Qobuz. I want like Spotify, and I do like it, but I have this weird feeling of Qobuz having better sound quality. Is it just expectation bias? I have read a lot of how people find it hard or impossible to differentiate between 320 kbps and lossless, and I believe I won't be able to differentiate them either.

Good analysis. I have old ears & damaged hearing so taking the various sound quality tests usually implies that I am mostly guessing (which, typically, is the case). We usually listen to music via distributed audio as background so SQ likely doesn't matter much. I recently moved from Pandora (free) to Spotify (free) and after the initial familiarization period like Spotify a whole lot. Amazon Music is not available for me on Yamaha MusicCast due to the age of my avr. I may be a candidate for Spotify Premium if they don't raise the price any when they offer lossless (thanks Amazon !!!). $10/mo is all that I'd want to spend for the benefits noted over the free services.
 

MaxBuck

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I haven't done any objective ABX, and I fail all the "can you tell them apart" tests. Nonetheless Spotify sounds like crap to me.

I'm a big believer in no-cost trial periods. :)
 

Joe Smith

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I like Spotify's interface and don't hear much of a quality difference from Amazon HD even in Spotify's current state. I have not figured out how to solve the frequent breaks/drop outs with Amazon HD, so don't plan to renew. I am hoping when Spotify comes out with their CD quality plan, it is not too much more than I am currently paying on the Family plan and that I don't get drop-outs like I am experiencing with Amazon.
 

BN1

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I like Spotify's interface and don't hear much of a quality difference from Amazon HD even in Spotify's current state. I have not figured out how to solve the frequent breaks/drop outs with Amazon HD, so don't plan to renew. I am hoping when Spotify comes out with their CD quality plan, it is not too much more than I am currently paying on the Family plan and that I don't get drop-outs like I am experiencing with Amazon.

Ditto for me. Hopefully, strong market pressure from Amazon & Apple will force Spotify to offer similar upgrade for no cost over existing premium.
 

Dimitrov

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Sorry if this is somewhat unrelated, but I have also have a question regarding Spotify quality sound. I have the Premium option, however I'm streaming using Spotify on my TV app, and this is connected to my AVR using HDMI.

Is this way of listening to Spotify degrading my sound quality? Or do most people use the app on their TV? There is no better way than that? What do you guys recommend for getting the most of Spotify or streaming services like it?
 

BN1

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Sorry if this is somewhat unrelated, but I have also have a question regarding Spotify quality sound. I have the Premium option, however I'm streaming using Spotify on my TV app, and this is connected to my AVR using HDMI.

Is this way of listening to Spotify degrading my sound quality? Or do most people use the app on their TV? There is no better way than that? What do you guys recommend for getting the most of Spotify or streaming services like it?
This site gives a pretty good comparison:
Spotify Web Player vs Desktop: Which One to Choose (tuneskit.com)
 

BN1

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Well, it's near the end of Nov and we're still waiting on Spotify to announce details about their "Hi-Fi" service. I think that they started promising improved sound quality about 5 yrs ago so why rush things ? Seems Spotify is more focused on acquisitions and portfolio management these days than on music streaming. Moved over to Amazon HD recently and got improved sound quality at a lower price than current Spotify. The change was somewhat difficult (Amazon: :rolleyes:) but once that I got thru the learning curve with AMU-HD I am happy with the change.
 
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