• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Tidal Alternative

OP
X

xirtam2005

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Messages
61
Likes
18
Maybe. I run it on an iOS device and can only choose Blues-Folk-Country.

I can try it through Mconnect and DLNA in Oppo UDP-205.
Oppo 205? Nice. I really wish they still made the 205. Do you use it as a source or also as a preamp? What is the rest of your system like?
 

Timcognito

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
577
Likes
2,735
Location
NorCal
How do you connect Qobuz to your system(s), for good hi-resolution pass to DAC? Any particular settings or additional software, or just native Qobuz apps?
The one problem I do have with Qobuz is the absence of a connect feature. I run mine through ether the BluOS (4 rooms) or Roon. It does let you play and store music on your phone or tablet which I never do. I rarely use it to discover music and if I do I send it to a favorite or play list and pick it up on the BluOS. I'm not the best one to answer as use Qobuz not for their app or connectability but for the the CD/HiRez quality and vast library, very good for Jazz and world music which I like. Others may answer this better. My Node passes digital to my Topping E30 DAC to my YBA amp in my critical listening system.
 

DimitryZ

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
663
Likes
321
Location
Waltham, MA, USA
Oppo 205? Nice. I really wish they still made the 205. Do you use it as a source or also as a preamp? What is the rest of your system like?
It does disc and DAC duty very well. Amplification chain is Emotiva XSP-1 and dual XPA-2s strapped for mono and speakers are Eminent Technology 8Bs with two HSU "small" subs.
 

Eddy H.

Active Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
114
Likes
61
Currently have a Tidal Hifi Plus streaming service. Locked in discounted price through a Best Buy sale. Since it is relatively inexpensive, will plan to keep due to its convenience for downloading music on phone for car trips and sounds good enough for causal listening while working or having fun.

However, I just don't like the way it sounded on my very revealing critical listening system. It sounds off, and consider Tidal far more listenable and enjoyable when streamed through a Roku Ultra on a still good quality "midfi" Home Theater system (Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51). I thought something was wrong with my critical system and looked into Tidal.

There I discovered many issues with MQA being lossy and that Tidal is systematically getting rid of its true lossless bit perfect tracks and anh Hifi streaming of MQA tracks is even more lossy than MQA. They are effectively downgrading sound quality by removing the true lossless FLAC whether they know it or not. Tidal still sounds great to me on midfi home theater gear and a midfi car audio (Acura ELS) for non critical listening, but doesn't cut the mustard for true critical listening.

However I really like the concept of streaming and not having to purchase whole albums or individual tracks, as that would get ridiculously expensive, given the variety I like to listen to. Before Tidal I would play the same physical media tracks on a critical listening system because they sounded good but it got repetitive and wasn't actually enjoying the music. I do enjoy the Tidal music on lower tier gear. It sounds somewhat harsh and flat on the critical listening system vs. Redbook and SACDs.

Is there an alternative streaming service available that offers better sound quality than Tidal? Is Qobuz any good? Is it lossless and does it have a good selection? Amazon Music HD claims to be lossless, but I suspect it is lossy.
Imo Qobuz sounds better than Tidal. I had both at the same time and went back and forth
 

ThatM1key

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
783
Likes
599
Location
USA
There's tools that can download the files directly from Tidal, Deezer & Qobuz. You can put them on a flash drive and plug it into the front usb port of your receiver, no worries of external devices.
 

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
1,851
Likes
2,605
However, I just don't like the way it sounded on my very revealing critical listening system. It sounds off, and consider Tidal far more listenable and enjoyable when streamed through a Roku Ultra on a still good quality "midfi" Home Theater system (Marantz AV8802A, Parasound Halo A51). I thought something was wrong with my critical system and looked into Tidal.

If that’s the case (and frankly I think it’s likely in your head) then there is in fact something wrong with your so-called very revealing critical listening system.

I recently re-upped Tidal ($2 for 90 days to see if they had new or different immersive content than Apple Music, why not) and it’s fine. The problem lies elsewhere, if in fact there is one.
 
OP
X

xirtam2005

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Messages
61
Likes
18
If that’s the case (and frankly I think it’s likely in your head) then there is in fact something wrong with your so-called very revealing critical listening system.

I recently re-upped Tidal ($2 for 90 days to see if they had new or different immersive content than Apple Music, why not) and it’s fine. The problem lies elsewhere, if in fact there is one.
I'm planning to keep Tidal Hifi, as I'm happy with the content and the interface and still have good use for the service and find that it sounds good to me in most cases. I'm just looking to try if another hifi streaming service, specifically Qobuz, is better for the critical listening system. For your Tidal, do you use MQA DAC or a non MQA DAC?
 
OP
X

xirtam2005

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Messages
61
Likes
18
For those who have Qobuz, how do you get high resolution digital output to an external DAC, if playing from a windows based laptop (USB) or modern Samsung Android phone (USB to HDMI)? Does HDMI limit resolution?

My current DAC is Oppo 105.
 

VMAT4

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
693
Likes
553
Location
South Central Pennsylvania
I subscribe to most streaming services popular here.

Qobuz is great, with one exception - they don't have a separate genre selection for blues - it's together with folk and country, which is a major bummer for me.

Tidal has a much more granular genre selection.

They don't have one for Blue Grass either.
 

DimitryZ

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
663
Likes
321
Location
Waltham, MA, USA
For those who have Qobuz, how do you get high resolution digital output to an external DAC, if playing from a windows based laptop (USB) or modern Samsung Android phone (USB to HDMI)? Does HDMI limit resolution?

My current DAC is Oppo 105.
Generally via USB. You can also get a USB to everything converter as well, like this one:

Mini XMOS XU208 USB Digital... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HN3VSF8?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

If you are in the US, I can send one to you - I have a spare.
 
Last edited:

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
1,851
Likes
2,605
For your Tidal, do you use MQA DAC or a non MQA DAC?

A DAC is a pointless waste to have as a separate component for most applications. I have no idea, nor do I care, if my processor does that MQA thing. My brain is too busy with more important things.

I’m not saying keep Tidal or ditch it. No skin either way. I’m saying that for some reason audiophile imaginations often run wild over imagined slights.
 
OP
X

xirtam2005

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Messages
61
Likes
18
A DAC is a pointless waste to have as a separate component for most applications. I have no idea, nor do I care, if my processor does that MQA thing. My brain is too busy with more important things.

I’m not saying keep Tidal or ditch it. No skin either way. I’m saying that for some reason audiophile imaginations often run wild over imagined slights.

Well in my case the DAC is part of an existing device I've owned for over 9 years that also serves as the preamp and processor hooked directly to amps, so not a waste in my case, but a necessary function.

I'm curious. What is your system and what streaming service(s) do you use? I assume at least Tidal?
 

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
1,851
Likes
2,605
I'm curious. What is your system and what streaming service(s) do you use? I assume at least Tidal?

Main system is immersive with JBL and TAD-Pioneer speakers and multiple subwoofers. Processor is HTP-1. We stream from Apple Music and for the last week or so Tidal as well. I dropped Tidal for Apple when Apple introduced Atmos music with a better catalogue than Tidal offered. But for 2 bucks for a couple months, why not dip the toe in again.

I also use Tidal in my Model Y now, but I assume you weren’t asking about that.
 

MRC01

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
2,429
Likes
2,648
Location
Pacific Northwest
For those who have Qobuz, how do you get high resolution digital output to an external DAC, if playing from a windows based laptop (USB) or modern Samsung Android phone (USB to HDMI)? Does HDMI limit resolution?

My current DAC is Oppo 105.
On my Linux PC, I connect to Qobuz in the browser, then use the sound card's SPDIF outputs (toslink or coax) to an external DAC. You should be able to do the same with a DAC plugged into a USB port, but I haven't tried it on Windows.

Android devices are difficult because the Android system always resamples all audio. Even from the Qobuz Android app. But USB Audio Player Pro supports Qobuz streaming in lossless HD, and bypasses the Android system audio resampling, and outputs bit-perfect audio to USB. This works great for me.

Two of the reasons I like Qobuz is because (1) you can play lossless HD on any computer with any operating system in any browser, and (2) USB Audio Player Pro supports it.

PS: Qobuz on USB Audio Player Pro is gapless track to track, but not in the browser.
 
Last edited:
OP
X

xirtam2005

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Messages
61
Likes
18
Main system is immersive with JBL and TAD-Pioneer speakers and multiple subwoofers. Processor is HTP-1. We stream from Apple Music and for the last week or so Tidal as well. I dropped Tidal for Apple when Apple introduced Atmos music with a better catalogue than Tidal offered. But for 2 bucks for a couple months, why not dip the toe in again.

I also use Tidal in my Model Y now, but I assume you weren’t asking about that.

Wow. That is really quite the impressive system, especially those speakers. Do you notice a difference between sound quality streaming Apple Lossless vs Tidal MQA?

Hope you like the HTP1. If my main HT Pre/Pro Marantz AV8802A stops working, the HTP1 and Emotiva RMC1 are top on my shortlist. However very happy with the Marantz for HT usage.
 
OP
X

xirtam2005

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
Messages
61
Likes
18
Imo Qobuz sounds better than Tidal. I had both at the same time and went back and forth

Just signed up for the free Qobuz trial, and all I can say is WOW. I am beyond impressed with the sound quality of Qobuz. That totally fixed my critical listening system! I never knew streaming could sound so good.

Thanks to all for recommending Qobuz. Count me in the Qobuz camp for sound quality alone. Classical music actually sounds good again, especially notice it with high frequency percussion.
 
Top Bottom