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Tidal Alternative

LuvTheMusic

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Qobuz has been great other than they kind of stiffed their existing customers: if you signed up for the annual subscription, you probably weren't real happy when they dropped the price so that new customers pay less annually even though paying by the month. Odd marketing decision not to throw existing customers a bone. In light of the market share chart posted above, maybe an issue of financial viability?
 
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xirtam2005

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Qobuz has been great other than they kind of stiffed their existing customers: if you signed up for the annual subscription, you probably weren't real happy when they dropped the price so that new customers pay less annually even though paying by the month. Odd marketing decision not to throw existing customers a bone. In light of the market share chart posted above, maybe an issue of financial viability?

I cannot speak to that, but I can say I am extremely pleased with the sound quality of Qobuz, especially compared to Tidal. I want Qobuz to succeed, because it sounds SO GOOD. How do we spread the word to ensure Qobuz succeeds long term? I don't want it to go the way of Oppo, which was extremely good for what it was and also an incredible value for what it was.
 

Timcognito

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Qobuz has been great other than they kind of stiffed their existing customers: if you signed up for the annual subscription, you probably weren't real happy when they dropped the price so that new customers pay less annually even though paying by the month. Odd marketing decision not to throw existing customers a bone. In light of the market share chart posted above, maybe an issue of financial viability?
I agree, but you will get new rate on your reup. Add someone else at your current rate (2 for current rate) in the new duo feature if living under the same roof. That restarts your subscription. That's what I did and the wife loves having her own.
 

sarumbear

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I cannot speak to that, but I can say I am extremely pleased with the sound quality of Qobuz, especially compared to Tidal. I want Qobuz to succeed, because it sounds SO GOOD. How do we spread the word to ensure Qobuz succeeds long term? I don't want it to go the way of Oppo, which was extremely good for what it was and also an incredible value for what it was.
Have you compared Qobuz to other uncompressed streamers like Apple Music and Amazon HD?
 
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xirtam2005

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Have you compared Qobuz to other uncompressed streamers like Apple Music and Amazon HD?
I have not, but I really like that Qobuz seems like the main point of the service is to put sound quality first. The native Qobuz PC app makes it very easy to select sound quality and output sound mode.

I'm sure Apple and Amazon have good CD quality lossless, but I'm impressed with the amount of high res content on Qobuz and the ability to pass high res directly to DAC (Oppo DAC is confirming the high resolution input).

I don't have any personal Apple devices (Windows PC, Android Smartphones, 3 Roku Ultras), so it doesn't make sense to go that route when I'm very happy with Qobuz.

I haven't tried Amazon Music HD, so I cannot say. The fact that their Roku app limits to 320mbps mp3 streaming concerns me that they don't put sound quality first. Tidal Roku app sounds much better than Amazon Music on my HT system. My spouse had regular Amazon Music, and we both agree that Tidal/MQA sounded much better that Amazon Music 320mbps.
 

MRC01

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Have you compared Qobuz to other uncompressed streamers like Apple Music and Amazon HD?
Even if the sound quality is the same, I prefer Qobuz because they make that lossless sound quality available on any system without the need to run specific software or use their own apps. They do provide those apps, but you don't need to use them in order to enjoy full lossless sound quality.
 

devopsprodude

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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.
Yeah, Apple Music is far superior because of their Atmos and lossless libraries. Plus for $20 you also get Apple TV, which means you can watch Ted Lasso which is pretty much the best thing on TV.
 

sdiver68

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I have not, but I really like that Qobuz seems like the main point of the service is to put sound quality first. The native Qobuz PC app makes it very easy to select sound quality and output sound mode.

I'm sure Apple and Amazon have good CD quality lossless, but I'm impressed with the amount of high res content on Qobuz and the ability to pass high res directly to DAC (Oppo DAC is confirming the high resolution input).

I don't have any personal Apple devices (Windows PC, Android Smartphones, 3 Roku Ultras), so it doesn't make sense to go that route when I'm very happy with Qobuz.

I haven't tried Amazon Music HD, so I cannot say. The fact that their Roku app limits to 320mbps mp3 streaming concerns me that they don't put sound quality first. Tidal Roku app sounds much better than Amazon Music on my HT system. My spouse had regular Amazon Music, and we both agree that Tidal/MQA sounded much better that Amazon Music 320mbps.

They want you to buy a Fire Stick 4k. My Android TV Amazon HD App is limited to 16/48. So I may buy a Fire Stick for full Hi Res use only. $22.
 

MaxBuck

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Qobuz has been great other than they kind of stiffed their existing customers: if you signed up for the annual subscription, you probably weren't real happy when they dropped the price so that new customers pay less annually even though paying by the month. Odd marketing decision not to throw existing customers a bone. In light of the market share chart posted above, maybe an issue of financial viability?
I'm one of those customers, and it didn't bother me in the least.
 

ThatM1key

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They want you to buy a Fire Stick 4k. My Android TV Amazon HD App is limited to 16/48. So I may buy a Fire Stick for full Hi Res use only. $22.
I don't recommend it. There's no direct passthrough option. If you select "Best Available", everything gets converted to Dolby Digital Plus. There is a PCM stereo option but I am certain its not a unfiltered direct output.

Edit: After doing a bit of research. The Amazon Music HD can output 192/24 with a toggle switch in the app on the firestick 4k.
 
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xirtam2005

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They want you to buy a Fire Stick 4k. My Android TV Amazon HD App is limited to 16/48. So I may buy a Fire Stick for full Hi Res use only. $22.

I don't recommend it. There's no direct passthrough option. If you select "Best Available", everything gets converted to Dolby Digital Plus. There is a PCM stereo option but I am certain its not a unfiltered direct output.

Edit: After doing a bit of research. The Amazon Music HD can output 192/24 with a toggle switch in the app on the firestick 4k.
That's the thing. I'm very happy happy Roku Ultra for all the video streaming apps, and it is well likes and used by more in my household. It allows full native streaming app bitstream passthrough to my Marantz AV8802A with good results for video/movies. Unfortunately audio streaming is not its strong suit. Tidal is by far the best for Roku, and its more than good enough for that system.

Qobuz using USB wasapi exclusive from Windows PC native Qobuz app is my preferred streaming service.
 

sdiver68

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That's the thing. I'm very happy happy Roku Ultra for all the video streaming apps, and it is well likes and used by more in my household. It allows full native streaming app bitstream passthrough to my Marantz AV8802A with good results for video/movies. Unfortunately audio streaming is not its strong suit. Tidal is by far the best for Roku, and its more than good enough for that system.

Qobuz using USB wasapi exclusive from Windows PC native Qobuz app is my preferred streaming service.

I have Roku and Android TV...and several more HDMI inputs. Far easier to add 1 more stick for AHD only on the main system in my situation.
 
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xirtam2005

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I have Roku and Android TV...and several more HDMI inputs. Far easier to add 1 more stick for AHD only on the main system in my situation.

Do you find AHD audio sounds noticeably better than Roku Tidal Hifi (MQA) in your main system?
 

bloodshoteyed

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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.

not sure about the others but Deezer's dl's don't work anymore
 

sdiver68

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Do you find AHD audio sounds noticeably better than Roku Tidal Hifi (MQA) in your main system?

I don't have Tidal so can't directly answer that question. Honestly, I don't find a huge difference between AHD via Android TV limited to 16/48 vs FireStick at 24/192. But I've just upgraded my system so am still evaluating. YMMV
 

ThatM1key

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LuvTheMusic

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I'm one of those customers, and it didn't bother me in the least.
It's my (admittedly limited) corporate marketing experience talking: the general rule is that it's easier and cheaper to retain existing customers than to find new ones, and a good way to retain customers is to keep them feeling that they made a smart decision by selecting your product -- never make them feel that they should have waited or not committed at all. Particularly true for "Maximizers" if you follow Barry Schwartz' thinking. It just always bugs me to see a missed marketing opportunity.

Having said all that, a few dollars difference over the course of a year is hardly the end of the world!

I agree, but you will get new rate on your reup. Add someone else at your current rate (2 for current rate) in the new duo feature if living under the same roof. That restarts your subscription. That's what I did and the wife loves having her own.

Thanks for pointing that out. But in my case, my wife definitely is not interested, and our cat even less so....

Bottom line: regardless of marketing misfires, I agree that Qobuz generally is the best of the lot.
 
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xirtam2005

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It's my (admittedly limited) corporate marketing experience talking: the general rule is that it's easier and cheaper to retain existing customers than to find new ones, and a good way to retain customers is to keep them feeling that they made a smart decision by selecting your product -- never make them feel that they should have waited or not committed at all. Particularly true for "Maximizers" if you follow Barry Schwartz' thinking. It just always bugs me to see a missed marketing opportunity.

Having said all that, a few dollars difference over the course of a year is hardly the end of the world!



Thanks for pointing that out. But in my case, my wife definitely is not interested, and our cat even less so....

Bottom line: regardless of marketing misfires, I agree that Qobuz generally is the best of the lot.
FWIW I mentioned my Qobuz findings to my local audiophile buddies and they signed up for the free month trial and are loving it so far.
 

D!sco

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Spotify is and has been great. I'm glad they're getting real competition, it should shake up their content. They're still one of the great music libraries, and the software is so functional. You can tell it was designed by a music piracy geek. The sound quality is good, but not fabulous. I'm not sure bit rate is as important as mastering quality in music reproduction. Having listened to my friend's Tidal MQA subscription and watching the goldensound video, I'm convinced more and more lately that most music lovers want different sound quality, not necessarily better.
 
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