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Tidal vs. Deezer vs. Qobuz vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music

trl

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#1
I'm into choosing between Tidal and Deezer and I guess I'll stick with Tidal due to being the only Hi-Fi (CD Quality) service that has a Family Plan. Yes, unfortunately Deezer Hi-Fi has no Family Plan, quite a bad marketing I'd say.

TIDAL-HiFi_Quality.png

Tidal Hi-Fi (16-bit, 1,411 Kbps) - No roll-off up to 20KHz, then it start to roll-off fast when approaching 21KHz
vs.

DEEZER-HiFi.png

Deezer HiFi (16-bit, 1,411 Kbps) - Slowly rolling-off after 18.5KHz


TIDAL-Normal_Quality.png

Tidal Normal Quality - Odd valley at around 15.5KHz, then slow roll-off with some visible energy even at 22KHz

vs.

DEEZER-320Kbs.png

Deezer 320Kbs - Fast roll-off starting nearby 20KHz



TIDAL-High_Quality.png

Tidal High Quality - Fast roll-off after passing 17KHz (Tidal swapped Standard quality with High Quality)

vs.

DEEZER-128Kbs.png

Deezer 128Kbs - Fast roll-off starting 16KHz

TIDAL_HiFi_vs_DEEZER_HiFi.png

Tidal HiFi vs. Deezer HiFi
TIDAL_Normal_Quality_vs_DEEZER_320Kbs.png

Tidal Normal Quality vs. Deezer 320Kbs
TIDAL_HighQuality_vs_DEEZER_128Kbs.png

Tidal High Quality vs. Deezer 128Kbs


TIDAL_MasterQuality_vs_TIDAL_HiFi.png

Tidal Master vs. Tidal High Quality
TIDAL_HiFi_vs_TIDAL_Normal_Quality.png

Tidal High Quality vs. Tidal Normal Quality

Despite Tidal says that Normal Quality (for slower connections) is below High Quality (320Kbs AAC), I found this being vice-versa, so either it's a marketing gimmick, either they swapped the check-boxes in their own app interface:

Master - Authenticated files from the mastering process. Studio quality. Unrivaled clarity and depth. MQA is authenticated by the artists themselves.
HiFi - Lossless CD quality (1411kbps or 16bit / 44.1kHz).
High - Best compromise between data usage and sound quality (320kbps AAC).
Normal - Reduced data usage for slower connections.


My personal PROs and CONs for both apps:

TIDAL is missing Lyrics, EQ and multi-language support, so why having a Family plan if you're missing language support and Lyrics? Yes, Lyrics, all kids love lyrics, but I'm sure all parents are aware of this already. As for the EQ, Deezer has it, but it has not much use given it's fewer EQ bands and non-adjustable Q interval.

If Lyrics, EQ and multi-language interface is what you need, the go for Deezer, but for best audio quality and a Family Plan, Tidal is a winner. Maybe when Deezer will provide a Family Plan with Hi-Fi lossless streaming I'll fully recommend it over Tidal, but meanwhile both apps have their own pros and cons.

L.E.: Tests were done with AudFree recording first minute of "Roddy Ricch - The Box" via Win10-64bit apps from Tidal and Deezer. MusicScope and DeltaWave were used to show the spectrums.
 
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trl

trl

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Thread Starter #2
TIDAL-Master_Quality.png

Tidal Master
vs.


Tidal HiFi



Tidal Master vs. HiFi


Indeed, the Master Quality spectrum has much more energy into the upper trebles than the Hi-Fi streaming quality. Not sure in an A/B test this would be audible, probably not, but at least it's good that such a "synthetic benchmark" can show that improvement exists.

L.E.: QOBUZ vs. TIDAL vs. DEEZER

QOBUZ_24-192_vs_TIDAL_Master_03.png

QOBUZ 24bit/48KHz vs. TIDAL Master - almost identical frequency response

QOBUZ_24-192_vs_TIDAL_Master_01.png

QOBUZ 24bit/48KHz vs. TIDAL Master - almost identical files across audio spectru,
QOBUZ_24-192_vs_TIDAL_Master_02.png

QOBUZ 24bit/48KHz vs. TIDAL Master - most of the delta spectrogram is near 0dB


QOBUZ_320Kbs_vs_DEEZER_320Kbs_02.png

QOBUZ 320Kbs vs. TIDAL 320Kbs- almost identical frequency response

QOBUZ_320Kbs_vs_DEEZER_320Kbs_01.png

QOBUZ 320Kbs vs. TIDAL 320Kbs - Delta of Spectrum


QOBUZ_16-44_vs_TIDAL_HiFi_02.png QOBUZ_16-44_vs_DEEZER-HiFi_02.png QOBUZ_16-44_vs_DEEZER-HiFi_01.png QOBUZ_16-44_vs_TIDAL_HiFi_01.png
From what I see from the above pics, QOBUZ and TIDAL are offering about identical audio streaming services for the Lossless Quality and for the 320Kbs as well. Also, both audio streams seems to have more than enough "energy" to cover well above the audible spectrum, so I see no reasons why not to consider that both TIDAL and QOBUZ are offering top of the line streaming services.

For the 320Kbs bitrate, all three streaming services are getting about the same energy across audible spectrum and, in an well-conducted A/B test, I don't think we could spot any difference.
 

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trl

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Thread Starter #4
Nope, I don't think it's necessary, because existing test track has enough "energy" across entire audible spectrum.

However, if you think it worth testing again with another track, then please let me know which one.

Thanks!
 

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#5
If you only tested one track, you didn't show the difference between the different services as a whole, only the difference between how they handled that one track. Could be that different services got different versions of that track, who knows? If you test any other track (doesn't matter which, as long as it's from a different album/artist) and get the same results, there will be more confidence that this difference exists across all the database in these services.
 
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#6
Awesome work. :)
How about Spotify? I have both Tidal and Spotify and I need to get rid of one of them. My family prefers Spotify, and comparing some tracks is a mix in terms of quality. I do my listen most on the go, so usually listen to Tidal "High" anyway. I agree with @Fluffy, I think they don't have the same files, the mastering might be different for a lot of tracks.
 

Vincent Kars

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#7
Master - Authenticated files from the mastering process. Studio quality. Unrivaled clarity and depth.
With the actual bit depth reduce to 17 because of the lossy compression as applied by MQA resulting in a dynamic range just 6 dB better than the CD, unrivaled depth is a bit to optimistic.
 
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Thread Starter #8
If you only tested one track, you didn't show the difference between the different services as a whole, only the difference between how they handled that one track. Could be that different services got different versions of that track, who knows? If you test any other track (doesn't matter which, as long as it's from a different album/artist) and get the same results, there will be more confidence that this difference exists across all the database in these services.
It's an identical track on both services, this is why I choose it.
I was only trying to prove that there are some small differences between how providers are handling the streaming, or their codecs used for that. Also, Tidal's issue with reversal of High Quality and Normal Quality is most likely a bug.
Nevertheless, I found the Normal Quality on Tidal (that should actually be High Quality) and the 320Kbs Quality on Deezer as being very good in resolving audio details and the energy in the trebles are is quite good.
However, for best experience, indeed the Master Quality of Tidal looks sublime.
 
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Thread Starter #9
Awesome work. :)
How about Spotify? I have both Tidal and Spotify and I need to get rid of one of them. My family prefers Spotify, and comparing some tracks is a mix in terms of quality. I do my listen most on the go, so usually listen to Tidal "High" anyway. I agree with @Fluffy, I think they don't have the same files, the mastering might be different for a lot of tracks.
Spotify has not Hi-Fi streaming and Family, so I don't want it...sorry, but feel free to grab a FLAC of the same song from above (vol. to the max and without Normalization and no EQ).
 
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Thread Starter #10
With the actual bit depth reduce to 17 because of the lossy compression as applied by MQA resulting in a dynamic range just 6 dB better than the CD, unrivaled depth is a bit to optimistic.
It still shows as being the best type of streaming from the above tested. Too bad I'm not OPK with Qobuz's pricing, but maybe I'll try them and see if I can get the same track to do a test (or maybe somebody else here do that for me).
 

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#11
I was only trying to prove that there are some small differences between how providers are handling the streaming, or their codecs used for that.
I'm sorry, but you did not prove that. you are assuming that what you measured for this track is what you will measure for all tracks, and this is not the case. Without measuring more tracks, you are extrapolating conclusions based on too little evidence.

I'll show you what I mean. I currently only have a Deezer account, so I can only demonstrate with it, but I found similar cases when I had Tidal.
Here is the first 30 seconds of the track Dc10 from the album TRYPNOTYX, on "High Fidelity":
hifi.png


The same 30 seconds on "better" quality:
better.png


And on "standard":
standard.png


And another example, the first 30 seconds of A moment of Insight by The Fading, from the album Till Life Do Us Part (high fidelity quality):
fading.png


I know for a fact that the Tidal version of The Fading song is the same.

This comes to show that these services don't necessarily assure that files in their database are actually derived from lossless 44.1khz/16 bit masters. Those couple of examples might be rare outliers, but that is enough to prove that that thing can happen.
That is why, if you want to compare the incoming stream from these services, you need to do it across several different tracks, to make sure the differences you find are consistent.
 
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Thread Starter #12
I know what you mean, but the track I was choosing was identical on both services. You can also check this on the DeltaWave bottom-right where it says that the Fit Quality is Excellent.

I will try to find a second track that can co-exist on both Tidal and Deezer and if I'll find it I'll post back here. Meanwhile I realised that same track is also on Qobuz and I'll check it out as well.
 
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It's kinda difficult to get the same track because on Tidal it needs to be Master Quality, so it should be rather new song. Lemme do a Qobuz scavenging first, then I'll check for a 2nd track as well. Thanks for the tip!
 
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#15
Spotify has not Hi-Fi streaming and Family, so I don't want it...sorry, but feel free to grab a FLAC of the same song from above (vol. to the max and without Normalization and no EQ).
Spotify has a Family plan, I have it. What I'm trying to say is that "Same track title" maybe not equal to "Same track". It can be mastering differences between them.
 
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But AFAIK Spotify has no lossless streaming, aka HiFi streaming.
 
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Thread Starter #17
TIDAL_HiFi-Camarero.png

TIDAL HiFi

vs.

DEEZER_HiFi-Camarero.png

DEEZER HiFi - after about 18KHz some slight roll-off could be seen (probably inaudible)

TIDAL_HiFi-Camarero_Spectrogram.png

TIDAL HiFi Spectrogram

vs.

DEEZER_HiFi-Camarero_Spectrogram.png

DEEZER HiFi Spectrogram

TIDAL_HiFi_vs_DEEZER_HiFi_(Camarero)_DeltaSpectrogram.png

Difference between TIDAL vs. DEEZER (both HiFi, same track)

TIDAL_HiFi_vs_DEEZER_HiFi_(Camarero).png

TIDAL vs. DEEZER (both HiFi, same track) - some visible upper trebles roll-off can be visible after 17.5KHz, most likely inaudible
 
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I don't think this will be difficult. Tidal and Deezer probably share at least 80% of their database.

I'll wait for the results for the second track.
Just posted the second test for Andra - Camarero on the HiFi setting. Unfortunately, Qobuz is not available in my country and accessing the website via VPN will not work, due to my credit card is from a different country. :(

However, I was able to record 30" of both of the above songs, at 320Kbs (this is the limitation of the free Qobuz) andlooks like there's a bit more energy in the trebles than Deezer and Tidal. However, not being able to record the lossless tracks from Qobuz makes no sense to post the 320Kbs pics here.
 
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Thread Starter #19
What I'm trying to say is that "Same track title" maybe not equal to "Same track". It can be mastering differences between them.
That's easy to spot with DeltaWave.

@pkane, could you please help out a bit here? I'm 110% positive that the track from Tidal is identical with the one published on Deezer, just the compression streaming algorithms are different. By looking at the above pics, can you please say some more about these files? Let me know if you need the FLACs, please.

Thank you!
 

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#20
The difference looks pretty similar to the one in the first file, though not completely. In the first one the drop in the edge of the spectrum in Tidal (the blue) is much sharper, while in the second song it's more gradual.

Anyway, this looks like they apply a different filter, where Tidal apply a fast filter and Deezer a slow filter. I'm not sure where in the chain this filter is applied, and generally I thought that they stream just digital data and the DAC is the one applying the filter. So I'm not so sure what's going on here.

How was the stream captured? Was any of the apps operating in exclusive mode?
 

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