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

Chromatischism

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#81
Yes, most use 320 kbps constant bitrate (CBR) MP3 which is plenty enough for transparency. Between 200-250 kbps variable bitrate (VBR) is enough for transparency and is what I use when encoding from FLAC.
 

Blujackaal

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#82
More than what?

Does any lossy streaming service still rely on MP3? I thought most of them use either Opus/Ogg or AAC.

Anyway, my 46-year-old ears can't really tell any difference between them at around 192 kbps VBR and higher.

At 128 kbps, I prefer AAC or Opus over MP3.
I notice nasty artifacts on Ambient & electronic that I don't get with V2 Lame MP3, with AAC & Vorbis at 192kbps. Which is why I moved back to MP3 for my phone when upping the bit rate to 320kbps didn't do much.

Which is why it irks me when people don't ABX MP3 and AAC/Vorbis, Before skipping MP3 as old tech. Also i noticed with some quiet sections with synth/percussion only Opus at 96 ~ 160, the bitrate will shoot past 190kbps despite it sounding transparent with V5 LAME = 127kbps average bitrate.
 

Blujackaal

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#85
Can you list a particular track and time stamp (roughly) where you notice this easily? I want to try for myself.

Thanks.
Stahlwerk 9 - 03 The Meal of the Blasphemers (The Profane Mystery, 0:00 ~ 1:00 with 128kbps Apple AAC was a good one, issue is ringing on the xylophone. Any Dark ambient with a lot of synth/acoustic/mutated field recording are a stress test for 80 ~ 144kbps AAC. The artists has this song on his band camp for 50 euro cents for a FLAC copy.

https://stahlwerk9.bandcamp.com/album/revolution-of-the-antichrist
 
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escape2

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#87
Stahlwerk 9 - 03 The Meal of the Blasphemers (The Profane Mystery, 0:00 ~ 1:00 with 128kbps Apple AAC was a good one, issue is ringing on the xylophone. Any Dark ambient with a lot of synth/acoustic/mutated field recording are a stress test for 80 ~ 144kbps AAC. The artists has this song on his band camp for 50 euro cents for a FLAC copy.

https://stahlwerk9.bandcamp.com/album/revolution-of-the-antichrist
I ABX'ed that track on my headphones (Philips X2HR), FLAC vs AAC 192 (Q91) vs MP3 (V2) vs AAC 128 (Q64) vs MP3 (V5).

AAC codec I'm using is qaac 2.69 and MP3 codec I'm using is LAME 3.100.

Honestly, I can't tell any of them apart, but again, I don't claim to have golden ears, and the glass of wine I just had probably didn't help either. :)
 

Blujackaal

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#88
I ABX'ed that track on my headphones (Philips X2HR), FLAC vs AAC 192 (Q91) vs MP3 (V2) vs AAC 128 (Q64) vs MP3 (V5).

AAC codec I'm using is qaac 2.69 and MP3 codec I'm using is LAME 3.100.

Honestly, I can't tell any of them apart, but again, I don't claim to have golden ears, and the glass of wine I just had probably didn't help either. :)
I can't tell either but I feel safer with MP3(V2) than with AAC(160kbps) with ambient music since it my main genre outside of Metal & other electronic genres.
 

Chromatischism

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#89
As storage space has expanded and become cheaper, years ago I switched to using V0 though I acknowledge I don't think I can tell the difference from V2. The difference is files reach a VBR average of around 225-250 instead of 180-210.
 

Blujackaal

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#90
As storage space has expanded and become cheaper, years ago I switched to using V0 though I acknowledge I don't think I can tell the difference from V2. The difference is files reach a VBR average of around 225-250 instead of 180-210.
I only use V0 on tracks that need the extra bit rate, Stuff that fails at V0/320 i just use 205kbps(Q6) Musepack.
 
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trl

trl

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Thread Starter #92
Anyway, my 46-year-old ears can't really tell any difference between them at around 192 kbps VBR and higher.
Getting to 40's doesn't means your hearing will loose resolution. Of course, getting pass 16.000 Hz might be difficult, but this will make it easier to install ultrasonic mosquito devices in your home (which was impossible during the 20's). :)
 

RayDunzl

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#93
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":
View attachment 54515

The same 30 seconds on "better" quality:
View attachment 54514

And on "standard":
View attachment 54513

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):
View attachment 54512

Here's the first 30 seconds of Dc10 from the actual CD in my hot little hand.

1607321832765.png


It looks terribly different from the selections in the referenced post...

View attachment 54515
View attachment 54514
View attachment 54513
 
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Blujackaal

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#94
Wouldn't AAC (192 kbps) be a more fair comparison against MP3 VBR2?
Hydrogenaudio says 160k AAC = 192K mp3. The issues i get with AAC/Vorbis i need higher than 320k to fix some samples. When MP3 groans at V0/320 i can ignore it as mild distortion. Vorbis can be 5x worse than AAC on Noisy samples like prurient/Rita/Merzbow where i get puffy sound that only goes away at 320kbps VBR.

I'm using a EQ'd ER4SR to closer to it target, Might try again with the Beyer DT 770 to see if some headphones are masking artifacts. Hat's of to the LAME devs since MP3 can get real ugly on weaker encoders, Heck I'm shocked it can handle The Haters since he uses very hard sounds in a lot his albums only 2 tracks need V0

Hence why i use Q5.5 Musepack instead to cover tracks that fail at 320k MP3.
 
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#95
As far as I know, Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis, and Apple obviously uses AAC.

Tidal/Deezer/Qobuz use lossless, AFAIK.

So who uses MP3?
I can speak for Tidal, actually you can choose to listen to lossy streams, just to save some internet data. It has 3 profiles : Master (flac & mqa), Hifi (320kbs MP3) and Normal (I don't know, never used it)
Hifi profile is perfectly fine, because you don't use it at home with your main Hifi setup. And don't we forget that not the whole Tidal catalogue is in "Master" profile, some album has only Hifi or even Normal profile.
Just my 2 cents...

edit: sorry, for sure I made some confusion with the profile names & bitrate correspondence. but the main topic is still there ;)
 
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Sprint

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#99
@trl, @RayDunzl

Could you please help me in my case?

My set up includes 3 Genelec 8340 LCRs, 2 Genelec 8330 for surrounds and 2 SVS subs sb-12nsd. I use mainly Apple 4K TV fed into 7 year old AVR Yamaha RX-V775. From 775, I use pre-outs to connect to SVS subs and Genelecs. For movies, I use Netflix, Disney+, YouTube for video streaming. For music, it is mainly 2.2 channel via Apple Music for mainly Indian and non-Indian music.

I heard from many that the AVR dac's are not good for stereo. Hence I am planning to use a dedicated network streamer with digital outs like Yamaha WXC-50 or blue sound node 2i to be fed into Genelecs via SPDIF and AES/ebu. I will use minidsp for sub correction. currently I tend to go for WXC-50 as they are cheaper but blue sound can be an option as well if there are good reasons.

Coming to the main question.
Spotify & Apple has largest collection of Indian music compared to Tidal or Qobuz. So in my case, the best will be to go for a combination of both Spotify or Apple Music (Indian) and Tidal or Qobuz (non-Indian). The service will then have to work with new Yamaha WXC-50 I assume the WXC-50 with digital out for Spotify and Tidal or Qobuz will sound much better than the current Apple Music via Apple 4K TV to AVR Yamaha 775 via analogue output. I do not have any CD or FLAC collection though. On the other hand music cast does not work with MQA for Tidal.

Question is which streaming service Apple Music Vs Spotify Vs Tidal Vs Qobuz at the end will be optimal for my case. From looking at this thread, all of them are quite decent and one cannot differentiate much from each other. Is my understanding correct?
 
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trl

trl

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Thread Starter #100
Question is which streaming service Apple Music Vs Spotify Vs Tidal Vs Qobuz at the end will be optimal for my case. From looking at this thread, all of them are quite decent and one cannot differentiate much from each other. Is my understanding correct?
I doubt then in a A/B test between the above streaming sources we can actually spot any differences, although there is a general concept that the Master quality from TIDAL is the best in class, followed closely by Qobuz. I guess that the bitrate for TIDAL Master is a bit higher as well.

However, I would vote for the streaming service that fits better your needs: no. of albums and tracks you like, compatibility across your home devices, price and interface.
 

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