• 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 vs Qobuz experience

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
8,330
Likes
10,115
The home page seems to be 100 percent Beyonce and Jayz'. Fine if you like it, but my taste runs to Classical, Jazz, and '60s and '70 rock and pop, and no way I could see to make my homepage display Neil Young, Sonny Rollins, and Loren Maazel.

It does learn. But not very quickly. And still puts artists they want front and centre even then. But the "recommended new releases" got pretty much bang on (well, what it put at the top of the list) after a few months of playing and favouriting.
 

dmac6419

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
1,246
Likes
750
Location
USofA
The home page seems to be 100 percent Beyonce and Jayz'. Fine if you like it, but my taste runs to Classical, Jazz, and '60s and '70 rock and pop, and no way I could see to make my homepage display Neil Young, Sonny Rollins, and Loren Maazel.
Mines displays what I listen too,just like Spotify and Pandora and Amazon,don't know why yours doesn't display what you listen too.
 
Last edited:

tobes

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
41
Likes
46
The home page seems to be 100 percent Beyonce and Jayz'. Fine if you like it, but my taste runs to Classical, Jazz, and '60s and '70 rock and pop, and no way I could see to make my homepage display Neil Young, Sonny Rollins, and Loren Maazel.
Tidal is definitely not for Neil Young fans, most of his catalog is not available on that service (at least in Australia?). Young is apparently not onboard with MQA.
 

julian_hughes

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
375
Likes
397
I haven't tried Tidal but I have tried Spotify, Primephonic & Qobuz. I listen to all kinds of music but "Classical" is the big one for me. Spotify is interesting for its huge catalogue but I really have no desire to pay for lossy compression. Primephonic is fabulous for curation and really understanding the music and delivering it with accurate and usable metadata, but their service is impossible to use with DLNA/UPnP so it's stuck on your mobile device or restricted to screen casting and downsampling & bit depth reduction. Again, I'm not interested in paying premium rates for sub CD sound. Qobuz deliver! OK sometimes the metadata is totally messed up or inadequate but they have a fabulous catalogue and let you stream it losslessly via UPnP/DLNA (their Android app lets you share the stream to other apps, and also BubbleUPnP and UAPP have official plugins which give full access via your account sign in). It's the first music subscription service that I've stuck with and also think is great value. I thought I'd never be able to stop hunting down bargain & used CDs and SACDs to rip but since I subscribed to Qobuz I didn't buy a single disc!
 

Ravix

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
15
Likes
7
Well this must be the first time I start reading a post and finish it even more confused o_O
 

dmac6419

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
1,246
Likes
750
Location
USofA
Well this must be the first time I start reading a post and finish it even more confused o_O
I have them both plus Amazon HD some music sounds the same,some sound's better some sound's worse,so I would say it's what ever your personal preference is.
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
8,330
Likes
10,115
Well this must be the first time I start reading a post and finish it even more confused o_O

I think a sane approach to choosing a streaming service (including these 2) should focus on a few things:

1. Does it have significant gaps in content for your preferred styles of music (for me, Tidal has less gaps than Qobuz- but we are talking around 100 albums out of around 5000 total)

2. Does it offer the file type/ quality you wish to have ? There are multiple threads discussing Hi res, MQA the pros and cons of each- I would suggest this criteria should actually be the least of your considerations if one goes into listening blind.

3. Does it integrate well with your chosen playback infrastructure. I use Roon for home and UAPP on Android for mobile and both are supported in each- so a draw (but Spotify etc arent, hence I choose between these 2)

4. Curation/ suggestion- no contest, Spotify is better than Tidal (but Tidal gets good with lost of playback and adding favourites) - Qobu simply doesnt bother so if this is what you want- dont get Qobuz.

5. Price- of course. But given you're talking about the price of one or 2 CDs a year that could be funded between the difference (depending on whether you can access the Tidal Best Buy annual price or not- I cant)- its not a deal breaker.

1,3 and 4 are the key for me. Tidal Connect may have made the decision easier for some- Qobuz has nothing to approach it, chromecast is as good as it gets.
 

dmac6419

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
1,246
Likes
750
Location
USofA
Tidal is definitely not for Neil Young fans, most of his catalog is not available on that service (at least in Australia?). Young is apparently not onboard with MQA.
Young sold his catalog, it's all about the highest bidder, think how cable,TV have to pay studios to play their contant.
 

Pennyless Audiophile

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
170
Likes
167
Location
UK
I use both, and I generally find differences in how they sound, making sure that everything is equal. I could hear the difference straight away but I made some "reasonably blind" testing of that some time ago because I was curious. Say around 80% of the times I could hear a difference.
However, I think that the difference, is mainly due to the different mastering of the same music on the two platforms.
It seems to me that mastering has more influence than any "technical" sonic difference between the two.
That said, I found myself preferring Qobuz over Tidal, but it is just a matter of personal taste.
 

Ravix

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
15
Likes
7
(I'm so pissed, I wrote a huge draft and lost everything because I had to reboot and didn't think about saving it :facepalm:)

I think a sane approach to choosing a streaming service (including these 2) should focus on a few things:

1. Does it have significant gaps in content for your preferred styles of music (for me, Tidal has less gaps than Qobuz- but we are talking around 100 albums out of around 5000 total)

2. Does it offer the file type/ quality you wish to have ? There are multiple threads discussing Hi res, MQA the pros and cons of each- I would suggest this criteria should actually be the least of your considerations if one goes into listening blind.

3. Does it integrate well with your chosen playback infrastructure. I use Roon for home and UAPP on Android for mobile and both are supported in each- so a draw (but Spotify etc arent, hence I choose between these 2)

4. Curation/ suggestion- no contest, Spotify is better than Tidal (but Tidal gets good with lost of playback and adding favourites) - Qobu simply doesnt bother so if this is what you want- dont get Qobuz.

5. Price- of course. But given you're talking about the price of one or 2 CDs a year that could be funded between the difference (depending on whether you can access the Tidal Best Buy annual price or not- I cant)- its not a deal breaker.

1,3 and 4 are the key for me. Tidal Connect may have made the decision easier for some- Qobuz has nothing to approach it, chromecast is as good as it gets.

Yeah these are some very good points, I've been searching for "the best" quality while not knowing any technical stuff and I've beed losing myself a bit, while slowly realising that I probably can't spot major differences between most different type of quality modes out there, although I don't have any high end hifi material, I'm listening to music on my recently acquired AKG K702 (EQ'ed to Harman Curve, poke @Robbo99999) and Steljes NS3 speakers. I've been using Deezer Family for years, and I've been recently looking into getting more high quality streaming, and started looking into all the different offers out there (except Amazon HD, I don't know anything about it except some mixed feedback I read). I'd like to give you why I retained in the case you have any advices or remarks, again I have really no knowledge at all, it's purely subjective.

Deezer HiFi
I've been using Deezer for a long time and I'm quite please with it, it has many small features that I enjoy, it's rather user friendly while having some nice functionnalities in my opinion. I also enjoy their catalogue, even if it's technically smaller than other services, it seems to match what I listen to the most, as shown by the transfers I made through soundiiz and the tracks I liked that couldn't be found elsewhere. Also it has a cool feature (to me at least) which I don't see everywhere, it is the possibility to add personal mp3 files. As I listen to some specific stuff sometimes it's a really nice addition. Deezer HiFi seemed like the next logical step, but I feel like it's not really liked or popular compared to other services, even though I'm not sure why. If you guys have any input on this I would be interested to hear it. Oh and it's a french service, as a french person myself I'm keen on supporting "local" stuff to a certain degree.

Spotify
I don't have much to say about Spotify as I've not really tried it. I know it has much more compatibilities/integrations with other platforms than Deezer does, but apart from that their basic offer seem quite similar to me, and Spotify doesn't have any HiFi offer (even if they apparently announced one recently) so I don't see any clear reason to switch to it. According to some people ogg would seem to be a bit better than mp3 but it's not a sufficient argument for me since I want to step up to FLAC anyway.

Tidal
I only knew Tidal by name, and to me it was a bit associated to people focusing on listening to HiFi music. I'm currently on a one month trial, and it seems pretty nice, the app is fluid, pretty, it seems practical. I didn't lose too many favorite tracks from Deezer after the transfer although I did lose some of the most "indie" artists/tracks I like but I guess if I switched to it I would survive, even if I would miss the personal mp3 feature, which I believe it not present in the app. In terms of quality, I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but I honestly hear very little improvement going from 320 kbps mp3 to "HIFI" (which is FLAC, if I'm not mistaking ?) I guess it I somehow sounds a bit better to me, but I really need to focus on it and at a certain volume to perceive any difference. I've tried some "Master" quality tracks that I knew, and it seemed about the same quality as Hifi to me, if not even worse in some cases. Is my hearing that bad or is it actually possible ? Most of my favorite tracks are not available in Master quality anyway, so it's not much of a big deal.

Qobuz
Well I find this one to be a piece of its own ! I never heard of it until I started researching streaming services. It had multiple things that caught my attention : Premium HiFi audio streaming, it's a french company (yeah I know), it does have some recognition worldwide... Thought I'd give it a try. To reduce the size of this already too long post, I was a bit disapointed. Again I didn't really notice any sound quality improvement as most of the stuff I listen is on 16b/44.1 anyway (I mean compared to the possible 24b/44.1 and above), the base volume sound a bit higher than Tidal I believe but other than it sounded ok. The catalogue is poorer than other services, although I've understood that some music types like classical music are more complete. But none of this doesn't really matter, what REALLY repelled me is the slooowness of the app. Honestly I found it shameful, it takes about 5 sec for a song to start playing, sometimes even more, either it be on the desktop app or the web app. I've not seen this feedback anywhere else so I don't know if something's wrong with me, I believe most people listen to it through other integrations like Roon (?) and maybe that's why I haven't read it elsewhere, but for me it's a big no-no. I really wanted to like it but no matter how hard I will try I know I won't be able to get used to it.

So here's basically what I've gathered, don't hesitate to tell me anything you can think of, I'm opened to remarks and critics :) Again I don't know anything about the world Hifi, I'm trying to get into but really appears technical and difficult for me. Most of the time I don't understand anything you're talking about here :rolleyes: Finally sorry for my english and if I made any mistakes
 
Last edited:

Pennyless Audiophile

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
170
Likes
167
Location
UK
But none of this doesn't really matter, what REALLY repelled me is the slooowness of the app. Honestly I found it shameful, it takes about 5 sec for a song to start playing, sometimes even more, either it be on the desktop app or the web app.
I listen to Qobuz all day long while I work and I never noticed that. Do you have an AV software on the phone or the computer? If yes try excluding the app data folder from it.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
3,752
Likes
3,232
Location
UK
(I'm so pissed, I wrote a huge draft and lost everything because I had to reboot and didn't think about saving it :facepalm:)



Yeah these are some very good points, I've been searching for "the best" quality while not knowing any technical stuff and I've beed losing myself a bit, while slowly realising that I probably can't spot major differences between most different type of quality modes out there, although I don't have any high end hifi material, I'm listening to music on my recently acquired AKG K702 (EQ'ed to Harman Curve, poke @Robbo99999) and Steljes NS3 speakers. I've been using Deezer Family for years, and I've been recently looking into getting more high quality streaming, and started looking into all the different offers out there (except Amazon HD, I don't know anything about it except some mixed feedback I read). I'd like to give you why I retained in the case you have any advices or remarks, again I have really no knowledge at all, it's purely subjective.

Deezer HiFi
I've been using Deezer for a long time and I'm quite please with it, it has many small features that I enjoy, it's rather user friendly while having some nice functionnalities in my opinion. I also enjoy their catalogue, even if it's technically smaller than other services, it seems to match what I listen to the most, as shown by the transfers I made through soundiiz and the tracks I liked that couldn't be found elsewhere. Also it has a cool feature (to me at least) which I don't see everywhere, it is the possibility to add personal mp3 files. As I listen to some specific stuff sometimes it's a really nice addition. Deezer HiFi seemed like the next logical step, but I feel like it's not really liked or popular compared to other services, even though I'm not sure why. If you guys have any input on this I would be interested to hear it. Oh and it's a french service, as a french person myself I'm keen on supporting "local" stuff to a certain degree.

Spotify
I don't have much to say about Spotify as I've not really tried it. I know it has much more compatibilities/integrations with other platforms than Deezer does, but apart from that their basic offer seem quite similar to me, and Spotify doesn't have any HiFi offer (even if they apparently announced one recently) so I don't see any clear reason to switch to it. According to some people ogg would seem to be a bit better than mp3 but it's not a sufficient argument for me since I want to step up to FLAC anyway.

Tidal
I only knew Tidal by name, and to me it was a bit associated to people focusing on listening to HiFi music. I'm currently on a one month trial, and it seems pretty nice, the app is fluid, pretty, it seems practical. I didn't lose too many favorite tracks from Deezer after the transfer although I did lose some of the most "indie" artists/tracks I like but I guess if I switched to it I would survive, even if I would miss the personal mp3 feature, which I believe it not present in the app. In terms of quality, I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but I honestly hear very little improvement going from 320 kbps mp3 to "HIFI" (which is FLAC, if I'm not mistaking ?) I guess it I somehow sounds a bit better to me, but I really need to focus on it and at a certain volume to perceive any difference. I've tried some "Master" quality tracks that I knew, and it seemed about the same quality as Hifi to me, if not even worse in some cases. Is my hearing that bad or is it actually possible ? Most of my favorite tracks are not available in Master quality anyway, so it's not much of a big deal.

Qobuz
Well I find this one to be a piece of its own ! I never heard of it until I started researching streaming services. It had multiple things that caught my attention : Premium HiFi audio streaming, it's a french company (yeah I know), it does have some recognition worldwide... Thought I'd give it a try. To reduce the size of this already too long post, I was a bit disapointed. Again I didn't really notice any sound quality improvement as most of the stuff I listen is on 16b/44.1 anyway (I mean compared to the possible 24b/44.1 and above), the base volume sound a bit higher than Tidal I believe but other than it sounded ok. The catalogue is poorer than other services, although I've understood that some music types like classical music are more complete. But none of this doesn't really matter, what REALLY repelled me is the slooowness of the app. Honestly I found it shameful, it takes about 5 sec for a song to start playing, sometimes even more, either it be on the desktop app or the web app. I've not seen this feedback anywhere else so I don't know if something's wrong with me, I believe most people listen to it through other integrations like Roon (?) and maybe that's why I haven't read it elsewhere, but for me it's a big no-no. I really wanted to like it but no matter how hard I will try I know I won't be able to get used to it.

So here's basically what I've gathered, don't hesitate to tell me anything you can think of, I'm opened to remarks and critics :) Again I don't know anything about the world Hifi, I'm trying to get into but really appears technical and difficult for me. Most of the time I don't understand anything you're talking about here :rolleyes: Finally sorry for my english and if I made any mistakes
Don't worry that you couldn't hear any difference between 320kbps mp3 and lossless material (eg FLAC), I don't think many people can truthfully tell the difference. I think I prefer lossless to 256kbps ITunes AAC, but it's not particularly clear for me. I can't advise you on streaming services because I don't use any.....well actually I do sometimes use the free Amazon Prime Music, I don't need more than that, but I can't advise you on the others. (Ha, I only saw you post because you mentioned my username re your new K702 - congrats, I'm glad you're liking your new headphone and the EQ I gave you, based on Crinacle's measurement).
 

Kegemusha

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
317
Likes
308
and what is the market for MQA? Nobody that I know have MQA but Spotifiy yes.
What would be the spotify HiFi source? FLAC 16/44.1?
That is enough for me and the only I care format in any case.
 

Ravix

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
15
Likes
7
I listen to Qobuz all day long while I work and I never noticed that. Do you have an AV software on the phone or the computer? If yes try excluding the app data folder from it.

What exactly is an AV ? I don't think I use any software that could infer with it, I'm a gamer so my pc should be more than able to process this stuff (I don't have any issue with Tidal or Deezer), I only have Equalize APO active but I don't see nothing else


Don't worry that you couldn't hear any difference between 320kbps mp3 and lossless material (eg FLAC), I don't think many people can truthfully tell the difference. I think I prefer lossless to 256kbps ITunes AAC, but it's not particularly clear for me. I can't advise you on streaming services because I don't use any.....well actually I do sometimes use the free Amazon Prime Music, I don't need more than that, but I can't advise you on the others. (Ha, I only saw you post because you mentioned my username re your new K702 - congrats, I'm glad you're liking your new headphone and the EQ I gave you, based on Crinacle's measurement).


It does reassure me, thank you... I can hear a difference between 320kbps and FLAC, and that's why I would like a small step up from my current Deezer sub, but above that I really can't tell. Maybe my equipment is not sensitive enough or maybe my hearing just can't detect, who knows

Qobuz is slow for me to on desktop,ok in Roon

Yeah I'm specifically targeting the desktop app, it's baffling. Honestly I don't really understant what Roon is, and it's an subscription as well from what I gathered ? I don't think it would be worth the trouble for me to go through it seen how I listen to music and my equipment...
 

Pennyless Audiophile

Active Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
170
Likes
167
Location
UK
What exactly is an AV ? I don't think I use any software that could infer with it, I'm a gamer so my pc should be more than able to process this stuff (I don't have any issue with Tidal or Deezer), I only have Equalize APO active but I don't see nothing else

Anti Virus software. Qobuz apps heavily caches the stream locally on your storage. If your antivirus is scanning the temp files that it keeps writing locally I imagine it could cause hiccups.
 

dmac6419

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
1,246
Likes
750
Location
USofA
and what is the market for MQA? Nobody that I know have MQA but Spotifiy yes.
What would be the spotify HiFi source? FLAC 16/44.1?
That is enough for me and the only I care format in any case.
The 3 major labels are financially invested in Spotify ,we shall see what they'll implement in the future.
 

malcolmrmcintyre

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
2
Likes
1
I use both Qobuz and Tidal, and was convinced that Qobuz sounded better. However, by leaving Roon Radio to select the tracks randomly from either platform, I discovered that I can’t really tell the difference.
 

ezra_s

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
287
Likes
312
Location
Spain
I use both Qobuz and Tidal, and was convinced that Qobuz sounded better. However, by leaving Roon Radio to select the tracks randomly from either platform, I discovered that I can’t really tell the difference.

I guess you have to pick two songs and try to hear the differences, ones you know it is supposed to be a really good high quality source.

But still, if one can´t tell the difference, then the choice is about practical usage and wether you want to support the MQA scheme.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom