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Tidal vs Qobuz in 2024?

pk500

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Roon is not cheap, but if you listen to a lot of music, it does add enough to justify the price. I doubted it was really worth the cost until I tried it.
I'm in the opposite camp. Canceled my Roon subscription last month after a year because I realized the only thing Roon gave me that I really needed was parametric EQ with Wasapi Exclusive output through Qobuz integration. That was vital for me with my Audeze LCD-X 2021, which almost demand precise parametric EQ to fix the weird mids tuning. I have a JDS Labs three-band analog EQ, but it couldn't do the job with enough precision on the LCD-X 2021.

Once I sold my LCD-X 2021 last month, there was nothing in Roon I needed since all my music is streamed. I have no local files. Roon's recommendation and playlist algorithms were far better than Qobuz -- what isn't? -- but not any better than Spotify. Plus, all of Roon's reviews of albums are lifted straight from AllMusic.com, which also licenses the same editorial content to ... you guessed it ... Qobuz.

So, I was basically paying $16 per month for a parametric EQ to use with Qobuz. I know I could have used Peace APO, but the sound card on my laptop is garbage. Being able to bypass it through Wasapi Exclusive and go straight to my external DAC is essential for me.

Roon is cool, especially if you need to organize a ton of local files. But for exclusive streamers like me who listen from only one location (my office), it wasn't worth it.

Horses for courses!
 

Brian Hall

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I'm in the opposite camp. Canceled my Roon subscription last month after a year because I realized the only thing Roon gave me that I really needed was parametric EQ with Wasapi Exclusive output through Qobuz integration. That was vital for me with my Audeze LCD-X 2021, which almost demand precise parametric EQ to fix the weird mids tuning. I have a JDS Labs three-band analog EQ, but it couldn't do the job with enough precision on the LCD-X 2021.

Once I sold my LCD-X 2021 last month, there was nothing in Roon I needed since all my music is streamed. I have no local files. Roon's recommendation and playlist algorithms were far better than Qobuz -- what isn't? -- but not any better than Spotify. Plus, all of Roon's reviews of albums are lifted straight from AllMusic.com, which also licenses the same editorial content to ... you guessed it ... Qobuz.

So, I was basically paying $16 per month for a parametric EQ to use with Qobuz. I know I could have used Peace APO, but the sound card on my laptop is garbage. Being able to bypass it through Wasapi Exclusive and go straight to my external DAC is essential for me.

Roon is cool, especially if you need to organize a ton of local files. But for exclusive streamers like me who listen from only one location (my office), it wasn't worth it.

That makes sense if you don't have a large local collection. I have a lot of CDs ripped and saved on my local Roon Server. I have started using Roon Arc when I'm driving and it works really well for streaming my local collection from my home server to my phone. Roon Arc can also stream from Qobuz.

The main reason I like Roon is still for the extra features for music discovery. Last night I was listening to a Jethro Tull album through Roon while reading their information about them. I clicked on Ian Anderson's name and it brought up several solo albums he did that I didn't know about. I realize I could do this by regular searches on the web. Roon just makes it easier and includes everything in one app in a good format.

Qobuz still lacks a connect feature. Roon makes up for that and makes Qobuz better.

I still listen to Spotify and Amazon too for albums that Qobuz doesn't have and I really wish Roon would integrate both of those. I bought a one year sub to Roon so I'll keep using it till then. After that if they haven't added Spotify and Amazon, I will probably cancel both Roon and Qobuz.

Spotify sounds just as good to me as Qobuz and connects to every device I have.

I had Tidal but canceled it because their app thinks this Chromebox I use for web and email is a robot and won't allow me to run it here and their support was useless and said it was a problem on my end. Funny how all the other services have no issues.
 

Deckard01

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Sorry if I am out of topic but can does Qobuz or Tidal can work bit perfect with piece EQ or only with Roon we have this option?
Thanks
 

Jimbob54

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Sorry if I am out of topic but can does Qobuz or Tidal can work bit perfect with piece EQ or only with Roon we have this option?
Thanks
No, eapo and peace are system wide so signal gets resampled to whatever rate you've set it to.
 

Phorize

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Long term qobuz user here. Generally very happy with the selection of music. Connectivity is a mess though if the recieving device doesn't have chrome cast, they could do with a tidal connect type feature. I am trying tidal at the moment since the price drop. Upsides include tidal connect (although the volumio implementation is a little flaky on my pi zero 2 w), very reasonable recommendations and automatic queuing (compared to the frankly dire situation with qobuz) and the ability to circumnavigate android sampling prior to output to a DAC. However, the way that qobuz handles labels is much better, it's far easier to browse labels on qobuz than on tidal.
 

Brian Hall

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I had Tidal but canceled it because their app thinks this Chromebox I use for web and email is a robot and won't allow me to run it here and their support was useless and said it was a problem on my end. Funny how all the other services have no issues.

Sorry for replying to myself, but I wanted to say that Tidal fixed the login/robot detection issue I had on a Chromebox/Chromebook and it does work correctly now so I resubscribed to Tidal.
 

Rhubarb

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I haven’t used Tidal so maybe these aren’t points for Qobuz but they’re part of why I’m happy to use it:

1. Qobuz pays fair royalties (unlike Spotify)

2. You can buy lossless files from Qobuz’s download store (unlike Apple’s iTunes music store’s lossy files)

3. For the top Qobuz tier you get a significant download discount for high-res, typically pricing them well below the CD quality price

4. Qobuz’s player apps are quite good

5. Many 3rd party players, streamers, apps, etc. integrate Qobuz (Roon, Audirvana, Vox, etc)

6. I haven’t found any missing albums on Qobuz (rock and metal fan); even my tiny little band’s new single is on there

Number one is something I have always wished was a bigger factor in discussions of this sort.

Thank you, JCM800, for highlighting it.
 

Rhubarb

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I buy a lot of CDs so I don't worry about that one very much.

I respect your ethic of buying a lot of CDs. I do the same, and try to buy direct from the artists whenever I can. If we are discussing best streaming service for each of us individually, OK, that is part of the discussion of how we each weigh out how to support artists within our budgets. Maybe we have the budget to buy a lot of CDs but not enough to also pay for Qobuz, so maybe we go with Spotify and figure in aggregate we hopefully create more income for artists than going Qobuz + 0 CDs.

But the topic as framed by PearlJam5000 is: “Tidal vs Qobuz in 2024? / Which is the best hi-res streaming service in 2024?“

As long as the conversation is that broad, compensation for artists is germane to all of us, even you and I. If you and I enjoy streaming, we want it to be sustainable. Not just the streaming part, but also the musicmaking part.

We have seen what shopping at Megalomart did to local stores.

I don’t have much more than questions, but *[fair royalties] it seems central to the question. Although it depends on how we define best. Best for whom? Best for what? Best for workers?

Best streaming service for the planet might be no streaming and we go back to physical media, or locally stored files? Which physical media is less bad for the planet? Vinyl? Polycarbonate?

I don’t have much more than questions! Oftentimes I wish there were a central repository of data on cradle-to-grave lifecycle analysis of things, and carbon costs of this activity vs that, weighable in an apples-to-apples way.

I use Qobuz and Roon and keep avoiding investing the time needed into getting them fully set up out of a dread and leeryness that they may well go away and wipe out all that time invested. It has happened multiple times already before . . .

*[Edit: one strikeout and added text in brackets with asterisk]
 

JimBean

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Just recently switched to Tidal from Qobuz, saves me a couple dollars a month. I do like the fact that Tidal has more playlists than Qobuz. Also Tidal's recommendations seem a little better than Qobuz. I will be happy once all the MQA files are gone, but I'm sure that will take some time.
 

CrazyCatHusband

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I've been subscribed to both, and I'd pick Qobuz if I had to stick to 1. After sitting down at a bunch of listening stations at Axpona, I usually find the Tidal library is lacking. For major label top-100 artists, a quarter of their discography might be missing. I totally understand if a musician doesn't want to license to a service that pays them a sliver of a penny per x streams, but why allow some releases and not others? This is the main reason I gave up on Tidal.

Tidal does have one major selling point for me, though. They host high-quality music videos. When I find one I want to watch, it's fantastic. The problem is finding them. If I'm just casually watching music videos, I want it suggest something, literally anything, to watch next. It doesn't do that, and then I run into the same problem I have with music. Searching and finding nothing is frustrating. YouTube's audio quality gap is apparent to even the untrained ear, but it has the songs I want to hear. If there's no video, it'll at least have the music, and it's all in one search bar.

For now, I'll just keep my Spotify subscription that has very few holes for major releases, integrates with everything, and sounds good enough. It's a shame the service that has the best library pays the least. If there's something I really want to hear in high-res, I'm happy paying for the release from Qobuz even if I'm not subscribed month-to-month. And if Qobuz were to serve up videos, I'd pay more than the price of a song to download those.
 
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Tell

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Have Qobuz gotten any Connect functionality yet? This is one of the main reasons why I use Spotify, it's just so handy! And the radio and general recommendation are just awesome, and of course also the fact that everyone else is using it so it's easier to share music.
Tbh for me the only reason for me to switch is so the artists I listen to get more money which is where Qobuz is the best as far as I've understood.
 

Miguelón

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Qobuz sounds better on my systems.

Tidal will be better than Qobuz for MQA songs format. MQA is the best of all.
Why you consider MQA which is loosy format better than FLAC files?

I personally find kind of a nightmare MQA authentication system with DACs compatibility and the degree of detail is fewer than FLAC.

As far as I know Tidal is going to gradually replace MQA by FLAC hi-res files because of artists complaints and other issues
 

popej

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I have tried Tidal, because I was interested in Atmos. The only way I can play multichannel from Tidal is to use Tidal app on Google TV. Tidal app is really bad. There is no possibility to configure it at all. Volume difference between Atmos and stereo is about 12-15dB and no reply gain option. There is no possibility to turn off next playback of "similar" music selected by Tidal, sure with +12dB after listening to Atmos. System consider Tidal app as idle, regardless of playing or not, and goes to sleep after preprogrammed timeout. And finally, if I close Tidal after playing Atmos, sound remains blocked by Tidal and I have to kill the app, to use anything else on GTV.

I wonder if Tidal really wants to offer Atmos?
 

Miguelón

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I have tried Tidal, because I was interested in Atmos. The only way I can play multichannel from Tidal is to use Tidal app on Google TV. Tidal app is really bad. There is no possibility to configure it at all. Volume difference between Atmos and stereo is about 12-15dB and no reply gain option. There is no possibility to turn off next playback of "similar" music selected by Tidal, sure with +12dB after listening to Atmos. System consider Tidal app as idle, regardless of playing or not, and goes to sleep after preprogrammed timeout. And finally, if I close Tidal after playing Atmos, sound remains blocked by Tidal and I have to kill the app, to use anything else on GTV.

I wonder if Tidal really wants to offer Atmos?
I don’t know, Tidal uses Sony 360 sound of something like that, I’m not interested on Atmos nor Sony system.

It’s true that the app is not very well implemented, at least on my iphone or ipad it closes, or get blocked, or loose connection with the streamer.

Buy I like how sounds, except MQA files, is probably my imagination but I find better than Qobuz or Apple Music.

By the way, Apple Music has Dolby Atmos and not expensive (the usual 10 $)
 

goat76

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I have tried Tidal, because I was interested in Atmos. The only way I can play multichannel from Tidal is to use Tidal app on Google TV. Tidal app is really bad. There is no possibility to configure it at all. Volume difference between Atmos and stereo is about 12-15dB and no reply gain option. There is no possibility to turn off next playback of "similar" music selected by Tidal, sure with +12dB after listening to Atmos. System consider Tidal app as idle, regardless of playing or not, and goes to sleep after preprogrammed timeout. And finally, if I close Tidal after playing Atmos, sound remains blocked by Tidal and I have to kill the app, to use anything else on GTV.

I wonder if Tidal really wants to offer Atmos?

Last week I decided to go with Tidal instead of Qobuz as I figured out I could play their Atmos library using Tidal's app on my LG TV. The TV app works as expected I guess, it doesn't lag or anything but searching for music with a TV remote isn't the best thing in the world, and it can't play gapless (no matter if it's music in Atmos or regular 2-channel stuff) which is pretty annoying. I'm thinking about getting an Apple TV but I've heard the Tidal app is not very good on that device either, and I read that it can't play gapless with Atmos music.

Is anyone here using Tidal on an Apple TV who can share their experience with the app, do you think it's worth it to go with an Apple TV over an app on a smart TV?
 

goat76

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Is anyone here using Tidal on an Apple TV who can share their experience with the app, do you think it's worth it to go with an Apple TV over an app on a smart TV?

I answer my own question here as I couldn't hold myself from purchasing an Apple TV today, it’s a fairly cheap device anyway and it will be useful with Netflix and all the other movie streaming platforms we have. :)

The Tidal app on Apple TV looks almost identical to the app on my LG OLED TV, but thanks to the great remote control with the touch-sensitive navigation buttons, the user expexperience is way better, and searching using the dictaphone function is of course faster than writing with the remote control.

Unfortunately, there's still no gapless playback with Atmos music, but I didn't expect it anyway as I read comments about it.
 

popej

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Tidal on GTV plays Atmos gapless. Or I can't hear any gaps on Eric Clapton live. Tidal on Android is using pass-through, I guess that Apple is decoding locally.
Does Apple Music play gapless?
 
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