If you're using the Bluesound app to select your music then Qobuz will be identical to using Tidal operationally. There is a lot of overlap in their catalogs but they are not identical. I prefer the sound quality of Qobuz, particularly of their hi-res catalog and I'm not a fan of MQA which Tidal uses. I switched from Tidal to Qobuz a couple of years ago. Pricing is very similar.
67 responses Add your response
QoBuz offers high-res streaming that includes 24/96 and 24/192 albums. Another option is to type #hires in your search tab for a listing of hi-res albums.
QoBuz offers 1,540 playlists. You can type jazz, for example, find a playlist you like and make it a favorite.
QoBuz’s catalog is very good but, obviously, does not contain everything. I can always find an album I like. I switched from Tidal to QoBuz because of their hi-res selection. QoBuz Customer Support is excellent. I usually get an answer in 24 hours. BTW, my source is the Aurender N20 Music Server.
QoBuz web site info:
“More than 70 million tracks available for unlimited playback, of which 185,000 albums are in Hi-Res with Studio Premier and Studio Sublime
Human recommendations from our team of experts
Access to millions of digital booklets and extra information on our musical content”
My listening notes comparing Qobuz to Tidal:
Round 2, Qobuz vs Tidal: So far Qobuz is clearly better than Tidal even listening through pretty cheap desktop passive speakers. Tidal sounds very two dimensional and flat in its sound quality but with some harshness in the high frequencies. I’ll listen a bit more to Tidal, but so far I’m not impressed at all. Spotify Premium even seems to sound better than Tidal.
Some additional thoughts about Tidal after listening on higher quality equipment. I think they have applied some equalization to boost the bass and treble. In the process, I think side effects of doing this is to take out some of the presence of voices and instruments and add an artificial quality to voices and instruments.. Qobuz sounds a LOT better. Spotify Premium also sounds better. To my ears at least. (Disclaimer: Your results may vary). I’m currently listening to a track that is a MQA file on Tidal vs a CD quality file on Qobuz. The CD quality file on Qobuz sounds a LOT fuller and more natural.
Not a big fan of hip hop, but decided to listen to something that is squarely in Tidal’s area of focus. I listened to ’The Box’ by Roddy Ricch which is a MQA file on Tidal and CD quality on Qobuz. Same results. The Qobuz file sounds fuller and has more presence. Almost sounds like two different recordings when listening on Qobuz vs Tidal.
I have a high end system and am 100% digital. I have a 8tb music server that is loaded with music so I have a lot. I also have Tidal and Qobuz. I find myself going to Qobuz more than even my own recordings. Tidal has more artists but the sound of Qobuz can't be beat. BTW, at one point I had Spotify Premium. Spotify is great for playing genres of music but the quality is not in the SAME league as Tidal or Qobuz. Go with Qobuz and enjoy your music.
When I started streaming a couple of years ago I did the trial for both Tidal and Qobuz.
Qobuz was sounding better.
After some critical listening, I was sure Qobuz had superior SQ.
I started to think that there was some compression applied by Tidal. But more
likely it's EQ.
Qobooz, or in French, Qoboos.
I liked Qobuz a lot. This is my last month though as Im stopping my subscription and will be using Spotify, that Ive kept for my kids.
Reason being, I finf the Qobuz interface through the Blusound app tedious, and using the Qobuz app, the Blusound only puts out CD quality.
im resting my ears a few months and am looking forward to Spotify HIFI.
Qobuz has gotten a little annoying for me because some music does not stream properly without dropouts. My internet connection is solid and when the Qobuz drops I check out the same album on Tidal. On Tidal the music has far less dropouts. I cannot remember the last time I had a dropout on Tidal.
I went back to Qobuz recently because they had a few tunes that Tidal did not. However, I am finding the tech a little less reliable than Tidal.
The latest ROON update added the DAILY MIX feature from Tidal and I am very impressed by that feature. It is a playlist about 3 hour long based on your listening habits. They focus each Mix on a particular artist and then go deep into that artist and similar artists. I discovered Fela Kuti's drummer today by listening to Tidal's Fela Kuti's DAILY MIX based on my listening habits. I do not see this integration with ROON for Qobuz.
I’ve been using Qobuz since 2019. At that time, I preferred the overall Qobuz experience over Tidal and Amazon Music HD.
I do still love the sound quality, but the more I’ve used Qobuz, the more I taken issue almost everything else--e.g. their search engine is slow and often inaccurate, the interface is cumbersome, they have poor playlists for entire genres, untrained prediction algorithm. I told Qobuz in 2019 that they had some of the best Chromecast implementation I’ve seen in any app. But over the last 6 months, the casting has started failing where music will play on both my phone and the stereo system--and the pause button only turns one of the two off. It’s painful. I’m very much looking forward to Spotify HiFi.
I currently have a Spotify and Apple Music subscription too. I’m ultimately going to migrate to one of those two by the end of the year.
I use both and have specific preferences for each
I prefer Qobuz sound quality on my 2 channel reference system, but it's bandwidth intensive and prone to more drops than Tidal
For mobile listening, streaming over cellular while driving or on the beach, riding a bike etc I cannot maintain a reliable connection with Qobuz but Tidal rarely let's me down and is my go to source for mobility
Also Tidal has a few discount plans for students, military and first responders, as well as loyalty renewal discounts after 2 years, e.g. 12 months for the price of 10
I'm unable to find similar discount options on Qobuz
I do find the Tidal UI a bit easier to navigate and more user friendly
I have two reactions to this thread. (1) OP is doing something that, IMHO, more people should do: bypassing the Node 2 DAC and using it as a streamer only. For $500 (ish), it’s a decent streamer. (2) I question whether it’s decent enough, however, to reveal a difference between HiRez Qobuz files and Tidal’s MQA. I’ve invested a decent chunk of money into my digital side on two systems, and I still find it a close call. But, like others have said, I do prefer the Qobuz sound for some elusive reason. I also have a dumb, but nonetheless real, skepticism toward MQA and its whole “compressed, but not really” approach. But the depressing reality is that we have no control; a really good recording streamed over Tidal will always beat a so-so recording streamed over Qobuz, and vice versa. We spend too much time and energy agonizing over gear when we should be agonizing over recordings. Do better, music biz. Your entire job is to help me and the rest of us .0000005 % audio-geeks get the most out of our toys.
The Qobuz web interface and Qobuz app are more robust than the Lumin app (used on a dedicated iPad).
They all work but I think the SQ is best when using the Lumin app.
If using the native Qobuz playlists, listening to albums, or Qobuz playlists the Lumin app is no problem.
However, adjusting playlists works using the Qobuz native app or web interface. That’s a PIA as playing/listening is done with the Lumin app. It’s a lot of back and forth between apps.
The dropouts I experience are nothing to do with router range. I am hardwired to my router and have a solid internet connection. I also have Tidal and Qobuz at the same time. My example was playing the same album on each at approximately the same time and having Qobuz dropout (skip songs), while Tidal worked flawlessly. So I know the internet is good. The issue is streaming server capacity on the Qobux source side.
I never tried Tidal and went straight to Qobuz. My reason was for the design team and the people behind Qobuz. I felt Tidal was less committed to the music quality overall and more about promoting their chosen artists. The group who started Qobuz did so with a focus on the music and what they felt they were being held back from on the other platforms. I have discovered more new artists than I could have hoped for and know there will always be some not on the service. The thing to be aware of, artist or albums you don’t find on a service is rarely the service but the artist of license holder who is restricting the access.
@kgveteran, As was suggested above by @lalitk, please ORDER a QoBuz trail and listen to your favorite artists. As I suggested above, review the playlists and listen to your favorites albums. You might have to spend time learning to navigate QoBuz on your Bluesound App. This is a normal process when starting QoBuz so please do not get concerned. Accessing and using QoBuz is not that hard to learn. I had similar issues learning to use my Aurender Conductor App. Look for new artists and review the various tabs settings and other selections. Have fun.
The QoBuz trail link is below:
The 30 comments you received above are all excellent so I strongly suggest you sign up for a QoBuz trail to see how you like it. I also suggest you sign up for the QoBuz hi-res format. please see us posted. Thanks.
@ronboco, I am not familiar with the BlueSound App but am guessing it probably will play both Tidal and QoBuz. Please check your manual. Maybe other BlueSound users can comments to this question.
I have never used the App below but they claim to convert Tidal playlists to Qobuz. Please check it out. Also please search for other Apps that convert Tidal to QoBuz. There may be several other conversion options. I do not know.
They both have about the same number of tracks. Qobuz has a stronger selection for jazz and classical lovers, Tidal better is some other genres. As Qobuz does not knowingly offer MQA tracks, if you want MQA, definitely go Tidal. If you are one of those, who, like myself, dislikes the sound of MQA, I would suggest Qobuz. Both are available as free trials, depending where you live. Ultimately, you have to decide yourself, based on your needs and listening preferences.
I've found that sound quality is generally more dependent on the source material than on the hardware that delivers it to me. And that if the music itself is compelling enough, my zeal for experiencing the best sound quality becomes just that little bit less important. In any event, I find streaming to be an absolutely marvelous innovation. For a reasonable monthly fee, it puts the musical universe at my fingertips.
I have both Tidal and Qobuz.
Qobuz has more albums to choose from (especially classical), but I do not notice much of a difference in sound quality. Since I use Roon, I have the ability to choose between various versions of streamed and/or saved music files.
When MQA first hit the market a few years ago, I was very impressed with their new concept - especially their claim to authenticate master files. As you know, HR could just be a 44.1 standard red book CD with a fancy name. Unfortunately, Tidal does not fully support classical so there is a limited MQA library.
If I had to choose one - it would be Qobuz. The premium version and paid annually.
I listen to mainly classical, so I find the selection and quality of Qobuz to be excellent. Every day there are new albums added.
Here's the downside of streaming, we don't choose which version of an album release is available by each service. This mainly applies to rock. The album release may be the original flat transfer or a remaster. It could be a remaster which improved the recording, or it could be a remaster with heavy compression made during the years of the Loudness Wars.
Many artists like the Stones or Zeppelin may have 3 or 4 different remasters, I know this because I was duped into buying the latest greatest CD version of these bands multiple times.
This is where physical media beats streaming, having the choice to hear an album of the highest SQ.
Full disclosure; I leave my system set up for streaming.
With respect to streaming SQ, I'll offer another vote for Qobuz. One hi-res listen on Qobuz to an album titled "A Little Driving Music" by Brian Bromberg will win you over. Qobuz has become my streaming choice for critical listening. I also subscribe to Deezer and enjoy that service very much for its curated playlists. Deezer currently provides "only" CD-quality streaming, but I consider it more than adequate. Between Deezer and Tidal, I'd choose Deezer, but for best quality, Qobuz is my pick.
I use both Tidal and Qobuz. I started with and kept Tidal because, for the most part, it has more of the old school R&B classics that I like; and I like it's interface better.
In my system, Qobuz HiRes sounds a bit better than Tidal MQA. But it doesn't blow it away. Maybe its because my DirectStream DAC supports MQA. For serious listening, I use Qobuz. Streamed CD quality from either sounds the same. I've long since ripped my CD collection to a Zenith MKII streamer. Playing from it sounds better than streamed CDs.
To be honest, MP3s don't sound bad on my main system. I can hear a clear and distinct difference between it and everything else, but my wife says she can't. In the end, I guess it all depends on what you are listening on and for.