How do you think about Qobuz store?


Hello,  

I’ve been considering Qobuz Download Store to purchase music digitally.

As a classical music listener, I find Qobuz’s selection is wide and updated well.

Here are couple points that I perceive as Pros / Cons.

- Pros

1) If I subscribe its Studio Sublime ($21/mon), Qobuz offers discount(usually 50%) on Hi-Res albums.
After discount, purchase makes financial sense compared to buy CDs from Amazon with discounted $.

2) As far as I understand (at this point) I can choose quality / format of download. This appeals to me. I want to download files as Aiff, and so far this is the only store providing this sort of service.

3) DRM Free, seems NO restriction after purchase. I can have files just like personally ripped files from CDs.

4) Also, even just for streaming part, Qobuz is the only service that specifically shows its streaming quality. (For other services, I can choose the quality in the set up, but some people suspect that the service providers change the quality depending on streaming situation.)
This applies to Streaming Offline Download feature. Qobuz provides hi-res offline download. (as a part of streaming service extension)
I wish more streaming services specify their download quality.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m new to this service, and this service changes its policy/price/feature without clear notice.

- Cons

1) Qobuz can chagne its price / plan in the future (It has been changing prices / membership structure couple times already) - Maybe not critical, but still I feel little annoyed.

2) My intension is NOT to debate this part but think I need to mention.
- Myth? Psychological effect? Or Reality? - it’s a common issue for all streaming services, not just Qobuz.

Quite number of people constantly point out that Qobuz’s upsampling quality (most common) 24/96 does not sound good as their CD rip. Even higher resolution does not sound better than their CD rips.

Some even point out that streaming services have couple different mastering versions and use it randomly. (still show the same album cover, so it looks like the same.) Any insider informaiton?

Some people has a hypothesis that this sort of experience comes from clipping of streaming service sides. So once listeners sort things out properly, then both really sound identical.

Most widely available quality such as 24/96 does not show any noticeable difference for normal listening. (At least Qobuz’s discount with sublime membership cancels out this factor.)

Briefly, the point is, Qobuz’s download store sound worse than CD rips. (Or at least not identical)

3) For classical music, the search function is not great, and requires some tricks. This is a common problem for most streaming music services. I’d like to note that Idagio’s search has been most useful.


Is there any Qobuz user? Especially Sublime user shopping at its Download store?

I’d like to know other listener’s experience.


Disclaimer: As I specifically stated above, this is not about Quality difference debate.
If one experience any difference, please respect each other, and don’t simply say “NO they are same”. - Therr might be technical glitches that, in fact, create the difference without the listener's awareness.
Some other factors can affect the result.


Happy new year.
sangbro
Hello. I’m about six months into a one year subscription with Qobuz. 

Before I purchased the platform I did a side by side comparison with Tidal - I had a month remaining on Tidal at the time so I figured it was as good a time as any to see which one was better. 

Mind you, the comparisons were done with identical tracks on either platform, and played through the woefully inadequate speakers on my Mac desktop. Not a very “audiophile” thing to do admittedly, but as this comparison was conducted near-field i felt it would, for me at least, hold water. 

To my humble ears Qobuz was better. Not by much, but I believe I heard more depth and resolution in the tracks than I did with Tidal. For the record I have to state that I am not necessarily a fan of streaming or downloading, but I do have to recognize that things are what they are currently, as well as for the foreseeable future. 

I’m a sublime subscriber, as well. So far as purchasing music as a sublime subscriber it is far less expensive than HD Tracks - and HD Tracks doesn’t have the depth that Qobuz has. I haven’t encountered any quality/sonic issues with purchases or streaming, and the only critique of the platform is that when playing my playlists there almost always is a dropout at the beginning of tracks. It’s a second or so, but it can become annoying quickly when it happens frequently. 

What I dig mostly about Qobuz is the ability to dive into record labels. I’ve discovered a lot of new artists doing that.


Overall I don’t think there are enough faults in either platform to authentically claim one is remarkably superior to the other. In fact, as my subscription to Qobuz nears its end I will shop around to secure the least expensive subscription platform. 

I have a modestly good two channel setup in my living room: Belles 150A integrated hybrid amplifier, Musical Fidelity CD player, a Bluesound Node 2, Jolida FX-10 glass tube DAC, and a pair of Thiel CS 2.4 loudspeakers. 

Great question. Hope more folks chime in. 

OP
  I’m also a Classical Music lover and Qobuz subscriber.  I have been doing the same contemplating.  Something went awry with my first attempted download yesterday, probably my error, and I will try to figure it out today.  I had done some high Rez downloads from Presto a few years back, and while some are marvelous others turned out to be upsampled red book that was sold at premium prices, and that turned me off downloading for a while
You're spending way too much time thinking about this.  Get a free trial and try it out. 

I haven't bought anything from their store, it seems silly to "purchase" digital files when I can stream them whenever I want (as long as I keep my subscription active).  They actually recently lowered the price.  It might go up in the future.  You can decide what to do if it does then.  

Sound quality is great.  
+1, big_greg.

The OP seems to over-analyze everything....just look at his other 15 threads 😊

Nothing wrong with analyzing. OP raised some very good points.
Bob
My system has full MQA capability but after lengthy trials I still ultimately chose Qobuz over Tidal.  Though both provide more than enough sound quality for this not-quite-as-fanatical-as-some audio enthusiast, Qobuz is more satisfying to my ears.  A more convincing midrange.  More soundstage depth...though Tidal might have given me more left-to-right precision.  I'm a classical junkie and Qobuz offers far, far more classical than Tidal. 

In any case, my favorite streaming service is Primephonic. It's like owning the world's finest classical record store.  And the non-classic they do offer is of true connoisseur quality.  I got to say, though, that Primephonic's opera collection can't hold a candle to my personal collection of vinyl & CDs.  Finally, hey, I enjoy routing YouTube vids and Fiddler's Hangout's amateur fiddling mp3s through my stereo, as well.
If you think Qobuz classical search is bad just try your public library.  They have SACDs but never noted.
I don't.
I forgot to answer the question.