Qobuz.


Who is using g Qobuz and how are you finding it? Thank you.
bander
Still in Beta for the US. I opened an account but am still locked out.
It seems they gave free passes at the NY Audio show, those guys have access to Quobuz.
B
I went on their website which certainly makes them appear to be open for business. 
Nope, try to click subscibe and you'll see it is still in Beta.
B
bander:
The normal and high-resolution version is not yet available in the USA. Paul Mcgowan of PS Audio has tried the high-resolution version and said it was clearly superior to Tidal. I am looking forward to listening to it.


David Pritchard
Thanks gdnrbob and David P. I too am looking forward. 
Hi there, Qobuz is not yet available to the public in the USA but starting this month we will be launching an open beta. Watch online for a spot to sign up for the beta waiting list. You'll have access soon. 

Best, 

Qobuz USA

Signed up but can’t use. Seems not Roon able. Anyone know different?
@whatthe Read the above posts.
It is available now! I have but does not integrate with Roon. I have spoken with a knowledgeable person confirming this
I just got an email from Qobuz:

--------------------------------------
Hi from Qobuz US,

You signed up on our website to be among the first to experience true Hi-Res audio streaming in the US.

The big day is finally approaching!

We are soon going to select our first open beta testers based on specific criteria.

Please complete the form below to have a chance of being selected as one of the first to experience our platform:
http://on.qobuz.com/Ym

We will notify you within a week whether you have been selected as a first-round beta tester or placed on our waiting list.

We look forward to seeing your responses!

The Qobuz Team

-------------------------------------------------

Among the questions on the form are "Products used", with things like Auralic, Sonos, Naim, etc.  Sadly, LMS/Squeezebox wasn't on the list, though LMS does have a Qobuz plugin.  I marked "Other" and put in Squeezebox Touch, assuming they wouldn't know what piCorePlayer is (I do still have a Touch, though.)  I hope the Qobuz plugin will still work with Qobuz in the US.
Thanks for the link.
I put in my ticket.
I heard that people who visited the NYC show got a free offer to sign into the Beta.
B
Hi,

We can't comment on Roon just yet, but we are all big fans of Roon here at Qobuz US. We hope to give you good news at some point :)

Thank you,
Qobuz US

Hello 

You are now a Qobuz Studio subscriber! 

Your subscription is active until 2/2/19. 

It will be automatically renewed at the end of this period, but you can end it at any time on the page My Account > Unlimited Music

Unfortunately I canceled because I use Roon. Very disappointed 


I got the Beta e mail a few days ago and signed up but haven’t heard
Just got my "acceptance" email today and am now playing Qobuz using thru my Squeezebox Touch using the Qobuz plugin for LMS.
daverz:

I look forward to your impressions of how user friendly Qobuz is, the audio quality and ease in setting up playlists and if will it automatically play similar music at the end of a play list.


David Pritchard
They told me I wasn't going to be a beta tester and I have to wait with everyone else.
What nerve...
B
@davidpritchard 

Keep in mind that while I do use the Qobuz desktop app to browse, I'm using the 3rd party Qobuz plugin for controlling playback on the LMS server (I'm pretty wedded to the LMS ecosystem).  USB Transport in my big rig is a Raspberry Pi 3B.  I did test a bit using a direct USB connection from my macbook to my Vega DAC.

Impressions so far:

  • Sound great!  I haven't tried to do any kind of A/B with Tidal.
  • Tracks are in the correct order!  (A constant Tidal problem).
  • Their classical selection is excellent but doesn't seem that different from Tidal.  They are missing some things that Tidal has and vice versa.  For example, they have new Chandos releases whereas all the releases that Tidal has are about 5 years old.  I'm only a few days in and will have a better impression of the selection after a few weeks.
  • Search is better than Tidal, but Tidal sets a low bar.  You can search Qobuz by label, for example.  But you see some of the same problems, for example something not coming up because the conductor's name is not in the search data.
  • The Qobuz desktop app is easier to use and browsability is much better than Tidal (again, that low bar).  You can click on Display Track Details and get a sheet of info with hyperlinks that will display matching albums (e.g. Label, Composer, Conductor, etc.)
  • However, the Tidal app on Mac is technically more sophisticated in that it allows you to connect directly to hardware rather than having the OS upsample everything (sampling rate manually set in Apple's Audio Midi Setup utility; has Apple fixed this dumb thing yet?)
  • At least for classical, their default listings for genre and new releases are more informed than Tidal. Not all Bocelli and pretty young things.
  • Again, metadata is more complete and useful.  You can also read booklet notes in the app.  I haven't done a thorough survey to see how many discs do have notes.
  • I don't use playlists much, so haven't tried that yet.
  • Most things marked as Hi-Res are only available in Hi-Res for download.  Qobuz is aware of the problem.  They really need to fix this before official launch or they are going to piss a lot of people off.  As it is, the "Studio" plan doesn't seem worth the extra money for some occasional hi-res streaming albums.  I'd get either the standard FLAC service or pay for the Sublime level that has discounts on high-res downloads, if you are into that.


Finally got into the Qobuz BETA program in the US.
Music streamer: Aurender N100H
DAC: Ayre QX5/20
Setup the Qobuz account online and then on the Aurender. Tidal was already setup on the aurender.

I spent the last several hours a/b comparing Tidal with Qobuz and my conclusion is that I will be switching to Qobuz and pay the extra $5 dollars for hi-res access. Every song that I compared, in all genres, in my opinion was noticeably better and in some cases significantly better on Qobuz compared to Tidal. Also, Qobuz Hi-Res songs sounded better than the equivalent MQA songs on Tidal. In regards to the sound quality, Qobuz wins hands down in my opinion. The sound is fuller and richer, with better bass.  In terms of overall polish and stability, like searching for artist and suggesting playlists, Tidal is still better in certain aspects than Qobuz (Note: I wasn’t using the Qobuz app so it could have been the Aurender Conductor app not being stable for the Qobuz service causing these issues).
I also tried a/b comparing Tidal and Qobuz streaming directly to the Ayre QX5/20 via ethernet and the results were the same.
Qobuz is still a bit buggy (good thing they are still in beta), for example I noticed that some albums will show up in search results but you can’t play them (probably due to licensing issues in the US). I’m sure they will work out the kinks. I haven’t extensively look through the Qobuz catalog just yet but, I think their Jazz and Classical selections seem better than Tidal.

Overall: I’m pleasantly surprise with the the sound quality and service. I thought that the sound quality was going to be similar to Tidal, but in my opinion, it’s way better. In a revealing audio system, you will definitely easily notice the difference.
I got the Beta email signed up and was also turned down. I guess I have to wait but it sounds very promising from what you Beta users are posting!
nycjlee, when you wrote that when you tried streaming Tidal and Qobuz directly to the Ayre QX-5/20 via ethernet the results were the same did you mean the sound quality was the same or that the preference for Qobuz that you observed in the previous paragraph were the same?

I steam Tidal to a QX-5/20 via ethernet using Roon.  
@jond .
Now I don't feel so bad...😩
B
Ok it wasn't annoying at all to get another Beta Tester email from Qobuz today try signing up and get wait listed again!
They emailed me yesterday and I am now enjoying a month's free listening.
Sounds pretty good so far.

I opened up Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reissue and heard things I didn't know were on the album.
Those guys were really pushing it to the limit.
B
Supposedly I was accepted, but app didn’t work, kept sending me back to the application page.  I’m having a bad IT month.  I’ll wait until it’s really launched to try again.  Right now just enjoying being able to listen to Bluesound after it was MIA for a months
@mahler, 
I had issues signing up, too. I had to do a password reset. 
To their credit, Quobuz responded in 2 days after a ticket.
If you can login to the web player, then go to your account and reset your password.
B
Wow so it sounds like I am now the only one who wasn't accepted?
Don’t take it personally.  We still like you!
LMAO thanks mahler123 so I obviously let despair get the best of me! :p But there is a good outcome I read the comments above by you and gdnrbob2 and decided to email Quobuz CS. I got a response in under 24 hours they fixed my account and I am signed up as a beta user! Relative to experiences with Tidal CS this was first class service, now what should I listen to first!?
Ok so far through three albums on Quobuz and loving it! I think the sound quality is a bit better than Tidal and certainly at least as good.  Jazz selections seem excellent thus far as well.
@jond ,
Yes, very good selection on classical and jazz.
Listening to Cal Tjader right now.
Also listened to the remaster Sgt. Pepper album and heard things I never knew were on that record.
And, make sure you set the output quality. I have it on the highest level and am not experiencing any streaming issues. So, I guess, I can drop Spotify (though I do like the Discover tab), Deezer was nothing but problems. Only Tidal remains besides Quobuz.
Bob

Bob I gave up Spotify years ago due to the poor sound quality and have used Tidal ever since. Now I need to decide if I need both Tidal and Quobuz. I like them both at least I have a free month to figure it out.
@jond ,
+1, I agree Spotify sound could be better, but most of Tidal is showing 44K output on my DAC, which is the same as Spotify.
FWIW, after 3 days, I think Quobuz is a keeper. Much better selection for Classical and Jazz than Tidal, and if I get the Supremo subscription, I get a discount on downloads.
B
Bob don't pay attention to the 44K with Tidal the difference is in the kbps reading. 44K is redbook CD standard the difference it Tidal is Flac and Spotify is MP3 with never get above 320kbps. And as far as Quobuz I am sticking with Hifi as I am 16/44.1 all the way no hi-rez for me. And so far enjoying both classical and jazz on Quobuz.
Spotify (top tier) is 320 kbps

Red Book CD (16/44.1) is 1,411 kbps (44.1 * 16 * 2). So almost five times more than Spotify
Qobuz is certainly working for me. I am streaming while driving and getting CD resolution with no dropouts. The sound is excellent. The search engine is easy to use.
Next for me is developing play lists.
I have cancelled my Tidal account. 
I do think Qobuz is for music lovers!
David Pritchard
David that's great I haven't messed around with the app really yet, using the Lightning DS app at home but looking forward to checking it out and exploring more. I haven't decided to cut Tidal yet but I may down the road we shall see.
@dbphd sorry for the delayed response.  In both cases, using the Ethernet render built into the QX5 and using the Aurender and streaming via USB, Qobuz sounds better than Tidal.  In fact, I just cancelled my Tidal membership. 
The issue with Qobuz is that it’s missing a lot of albums. Especially in the Alternative/ Indie / Folk / Americana/ Metal genres. Many smaller US labels are missing completely.

32 of my Tidal favorites (albums) are missing, plus many additional albums I browse from my favorites.

As much as I like to cancel Tidal, and keep Qobuz, I am afraid as it stands now, I will stay with Tidal. Cannot keep them both
Lots of reviews about Quoboz and the fact it will work with Roon at the Daily Audiophile site. Getting positive reviews.
David Pritchard
Hey @thyname the US service catalog is not complete. The labels you are looking will be live some time in February. 
Thanks @dmackta !

But how do you know?
Qobuz beta is running as a Roon service along with Tidal on our mac-mini.
I was offered a month's trial, installed the Qobuz 64 bit Windows app on my quad core I7/16 gig Dell machine, outputting to my DAC via USB.  I also have the Tidal Windows app installed on the same machine.  I have my audio system "hard wired" to my network, with Comcast service with about 200mb down.

I find the Qobuz app is a little flaky.  Sometimes the cursor doesn't appear to select an item, like it's doing something in the background, consuming all the resources...though Windows doesn't show the processor or memory particularly busy.  Not a consistent thing, more of an occasional nuisance.  I do find their selection of classical to be better than Tidal.  And, I do like their search function to be more rewarding.

When I compare music I'm familiar with, Tidal with MQA and regular CD quality, Qobuz either running regular CD or hi-res quality, more times than not Qobuz (to me) sounds a little more "distinct", not a huge difference by any means, but noticeable.  Most of the 96/24 and 192/24 music from Qobuz is just awesome to my ears!

I'm not yet ready to commit to Qobuz, just had it for a few days, but so far I think it's a winner.  I wouldn't give up Tidal for Qobuz.

If I decide to keep Qobuz, I'll set up Roon to stream both.
I've been on the US beta for a couple of weeks, listening through Roon into a PS Audio DSD.

Qobuz hi-res streaming provides the best sound quality I have ever experienced in my listening room, hands down.  We're through the looking glass now.  For $25 a month I have access to 170,000 albums in 24/96 and 24/192 quality.  

I was a big fan of Tidal MQA over normal 16/44 material, and Qobuz hi-res sounds better.  In comparison, MQA sounds a little recessed, a little crispy and brittle.  Hi-res brings all the detail and all the body.

For my musical tastes, Qobuz is missing perhaps 10% of the titles I might enjoy in Tidal.  But I could spend a lot of time exploring those 170,000 hi-res albums before I get around to missing what's not on Qobuz.
I agree with 'cymbop' in that Qobuz, which i have been beta testing for a week,is a better alternative to Tidal in a number of ways..The hi-rez sound is, in my opinion, as good or better than MQA. The availability of so many classical albums makes it a no brainer too. The complete 'Living Stereo' group of albums is there.The site is well structured and the playlists are superb..I will be staying with it after the 1 month is over..
@bander

"Who is using g [sic] Qobuz and how are you finding it?"

1. Qobuz > Tidal

a. audio quality: to my ear Qobuz "Studio" is better than Tidal hifi and Master: broader dynamic/frequency range, better definition, presence, air, blah blah quack quack ... fill in favorite insipid audiophile adjectives.

b. metadata: Qobuz seems to have broader and deeper collateral data on their catalog selections. Sadly the suck UX’s in web player and Mac native app make it hard to get to (see 3a.)

c. classical catalog - though after cursory look only Qobuz marginally better than Tidal.

2. Qobuz < Tidal

a. curation (playlists, "events" etc): Tidal sets a low bar and Qobuz manages to fall under it. See 3c.

3. Qobuz == Tidal

a. both Qobuz and Tidal native Mac apps are crappy. So is Spotify’s. Not quite a race to the bottom but close. Tidal seems to have copied Spotify’s UX - apparently what’s good enough for Sweden is good enough for Norway. Too bad Qobuz chose a "light" theme as background - at least France could learn from Sweden & Norway.

b. both Qobuz and Tidal seem to have hit-n-miss catalogs. Surprised to find certain off-path classical titles in Tidal’s catalog, as well as more recordings than Qobuz from Nikhil Banerjee (greatest 20th century sitar master you’ve never heard of).

c. both have stupid, what-are-they-thinking assemblies of ’multimedia’ (music, bio’s, AV media, reviews, commentary etc). These seem more the whims of self-indulgent editors and hipsters than anything of much value to subscribers. Producing and/or licensing and curating good content is expensive (hiring experts and licensing expert material). Neither Qobuz or Tidal seem to want to spend that money. On the other hand that might price them right out of business.

4. Verdict
Ultimately audio quality wins the day for me - I’ll probly ditch Tidal after my Qobuz beta/free trial ends. French heritage also gives me some vague, grudging alliance to Qobuz. It won’t be without some PIA given the shortfalls noted above. C’est la vie.
Revised verdict:

After a few more days using Qobuz, the slightly-better-than-Tidal audio quality may not be enough to overcome the absolutely sh!tty search UX and catalog indexing. Even if Qobuz has the recordings I've painstakingly assembled in my Tidal library, if one can't find them they might as well not be there at all.  Awful, and a real disappointment.

Also continuing to find holes in the Qobuz catalog compared to Tidal - in classical recordings, of all things.
@usery,  As a Qobuz beta tester, please report all your comments and suggestions to Qobuz.  Thanks.  

Everyone needs to report their finding to Qobuz. 

I have already reported that my Aurender N10 needs an Qobuz API so they can sort my favorite albums into artist sequence.   And, another API so my Aurender can create a tab so I can select 24/96 coded albums and 24/192 coded albums. Qobuz reports these are on the list but no time frames.  

My Roon friends report they already can sort albums and have filters for hi-res selection. 
After a month of using Qobuz, i signed up for yearly subscription at $249.00. To my ears, the Qobuz high resolution SQ easily trumps Tidal. In direct comparison between MQA 24/96kHz and Qobuz 24/96kHz files, Qobuz is superior in dynamics by a good margin.

I also liked the fact that with Qobuz I no longer need to pursue a MQA compatiable DAC.

Since i use Aurender conductor app, I experienced no issues with artist or albums search with Qobuz. 
I also liked the fact that with Qobuz I no longer need to pursue a MQA compatiable DAC.
Hmmm.... and yet you were able to compare MQA vs. Qobuz HiRes