Qobuz.


Who is using g Qobuz and how are you finding it? Thank you.
bander
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!