Spotify vs other streaming services


I stream through Spotify because I like it’s nearly comprehensive classical catalog. Also, it’s cheaper than the others. 
I can also access Tidal if I want to pay for it. 
My DAC doesn’t handle hi-res formats.
 My question is, am I getting the best non hi-res sound quality with Spotify?
Or is Tidal or anyone else better.

7c67ab18 c2ce 4b45 9523 fc4a71684ce0rvpiano
Tidal much better on redbook cd
No comparison at all Spotify is mp3 quality and Tidal is CD/Flac quality. Tidal is night and day better.
Tidal is awful for Classical.  Some one else on Avon described it’s Classical section as appearing to have been organized by a Chimpanzee on Crystal Meth.
Quobuz is much better for Classical.  If you are in the US it is supposed to be here in the fall
Thanks for the info, mahler123.
Tidal HiFi for 44.1k/16bit plus MQA 88.2/24bit 96k/24bit.
cost twice as much as Spotify. 
Sound quality vs price.
Both Tidal and Deezer blow Spotify out of the water on sq, even their basic services are 16/44 at $9.99 a month.

Tbh I do not listen to classical so I cannot comment on how good or bad their catalog is for those works.
For my genre I have zero complaints on breadth and depth of music available to me. MANY title and artists I would never have listened to if not for streaming. It opened my eyes a couple years back.
@mahler123.
We have been waiting for Quboz for a LONG time now. Still no actual firm launch date here in USA
Tidal's sound is way better than Spotify.  I do like Spotify for the ease of using and creating playlists.  Spotify is good if you have a bluetooth speaker that you can move around.  Tidal is good if you want to listen to great music on your two channel system.
I just re-joined Tidal to hear the situation for myself.
YES! There is a big difference in SQ!
Now what am I gonna do with all my CDs?
Well, I still have records.
 
Thanks to all for alerting me.
Upon AB ing Tidal with identical CDs played on my transport (both plugged into the same DAC) I find the quality slightly, but importantly, better for classical, in the CD.
Still and all, the Tidal is very impressive.
 For casual listening I’ll  stream, but for maximal musical enjoyment, I’ll probably stick with the CDs.
Tidal is excellent.

@rvpiano

The difference could be your DAC input or SPL level or different masters. Not all DACs are good at jitter rejection for example and therefore the source can make a difference even if the bits are identical.
@uberwaltz. I am frustrated as well.  Quobuz latest publicity states they will be here in the Fall.  I did play with it while visiting a friend in Paris last year and it is worth waiting for.  In the meantime I will stick my my CDs, SACDs, and use Spotify to sample recordings.
@rvpiano. 
Congratulations and shows the value of asking for members opinions here. I used to think Tidal and my CD replay were near identical with on some cuts Tidal having the edge. However I since acquired an older model Pioneer SACD player and this turns the corner with most CD/SACD now having the slight edge over Tidal streaming but it is a very close call and as you have found not even close to Spotify.
I think you will be happy with Quboz when it finally arrives as it is supposed to have a very well sorted classical and jazz catalog.
For now ENJOY!
I, too, am waiting for Quobuz. They, and Primephonic seem to be taking their time coming to the US. Perhaps it is a product of the current political climate.
I tried Deezer, but it never played properly.
I pay for both Spotify and Tidal, but Spotify has the best catalog. Tidal's cataloging system is abysimal for anything other that current music. Unfortunately, I don't care much for Hip Hop/Rap.
B
Bob
I too have issues with Deezer and have given up with trying to get Deezer customer support to even fully understand the problem never mind offer a solution.
The issue I have is seemingly complete random.
I can start an album, it will play first track in full then just 30 seconds of the next tracks. They did say it might be cache but clearing it makes no difference and tidal does not behave this way. It may not do this for days, then it may do it 3 times in a day!
I got 3 month trial of Deezer for $0.99 a month but when it is over I will be cancelling Deezer service.
Shame really.
@rvpiano I use Spotify and I tried the Tidal service but (so far) have not made the jump (some of the news about Tidal's long term viability still concerns me).  One thing you can try (in addition to the free Tidal trial) is to stream Radio Paradise in lossless flac format.  That may give you some indication of how the increased resolution will be reproduced on your system.  I can immediately hear the difference on my system. Dick
Dick,
I downloaded the Radio Paradise app.  It’s very confusing as to how to access the site to stream music.
Is the Radio Paradise stream of higher quality than Tidal’s?
"...have not made the jump (some of the news about Tidal's long term viability still concerns me)."

Who cares? Are you planning to invest in the company or just subscribe to their service?

Sorry, could not resist.
Bob
Primephonic is available in the States.  I did their free trial a few months ago, but the catalog is very limited 
@rvpiano, The app is really only useful if you're going to listen through headphones (which I do also) but I use a Logitech Squeezebox Touch with the RP plugin installed.  That allows me to stream RP through my main system.  Whatever you are using to stream Spotify/Tidal would need to allow streaming from RP as well.
It looks like you tried Tidal and like it.  For some reason, none of the posts above mine were visible when I wrote that earlier.
@kalali Well, if you subscribe you are investing in the company to some extent.  I guess my reticence may have something to do with being an early subscriber to Mog and then having it bought out and killed (first by Beats and then by Apple) after working out all of the kinks for streaming it in my system.
@rvpiano,  Radio paradise streams at 320 kbps aac stream and, unfortunately, is not higher sound quality than Tidal.   Radio Paradise 320 sound quality is acceptable but Tidal is much better. 

Radio Paradise App runs on your computer and also Phone (download the RP App). It only plays a single stream of music and you can select the bit rate (always select the 320 AAC option).  Look for the play tab, or arrow, and it should play. Okay?
@rvpiano, I also listen to Radio Paradise on my Aurender N10 Music Server by going to their Internet page (tab) and look for Radio Paradise.   Aurender confirms that they are using the 320 kbps Radio Paradise stream.  I like Radio Paradise for its easy listening and great background music.  

"Radio Paradise plays different styles of pop and rock music, but occasionally other genres from jazz to classical to electronic music and world music. All of the styles are DJ-mixed, often with passages of several tracks played back-to-back (and faded between each other), chosen for their suitability or thematic relevance as opposed purely to random playlisting. While Radio Paradise is a for-profit business, it does not broadcast commercials but is financially supported through donations from listeners. It is known familiarly as "RP"”. 

RP also allows you to store music in cache on your iPhone and play music “off line” thru your vehicle’s speakers.  Very cool.  Instructions are on their web site.  


I love Radio Paradise and listen to it a lot. BTW, the Radio Paradise APP for Android and iPhone streams up to FLAC on supported devices.




@reubent is correct.  Here is a quote directly from RP's web page." We are very pleased to announce our highest-fidelity stream ever. CD-quality FLAC audio is now available in our free iPhone and Android apps, and our apps for AppleTV and FireTV.

Next, we'll be bringing FLAC audio to our new web player (coming soon) and we'll make it available via other hardware and software players as soon as we can. Users of Logitech Squeezebox devices can access it via this plugin."
As I said, I am listening through the Logitech plugin.  It gives me a choice between 192, 320, or flac.  I'm surprised that Aurender is not using the flac stream but there may be more work involved than I am aware of.
@ubwerwaltz, that is exactly the problem I am running into. And, as you say, customer service is lacking. I dropped Deezer before the trial ended.
@mahler123.  
I forgot to mention that I am using the Bluesound App. Primephonic is supposed to be supported by Bluesound in the near future, so I have been patiently waiting for that and Quobuz to finally get here.
B
As noted above. I am also patiently waiting for QuBuz to be available in the USA. I asked but the only response I received is “soon”.  Does anyone have any additional QuBuz availability info?   
I signed up for email alerts from Quobuz maybe 6 months ago and have not gotten a single alert. I will believe they are coming to the US when they arrive.
When it comes to audio quality, please be well noted that with the same subscription fee, $9.99 per month, you can get the same 320 kbps quality on both Spotify and Tidal. If you would like to get better quality, you can choose Tidal HiFi to get HiFi audio quality at 14.99 every month.
But if you think 320 kbps is enough, you can use free Spotify account and Spotify Music Converter to download 320 kbps songs from Spotify with ease. Hope it’s useful for you.
??$9.99 a month on Tidal gives you the 16/44 redbook quality streaming, same on Deezer for same price.Well above 320kb service level.
But I guess Quboz will be here very soon so some will see how that works out for them.I ran it on a trial but their rock catalogue is very limited compared to Tidal so I will be sticking with Tidal HiFi for now.
Tidal website states $9.99 for 320 kbps. $19.99 for 1411kbps ( full redbook).  Various other family and student plans 
for some reason Tidal calls their lower quality option "Premium"...
OK I am new to streaming and using Spotify. I use a Music Fidelity V90 DAC so does it matter the quality of the streaming if one is using a separate DAC? 
What matters is the quality of the DAC and system. The V90 is certainly good enough to make the sound quality differences obvious. 
@samzx12 ,
Streaming quality does matter and getting as high a resolution output would be my priority.
Like jl35 says, your equipment should do well, but it needs the best information to perform.
Though Tidal has high rez output, I find the catalog to be limited when looking for anything more than 50 years old, and, if they offer it, it is pretty well hidden.
Spotify has the best catalog, but isn't considering moving to high rez.
I tried Deezer, but it had a lot of problems with playback and customer service was lacking, so I dropped them.
So, hopefully, when Quobuz comes, it will be a game changer.
Bob
I like and use Tidal but I think Jay-Z is running it into the ground. I hope it stays alive, it has been in trouble. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.billboard.com/amp/articles/business/8459694/why-music-industry-root...
I have Spotify Premium so I'm getting the 320 kbps FYI.  
I have Tidal and Spotify Premium.  Tidal hands down wins.  I have my wife who knows nothing about music quality do a blind test with the same songs and even she picked Tidal.  
Any classical music lovers out there should check out IDAGIO.
Lossles presentation and only $10/Month I think. 
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I use Spotify. I'm a jazz guy and their catalog is head and shoulders better then Tidal.
Yes, Tidal does sound better by far, but what good is better sound if there is nothing to listen to?
If you'd like to move Spotify to other streaming service, you need the Spotify Music Converter for Windows/Mac to help you download the Spotify songs offline. After that, you can import the songs to any streaming service you want. 
If you are a music lover then Spotify, if you are a sound lover then Tidal.  If you are both then both.  It's true Spotify blows the doors off Tidal for content and ease and enjoyment of use.  I use Spotify for casual listening and when I want to sit down and really enjoy some listening time I switch to Tidal and hope they have what I feel like listening to.