Dominant streaming service

Hi guys,

Apologies if you can already do this as a feature;

Can I set a ‘dominant streaming service’?
I.e to always show Qobuz first or play Qobuz first?

I’m fortunate enough to use the two streaming services & both have their pros, it’s just I find Qobuz to sound better at 16bit & 24bit, regardless of MQA.

I’m guessing Roon will always play/show the most popular first or the highest resolution option?
For example, if Qobuz only had the album at 16bit, but Tidal has it at 24bit MQA

Any input much appreciated. TIA :space_invader:


I don’t have the answer but I’m interested to know as well, because I have the opposite issue : Roon always shows me the Qobuz version first, while I’d rather see the Tidal version first. I’ll probably unsub form Qobuz sooner or later as Tidal has a better offer for the kind of music I listen to. And I do like MQA.

Also, how can Qobuz sound better at the same resolution with uncompressed files ? I could understand if they used some sort of different compression on the source files but this is not the case. Do you have an example of an album where this is apparent ?


Hi @AnthonyH

Thanks for the response

Pretty much anything to me sounds better on Qobuz. I’m not sure if it’s how they load/hold the files or certainly with MQA, the way they compress it. Qobuz is the exact replica of the orginal file, Tidal do use compression, but I believe what they do is meant to be untraceable by the human ear? Hence, why they use that process & it’s so highly thought of. I believe this is why Tidal streams do seem more reliable & start quicker too.

Obviously it is just an opinion & not set in stone. I won’t even pretend I’m clever enough to understand why, it just seems this is the case on my setup :slight_smile:

I do not agree Qobuz sounds better than Tidal given 88.2 vs 88.2 or 96 vs 96. 192 may sound better, but I’m not sure. A lot of MQA sounds better than Qobuz. I think it’s more about which is the better master.

Personally, I don’t care if one or the other is dominant, because I choose the album I want to listen to depending on which DAC I’m using, but sometimes I don’t and just let it be random.

No, you can’t set Roon to prefer one service over another. The only level of control you usually have is setting the preferred version in your library.
This seems to come up often, and it is certainly understandable.

Thanks Scott. How do I do that out of interest? Just had a look & I just be overlooking the setting.

Thomas, when browsing albums, click on Versions to add and set the primary.

Another option to completely favor one service over the other is in Settings, Services, Disable the service you don’t want to include. No settings or albums will be lost, simply re-enable when you wish and carry on. It’s not perfect but another alternative for now.

Hey Larry,

Thanks for that & taking time to add the screenshots.

I knew about the version selection, just seems a little bit of hassle. First work problems ey!

It appears that this may be one of the only features I feel Roon is missing. It appears there’s loads of people that think Tidal sounds better or the library works better for them, so guess this could be super useful both ways around.

Just an open question - not seeking to start a flame war

Do either Tidal or Qobuz or both use any kind of watermarking on their files ? Could that explain any perceived differences between supposedly identical recordings ?

No they don’t as far as I am aware. I can usually hear watermarking on some recordings but it is not something I have been aware of on either service in recent (last couple of years) history.

I tend to prefer Qobuz more often. There is a smoothness that Tidal lacks. Not always and only for my ears on my system.

I keep both as neither is as complete as I’d like and I can easily justify the ‘expense’ to feed my ears, brain and system with both.


I believe the practice is recording studio dependent, some do most don’t. I see Universal, which includes numerous ‘labels’, called out for doing it. The streaming services get what they get from them studios. I don’t believe either Tidal or Qobuz alter them otherwise.

I echo what you’re saying @Larry_Post. Everyone of my Hi-Fi owning friends say Qobuz definitely sounds better on just about everything (or does here in the UK), with most of them having far better systems than my own. I actually didn’t notice until they pointed it out to me.

I’d love to see Spotify added for general listening from within Roon, but I appreciate this goes against the Roon business model.

Spotify Connect sort of superseeds my previous point though, as it’s just as good & most streamers have this feature on board.