Pay the Hi Res premium, or not?

I know this keeps coming up, but please, just a simple “should I/should I not?” type question before I click ‘buy’ for a new album. Before the caveats, I (arguably) have a resolving system:

  • hi res every time, it’s totally worth it
  • hi res is better with newer albums only
  • hi res is a marketing ploy to get your money

0 voters

As a subscriber of Qobuz Sublime+ , I cannot answer your question with one of the proposed answers.
Hires, if availble, is always cheaper than CD-quality with this type of subscription.
So the answer is YES, because of price.



Everything needs to be considered on a case by case basis. Some recordings do well via high res, others don’t. There is no “one size fits all” answer.


Is that not due to the mastering of the album. I do not think that the same album can sound worse, in pure technological sense, in high res than CD-quality.
And if I am wrong, one can always downsample.

Sublime+ is €299,99 per year, so not really an option unless one plans on buying a lot of hires albums.

I voted “hi res every time”, but the above would have been a better option.

I’m in the ‘Hi Res on a case by case basis’ camp too

Damn! Every time I make a poll, somebody comes out with a new option, then suddenly the herd instinct takes over, and everybody wants to pick it! Polls are not editable after posting, I can’t add it :rofl:

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The question was about paying for high res.
One should not count the full subscription fee of Sublime+, but the difference with the HIfi subscription at €199,99.
The difference is €100,- which is easily won back when buying digital downloads in high-res.
The difference in price bewteen high-res and CD quality is on average €5.

So buying +/- 20 albums in high-res makes it even.

In this regard, I found buying CDs from Amazon to as cheap or cheaper.

Honestly some of the best Hi Res I have heard comes from a company who works on many recordings over 50 years old. They find original master tapes in excellent condition and remaster them with the finest state-of-the-art equipment and best techniques available. You then can buy then in most any Hi Res version you want from DSD256 to PCM 24/88. Frankly I tend to buy DSD128. I really cannot hear any difference between 128 and 256.

Thanks for all the feedback! I clicked on Hi-Res :wink:
The album is great, but I think 8 bits of dynamic range are being under utilized. So, I agree, it depends on the album - too bad it’s just so hard to find this out before buying.

Regarding your poll question, not your fault. I was in Market Research for over 25 years. We would always do a pilot test of our surveys, polls, because you never knew how someone would interpret a question

I’m a happy user of HDDT: High Definition Tape Transfers. And many of their releases are from the 50’s and 60’s which many consider a golden age of classical music recording. And of course I listen to these releases through Roon and Nucleus Plus.

Hey Mike,
The idea of questioning whether and when HiRes outperforms standard digital Audi (CD format) makes sense but the three questions are very “closed” and even biased as I see it. The risk is that if you ask for a caricature, you will get it - from those who can map their line of thinking in it. Personally I cannot, for the following reasons:

  • CD format specifications (flat 20Hz-20kHz response and over 93 dB of dynamic range) theoretically outperform a lot of equipment (particularly loudspeakers systems in actual room conditions) and a lot of ears, so as long as well recorded, mastered and transferred to support, it is digitally excellent - and often misjudged because it is not so easy to extract it flawlessly.
  • There are today solutions for having a theoretically perfect analog signal reconstruction (Roon/HQplayer has some interesting options for this)
  • It is possible to find DACs on the market that are effectively honoring that reconstruction without suffering from common digital flaws such as jitter.
    And about HiRes audio formats:
    Yes, it can be better. But having more dynamic headroom is not a panacea and the result is there only if the recording itself and the mastering are up to higher standards as well. More transparent still means garbage in garbage out, and it is incorrect to split between new recordings (not always flawless) and the old ones (sometimes astonishing provided the digital mastering has been done appropriately).
    I have a fairly large set of those HiRes recordings but even though they are almost always more resolved, they are not always so interesting musically, or sometimes even deceptively recorded or mastered. Then, admittedly, although I have a high performance setting that I believe extracts now about 99% of CD format, I am almost sure this is not the case for HiRes. And I suppose given the comments and the threads, that many Roonists are in a similar case at best. Sorry if it sounds provocative but this is a honest statement.
    For all those reasons I understand the idea behind the probe but I disagree with the wording of the questions. The quality of thre results of a poll is intrinsically linked to the actual relevance of the questions. Hope these can be reformulated,
    Happy Easter holyday even confined - in company of good music, HiRes or not HiRes :slightly_smiling_face::upside_down_face:


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