Qobuz vs Tidal Losselss in SQ

I’ve been on Tidal for more than year and recently switched to Qobuz Lossless Hi-Fi streaming. I noticed there’s a perceived sound quality compared to Tidal Hi-Fi. The improved are in area such as more ‘detail’, ‘precise imaging’ and overall more ‘defined’ in SQ.

I’m not sure why I’m hearing the difference between Tidal and Qobuz since both stream lossless 16/44.1 FLAC, presuming both are from the same master.

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What software did you use to play Tidal and Qobuz?

If you use Tidal official apps (or Roon), try disabling loudness normalization (or DSP), and use Exclusive mode.

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I’m using Auralic Aries Mini as an endpoint with Roon as for Qobuz I’m using the in-built LDS software. Both setups are played through the same endpoint so I’m assuming they are bit-perfect.

In another scenario, my colleague uses Lumin A1 which compare both Tidal and Qobuz, in his listening test, he found that Qobuz is more ‘detail’ and defined and seemed he perceived the overall dynamic is much better that Tidal.

Same observation when using LDS for both qobuz and tidal?

Yes I’m getting the same effect.

To my ears, Tidal uses a touch of expansion and a touch of increased volume - and Tidal sounds better as a result.

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I have just subscribed to Qobuz having been using Tidal for a while. I’m running a Naim MUSO 2, so some of you may feel that’s a little low grade compared with your systems! What I have noticed is that Qobus sounds very much warmer and has none of the annoying high frequency sibilance I was getting with Tidal and even old AAC files. Now, I was putting the sibilance down to my hearing getting older and maybe the very low grade tinnitus I sometimes hear interacting with high frequency sounds, but I’m now coming to the conclusion that it is due to a fundamental difference between the way Qobuz processes the music from other providers.

Am I right? It’s definitely not my imagination!

@Michael_O_Donnell Truth is only your ears will be or need be the judge…don’t worry about what others say or think.

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Absolutely… but I have read a lot of people expressing suspicion about MQA and I’m wondering if this may be a manifestation of some of those problems.

So, if you’re using the desktop app Tidal applies DSP. This has been empirically verified by many users already. But you mentioned you’re using a streamer so that shouldn’t be a problem.

For most albums though the Tidal and Qobuz versions at CD quality produce the same waveform. MQA is lossy and adds distortions so in theory if both a MQA 192khz version exists (and you have hardware that will unfold it) and a FLAC 192khz version exists on Qobuz then the latter will be less lossy. I’d be skeptical if the difference is super audible though. What might be the case is that Tidal and Qobuz get their tracks from different sources and so they’re not exactly identical.

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I’ve been streaming both sources for 6 months now. Initially, I was taken with Tidal’s MQA, but have recently found that the Qobuz quality and overall offering wins hands-down. Tidal often gives up half-way through a song because of ‘connectivity’ issues. This never occurs with Qobuz. Many people have commented on the smaller catalogue of Qobuz, but I’ve never found it to be a problem. I get Tidal through Plex, but might well give it a miss. Is there anyone out there who really favours Tidal over Qobuz now?