TIDAL MQA vs Qobuz and Audirvana

As I understand it, MQA offers one definite benefit and one (somewhat) controversial benefit.

The definite benefit is comparable quality in a smaller package. However this benefit is mitigated by the prevalence of high-speed streaming access available to most people in the Roon community.

The controversial benefit is the improved quality of MQA reproduction - controversial because most people are struggling to decide if the sound is “better” or just different.

Qobuz costs $15/month (less with longer subscriptions), Tidal Hi-Fi costs $20/month for similarly extensive selections – with MQA being a limited subset of total choices. And, it turns out, much of the Tidal MQA choices are of a lower resolution than MQA is capable of offering.

Out of curiosity, I signed up for a $2/2 month trial subscription. I’ve tried a bunch of comparisons, but so far Qobuz offers more of the music I like at high enough resolutions to be comparable. So, unless I learn something new, I doubt I will renew the Tidal subscription when it expires.

I have also started using Audirvana again (I had stopped when I subscribed to Roon). The sound quality is comparable, and the Qobuz annotations available on both Roon and Audirvana are similar to Roon’s proprietary annotations. The Roon 1.8 software is fascinating, but Audirvana is not noticeably worse for my purposes, and is less confusing to use.

More later

Yeah Qobuz has more of Hires.

Tidal has no equivalent Hires in MQA for Sony catalogue, only 16/44.1.