Tidal, Qobuz or both?

Streaming for me is about discovery, so the largest library wins. Albums I like, I buy on vinyl, or maybe CD/download. So Tidal over Qobus. I have Spotify (Premium/Family) as well, because of playlists, friends/social, tips etc.

Hi Res? Music industry’s biggest scam. Give me a good mastered album.


I feel the same way as you. It is just not worth investing on a MQA DAC as there’s a high risk of getting obsolete in the future. None other streaming providers other than Tidal is supporting MQA. There’s no new manufacturers onboard during the recent CES 2019. Everything seems to be stagnant and quiet now.

Qobuz Hi-Res catalogue may be smaller than Tidal but is growing rapidly each day. It takes time. Qobuz Hi-Res is fully compatible to almost all DACs which is capable of doing higher than Redbook standard.

Think you have hit the nail on the head. Was listening to Pink Floyd " The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn " remasterd via Qobuz last night and I thought there was something missing so straight away went and played the CD version from the boxed set " Oh By The Way " and to me sounded so much different sonically, A much better experience. Admittedly using different end points is like compering apples and pears just proves to me that Hi-Res album versions are superior if mixed correctly for example " The Division Bell " Pink Floyd. Have subscribed to Qobuz sublime + for two months now and have enjoyed discovering and purchasing new music and artists in Hi-Res formats. One example is the Kate Bush boxed set release which to me is outstanding. So what I am trying to say is for albums released in the last 20 years or so sounds better even CD quality than older releases unless of course mixed correctly. So the moral of the story is let your ears be the judge and not the hype?,

I agree with you. But it’s hard to choose between the two. I live in France so I could use both services in their full version. The comparison can relate to several features of a streaming service.
The discovery of music: Tidal clearly wins, personal mixes and radio are very good, the playlist too. Qobuz offers only general good level playlist but the spirit of streaming is not there. Tidal’s catalog is about 10% richer than Qobuz’s (Pop, Indie) and even Jazz.
Sound quality: Both services offer CD quality no difference for a middle ear. For quality in high resolution, despite all criticism the MQA sounds great and better musicality and less tiring than the Qobuz Hires. Both services are the same unless you want to cut your hair in four, to have a perfect ear and a system at an unreasonable price.
The information: Qobuz offers interesting editorials, comments on the discs can be informative and rather descriptive, but not exceptional. There are more biographies on Tidal than on Qobuz.
Software: Qobuz on Carplay is a joke much inferior to the version of Tidal itself inferior to Spotify and Apple Music. The desktop version of Qobuz is more elegant than Tidal’s but the search and display are slower.
Even if during a use with Roon a lot of comparaion criteria disappear, Tidal appears the most balanced service.


Very good summary! I am also leaning towards staying with Tidal.

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As I said elsewhere…

Indeed your remarks are to be taken into account. Both services are of quality although different in the spirit. Qobuz is more like the showcase of a traditional record store rather classy, Tidal is more in tune with the times.

I migrated my tidal account by hand to qobuz and canceled tidal. only a few albums are missing, nothing important.

I’m happy that i’m away from the proprietary mqa and can live within the boundaries of the formats that qobuz offers in it’s second-highest tear. I still have an additional AppleMusic family account to fall back to for broader music discovery.

Staying with Tidal.

44.1/16 FLAC sound identical, MQA sounds fine, way larger library for alternative/independent music (from punk to singer/songwriter) and costs less… great for Roon to offer subscribers the chance to choose though.

I am staying with Tidal too.

Will reconsider Qobuz once they add all those albums I am missing. Quite a few! I am sure another opportunity will arise for another free Qobuz trial down the road, in a few months

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I am keeping both for now. I’ll give it a couple of months and then decide. Thusfar, I’m not seeing an advantage to Qobuz over Tidal.


I’ll be dropping Tidal. All the hires albums I’ve tested sound better with Qobuz. Currently in the US beta I’m missing plenty of albums that I have on Tidal but I expect those to fill in once Qobuz goes live next week. I’ll probably keep Tidal for extra month of overlap to run Soundliz to sync up the missing albums.

I also enjoy seeing the pdf cd album art that Qobuz offers. I’m not sure why roon themselves don’t have direct access to this as well and build it directly in the software. Also read the Qobuz blog that the other sections on their app will be coming to roon in the future. I’ve been exploring this on the iPhone and find it interesting for discovery.

Is the album pdf limited to the Qobuz app or can you also see it with Qobuz in the Roon integration.

As 4 missing music, I’m in Germany and still missing 25% of my playlist - manual search tells me some significant music for my taste is just not there - too much 4 me to accept.

Roon does have access to the digital booklets of Qobuz, and displays the PDF icon in the Album Details screen. What it does not (yet?) have is the ability to view the PDF files directly in Roon, but uses the PDF viewer of the OS being used. Direct viewing in Roon has been asked for.

I just spent an hour A/B testing Tidal MQA and Qobuz Hi-Res with Roon, using Amused to Death, Wise Up Ghost and Automatic For The People as source material. There are differences between them, but not enough for me to choose either based on sound quality. I marginally prefer MQA, but Qobuz Hi-Res is slightly more natural. Changing the DAC filter is enough to make them sound almost the same. So, my first conclusion is that I obviously need to spend at least £20,000 on a new DAC before making the comparison again.

My final choice might come down to their Apple Carplay implementation. Tidal’s is awful, it constantly forgets where it is in a playlist or that it is playing a playlist at all. If Qobuz can manage that any better, I’m in.

Qobuz is worse on carplay. No real streaming only local music is played. Each piece of music is considered an album which makes no sense.

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Well - thats another Argument for Tidal there. As I have a huge library of music and usually buy/own the music I love on Vinyl or on digital file stored locally and added by some Tidal stuff here and there and played & organized via Roon @home, the main benefit I take from a streaming service is mobile play when in the car or on vacation + searching for new music.

I’m just using a $500 ifi micro and can hear the difference in my headphone setup. The difference is more clear when comparing roon unfolding MQA vs Qobuz hires then both upsampled to HQPlayer. Bass little deeper, soundstage wider, placement clearer, and vocals cleaner. It’s still all very subtle but the Qobuz hires is the best I’ve heard. Just sound more real and natural.

Now maybe after I switch and find too many albums missing I’ll reconsider. But I’d have to think they can negotiate the same deals Tidal has made. Even now can see almost every MQA has the hires version in Qobuz. Also finding several hires albums in Qobuz that are not in MQA.

One other bonus is Qobuz can do hires from the iPhone if use the camera adapter. Not sure if MQA unfolding on iPhone for Tidal is in the works. Believe it’s on one brand of mobile phone is all.

I’m dropping Tidal. Mainly because I don’t want to spend $50+ a month for 2 services and also I don’t really like MQA. I feel like it’s something in the middle of the music that is not needed.

Only a true double blind listening can help to make the difference. Above all it is advisable to make an audiogram to know your real true hearing performance. There is too much bias, as in a wine tasting.
A French test on both services http://www.laudioexperience.fr/test-de-tidal-vs-qobuz-en-qualite-cd/. Anyway the sound quality of both services is excellent.

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