What sounds better? Tidal MQA or Qobuz HiRes

(bevan court) #41

So, I’m coming around to Qobuz more and more and here is the real tie breaker. I started using the Qobuz Android app today. Like for like, steamed over Sony’s high res LDAC Bluetooth codec, hands down better than Tidal, even with the app unfolding on Android now. Now if only they could get an Android auto app sorted…

(Bob Lindstrom) #42

With the preliminary explanation that I listen mostly to classical and jazz, after listening to the U.S. beta of Qobuz for about two hours comparing HiRes and MQA, I cancelled my Tidal subscription.

(Christoph Longree) #43

Sadly Qobuzis missing far too much music for me to change… no good having all this audiophile stuff when the music u love is missing in large parts… if Q had it all, I would probably also consider the move… but as of now it really isn’t an option and Tidal is far from being a bad alternative… basically we are comparing/complaining SQ on a very high level… so choose the service that offers most music for your taste and not on SQ would be my advice/choice…

(bevan court) #44

I found that the library improved dramatically once they came out of beta. Only the occasional album is missing now, at least with my library


Pretty much my perspective.

I purchase quite a lot of hi-res downloads from Qobuz and would probably never purchase MQA encoded hi-res downloads (I only have two) by choice over ‘standard’ hi-res options for a number of reasons.
However, Tidal’s streaming content is more aligned to my musical tastes than that of Qobuz and whilst most CD quality albums on Tidal are just fine, I do enjoy having access to some albums in hi-res format from Tidal’s MQA Masters which to my ears using my systems offer for the most part truly excellent sound quality.

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(Christoph Longree) #46

In Europe (Germany here) tons of stuff is missing.—

(Jeremy Jones) #47

Can someone confirm when the Qobuz US beta test finishes? At the moment, still far too many albums missing to consider as a substitute for Tidal. The quality is about the same, as far as I can tell

(Christoph Longree) #48

It’s not only beta - here in Europe there’s still loads of stuff missing. Especially if u are not so much into mainstream music but have a more alternative taste, be it punk, indie or even folk & singer/songwriter Tidals catalogue goes way deeper.

Classic & Jazz I cant comment but 4 everything else Qobuz is too limited.

Do u listen to sound or do u listen to music is probably a valid question.

I prefer a larger library anytime, as music is the main thing for me. No good having all this high res stuff if the music I love is not available.

If it were only about the SQ… not sure, maybe a small advantage high res over MQA and a tie between FLAC…

(Jeremy Jones) #49

My thing is contemporary jazz…and Qobuz is way behind Tidal.

That’s the real deal-breaker for me.

The SQ is fine. Certainly not bad - but not better than Tidal or worth paying more for. It’s quite funny…this could be yet another audiohoax…such a big noise was made about The Coming of Qobuz and how this would save us from terrible Tidal.

The honeymoon is getting old already.

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(David Hamby) #50

And the quality of the mix engineer and mastering engineer boffins.

(iamoneagain) #51

This is getting off topic but on another site Qobuz said catelog had nothing to do with beta. Only keeping beta because still working on improvements to software.

As far as the catalog, believe they said uploading around 14 million tracks from mostly independent labels over next few months.

So at this point I’ve still decided to stick with Qobuz but hanging onto Tidal for a more months to continue to sync the library. Little disappointed Qobuz rollout is slower than expected and also not going to be surprised if they’re still short after few months.

Need to find a way to make list of missing albums so I can keep checking after I cancel Tidal.

(iamoneagain) #52

I also think catalog size should be very important but then this has been become a hobby about finding the best sound. I know MQA vs hi-res is very close and most people would hardly notice the difference. I’d possible fail in a blind test. But when doing direct comparisons, I’d feel like I was missing out now if stuck with Tidal.

Think if I didn’t care so much about sound quality I would have never moved away from iTunes and ended up using Apple Music.


You can keep your favorite albums on Tidal, which you can’t find in Qobuz. In my case this are only 25 albums. When you cancel your Tidal subscription you still can keep the Tidal login in Roon to see the Tidal favorites in Roon. You only cannot stream them without active subscription. So, I have Qobuz subscribed since 2015 and only for Roon had to subscribe Tidal. Now happily I could cancel the Tidal subscription and replaced all Tidal albums in my library except for the 25 albums I can (hopefully only yet) not find with equivalent albums from Qobuz. When I logout from Tidal I do not see these 25 albums in my library and when I login to Tidal I see them immediately and can check if there is a Qobuz version now available.

(Chris ) #54

Someone posted this on Facebook regards MQA on Qobuz

I took a screen shot.


Looks like the same problem like 2L, and the problem seems to surface exclusively on 16 bit MQA, which is actually MQA-CD. I will stay away from this. 24 bit MQA on Tidal Master is the way to go.


I tried Qobuz last month and listened to a number of tracks against Tidal and some CD rips in my collection.

I found the Qobuz streamed tracks to provide improved instrument separation and intimacy in the music. Initially I preferred the Qobuz version.

However, the Tidal streamed tracks sounded identical to many of my CD rips (EAC accuraterip verified) whereas the Qobuz version always sounded different (although very pleasant). Also there was an overall natural integrity to the performances within the Tidal and CD ripped tracks that was different (and seemed slightly less natural to my ears) in the Qobuz version. I have now lapsed my Qobuz subscription.

I’m wondering how Qobuz masters its tracks. Is it post processing with an engineer or is it automated?

I listened on HD800 / Hugo 2 / Mscaler.

(Martin Kelly) #57

I don’t think Qobuz does any ‘mastering’. They’re just a music distribution service, and distribute the files that the record companies provide them, that’s all.


I noticed Qobuz streaming has a slightly better clarity, especially in the upper ends when compared to Tidal. I’m not sure why this is so if both came from same source.

That slight increased in clarity will give a dull setup system more clarity.

(Mike Curtis) #59

I have had Tidal awhile with Bluesound Node 2i. I am trying out Qobuz. For CD quality I dont hear any difference. For MQA Tidal versus hi res Qobuz they both sound very good but it seems the soundstage is bigger with Tidal. I think they both sound great which is what matters. I will stick with Tidal.

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(Chris Camp) #60

I’ve been a Tidal user since it first came out. I just signed up for Qobuz yesterday to try it out and 30 seconds in can already hear the difference with the MQA (listened to Eric Clapton in 24/192) and
Qobuz 24/192. Qobuz is definitely more detailed. Better Left and right channel separation. Tracks are more quiet and i would say sound cleaner. Tidal is louder though. I do have to turn the volume up on my Integrated amp just a couple steps up. I heard people say that the bass is lower than Tidal, but i feel like it’s tighter on the Qobuz.

I honestly did not expect a difference in sound quality and i am surprised i did. Qobuz is still missing some albums that i listen to in Tidal. $249 a year is lot of money.