Qobuz in the USA


#1

Seems like Qobuz is finally coming to the USA soon :+1: :
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/us-country-manager-at-qobuz-647261581
Anyone on this forum lookin’ for a nice job :grinning: ??


#2

That would not be an easy spot but might be fun…


#3

Looks like Peachtree audio co-founder David Solomon, the same guy who was hired by Tidal to launch in N. America 2014 (achieved within 6 months), is currently hired to represent and launch Qobuz in North America.

Fingers crossed :+1:


What are you spinning right now?
#4

Ive been listening to Qobuz in the U.S. for about 5 months, using the proxy registration work around. I can’t say that there is a monumental difference in music selection compared to Tidal. I also have experienced intermittent streaming issues with Qobuz as well, although it does seem to be more reliable than Tidal - but still not perfect. I have been streaming it through Mconnect Control app.

The interface is a bit less clunky than Tidal’s and I do like how each album is tagged with the genre which I find incredibly helpful when browsing for new music. With Tidal, you have to listen or guess based on the album art.

Qobuz does not have as many company compiled playlists as Tidal, which is disappointing. I do enjoy many of the pre-made playlists that Tidal has created over time.

All in all, I like them both for different reasons, but would give the slight edge to Qobuz in reliability and usability. Sound quality is similar between Qobuz Hi-Res and Tidal MQA, in my opinion. I currently subscribe to both. It’s nice that they are entering the U.S. market so I no longer have to “lie” about my location. :slight_smile:


#5

I like the great native Qobuz app/GUI to browse and instantly share selected albums/tracks/playlists with Bubble on Android tablet. This way one can view/download corresponding booklets in pdf, a great bonus, especially for classical recordings (Streaming the way it ought to work). Mcontrol does not offer this.

Never experiencing intermittent streaming issues, to my ears and in my setup sound quality Qobuz Hi-Res beats Tidal MQA :slightly_smiling_face:


#6

I currently use Pandora and Spotify but only pay for Sirius. I may give this a try if reasonably priced… Right now across my DAC, all sounds pretty darn good. Would be interesting to see if I can distinguish the difference. I can between streaming and Roon but that should be somewhat apparent anyway.


#7

Try this for what steaming quality can/could be.

http://199.189.87.9:10999/flac.m3u

JB Radio 2 flac 192kHz


#8

I have all three of the major “streaming services” and in both of my systems the quality of Qobuz is superior. It has gotten to the point that Tidal is the FLAC service of last resort for lesser known American regional bands on “independent labels” that the people at Qobuz might not even have access to. I have tried MQA with three different “fully unfolding” DAC/Streamers and found it uninspiring at best. It’s kind of like re-mastered vinyl releases as opposed to “mint” originals. Just not the same.


#9

I’ll agree that MQA is basically “Shamanism” I don’t agree on your opinion of Tidal. I enjoy the wide range of music including the eclectic offerings at the price that I pay. The price is so good that I give my kids access. They love it. If the feed doesn’t sound good check your equipment. Mine sounds exceptional.


#10

One other issue. Where are you located and how are you accessing Quobuzz? It’s not available in North America if I’m not mistaken.


#11

Qobuz has always been available in the US if you use a temporary VPN and sign up as a member from a country it is available in. If you don’t have it then you don’t know whether or not it’s quality is better or it’s selection options are equal, worse or otherwise. I used Tidal happily for over a year until the stuttering and stopages became too much to tolerate on top of their bottom feeder customer service where their standard answer to any issue was to blame the IP provider. In over ten months of Qobuz service I have never had a single playback fault. Tidal is just barely hanging on looking for a buyer and if they don’t find one they will be gone. Again I only use Tidal as a last resort.


#12

I find it perfectly normal that some will find one service better than the other. I have both and have been listening extensively to both for months (Tidal for over a year) using the best DAC/Streamer, the DirectStream Sr. with Bridge II. Personally, I have found Tidal MQA sounding better on some tracks, and Qobuz Hi-Res sounding better on others. I am not surprised that you prefer Qobuz over Tidal, as there are others who would disagree and say they prefer Tidal MQA over Qobuz. However, I find it hard to believe the above proclamation to be a result of the quality of the format or streaming services. Subtle differences I get, but what you are describing is a gap in quality a mile wide. It’s just not consistent with my extensive listening experiences with both services. I’m not here to tell you that your opinion is wrong, but rather to offer an experienced-based counter argument that sound quality wise, the two services are more alike than they are different. There is a reason I continue to pay both subscriptions every month.


#13


Nice! However could be even better in 24bit :slightly_smiling_face:


#14

I installed Tidal for the first time about an hour ago and I have already come to the same conclusion (about MQA).


#15

Thanks… I have yet to get it to play but will try later today. It defaults to JRiver but has a server error. I’ll see what I can do- I really appreciate the link. Experimenting like this would be pretty cool as I can A/B with Spotify track(s).


#16

Jeff

With Qobuz all of their equipment is in Europe so when we use it we get the same stream no matter what part of the country we are in. Tidal on the other hand has regional content servers which accounts for the streaming issues many have had with it in different parts of the country over the last year including stuttering and freezing. This also allows for different sound qualities in different areas also. In my area of the country Qobuz sounds better on standard FLAC material. As to my comments about MQA I have tried it in the same systems with multiple MQA capable streamer/DACs and found that while it was in fact “different” than the original it was not “better” to my ears. I would certainly not pay extra for a streaming service to receive it or a piece of gear to decode it, but again my ears.


#17

Here’s their mp3 320 feed to compare with 192kHz upsample.

http://cristina.torontocast.com:8007/mp3-320

For reference: 192kHz feed - http://199.189.87.9:10999/flac.m3u comes and goes, often off for days.


#18

Only three more months of patience :smiley:


#19

Interesting, albeit short, interview. I was somewhat surprised to see a list of manufacturers “integrating” Qobuz into their products. Not sure what that means, though I understand there is some kind of unfold (probably decode is a better term, “unfold” is now tainted) of the FLAC file. He said it can be done on a computer so integration not necessary, but better if done on the DAC? I saw PS Audio was not on the list, is it something they will do or even need to do for best sound? Bridge II (that is a II, this new software screws things up when it creates a link) may not have enough memory for one more application.

I am interested in Qobuz since I allowed myself to be sucked into TIDAL and have been somewhat disappointed with the music selection. Qobuz might be a better fit.


#20

The list of manufacturers “integrating” Qobuz covers only with network players using their own app and/or third party control point apps like Bubble, mConnect etc. without a need for a computer. Qobuz is streaming native HiRes, there is no “unfolding” howsoever. Controlling a DAC with a computer using Qobuz anyway makes no restrictions. In fact, there are no compatibility problems at all.

N.B.: network players in this scheme like the Melco not being able to download booklets and metadata while streaming is a non-issue, using control points like Bubble you want that info on your tablet/phone and that’s exactly what you get :smile: