Tidal MQA vs Qobuz HiRes


#1

As promised I’m comparing streaming Tidal MQA vs Qobuz HiRes to the DS/Bridge II. I use my Samsumg Galaxy Tab S2 with BubbleUpnp streaming Qobuz and my i-Pad Air with mconnect Control HD streaming Tidal MQA. This setup makes it possible to switch between these two in ‘real time’. Knowing Tidal and Qobuz probably sometimes don’t use the identical master, I’m convinced there are examples they almost for sure use the same:

IMG_0222.JPG

Above both Tidal and Qobuz using the Édition Studio Masters 24-48.

After comparing for a couple of days I prefer Qobuz. Sure MQA (in general…) betters 16-44. Without resorting to superlatives in my experience the Tidal MQA sound is very clean and (mostly…) betters 16-44. However same music with Qobuz HiRes sounds just a bit more lively, full and dynamic, less ‘compressed’.

My preliminary conclusion is that MQA is a nice ‘gift’ in streaming music, especially when little bandwidth is available. However with enough bandwidth - like over here in the Netherlands - I don’t see the need for MQA.


#2

Interesting read MQA, Donald Fagen & PS Audio | DAR__KO :

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/07/mqa-donald-fagen-ps-audio/

Pity Qobuz HiRes obviously wasn’t available for DAR__KO. As you can see in my post above both Tidal and Qobuz use the same ‘Édition Studio Master’…


#3

I’ve been using Qobuz/Bubble lately, and I find that at least in the Jazz genre, Qobuz has a LOT more hi-res FLACs than Tidal has MQA tracks, and almost all Tidal’s remastered MQA tracks are 48/24, while Qobuz seems to have a higher percentage of 96/24 and 192/24 tracks.
OTOH, I find the Qobuz application UI to be truly horrid. It feels like they deliberately made it difficult, to use. Also much of what they call Jazz is what French intellectuals prefer: “experimental” music, involving car horns, ambient noise, or accordions.
Tidal also has a remarkably poor coverage of Jazz: as far as I can tell, they have a grand total of 97 artists in the Jazz genre - pitiful.


#4

How does one get Qobuz in the USA? Is it reliable or does it deliver “delay in streaming-wrong file format” like Tidal over Bridge II via MConnect? Is using MConnect a satisfactory way to use or must Roon or JRiver be used?

Mark


#5

You use a VPN to get a european IP address while setting up and paying for the account the first time. After that you no longer need the VPN, and can stream Qobuz from anywhere without it.
It’s been quite reliable for me here in Oregon. More so than Tidal, actually, because when a track in your playlist is no longer available on Tidal, Roon and Bubble just stop playing.
Qobuz Sublime account is necessary to get hi-res FLACs.


#6

It’s easy to do using a VPN to set it up as if your in UK or Ireland if you want it in English. Will cost a few dollars more than Tidal due to the currency conversion. It unlike Tidal is flawless and have never had any issue in over 8 months. I use it every day with MConnect and the DS.


#7

Thanks!!

Mark.


#8

I have the Sublime+. It so far has been more reliable than Tidal. But, I have experienced skipping or stuttering on Hi-Res streams from Qobuz, despite my robust network and lack of weak link in my data throughput chain. It certainly is not perfect, but for me has been more reliable than Tidal.