Does Qobuz sounds better?

angelmf2704

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2020
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Hello, the last 2 months I've been trying different gear and audio setups, to find out which one is better for me and I find it more enjoyable. The first thing I bought was Sennheiser HD599 SE. A dear friend of mine let me had them for a few days and I made my decision. Easy listening and very comfortable. I already a usb dongle dac (Hiby FC1), pretty basic but a good start. I've been trying to get Qobuz to work on my country and somehow I managed to get a free trial. I mention this since I've been a Tidal user for about 2 years. My first test with Qobuz, Hiby FC1 and HD599 was amesome. Spacious, natural and detail sound on a budget. Later one I bought the LG V30 to use it as a DAP, it was cheap so I gave it a go. Accordingly to internet, this phone with Tidal MQA was a nice combo, so I tried it for about 10 days and It was nice. But something felt wrong, same headphones, a supposedly better AMP/DAC and MQA; the sound felt lifeless. Some of the music I listen to is Björk's first two albums: Debut and Post. They are CD quality in both platforms. The Qobuz versions sounded better even with the Hiby FC1. I thought I had something to with bias or placebo, so I tried a couple different albums and same results. Voices were more detailed and stronger, better sense of space and great dynamics. Please let me know your thoughts on this, since I'm planning to buy a DragonFly red and Qobuz.
 

bartrik

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2021
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I had Tidal and Qobuz and tried them out side by side for 18 months.
Then I ditched Tidal: Qobuz sounded simply better on my rather revealing system.
Qobuz offers more information also, with the booklets included.
 
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Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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Hello, the last 2 months I've been trying different gear and audio setups, to find out which one is better for me and I find it more enjoyable. The first thing I bought was Sennheiser HD599 SE. A dear friend of mine let me had them for a few days and I made my decision. Easy listening and very comfortable. I already a usb dongle dac (Hiby FC1), pretty basic but a good start. I've been trying to get Qobuz to work on my country and somehow I managed to get a free trial. I mention this since I've been a Tidal user for about 2 years. My first test with Qobuz, Hiby FC1 and HD599 was amesome. Spacious, natural and detail sound on a budget. Later one I bought the LG V30 to use it as a DAP, it was cheap so I gave it a go. Accordingly to internet, this phone with Tidal MQA was a nice combo, so I tried it for about 10 days and It was nice. But something felt wrong, same headphones, a supposedly better AMP/DAC and MQA; the sound felt lifeless. Some of the music I listen to is Björk's first two albums: Debut and Post. They are CD quality in both platforms. The Qobuz versions sounded better even with the Hiby FC1. I thought I had something to with bias or placebo, so I tried a couple different albums and same results. Voices were more detailed and stronger, better sense of space and great dynamics. Please let me know your thoughts on this, since I'm planning to buy a DragonFly red and Qobuz.
I'm not 100% clear. Were you comparing the two streaming services on the same set-ups or on different set-ups?
 
Many reviews and group tests I have read seem to prefer Qubuz for sound quality and, indeed overall use, as long as it has the content you desire and comes at the right price then I would say stick with it.
I do more stream so cannot comment further.
 

Office Dog

Well-known member
Dec 4, 2019
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Many reviews and group tests I have read seem to prefer Qubuz for sound quality and, indeed overall use, as long as it has the content you desire and comes at the right price then I would say stick with it.
I do more stream so cannot comment further.
That said, the title on whose forum we are communicating selected TIDAL as its Award-winning streaming service in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And rated Qobuz at 3/5.
 

bartrik

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2021
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That said, the title on whose forum we are communicating selected TIDAL as its Award-winning streaming service in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And rated Qobuz at 3/5.
Yes they did.
But only your ears can tell if that goes for you too. ;)
 

The Matrix X

Member
Sep 26, 2021
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Some of the music I listen to is Björk's first two albums: Debut and Post. They are CD quality in both platforms.
On Qobuz those are 16/44 while on Tidal those are 16/48 (so not CD).
Ripped both locally and sent them bit perfectly to my DAC and the Qobuz 16/44 version sounds better.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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That said, the title on whose forum we are communicating selected TIDAL as its Award-winning streaming service in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And rated Qobuz at 3/5.
Well that says it all…….pick the most expensive!
It’s about as good as their ‘best headphone’ selection….hopeless.
 

Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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Well that says it all…….pick the most expensive!
It’s about as good as their ‘best headphone’ selection….hopeless.
WHF since practically the beginning of time followed the 'sound per pound' argument. Just choosing the most expensive has never been an angle. And, personally, I'd like to see artists benefit more from royalties so I am no fan of price wars in streaming services. As for the headphone selection, it's perfectly fine, if not to your taste.
 
Given that the available streaming services sound different, and end users are usually trying to find the best sounding one (unless they prefer the catalogue choice of a specific provider), doesn’t that show that streaming services haven’t yet got it right, and that physical media is still the best way to go for sound quality? Granted, you’ve got different masters when it comes to some albums, but at least you have that choice to begin with, rather than being tied in to one streaming service and having zero choice.
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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WHF since practically the beginning of time followed the 'sound per pound' argument. Just choosing the most expensive has never been an angle. And, personally, I'd like to see artists benefit more from royalties so I am no fan of price wars in streaming services. As for the headphone selection, it's perfectly fine, if not to your taste.
I agree artists should get a fair reward... no question. But I would not call it price wars…just healthy competition and the ’price mechanism’ at work. The best value service will get the most subscribers.
As for What HiFi headphones ‘best buys’….when do you ever see Meze, Audeze, Campfire Audio, HiFiMan, Dan Clark Audio, 1More or even Quad!
 

Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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I agree artists should get a fair reward... no question. But I would not call it price wars…just healthy competition and the ’price mechanism’ at work. The best value service will get the most subscribers.
As for What HiFi headphones ‘best buys’….when do you ever see Meze, Audeze, Campfire Audio, HiFiMan, Dan Clark Audio, 1More or even Quad!
When you have time, check out @MrTomGray #BrokenRecord re the world of £streaming - I don't think it's healthy at all tbh. Re headphones 'best buys', message WHF editorial and/or the makers and request more WHF reviews of the brands you feel are missing/overlooked? :)
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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When you have time, check out @MrTomGray #BrokenRecord re the world of £streaming - I don't think it's healthy at all tbh. Re headphones 'best buys', message WHF editorial and/or the makers and request more WHF reviews of the brands you feel are missing/overlooked? :)
Unfortunately the world of ‘ artists’ has always been thus. Whether singers, actors or musicians, the top well known performers earn a fortune and the vast majority struggle to earn a living… I can’t see this changing.
As for messaging WHF editorial…I can’t think of a more pointless endeavour…..😁
 
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skinnypuppy71

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Aug 10, 2021
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Does Qobuz sound better???.....better than what...other services, other hifi products....ateotd....it's the original recording and mastering that wins over....I can play a superb recording of Nils Lofgren on Spotify...it'll sound excellent at only 328kbs....and then in could play The National's high Violet at cd quality or above...it will sound crap....cos it's a crap recording..simples.
 
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SteveR750

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Theoretically Qobuz should be more natural, it's well known than Tidal isn't a lossless process, and adds a bit of brightness. Some like it, some don't.
 

Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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Theoretically Qobuz should be more natural, it's well known than Tidal isn't a lossless process, and adds a bit of brightness. Some like it, some don't.
Interesting . What's your background theory to sounding 'more natural'? If we are talking theory, thanks to its unique deblurring process, Tidal Masters (MQA) should sound more natural.

Also, when you say it's well known that Tidal adds a bit of brightness, on which report(s?) is this statement based? Can you give an example of a track that demonstrates this added brightness when comparing to the two services? I'd be interested to have a listen.

And, can you expand on 'it's well known that Tidal isn't a lossless process'? Ironically, I'm a bit lost on this statement, too.

Thanks. :)
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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This is not new news!
As an aside, if you want fact based info on audio etc I'd recommend this site. It's not a place for opinion without some form of scientific evidence.
 

Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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This is not new news!
As an aside, if you want fact based info on audio etc I'd recommend this site. It's not a place for opinion without some form of scientific evidence.
It's not news, no. Nor is it factually correct. I thought, when you said 'in theory' that you actually had some balanced, fact-based research.

That (gladly) aside, do you have examples of tracks that demonstrate the 'well known added brightness'? You've tested with your own ears, yes?
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Seems as though the debate is not entirely closed however, but it's a valid point that MQA was developed for a now non existent (memory, bandwidth etc) situation.

 

Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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Seems as though the debate is not entirely closed however, but it's a valid point that MQA was developed for a now non existent (memory, bandwidth etc) situation.

It's odd how this keeps resurfacing. Using less data is one of MQA's 'features', yes, but it's not the only one. Deblurring is clearly a key technique, one that no other audio tech offers, yet it's regularly overlooked. As for bandwidth now being a non-existent situation (1) not everyone does have large data plans, and (2) anything that reduces the data usage as a whole of a streaming service, while still delivering premium performance, is a win for not only the streaming service - remember, it must also pay for data - but also for the environment.

So, about those tracks with which to compare the two services? You have listened with your own ears haven't you?
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
549
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It's not news, no. Nor is it factually correct. I thought, when you said 'in theory' that you actually had some balanced, fact-based research.

That (gladly) aside, do you have examples of tracks that demonstrate the 'well known added brightness'? You've tested with your own ears, yes?
Read the entire thread and it's as balanced as you'll likely get in the world of consumer audio. I don't have access to a lab measurement suite, so I can't verify anything other than I noticed before reading this that Tidal sounds brighter. It also costs more than Qobuz, and I don't need any form of compression given my personal situation of data bandwidth. I've tried Audivarna and I didn't bother as I can't hear any improvement. Qobuz is no different to Amazon HD to my ears, on my system.
 

Office Dog

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Dec 4, 2019
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525

This is not new news!
As an aside, if you want fact based info on audio etc I'd recommend this site. It's not a place for opinion without some form of scientific evidence.
For balance, when linking 'that' it seems sensible to also link 'this':
https://bobtalks.co.uk/a-deeper-look/all-that-glitters-is-not-golden/
 

Office Dog

Well-known member
Dec 4, 2019
22
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525
Read the entire thread and it's as balanced as you'll likely get in the world of consumer audio. I don't have access to a lab measurement suite, so I can't verify anything other than I noticed before reading this that Tidal sounds brighter. It also costs more than Qobuz, and I don't need any form of compression given my personal situation of data bandwidth. I've tried Audivarna and I didn't bother as I can't hear any improvement. Qobuz is no different to Amazon HD to my ears, on my system.
I am always more interested in people's experience of listening - I find the online discussions (aka arguments) quite dull. Not sure why all these people get so het up about a company attempting to sell its product - isn't that what a free market economy is about? I use both Tidal and Qobuz , also Audirvana and Roon. Personally, I can hear differences and I always seek out Tidal Masters and enjoy the Roon interface and sound. Not a massive fan of the Amazon UI but it sounds fine. I have never noticed added brightness when comparing Qobuz with Tidal. I do very much enjoy the naturalness of Tidal Masters, especially over long-sessions when listening on headphones. But each to their own and, as you say, each to their own personal situation.
 
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