Local versus internet based streaming SQ

This has certainly been discussed,but was wondering now that there has been ample time spent with the new streaming platforms by many members, is there a consensus as to whether local streaming say from a NAS versus streaming from Qobuz/Tidal, all else being equal (bit rate,master etc.), has similar SQ or is one clearly better than the other.

yes thanks, meant internet streaming

Personally I prefer streaming from my NAS. I have Tidal on a trial at the moment and it’s OK, but the sound feels dead to me…lacking life. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds very good, but I much prefer the NAS sound, it has more oomph, maybe because its 18inches from my Unitilite.

Ok, I’ll remove my post to avoid clutter. As I only stream from free sources such as Spotify, not worrying about sound quality as it is only to check out new music rather than to sit back and enjoy, I can’t answer the question.

On the internet streaming side you may find it gets onto a comparison of MQA and direct hi res streaming - which is another matter…

The media of course is the same like for like between cloud and local… however with the old streamers there was often a sound difference between local and remote media transfers because of the dynamics of the underlying data flows… and even different local media servers sounded different. I did some analysis here that I shared with Naim whilst they were developing the new streamers.

This was addressed with the new streamers and for the most part is not detectable/noticeable where the media is sourced now.
Do bear in mind most remote media is flac vs possibly local WAV, and with non decoupled DAC streamers that can still sound noticeable.

If you use a proxy server like a Roon Core or similar on the new streamers then you can even remove this difference, and then there is physically no difference to the media presented to the streamer irrespective of of actual source location. This is a great liberation and transformed my use of streaming.
My NAS now has become about 90% redundant. I only locally source streams for my own music, (ie music I have created) and rare CDs that are not available in the cloud.

This is a big big plus with the new streamers, topped off with a service like Roon.
For me SQ is the most important aspect, and the cloud such as services like Qobuz increasingly has content that sounds better (because of better resolution) than my legacy definition CD rips, so I will only typically locally stream as a last resort.


Indeed Simon - similarly I use bubble UPNP, which achieves some of the same decoupling, and I use tidal and don’t find a great difference between the local NAS and tidal streams - my NAS is almost 100 % redundant.

Indeed, why I choose my words carefully, like for like… you may need to check distribution/ product ID. This info is usually available via Roon on Qobuz… distribution masters can sometimes vary, some quite considerably… for better or worse.
I don’t think the CD pressing or etching is the main variable, it’s distribution / production master used, and what optimisations are used within that distribution master.
Certainly what you do notice is that with much newer material 44.1/16 is a decimation of the main digital distribution master, and so information consequentially is lost. I also note that often, though certainly not always, ,more recent 44.1/16 media is more loudness optimised/compressed compared to the higher definition copies.
I guess increasingly 44.1/16 is becoming irrelevant, and may well end up going the same way of 32/16 which has effectively become obsolete now. I suspect 44.1/24 or 48/24 will become the new base reference.

I for one hear no difference when listening to the same release/master from my own files/Qobuz/Tidal. I do use Roon so all sources are from the same path so maybe this makes a difference as it only sends lpcm to the Atom.

The Naim integrated solution will be recieving flac so the streamer is doing the decompression not the server. Naim have stated that for optimal sq use wav so maybe this is why some hear a difference not sure I buy this but worth mentioning. I do confess I did hear a difference between Tidal when I have used the Naim app in the past to Roon and preferred Roon, but cd rips maintained the same level either way , not really used Naim app for Qobuz so can’t comment.

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