Qobuz/Tidal Streaming vs Offline

Both Qobuz and Tidal offer offline capability where you can download files so they can be played, typically on a mobile device, without an internet connection. There are views suggesting that, generally, streaming files locally sounds better than streaming from the internet. I’m wondering therefore if anyone uses this offline capability in their main streaming set up i.e. they download files from Qobuz or Tidal (not purchase), store them locally and thus stream locally, potentially improving SQ.

Local streaming usually refers to a UPnP connection and not streaming over WiFi from your mobile.
Try it yourself and see.

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Yes, maybe I’m using the wrong terminology.

At the moment when I stream music, it starts its journey in Qobuz to my router and then is locally distributed as required. What I’m thinking about is using the offline capability to download music from Qobuz (not purchase it) and store locally. Then when I stream, music starts it’s journey from my local storage rather than Qobuz. I’m wondering if this is possible, whether anyone already does it and whether it improves SQ.

I use Roon and both Qobuz and Tidal sound as good as local files streaming on my Atom. But if I use the Naim app for Tidal it’s not as good.

Same for me too but I use Bubble with Tidal and Qobuz.


I see what you are getting at. The only problem is you would have to use your phone, laptop, tablet which runs the QoBuz or Tidal app to connect to your system, either via a toslink optical / digital or electical phono… which may or may not sound particularly good depending on your device. If using phono you will be using the crap DAC in your device. If toslink (if your device supported it) then maybe manageable.

A streamer device however invariably talks to the streaming service and gets its music directly from there, not via your phone or tablet. The phone or tablet just provide the user interface not the actual files, so anything you have downloaded from Tidal or QoBuz for offline use won’t be used.

Ah, I see… the offline files need the host’s app to authenticate and as you say these reside on the mobile device or laptop necessitating the connection you talk about. You can’t use a 3rd party app such as bubble or service such as Roon to play unauthenticated offline files. Thanks, think I’ve got it…

A half way house is to plumb a usb fed DAC into your tablet, phone or computer and the offline audio from the QoBuz or Tidal app will go via the offboard DAC.

A lot of people, myself included for headphone listening, use a Chord (hugo2 in my case) DAC, usb connected to the computer, headphones or amp connected to the DAC for good effect and run QoBuz and Roon.

In my case this setup is in my study/office but I’d imagine it wouldn’t look particularly neat in a living room… But it would give you what you are asking for.

I’m not doubting it, but (as a Naim / Tidal newbie) why might this be?

Naim streamers prefer Wav or PCM sent to them to cut down on processing. Tidal is flac and the conversion to pcm is done on the streamer and thus adds extra processing. Roon does all processing on the core computer so sends pcm only. Also Roon or server such as bubble UPnP act as a proxy and take the internet to streamer out of the loop which helps with the clocking etc so your pretty much end up that your streamer seeing the streams as if it as a standard stream from your local files and not an internet one.

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