Roon with Tidal or Qobuz - best selection and audio quality

Hello all,

I have a Mu-so 2 and have only tested with Tidal so far.
I listen to the radio via the Naim app. I listen to music via Tidal.

Now I’m just considering whether Roon with the new version 1.8 might be worthwhile for me.
I am a seeker and collector and believe that here Roon is simply the ultimate.

Unfortunately, I had to realize that Tidal only delivers Hifi quality or Naim does not allow this higher. Now I will try Qobuz.

It is important to me to always have the best audio quality.
I also don’t want to miss out on anything when it comes to music selection. My impression is that Qobuz doesn’t have all the artists and albums, and Tidal has a better selection overall.

My current music collection consists of about 1,100 albums (82 GB on my hard drive). So far, I’ve bought everything on iTunes. From earlier times I still have CD’s, but most of them are included in the iTunes collection.

My genres are rock, especially prog rock, but also classical. Mainstream does not go for me at all.

Now my questions:
Where is the best and most extensive offer? What specifically is missing from Qobuz compared to Tidal?
Is Roon worth it for me if I want the best user interface and the best recommendations?
Do I really need a Roon Core as a server for this or are there other solutions for me?

Hello @Ansgar

Best library seems to be Spotify, Apple and Amazon. Qobuz is missing some artists, and some albums, but their range grows daily, plenty there to have fun with.

Easiest way to see whats missing is to subscribe to Qobuz, first month is free and if you are not in love you can drop it just before the month is over at no cost to you. Quality is definitely there, in my opinion often better than Tidal.

Roon is the best for what it is designed to do, no you don’t need the roon core……laptop, PC, even apple tv can be used. Lots of info on possible hardware options on roon website.

With Tidal, naim has no plans to support MQA, lots of info on pros/cons of MQA can be found here, so if you want to know more search the forum for master quality audio or MQA.

For example;

Apple is also about to launch HiFi from June;

FYI Naim is also working on a Tidal connect.

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If your 1100 albums only use 82GB they are presumably lossy aac files purchased from iTunes. Ditching these in favour of CD rips, downloads, or 16/44.1 streams from Qobuz or Tidal should be a significant improvement in sound quality. More so than the additional step up from 16 bit to 24 bit will give you on a Muso.


Thank you for your answer.

Can I also enter my favorites, i.e. my favorite artists, or can Roon derive this from Tidal or Qobuz?

Yes, they are all m4a files with miserable quality. Of course I improve anyway, no matter which solution I choose. I want to set it up once, but then properly and thus audio-quality really good.

The difference between Tidal Hifi and Qobuz Master is not that big in your opinion? I’ll test it out today with some tracks.

Exactly. Today I will try and test it. Hope my ear still has enough power to notice differences.

You can search your artist in Qobuz same as you would in Tidal and then set them as favourite. Same for tracks or albums. What is one of you favourite bands?

Qobuz offers CD quality or greater hi res files (up to 192/24), not MQA. To me Qobuz sounds better than Tidal.

Saying that I still use both to cover as much music as possible, recently I dropped from Master to HiFi subscription with Tidal as I dont need MQA for Naim. Studio subscription with Qobuz.

My favorite bands currently are Anubis, Sylvan, Marillion, Fish, Riverside, Lunatic Soul, Cosmograf, Steven Wilson, Tori Amos, etc.
But I also listen to exotics like The Amazing, Villagers, Andreas Vollenweider, Clannad, Vienna Teng, Arstidir, Kari Bremnes, oakinoslo, iamthemornin, Olafur Arnalds, Rebekka Bakken and also like film music and choral music by Bach, Händel and Co.

With Tidal, the Hifi subscription is identical to Master, isn’t it? Both cost 20 euros.

Content from the homepage of Tidal:

Premium - $9.99 USD per month, with standard sound quality (320 Kbps) .

HiFi - $19.99 USD per month, with lossless high fidelity sound quality (1411 Kbps), Master Quality Audio (up to 9216 Kbps) and immersive audio - 360 Reality Audio, Dolby Atmos Music.

Here are three of your artist on Qobuz, their albums, top 2 look to be CD quality, 3rd has some high res albums

Tidal is adjusting their subscription from Standard and HiFi/MQA to Standard, HiFi and Master. This is happening country by country, already available here in NZ.

Yes to all in qobuz but not oakinoslo.

I have now tried some rock and classical titles.
On Qobuz it sounds a bit brighter and clearer, but it’s true. In a blind test I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference either.

Now once again the question whether Roon is worth it for me.
My hifi dealer writes about it:
ROON is certainly currently the most comprehensive and best quality in the field of music servers. I can recommend as hardware only the own ROON Nucleus or Nucleus Plus for EUR 1.550,- or 2.600,- EUR plus the software with 120,- Dollar per year. All other solutions are rather a “tinkering solution” and I would not suggest in any case. Hardware and software from ROON is always needed.

Is that right?
I don’t need a server to store my old music because I stream everything via Tidal or Qobuz anyway, what’s the point?
I just want to have good suggestions for new music and info about the music and artists. I’m happy to pay 10 euros per month for that.
For me, the question is whether the suggestions of Tidal and Qobuz are much worse than via Roon???

Don’t buy a roon nucleus. If you want to run roon it is significantly cheaper to diy your own either using a pc you already own, a nas, or make a pc using a nuc off the shelf solution.

You must have hardware and run roon server, without that it doesn’t work. I run mine on a pc using lubuntu (Linux distro) which is on 24/7.

Roon brings you the experience of shuffling through your music collection, in my opinion it doesn’t make it sound better. However as a qobuz subscriber their app is awful. There is no distinction between an album or an ep or release date order or anything like that, so when discovering a new artist you don’t know where to start. Roon fixes all of that, but it’s not necessary the only way to fix.
Qobuz apparently will be updating the app to utilise the metadata but who knows when that will be done.

If you want to improve the quality of stuff you own, I’d subscribe to both Tidal and Qubuz and then use Roon to stream albums you’re interested in. If you find something you like, you can buy it. If you want to buy: I mostly just keep streaming.

Another nice thing with Roon using Tidal and Qobuz subscriptions is that when Roon is in “radio” mode, Roon will search for and play things it thinks you might like, and Roon can pick things from Tidal and Qobuz. I’ve found a few good things that way.


Hi Ansgar,

in my view this is poor advice from your dealer. They should at least mention that there are other viable options. I am using a NUC which costs a fraction of the price for a ROON Nucleus. Yes, it does involve some DIY with a bit of a learning curve, but it saves you over a 1000 EUR compared to a Nucleus. You could even buy a new Mac Mini to run Roon and buy a second one just for the fun of it and it would be cheaper than a Nucleus.

As others have suggested, I would install the Roon Core on an existing piece of hardware (e.g. a PC or Mac) and play around within during the trial period. I am not sure Roon will deliver its value as an additional interface for streaming services only as for me the value add is that it combines my own library with streaming services in one interface.
Just give it a go and see how you get on.

Qobuz Marillion random “albums”

Roon sorting out Marillion

Okay, Roon at least manages to sort the albums by date. Can’t I set that on Qobuz? With Tidal, I think it is also displayed by date.

Your dealer is playing safe, but you certainly don’t need to buy a Nucleus. They are far too expensive.

I believe that the best way to implement ROON is to install ROON ROCK (available as a download from ROON) on an Intel NUC. I have mine installed on an 8i5 NUC and it works flawlessly. I’m not sure of the price of NUCs these days, but I imagine it would be around 400 Euros - a lot less than the cost of a Nucleus. No underlying operating system is required because ROON ROCK comes with its own proprietary LINUX operating system.

Not in the Qobuz app. It is extremely basic, with no filtering or ordering offered. I’ve never tried using Qobuz inside the Naim app as I use roon which makes everything else pretty much redundant.

A Roon Nucleus suits people who aren’t at least somewhat experienced with computers, computer hardware and computer software. Those people pay for the convenience. The Roon development group makes no secret of the fact that a person can build his/her own system at less cost.

I myself run Roon Core on an Intel no-moving-parts machine (which I had built to order for less than the cost of Nucleus+) that runs Windows 10. But I have decades of experience with computers and am confident I can coped with the oddities of computers, hardware and software.

I don’t think AppleTV can run Roon, but can be used for Roon output. I hope I’m wrong as that would potentially be really useful.