TIDAL (MQA) vs Qobuz (Lossless)

I’m sure this top has been discussed ad nausea and borders on a religious topic, but…
How important is it to find a DAC that supports MQA?
I’ve been. listening to TIDAL through a BlueNode 2i for a couple years.
I recently got Qobuz subscription and definitely hear a difference.
I also recently upgraded my DAC to a QuTest still using my Node 2i as the streamer.
I have 90 days to return or exchange the DAC for something else.
It sounds really good. That said, what am I missing if I had an MQA-compatible DAC and TIDAL?

To me TIDAL sounds larger and smoother with a larger sound stage.
Qobuz sounds “deeper” and more detailed but not as large of a sound stage.
I’m sure I’m geeking out too much and should just enjoy Qobuz through my Qutest but I’m curious what I might be missing.


Are they, though? I find it hard to believe that the entire Tidal back catalogue of MQAs have been remastered in any meaningful way as opposed to simply converted. If so, why not just use Qobuz which as far as I can tell provides regular lossless 24 bit files where Tidal provides MQAs.
Happy to be proved wrong on this, perhaps there really are armies of skilled engineers producing better masters in MQA format but it all sounds a bit implausible to me.




Have to agree. Some are obviously bored.

Oh god - not again

Yes, it appears so.
Then again its been 20 mins since we’ve had a thread on either:
Network cables…
Chord or Naim DACs…
Availability of CD mechs…
Wired or wireless…
CD or Streaming…


If you lot want to turn this into yet another puerile, adversarial debate I’m out. We see far too much of that online these days. I was simply trying to discuss with @jmtennapel the actual facts of the matter, I’m not in the slightest bit interested in who’s got the biggest DAC :neutral_face:


I don’t know why but Qobuz sounds so much better in my system, esp high res.


Thoughts were requested and were given. This is not about being adversarial but about the fact that this has been done to death in countless threads and there is little, if anything, original to be said

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Very sorry. It was not my intention to create friction and debate.
I’m still learning and experimenting with MQA/TIDAL/Qobuz, as well as different DACs.
BTW, My DAC is definitely not the biggest so I can’t say I have the biggest DAC. :wink:
I have a very small Chord Qutest. :slight_smile:

My understanding is that MQA is not bit perfect, the reconstruction being lossy. Some people say it introduces artefacts. There is a claim that they somehow get the recording closer to the original than the high resolution master file holds, IIUC saying that they do that by matching the DAC filtering to that of the original ADC. Whilst in theory that might hold true where a single ADC type is used in the recording process and the MQA file contains information telling the DAC what filtering to use, in many cases, maybe the majority, multiple different DACs will have been used in recording.

What is it about the sales hype pf MQA that seduces you to consider it? Isn’t it better to choose a DAC on the basis of its sound quality?

And the forum would be pretty empty without them!

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Nothing to apologise for whatsoever - enjoy your thread. ATB

Absolutely nothing wrong with debate - it is informative, an excellent way for people to learn, and can be enjoyable.

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I’m just sad naim doesn’t have a free 90 day trial of qobuz lol. I managed to get 2 months of tidal cheap in a holiday deal and 3 months of spotify premium but qobuz is just the standard 1 month and I wanted as long as possible to test what I preferred. So far I think tidal is winning but I’m not sure I keep second guessing if I’m hearing things.

You can only do a fair comparison where the masters are identical. Volume levelling can quickly remove an apparent advantage too.

I have both Tidal and Qobuz.

I don’t think the free trials of online streaming services are anything to do with Naim - it is Tidal that offers theirs, Roon that offers theirs, if Qobuz doesn’t I guess it is simply a lack of decision to do so by them.

Apologies I worded it poorly I meant that qobuz does partnership free trials with certain audio equipment. For example people are getting free 3 months with the chord mojo 2 right now (could be USA only for all I know). With qobuz working so well with naim equipment I was hoping they would have such a promotion but unfortunately not.

…it is only important if you want to listen to music using MQA files.

For me Hi-Res Qobuz files works just fine. A few years ago I did a
side by side trial of Tidal and Qobuz and on my system, in my room and my ears I preferred Qobuz.

Why do you need others opinions, do a side by side at dealer and at home and then you will know.

Good luck…


Elected to go with a Chord DAC because it sounded great. Didn’t audition Tidal or Qobuz before making that decision. Have no sense of loss.

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