Tidal vs Qobuz

Oleta Adams - Circle of One

I have this on original vinyl.

What an absolute sibilant/splashy mess on Tidal, much better on Qobuz but no match for the vinyl.

Am I going crazy? How the heck can we choose when there’s so much variability?

I had the same issue with Amazon HD and Qobuz, mixed bag between them but overall Qobuz came out on top.


Qobuz for me, prefer the sound quality and catalogue.


I have both Tidal and Qobuz through Roon, keeping Qobuz need to get round to stopping Tidal subscription

Qobuz,Tidal,Spotify and others. I never hear anybody mention Apple Music. For intuitive listener friendly service,huge catalogue and incredible playlists I am quite impressed. Am I alone?

Apple music is lossy so only MP3/AAC quality, not lossless.

Lossy music has no place in a Naim system so I doubt there be much love for it here.

I am sure its a good service for people who are on the move and not too concerned about the sound quality.

Yes, you may be alone…

The quality of the music offered with the other services a vast improvement over Apple Music.


Yes I thought as much but enjoyment of music sometimes goes beyond absolute SQ and Apple Music certainly offers a very user friendly experience and very good at knowing what you want when compiling personal playlists but I don’t really know the other providers so I bow to your knowledge. Thanks seakayaker

Haven’t listened to this before, but sounding mighty fine on Qobuz. Can’t imagine it being much better than this. She has a very powerful voice and it has lots of recording room acoustics (like echos), but no sibilance. Really vibrant sound to everything. Could be a problem elsewhere.


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Haven’t heard this before either (first song), it sounds quite good to me from Tidal via Audirvana to the NDX.


Despite having invested a lot in the Apple ecosystem, the way Apple have mucked around with Music playback on iOS devices over the years has somewhat annoyed me - between having to sync from iTunes in the past to confusing ways of streaming and integrating (or not) one’s own ripped music with iTunes purchases in the cloud I’ve never really taken to it.

I have a family subscription which I may ditch, but my daughter enjoys it.

One of the main reasons I’ve kept it is for music videos - bought dozens in the early iTunes days but quality was dire even allowing for SD video source material in many cases. Even these days, the last videos I bought came in SD whereas streaming the same item from Apple Music seems to be HD - annoying, but the excellent quality of some modern videos is a benefit which Apple Music has in common with Tidal which I’m demoing.

Apple’s attempts to curate, recommend and generally stick it’s nose in when I want to sort my library out is what grates. Maybe I should revisit it as I primarily use the Qobuz app for music these days on iOS.

All that aside, Apple were pretty on the ball when they ditched the early m4p Fairplay protected audio files and upped from 128kbps to unprotected 256 kbps AAC, with upgrades for a nominal fee for many but not all items previouly purchased.

They’ve now dropped the ball by expecting always available internet with good speed for video offerings, while completely ignoring the fact that they could have innovated by rolling out lossless CD quality or higher quality audio years ago with far less bandwidth requirements than video.

While many of us do seem to prefer lossless audio, preferably hi-res, I must confess that lossy AAC can still sound impressive on some material.


Many of us probably discovered Oleta Adams as she did backing/female lead vocals on Tears for Fears album The Seeds of Love - if you’ve never heard that it’s an excellent listen I’d recommend.

I think the Circle of One album came about due to her performance on The Seeds of Love - it’s a bit of its time and a tad commercial but there are several excellent songs on it.


I used a iPod for years when traveling, great on planes and hotels. I used Apple Music for quite a while on my MAC and AIR laptops with headphones when traveling and at home as well. So I agree with you it is convenient and not a bad product at all. With the convince of service like TIDAL, Spotify and Qubuz the quality of the music is better and just a matter of personal preference. No bad decisions, just personal preferences.

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I strongly echo Alley Cat’s sentiments…I want to be in control of my music, not have Apple dictate what I do…actually, the same holds true in how I use a computer. Both should be easy, not complicated by having to overcome Apple’s attempted control over its users. I prefer Qobuz over Tidal…even at 16/44…the availability of high resolution on Qobuz is also important. Good vinyl playback is the best though!


There’s a review for all the Hi Res streaming providers in this months What Hi Fi.
They appear not to rate Qobuz that highly especially in Hi Res versus Tidal.
I’m waiting for Naim/Qobuz intergration, and then using the free one month trial, but has anyone read the reviews, and any thoughts?

Yes! I saw this article whilst thumbing through the magazine in my local newsagent.

Although I am a Tidal subscriber (in preference to Qobuz), I found the article rather puzzling. My preference for Tidal is based primarily on their respective music catalogues, and I can understand why Tidal, and also potentially Deezer and Amazon (whom 'What Hi-Fi ’ rated above Qobuz) might be reviewed more favourably on this basis. However, I do not understand how Qobuz could be marked down in relation to Tidal specifically in respect of hi-res sound quality.

So, Tidal wins out, and I have no real gripe with that if both catalogue size and sound quality are taken into account. However, for Qobuz to be marked down on sound quality, and for Amazon to finish a close second to Tidal (if my memory serves me well) - that really is more than a bit odd.

My advice to you is to take both Tidal and Qobuz on trial and select the one whose catalogue suits you best. In my opinion, hi-res files are a bit of a bonus and sometimes subtly ‘better’. However, my choice is based largely on catalogue content and 16bit sound quality. By the way, possibly best to avoid ‘hi-res’ on Tidal unless you have Roon or an MQA enabled DAC, but by all means give it a try.

I currently have Tidal and have no issues with the catalogue or 44/16 sound quality. I’m now trialling Qobuz and 24 hours in… everything on my Tidal track playlists and albums have been sourced on Qobuz. Plus the bonus side of things a lot of them are Hi Res.
I’m certainly impressed with Qobuz sound quality and certainly a bit confused by
What Hi Fi’s review with regard that.
Anyway I’d rather trust my ears on what I prefer or not.


Here’s a dilemma!

I thought I would check out the Qobuz catalogue for one of my favourite artists, the stupendous Amos Lee. I was excited to see that Qobuz has a 24 bit version of his Spirit album. Had a listen and compared it to my 16 bit CD rip, locally streamed. On this album the 24 bit Qobuz stream smashes it, which has not been the case on such comparisons on other albums.

But here is the kicker. There are a couple of Amos’ albums missing from the Qobuz catalogue which are there in their entirety on Tidal. Qobuz does have a couple of his EPs but this does not make up for the album omissions. This does call into question the breadth, and more particularly the depth, of the Qobuz catalogue.

Having said this, ‘Spirit’ is sounding bonkers good via 24 bit Qobuz.

Decision, decisions.

(@Richard.Dane, I have had to re-post the above on this thread as it is probably more appropriate. We again have 3 threads about the Qobuz integration which is again dividing a common theme. Do you feel some more merging of threads is appropriate?)

At this rate, I’ll have to get an NDX2 and an SN3 - and bloody Qobux.
Please update us on this - especially any cases where Qobuz isn’t better!

I have both and will continue to until Qobuz gets a better catalogue. I reduced down to Qobuz for two weeks but found too much missing so Tidal was reinstated.

As for sq via Roon I hear no difference for like for like recordings, different master well that’s anybodies guess. Hires and MQA are both hit and miss and depends on the master which I prefer. I have MQA capable DACs for headphone listening so it’s not an issue for me and yes it sounds better when it’s the full experience and not half of it.