Tidal vs Qobuz

Its a recent change in the U.S as they react to Amazon etc…they feel their Hi-res service is better and differentiates themselves. They are dropping mp3, and will offer cd or Hi-res only.

How does Qobuz via the Node 2i via spdif compare to the 272’s native Tidal on the same recording?

I dont subscribe to Tidal anymore but Qobuz via the Node 2i using the 272 dac powered by a 555dr is superb and is a low cost way to bring in alternative streaming platforms into the old Naim streamers, theres still life left in the old dog.

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Can I tempt you to sign up for a free trial of Tidal, perchance?
You’d be performing a heroic service for the 272 sub-culture if you made a direct comparison!

(Or I could just order one from somewhere that takes returns, and try it myself.)
What spdif cable do you use?

Is your gut feeling from your memories of native Tidal on the 272 telling you that Qobuz streamed from the Node 2i into the 272 DAC is better?

How is the Bluos app and how does it compare to the Naim…or Sonos which I find excellent?

Very stable and easy to navigate but I have never experienced any issues with the Nam app.

One nice feature regarding the Node 2i it has a learning remote control facility, the Naim remote supplied with the 272 pairs this allows you to stop, play and fast forward tunes so you don’t have to fumble for the mobile or tablet app.

Also Radio Paradise plays in FLAC with all the artist info etc.

No need my system has never sounded so good.

I read on another thread that you are thinking of an NDX2 and SN3 just to stream Qobuz seems an expensive way of doing things.

I use a Mark Grant HDX1 RCA to BNC coax cable also replaced the supplied fig 8 mains cable with one that Mark Grant supplies.

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I am using the 30-day free trial for Qobuz as it is now available native on my ND555.

So far I have had mostly positive results comparing 24 bit Qobuz streams with 16 bit Tidal and local streams (from my UnitiServe) for the same albums. There are one or two exceptions however where Qobuz appear to have an inferior album version and even the 24 bit stream is not as good as 16 bit local stream. I should point out that these incidences have been rare so far, but I need to investigate further.

I have so far concluded that the Qobuz library is inferior to Tidal for the genres of music I prefer, so I need to investigate that further before I ditch Tidal.

I have now added a number of favourite albums into ‘My Albums’ in Qobuz where there is a 24 bit version available and where I only have a 16 bit rip. I was surprised by how many of my favourite albums are now available in 24 bit, so I am starting to work my way through listening to the 24 bit Qobuz streams and relying on memory as a comparison to my 16 bit rips. It would be too mentally stressful to do a like-for-like comparison for each album, and my memory is pretty good for those albums I have played a lot in the past.

If the vast majority of these albums sound better in the 24 bit Qobuz stream then this is a compelling argument to switch from Tidal to Qobuz, as I do not have a MQA compliant DAC to test the ‘hirez’ Tidal streams.

I will of course need to satisfy myself that the Qobuz library has sufficient breadth and depth for my preferred genres, to ensure I can use Qobuz for music discovery.



I am listening to the 24 bit Qobuz stream of Kandace Springs’ Soul Eyes, an album I know very well.

Previously my only experience of this album was via a 16bit WAV (transcoded from flac) rip from the CD, streamed locally from my UnitiServe.

First impressions of the 24 bit Qobuz stream. Blimey! Way superior to the 16 bit rip. This is also true of the same comparison I made yesterday listening to the 24 bit Qobuz stream of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems.

Qobuz has just become very interesting.

Anyway, back to Ms Springs, who is demanding some attention.

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Nigel, could you buy only 1 track of that album in hirez 24 bit from Qobuz , send it to your Unitserve, and compare this 24 bit track streamed locally vs the same track streamed on Qobuz streaming platform?
Would be curious if the Qobuz track streamed online is still superior to the Qobuz 24 bit downloaded track.

If there is any difference, I would expect the downloaded, locally streamed track to sound better than the same track streamed from Qobuz.

If my suspicion is correct, then I would have to invest in buying all these albums I already own as 16 bit rips (i.e. the CDs) as 24 bit downloads from Qobuz, something I am not prepared to do, as the Qobuz 24 bit streamed files are sounding wonderful.

I understand you Nigel very well. I asked because I am curious to know if local hirez files sound still a bit better vs Qobuz streaming.
So you have no hirez files on your Unitserve, only cd rips?

I do have some 24 bit downloads that I could compare to 24 bit Qobuz streams (i.e. same albums) and I might do that.

Listening to Sean Rowe’s ‘New Lore’ 24 bit Qobuz stream and mentally comparing to my 16 bit rip of the same album. I am liking the Qobuz stream and believe it is superior to my CD rip.

Similar story for Jack Johnson’s ‘Sleep Through The Static’ where there seems to be an even bigger difference between 24 bit Qobuz and local 16 bit rip.

It is looking good for Qobuz hires!

The only thing that is bothering me is that as I was trawling through my favourite artists/albums on my UnitiServe and seeking out 24 bit versions on Qobuz, I started to notice one or two holes in the Qobuz library. Certain albums are simply missing from Qobuz. I’ll have to look into this a bit further to see if the holes will be a potential problem if using Qobuz for music discovery.

Nigel , did the same a couple of days ago and came to the same conclusion can’t wait for her new album in a couple of months.

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Nigel, after some time i. Got an email from…my support worker at Qobuz. If you get one highlight to him/her…where you feel they are lacking. I did not feel the need to.

I will eventually get around to doing a trial with Qobuz and the one thing I am most interested in is the catalogue. Tidal does have a comprehensive catalogue and have seen more than one comment that the Qobuz catalogue is not as robust.

Increase in SQ would be nice but limited size catalogue may be a negative.

Look forward to continued feedback from you and others with the pro’s and con’s of moving from TIDAL to Qobuz.

Have just signed up to trial of Qobuz so have been trialing this afternoon against ( non- Roon so 44.1/16bit) Tidal. Early thoughts - I haven’t noticed an OMG difference between the 2. For rock/pop my feeling is that Qobuz (both 44.1/16 and Hi-Res) sounds more ‘polished’ and has rougher edges smoothed off - not necessarily a good thing IMO. Qobuz lacks a bit of ‘attack’. Where I have noticed a difference in favour of Qobuz is with classical music. If you compare Andras Schiff’s recording from last year of Schubert: Sonatas & Impromptus, the Qobuz Hi-Res version is clearly better in every way. More listening required!

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OK FR, I have inadvertently compared 24 bit streams from Qobuz vs a local hires file stored on my UnitiServe for Beth Hart’s new album ‘War In My Mind’. I say inadvertently because I forgot I bought the hi res download.

Anyway I prefer the locally stored 24 bit stream, but not by a big margin. When the mix gets dense, the local stream just holds things together a bit better, but this is a demanding album and I believe my poor little 250DR occasionally runs out of puff when the going gets tough.

Interesting Nigel…i bought the Beth Hart Qobuz download of 24 bit a few weeks before Naim gave us the Qobuz firmware. So, for me its the only test where i think the source is probably the same. As you go back in recording time…the provenance is a bit of a lucky chance. To me in my room, the Beth Hart latest in my system, no difference to worry about. I was thinking about a Melco etc as another upgrade…thats on hold.

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Thanks Nigel to have done the test. It can be a reason for some to move on the new streamers if Qobuz is really so good and very near local streaming.
As for your poor 250dr, same as me, are you sure you would get so much more with a 500dr on your little Monitor speakers ( GX 300) ?