Qobuz vs Tidal in SQ


I’ve subscribed to Tidal HiFi for over a year now. Recently I switched to Qobuz HiFi, to my surprise, Qobuz streaming sounds more clearer, define and better dynamic range. I don’t understand both stream lossless and why the SQ is so different.


Were you by chance listening to MQA versionson Tidal?


I don’t want to bring in MQA into picture because it has a different sound signature. I’m comparing apple to apple, like Tidal 16/44.1k vs Qobuz 16/44.1k FLAC streaming.


Yes, for the same track available on both TIDAL and Qobuz, the later one always sounds better. If you use TIDAL, make sure you force to stream FLAC version rather than MQA if you do not have MQA DAC, otherwise you will lose dynamic range.


Why should Qobuz Sound always better? Assuming the same master, Resolution (16bit 44.1kHZ) and FLAC encoding, why should they sound different?


The file might be the same but you essentially playing from two different sources quboz/tidal. A good example same cd bur two different CD players, will give you a different sound presentation. Or two different network streamer playing the same file will do the same. At times it’s source dependent


I also noticed Tidal playback levels tend to be at the high side; which also mean they may apply some degree of level compression to ‘normalise’ the level across different recordings. For Qobuz, some albums are noticeably lower than others. I’ll keep changing level more on Qobuz than Tidal.

Normalisation of level across different recordings reduces the overall dynamic range from the softer to the louder parts or vicer-versa.


If Tidal is doing anything like that their claim of lossless if false, and I highly doubt that’s happening. That sounds more like what some people hear with MQA.


I have noticed this since I first started using Qobuz. There is certainly a different sound and I prefer the Qobuz sound to Tidal. Seems fuller with more detail. Not sure why but it probably has to do with the encryption/compression routines that each site uses. It is actually easy to hear the difference. Put on a few of your favorite albums that you know inside and out and the differences will become apparent.


Nope, NOT the same Masters. Tidal and Qobus use different Masters.
I have compiled them several times, and I hear they are “exactly” the same sound except that there is less mid-low at Qobus. Or… more with Tidal.
It makes a different sound balance.


I also definitely feel that Qobuz sounds better…and I have not yet subscribed to the high res option …


Hey! What are the (sound) differences between Qobus and Tidal to you?


I’m not sure I understand these assertions…
Tidal or Quboz are not playing the file, they’re just acting as a “server” for the file, and you local Streamer/DAC take it from there.

Hence, if the (content of the) file provided by both services is the same, then it should sound the same!.. So, I’d argue that the content of each file is not the same (albeit both being 16/44.1, FLAC)… Just as a CD title mastered by two different sources may not sound the same on your CD player.

Does that make sense?


Hello from a Qobuz-fan (better search machine and for all better sound).:metal:t2:
I mean, tidal belongs to JayZ, to “Mr. Loudness” himself. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
In my (h)ear-opinion too much basses, too hard highs, crying voices, I don’t like it. I tried the 30days free for nearly two days and unscripted tidal.
It’s not mine.

So now the new Qobuz Studio Abonnement costs 250€ a year, that means 21,84€ a month for highres datas, tidal Hifi 20€ a month for CD- & MQA- datas… so what.



Hi @Xuanqian - I agree that Qobuz sounds better than Tidal. I hear better detail and a more accurate sound stage. That’s using the same bit rate and bit depth on both services.

Can you explain why?



I’ve 3 big complains with Qobuz :

1- You have to pay by year to have a good price
2- the catalog is not too big … Compare to tidal, 1/3 of what i’m listening is on Qobuz (Tidal is 100% and Qobuz is 33%) And yes i’m not listening only Jazz or Classical :grin:
3- i hate the message that told me than i can not stream to Hi-Res because there are some right restrictions etc … if i can not play it, do not show it ! You can play everything in Tidal if you find it either in MQA or not (MQA quality is an another story)


I am wondering this for a long time as well, I just thought the source file they got from label company are different!


I think the advantage of Qobuz is Jazz and Classical, it is for a small group of people.


@Xuanqian - I’m my listening tests, the reduced sound quality with Tidal seems limited to the Lightning DS integration. When using the Tidal app on an iPad and sending it through Airplay, the sound quality is as good as Qobuz.


I’ve been listening to Qobuz the for the last few days both on my computer and through my Aries Mini, comparing Qubuz to Tidal.

The biggest difference that I have seen is that Qobuz has albums available in Hi-Res (24 bit) that are only available in CD quality on Tidal. The 24 bit albums on Qobuz sound better than the same album in CD quality on Tidal. That is a big plus for Qobuz.

On albums that in similar resolution in both Qobuz and Tidal, the difference between the two is for the most part minimal. Some records, however, do seem to sound better on Qobuz.

In terms of available content, Qobuz currently does not have many of the recordings that I have tagged in Tidal, especially in some of the older recordings. Despite the fact that Qobuz has some sonic advantages, I would not consider switching from Tidal until Qobuz has more of the music that I like.

I listen to a lot of Americana, blues, and bluegrass, and it not surprising that a French company is not big on providing American music.