BIG difference Tidal vs Amazon Music

I read an interesting article on Van Halen‘s Blood and Fire was done with a stereo guitar and I wanted to check it out. So I look for the song on both Tidal and Amazon music and OMG what a difference in sound quality between the two.  What gives? Both say CD quality but there’s NO COMPARISON!


I use Amazon Music steaming through a Node 2i and have rarely had an issue with the sound quality. They have a mix of CD quality and hi res quality up to 24/192 in their library and am usually satisfied with most of what I listen to.

I haven't had an issue connecting to the Node 2i through the Bluesound app or directly from the Amazon Music app using an iPhone or iPad.

I have never used Tidal so cannot comment on a comparison between the two.

I’m using Tidal through my Roon Nucleus and like the setup but have noticed their music selection lacks some of the tracks I like. 

Roon / Tidal works really, really well for me, and have always been happy with the FLAC stream from Tidal. Roon / Tidal very seamless and Roon is excellent

Have heard Amazon interface / experience a little wonky, but never used it

If Spotify ever gets its act together and starts streaming FLAC, I might check it out


Am listening to Amazon Music HD with Airplay into my stereo/AV rig using the app from my iPhone or iPad. (Airplay will deliver Red Book audio and the network adapter supports mini plug and digital out.)  I’ve A-B’d several CDs vs Amazon and can’t tell the difference. I do find that when some recording are labeled “remastered” the sound can be distorted and/or compressed. May be the Master selection issues others have noted?

Keyword search in the Amazon app can be problematic sometimes.  Keying in “Jarret Shostakovich” should find his recording of the piano preludes and fugues. It doesn’t. Etc. etc.

On a side note, I’m using the same setup to stream Roon. 1200 CDs imported to ITunes using ALAC. Roon server on my Windows PC uses the iTunes repository.  Roon app on iPhone and iPad. Again, A-B a CD and can’t hear the difference. (Although I can hear the difference between AAC and ALAC encoding.)

Streaming has changed how I listen to music - in a good way.  I do miss liner notes, tho. I like to know who played, engineered, and mastered the recording. 

Have had Amazon HD for over a year now and am VERY HAPPY. I stream only R&R. Old 60's 70's guy etc. I stream using USB from my windows based PC, hardwired directly to an outboard  Benchmark DAC 3B. System just under 14K  Never at a loss for content, most of what I listen to is offered at 24/96 and a lot at 24/192   Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Fleet wood Mac, Journey, 't etc. Never seems to be out, always there when I want it. Couldn't say enough good things about it. As a prime member I pay about $8.75 a month.   Never tried Tidal, probably because of what I've written above. Robert TN