How to properly stream TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer, et cetera?

Hi guys,

So I've been meaning to ask if there's an optimal way to stream these streaming service, if you know what I mean..., like some players which directly support TIDAL or Qobuz or Amazon Music and stuff, but what if I stream TIDAL through Roon, would the sound quality get better? and why?
I know that Roon does a lot of signal purification jobs during the whole transmitting process, still, I'm very much confused hahaha, since the cloud service is the original place of the music files, no? how come during the transmission the sound could be optimized!?

If that's a true fact that it's possible to level up the sound quality better than the original, so the theory can also be applying on the hardware parts I presume, like I can buy an real nice hi-end router to upgrade the network quality from the beginning, then the DC power supply, audio grade network switch, specialized cables, all the way to speakers, is that right?



Some say Roon degrades, some don’t.

I’ve never heard it improves SQ but...

Yes you can...spend as much as you like.

REALLY!? degrades? this is the first time I heard it though, I haven't seen any complaints about Roon's performance, the UX of it is actually quite good, I can understand why people like it, I mean I also own a Roon Ready streamer called Munich M1T, just wondering the difference between directly streaming from TIDAL and via Roon haha.

Anyway, I couldn't really hear the difference for the time being...

I sure would not want anything modifying the bit stream of a master recording before it enters my DAC.  That is nuts.   IMO the best SQ improvements are made in the analog realm.  DACs, amps, speakers., etc..   Unless the digital equipment is faulty and introducing interference, the bit stream entering your DAC is exactly the same no matter how much money you spend.  Many will argue, but I think there is no audible difference between a $3000 streamer and a $50 raspberry pi.  Nor a $10 usb cable or a $1000 usb cable.  It is in the analog realm that the magic happens.

But some said those so called hi-end equipment adopts better materials, like pure silver to the cables, which serves better conductivity, then it could have better signal quality during the power or data transmission, per se, like less inteferences and noise which would affect the SQ... 

Before you start down the rabbit hole, that will no doubt ensue here soon, take daleberlin's observations as being accurate. 

The best way is through a dedicated streamer… like Aurlic, Aurender, Linn, etc. You need to match a dedicated streamer to your system. It will buffer the bitstream, completely isolate it from electrical noice and vibration and supply a clean pristine bitstream to the DAC. My streamers (An Aurender N100 and an Aurender W20SE). The latter is the most expensive component in my system (see my system under UserID). Under virtually all circumstances (in a high end system) a dedicated streamer will significantly out perform a PC.


Qobuz is generally the accepted best high fidelity streaming service… both signal and max high Rez content.

Yeah, I recently bought a Roon Ready streamer called Munich M1T by Silent Angel, I mean since it's " Roon Ready ", so I wonder if there would be any sound difference between directly streaming TIDAL via the app and via Roon Ready feature... 

Given Roon Ready is sorta a big deal nowadays I presume haha.

I recently upgraded to a Small Green Computer Sonic Orbiter i5 with Ultra Rendu bridge.  One reason I did this was to try Roon, which I like.  I might like it too much, as all the info it provides can be a distraction from listening.  But the best thing has been combining Roon with Qobuz.  This allows you to seamlessly merge your own library with music you add from Qobuz.  For example, I am an Elvis Costello completist.  But there are a few albums, singles and collaborations that I was either missing or unaware of.  A few clicks and most of these were added to my library.  They're not downloads, so if I cancel Qobuz or if Qobuz discontinues them, they're gone.  But there is no additional cost over the Qobuz subscription for this feature.  Now, if I play Elvis Costello music, these Qobuz selections will be mixed with my own collection.

Sound quality, I have to say that even Red Book resolution stuff from Qobuz sounds wonderful to me, rich, detailed and with a large soundstage.  No etch or anything that induced listener fatigue.  But I really didn't use Qobuz much without Roon, so it's hard to say what Roon's affect on Qobuz is in my system.


Time to do your own comparison on your system to find out.  Roon Trial or purchase a month seems like the ticket.  I use Tidal and compared it with and without Amarra software and it definitely sounds better with Amarra.   Not sure what they do?  I was hoping it wouldn’t sound better due to Amarra’s iffy interface.  Compared Qobuz to TidaI  and they sound very close giving an edge to Qobuz.  I use Tidal due to an annual subscription deal.  I compared USB cables and yes they make a sonic difference to my ears.  Also, using an ethernet cable sounds better than wifi but I could not distinguish a difference between basic CAT 8 ethernet cables and high-end ones.  Roon trial down the road in my sights…

OP, in the end, what you hear is based on your total system and the synergy between those components.  The type and nature of every component in your system matters. Budget aside, the components you select should depend on the type of music you like to listen to as well as the environment in which those components will be used.  

This can be a tough and expensive “hobby” to master, but you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a sound that you like.  If you can afford to spend that kind of money or more and you pick the right components, you will find the more expensive system will sound better. At least that’s been my experience over the past 50 years.

Regarding Roon, I like it and use it for non-critical listening.  The SQ is good and it has the best music management capabilities of any product I’ve used.  However, I like Innuos Sense SQ much better and IMHO it betters Roon SQ in every way (i.e., wider soundstage and better instrument separation; a more holographic 3D presentation; it has a rich and more full bodied sound; and the music and vocals sound more natural - to me).

Like Roon, with Sense I can combine my digital library of songs with Tidal and Qobuz to make playlists.  I no longer listen to CDs as I’ve found little difference in SQ between ripped CD FLAC files and streamed Tidal and Qobuz music played from my Zenith MK2 streamer.  

OP, from the Zenith, I use a Matrix SPDIF-X 2 via i2s HDMI cable to a PS Audio DirectStream DAC.  Before that, I went from the Zenith to an Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE DAC via USB cable.  The Tubadour III SE is an excellent R2R tube DAC; the DSD is a better one.  Before that, I went from the Zenith to a Mytek Liberty DAC via USB cable.  The SQ was too clinical and lacked warmth.  I’m content with my current DAC and have no intention of upgrading.  My point, picking the “right” components can be a trial and error process, which can make it a much more expensive one.  Good luck on your journey!    

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