Quobuz subscription

Hi I've recently joined Quobuz to try-out few tracks. 

The ones released on 70's and 80's Japanese jazz vinyls sound really muffled. Thought they would sound better vs. YouTube streaming channel of Terminal Passage that actually mostly plays its digitized vinyl collection, but quality is too far away from even YouTube.

I checked the quality and all of them are CD 44.1kHz, but the sound quality is so far away from CD 44.1kHz.

So what's there to check? Is only major-popular recording industry albums sound good there.

I checked that via my Mytek DAC and via my cheap DAC and both DACs show nearly-same differences on the playback vs. YouTube.

So far Tidal actually gets my best grading on items outside of RR hall of fame or outside of recording industry standards.

It really seems to me that Quobuz is over-advertised.



Why don't you name a track or two so folks can tell you if it's you or Qobuz that is the problem.

Ah, the joys of streaming (irony!). No way of verifying the provenance of a particular track! At least with physical media - CDs and LPs - that can be easily done. 90%+ of streaming users don't care! To them it's all about convenience! The slow death of the music business with creators getting pennies per track. Me, I'm always on the hunt for physical media.

I assume that the esoteric Jap jazz labels (Three Blind Mice comes to mind) ) sold nicely-mastered CDs. So the same should be available on Qobuz and Tidal. I would not want to listen to tracks digitized from an LP! Yuck!

I had a lot of qobuz troubles both with the quality and the subscription, not going back

@czarivey what album/tracks are you referring to? And yes I agree some albums sound better on Tidal and some albums are only available on Tidal.

Entire discography of Masayoshi Takanaka; entire discography of Eloy (german prog band); and manymanymany more albums that show CD quality but sound more like MP96 or lower.

According to the most of the answers, Quobuz is indeed oriented on pop music that sounds pretty good there. On other than pop, Tidal works slightly better and closer to CD44.1

@czarivey I like the sound of Qobuz but have never listened to either of those 2 artists I have Seychelles queued up for later will report back.

I always get network drop out with tidal, maybe 60% of the time.

Never have with qobuz (though the highest I have received from qobuz is 24/96)

I’ll take the lower resolution vs having song stop, restart, stop restart blech, so mostly using qobuz now.  Though qobuz “cd quality” for some reason does sound lower volume and muffled vs tidal hi-fi sets and a tidal full master mqa decoded track sounds better than the qobuz 24/96.. if it ever plays all the way through.

But I am also extremely rural and using a t-mobile hotspot 100gb/month .. says good signal, but.. not so much..  yeah, starlink does it to me also.

@czarivey so I compared Qobuz to Tidal using the  “Finger Dancin” track off the “Man with the guitar” album. Tidal version does sound a but more open and fuller than Qobuz version and makes it seem like Qobuz is slightly duller. The difference is audible. Although isn’t really my cup o’ tea, that track is pretty cool. I don’t know what the CD sounds like but it almost makes me think that a good amount of compression was used in the recording process itself. But like I said, I have nothing to compare it to in a form of original CD or vinyl, so I could be wrong 

For me, Tidal was better than Amazon music. Then, I subscribed to Tidal and Qobuz at the same time. I A/B’d the two for at least a month. Qobuz was the consistent winner. But that’s on my system.  Unless you’re planning to stop by, you’ll want to A/B all the streaming services on your system. Then you’ll know for sure what subscription to pay for.

I’ve only compared Quobuz to Tidal

I’ve never gotten over 44 from Tidal even on their masters but have gotten 96 from Quobuz HD tracks or albums.  I’ve never seen over 96 yet.  I’m getting the number from my Gustard DAC. An example is Pink Floyd Money album….


Never heard the Pink Floyd money album. Does that have dark side of the moon on it? 

Qobuz 24/192 example - Burn to Shine by Ben Harper

Tidal MQA 352.8 example - Clique by Patricia Barber. 
If you’re not seeing anything over 96 on Qobuz then either your dac/streamer combo is downsampling it or something is wrong with your set up. 

Some streamers have limits on the resolution of certain outputs. Often the USB output is able to do higher resolution that say Coax. Might want to check that out.


I would never think to compare YouTube vs Qobuz. This just doesn’t make any sense. Something is wrong with your setup. There are plenty of poorly recorded albums, but YouTube specializes in censorship and not sound quality.

I have both Tidal and Qobuz and both can sound great. I’m streaming them into my Rose 150b with a direct Ethernet cable into my router/modem. MQA on Tidal and hi rez on Qobuz both rival a really good recording on my turntable. I do have AT&T fiber internet with up to a thousand mps. I had a lot of drops until I changed my Ethernet cable,[defective cable].

Well, the quality on Mr. Takanakas recordings seems to differ a lot. But nothing wrong with the bass intro on "Finger Dancing" through Tidal. Could have been Fagen :)

Just listening to Seychelles on Qobuz… sounds very good. The volume is lower… not uncommon on recordings mastered to sound better, the don’t compress or compress as much. Turn up the volume. Much of classical will have a “lower volume”. 


I have done extensive testing of Qobuz vs Tidal… between sound quality and availability of high resolution music Qobuz wins hands down. They are both incredibly reliable. If you have trouble with them look at your streamer.


Dropouts on Tidal or Qobuz are almost a problem of the streamer… not the service. I listen hundreds of hours a year and maybe have drop outs once a year. A good streamer buffers you from the network. Services other than these two are much inferior.


I’m streaming via Lenovo IdeaCentre mini desk-top with W10 and SSD fed to MyTek 192 via USB 2.0

The rest of signal path can go to headphones or speakers, but that department is very sound

Seychelles does sound muffled. I tried volume up-down, but try to listen to same from YouTube Terminal Passage who ripped it from Japanese vinyl and then A/B

Try many other non-pop albums simply taken from an entire era of Japanese City-Funk stuff, German kroutrock such as Guru-Guru, Misus Beastly etc

@czarivey -- I've had a Qobuz subscription for several years now and have been very pleased with it. So, I tried out some of the albums you mentioned above by Masayoshi Takanaka and Eloy and can't say I was impressed by the recording quality. My DAC also showed CD quality (44.1K).

However, I don't think any of the streaming services do anything other than stream the files that are provided by the music companies. Qobuz has 80 million files available so I don't think they really have an interest in reprocessing any of them.  And, I certainly have bought a lot of CDs over the years (and LPs prior to that) -- some had excellent sound quality, many were mediocre, and a few downright poor recordings.

I've heard a lot of music on Qobuz with excellent sound quality. I listen to a lot of classical, folk/americana, some jazz, and a lesser amount of pop and rock.  I don't think Qobuz is doing anything one way or the other to change the quality of material provided to them.

Here's an excellent jazz recording a friend referred to me the other day: Till Brönner - Nightfall. Currently streaming at 24/96K to my Sundara headphones. 

Your DAC is probably a-bit more advanced than mine to show actual processing, but in my case, on these non-pop albums the sound is muffled as if I would be listening to MP96 or lower format while the material on re-issued CDs or ripped from vinyl sound a LOT more superior. Try YouTube vs. Quobuz on those and free YouTube tracks will simply humiliate Quobuz. 

Long story short, I've stopped the service and trying to enjoy the rest of free month to see if I find anything good there to listen to.

I'm happy with Qobuz and have experienced different quality from tracks but put it off to the actual recording process when it was made. 

@czarivey I just sampled several of Masayoshi Takanaki’s albums on both Qobuz and Tidal. They all sound very compressed, even (especially) the Hirez (Qobuz) and MQA (Tidal) versions of The Guitar Man. Just horrible.

Some of his titles fair a little better but the only one I sampled with sound quality I found acceptable was Saudade and the Tidal version sounded significantly better than the Qobuz version. Both are 16/44.

You are correct about the selections both providers make as to which genres, labels, and titles they select to “upgrade” resolutions. Most true audiophile labels (for example Reference Recordings) are the original 16/44 versions found on CDs. Usually they sound very good. I find Tidal’s overwhelming bias towards selecting Rap and HipHop over Jazz, Blues, and, especially, classical titles particularly frustrating.

My Meitner MA-3 streamer/DAC streams and plays resolutions up to 24/352.8 (DoP) and supports the full 3 level unfold of MQA. The highest I have found on Qobuz is 24/192 while there are several titles on Tidal that play at 24/352.8, per the display on the front of the Meitner. The stated resolution rates sometimes do not have any relationship to sound quality for either provider. Actual sound quality is primarily a function of the quality of the original recording and, if available as Hi-rez or MQA, the quality of the remastering by whomever Tidal or Qobuz used to perform such for that title.

My experience is about 50/50 between Qobuz and Tidal for best sound quality on any given title. MQA gets a bad rap but can sound excellent on a unit that does the full MQA unfold well like the Meitner.

If using android phone to cast blue tooth the gustard r26 (maybe others) 

make sure in the blue tooth setting for the gustard you enable the hires/ldac.. otherwise the playto will be limited to 44.1..  even highres qobuz “source” seems limited to 96.. at least according to the gustard.. I still haven’t gotten “lan” to work yet as I’ve no streamer on that network. On order though..

Tidal does sound better.. at least when it can get through an entire track..(my rural internet, dedicated t-mobile hotspot 5g, sux for tidal)

Hi dicockrum,

Agree 100% with your findings. A more modest DAC, MF M6x plus Innuos Pulse, previously TEAC nt505& 701n all full MQA unfold and 352.8 capable. I have settled with Qobuz as more consistent sq although tidal at its best can equal it. There are many 24/192 tracks on my playlists plus several regular cd ones that are better mastered than the hi res version to my ears. One of my Tidal 24/352.8 unfold favourites was an audiophile album by Norwegian label 2L. Mozart violin concerto first track - superb. Play the same on Qobuz and the MQA studio led lights up and the res led says 24/352.8. MQA on Qobuz? Snuck that one in.

nb. Even the better BluetoothLDAC compressed the bit rate to @ 990, so about 10% of full 24/192's 9126. You pays your money....Bluetooth does a job but not as well as the real thing. 

Should anyone wish to check out MQA on Qobuz, search for 2L Audiophile reference recordings. On playing, it says Hires/44.1, but if played through a fully MQA capable DAC, will unfold to 352.8. Worth a listen

@dlcockrum most Japanese city Funk albums had been released with great quality Japanese pressing and recording. The material on Quobuz as if they weren't. Takanaka is just one of the examples, but the line-up of such artists can overwhelm R/R hall of fame.

I A/B Tidal and Qobuz years ago. I could not discern SQ difference. Chose Qobuz basically due to Jay-Z and Kanye West involvement with Tidal. 🤮


Qobuz been rock solid for me. Although I wish Deezer was supported on ROON I might go back to that. Mis that platform and although only Redbook quality it was good enough.

Interesting thread.... I am a Qobuz subscriber, enjoy it immensely, find the service stability, volume of choice and the quality very good....

The one thing I never thought about was a John Darko comment on physical media and inability of a service to build a profile on you when using records or CD's...and then sell it or "offer" artists an AI program thinks I would like...I still enjoy the physical media, Qobuz for me is an excellent extension of lunacy

I’ve been using Amazon HD and Qobuz and I’m going get rid of Amazon. Qobuz has a better selection and it interfaces better with the Bluesound app.

Having said that, not every tune/album is recorded/produced/manufactured the same. I just listened to Seychelles by MT and it sounded good. I switched to Eloy, Floating (remastered) and it sounded a bit dull on both Amazon and Qobuz.

BTW, I’ve been a Eloy fan since the seventies.


@nomorelandings - thanks for that suggestion. You can also search for "2L — The MQA Experience (Compilation)" --- another nice recording.

I am a Roon member and among all of us who subscribe to both Tidal and Qobuz favor Qobuz as the streaming service with the absolute highest level of SQ. So as others have said, would be helpful for you to provide an example. 

I am a Roon member and among all of us who subscribe to both Tidal and Qobuz favor Qobuz as the streaming service with the absolute highest level of SQ. So as others have said, would be helpful for you to provide an example. 

I had both Amazon HD and Qobuz, and have canceled Amazon.  Amazon was sometimes misleading (Ultra HD/24bit >48hkz) with an album labeled as high res/Ultra HD, but really only 1-2 tracks per album were 24bit, the rest being redbook.  While the overall catalog is larger on Amazon, proper high res is more plentiful on Qobuz.  Also, I could never get Amazon to be bit perfect on Windows even on exclusive mode, since my DAC would display what I have set Windows or my driver to, not the bit rate of the track that is playing.  With Qobuz, using my RME ASIO driver or WASAPI the proper bit rate is displayed on my DAC.  (It's moot now, since I don't use my computer for most streaming anymore).

i too recently had tracks stop mid song using Tidal, however it turns out that Comcast recently upgraded their system and a lot of old modems are now unsupported.  As soon as I upgraded my modem Tidal worked perfectly. It only seemed to manifest in the Tidal app. All other streaming services (Netflix HBOmax) worked fine.

Regards, call up your provider. It’s likely a simular network issue and not Tidal.

I demoed both services and went with Tidal due to superior song selection and discovery based on my library.  To me finding new music is more important than a Slight edge in SQ.  I couldn’t tell a difference anyway in the Hi Res recordings between the two services. 

I’d say Qobuz is oriented towards classical music which sounds as good as any original copy of cd or high-Rez download. The catalogue is really extensive, practically missing only Hyperion. 

Absolutely agree with nice write up dlcockrum.  Subscribe to Qobuz (NO U) and Tidal through Roon and directly to my dCS Bartok.  Much prefer the Qobuz catalog.

Check your ethernet connection if there's a quality issue.

Enjoy the music.

I wish I could help you with your problem but I just subscribed to Quobuz thru my Esoteric network player and it performs flawlessly and sounds fantastic. Im really impressed with the quality of Quobuz. Im sure Tidal is good too but Quobuz seems to be the preferred choice in this forum. Im just impressed with this level of streaming in general and hope you can solve you issue because your definitely missing out. I thought Radio Paradise was good…Good luck. 

Qobuz is hands down better than Tidal.  There may be something off with your playback.  Maybe try deleting and reinstalling Qobuz.  You are using the Hi-Rez streaming?  Doesn't make sense.

@anzaanimalclinic -- just a reminder that the OP was complaining about the mediocre sound quality of a few specific albums.  Understand that neither Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify or any of the other streaming actually record or produce music themselves. Nor do they "fix" mediocre or poor quality recordings -- they simply give a high quality stream of what's stored on their hard drives.

And, as most of us know from having bought LPs and CDs for decades, recording quality varies from poor to superb. It can be very frustrating to find a piece of music one loves that has been poorly recorded. Sometimes EQing can help a bit, but beyond that there is nothing we can do to fix it.


Seems to me he is bagging on Qobuz and promoting Tidal.

I’m just saying -and I think most of the world agrees- Qobuz is superior to Tidal with few exceptions.

I’m just saying -and I think most of the world agrees- Qobuz is superior to Tidal with few exceptions.

I for one disagree. Both are good. Sometimes (some albums) Qobuz sounds better, sometimes Tidal sounds better. I have not counted. But they are very close, most of time. Full disclosure: I put the Qobuz as “primary version” in Roon when an album is available in both. So here is that 🤷‍♂️. And some artist’s / albums are available in only one of them. For the stuff I like, Tidal has the most.


By the way, no horse in this race. I subscribe to both. And will continue to do so until the foreseeable future. I am grateful they both exist.




@thyname Agree they are both very good (I slightly prefer Tidal) and grateful as well that  we have both offered to us!

I have Amazon HD and Spotify. Was listening in my car on my Focal Utopia system yesterday. It sounded awful on Amazon! I then played the same track on Spotify and it was literally night and day better! Strange. I tried Quobuz a few years ago but found the selection kind of limited. May have to give it another go. 

I have Qobuz.  I like the sound quality on my reference system.  I suspect the artists make good money off streaming as there is a lot more streaming volume per artist than sales of the same physical media.

Did another try today Amazon HD vs Spotify. No contest Spotify was louder by far (maybe not good thing?) but mid bass was so much better and sounded so much more correct.