Qobuz VS Tidal: Who Wins The Battle Of High-Res Audio?

In the world of music streaming, there has been an ongoing battle between two companies offering high-resolution audio: Qobuz and Tidal. Both services offer music lovers the ability to stream their favorite songs in high-quality formats, but which one is better?

Excursion into history

Qobuz, a French-based company, was founded in 2007 and offers high-resolution streaming and downloads for music lovers. The company claims to have the largest collection of high-resolution music in the world, with over 80 million tracks available for streaming or download. Qobuz is also known for its editorial content, with expert music journalists providing reviews and recommendations to subscribers.

On the other hand, Tidal, which was founded in 2014, offers both standard and high-resolution streaming options. The company has a focus on exclusives, with many high-profile artists releasing their music exclusively on the platform. Tidal also offers a range of podcasts and other content for subscribers.

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So, which one is better?

Let’s take a closer look at the features and offerings of both Qobuz and Tidal:

  1. Audio Quality. When it comes to high-resolution audio, both Qobuz and Tidal offer excellent options. Qobuz offers lossless FLAC streaming up to 24-bit/192kHz, while Tidal offers a similar FLAC streaming quality with a maximum of 24-bit/96kHz. However, it’s worth noting that not all tracks on either service are available in high-resolution, so it’s important to check the quality of individual tracks before streaming.
  2. Exclusive Content. Tidal has become known for its exclusive content, with many high-profile artists releasing their music exclusively on the platform. For example, Beyonce’s album “Lemonade” was initially released exclusively on Tidal before being made available on other streaming services. However, Qobuz also offers exclusive content in the form of editorial content and curated playlists.
  3. User Interface. Both Qobuz and Tidal offer sleek and intuitive user interfaces, with easy navigation and search options. However, some users may prefer the layout and design of one service over the other, so it’s worth trying out both before making a decision.
  4. Pricing. When it comes to pricing, Qobuz and Tidal offer similar options. Qobuz offers three tiers: Studio Premier for $14.99/month, Sublime+ for $249.99/year, and Family for $24.99/month. Tidal offers Tidal Premium for $10.99/month, Tidal HiFi for $19.99/month, and Tidal Family for $29.99/month. It’s worth noting that Tidal’s HiFi option offers high-resolution audio, while Qobuz’s Studio Premier is their high-resolution option.

Ultimately, the choice between Qobuz and Tidal comes down to personal preference. Both services offer excellent high-resolution audio quality, exclusive content, and sleek user interfaces. However, Tidal’s focus on exclusive content may be a draw for some music lovers, while Qobuz’s expert editorial content and larger high-resolution music collection may be a draw for others.

Social features

In today’s society, we love social networks and can interact with others through all our applications, including music streaming services. So, let’s talk a little about the social aspects of Qobuz and Tidal.

Qobuz fans previously complained about the lack of available social interaction. For this reason, in 2023, Qobuz launched the “Qobuz Club” feature. This allows Qobuz subscribers to interact, bringing together music lovers and audiophiles. With this social feature, you can share your musical preferences with others, discover new music and recommendations, and also receive advice on Hi-Fi and hardware.

In 2023, Tidal also launched a new social feature called Tidal Live. With this social feature, you can act as a DJ and create your own musical content to share with others. When you listen to a favorite song, you can press the “Live” button in the top right corner and create your own music session. From there, you can give your session a name and share a link with friends. Whatever songs you queue up as “Now Playing” become part of your session. As the initiator of the DJ session, you are the only one allowed to make changes to the song lineup. An additional feature of Tidal is that you can also share the songs you listen to on social networks, making musical expression interesting for Tidal users.

WINNER: The winner of this round is… both! We can handle this, considering that Qobuz has an internal feature similar to social networks, covering a wide range of different topics, and Tidal can share songs you listen to on multiple social networks.

Unique Features

While these two music platforms have a lot in common, let’s talk a little about what makes each of them unique.

Qobuz is unique in that it gives you precise quality characteristics for each song during playback. They were also the first music streaming service to offer users the ability to both download and stream music.

Tidal is unique in that it enhances the overall sound quality of music during playback. For example, Tidal is optimized for the Sony 360 Reality Audio platform. What does that mean exactly? It means that it highlights every single sound you hear in a song, not just the sung words. You’ll hear the sounds of every instrument elevated, as if in a 360-degree spherical atmosphere.

WINNER: We have to give the victory in this category to Tidal, as it seems to be more suited for a comprehensive audiophile experience, focusing on each individual sound rather than just lyrics.

In conclusion, both Qobuz and Tidal offer excellent options for music lovers looking for high-resolution audio streaming. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference, with both services offering unique features and offerings.

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Read also: Migrating Roon Playlists From Tidal To Qobuz.

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