Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by audiorocks, Mar 11, 2018.
Any recommendations for an audiophile-grade streaming service? Either on-demand or radio style.
In the US Tidal gets a lot of love
I have Tidal and love it. It's CD quality so it all depends on what your definition of audiophile is. For what i use it for it's great and it sounds much better than Spotify.
Actually both Spotify and Apple sound pretty great, just don't mention the word "lossy" or say "256 kbps" or the magical audiophile spell will be broken.
If it's peak limited it doesn't matter if it's high bitrate or not, it's already ruined.
Qobuz. Depending on the subscription it can stream up to 24/192. The basic package is 16/44.1 lossless.
No kidding, if all their streaming consists of terrible run of the mill remasters he's doomed from the start
Quboz isn't available in the US yet, supposedly sometime this year.
I’ve decided to give Spotify a go - my wife and kids already had a family account. I’m surprised to find I’m getting 44.1MHz 16bit or at least that’s what my DSM tells me.
It sounds very good and I can believe it’s very close to CD quality. Perhaps some won’t consider that audiophile streaming but I can’t see me buying many CDs from now on!
How does Spotify compare to Tidal as far as selection of tunes?
I love the user interface of Spotify Premium, its algorithms and its selection. Tidal Hifi streaming sounds better for serious listening though.
I use Tidal. A great format IMHO
Plus one for Tidal.
Using a combination of Apple Music for my Peter Gabriel fix and Tidal HiFi for everything else. Both sound great.
I have tried them all and on my system and to my ears, Apple Music cannot be beat for sound quality. I use Amarra's sQ+ along with it. Tidal cannot come close and I am on a 3 month trial for Tidal. Cannot see paying twice the amount when there is no improvement in SQ.
Sadly, Amazon at 44.1 for free is more reliable than paid Tidal for me.
much better, but tidal sounds significantly better through more revealing sources
Unfortunately Amazon is 250 MP3
"Peak Limiting = Ruined" is a fallacy. It all depends on the extent to which something has had peak limiting applied. It's completely source dependent, but it's quite easy to get 1-2dB of completely transparent limiting (and/or clipping) going on with a lot of music. As in: perfectly subjectively volume matched blind A/B comparisons where you can't tell the difference. I do it every day, people even pay me to.
Formula is simple:
if you have $5k+ system or can hear a difference between FLAC and 320kbit mp3, or you want to see JAYZ commercials all over the place, go with TIDAL
everybody else, enjoy 10x more songs, 10x better UI and good AI (recommendations) on Spotify
or for Apple fans completely locked in into their ecosystem, I guess Apple Music is also the choice
I play Tidal through a $3k system (very inferior to many in this forum) and I can tell the difference. Even my girlfriend, who doesn't care at all about this, said the difference was obvious. And Tidal actually has more songs on their catalogue than Spotify.
As for UI, I find both pretty much identical. My guess is Tidal was designed to replicate most of the UX in Spotify.
I'm not saying this because I think Spotify isn't worth it. I used it for many years and I liked it, but after using Tidal, I'm not going back.
With the family plan, I pay $30 for 3 users. Of course, I'd pay half for Spotify, but I wouldn't get the same SQ.
As for the JAY Z commercials... The recommendations list in Spotify is full of commercials from plenty of record labels. You can't escape commercials, no matter what platform you choose.
I had both spotify and tidal side by side for a year, and with Roon, Tidal was real nice however the dual costs caused me to not renew my Roon subscription and Tidal along with it ( from an ease of use perspective)
The UI for Spotify is much nicer, without Roon. If you have Roon then Tidal ( drop outs aside) is a better solution. Tidal used to drop out a lot for me, which grated on my nerves as its not a cheap subscription. Its another reason I did not renew it.
Tidal did sound a little better but not so much so that I was able to live with the constant drop outs.
Both are great for back ground music. Tidal with Roon is much more expensive though. I much prefer ed Spotify play lists as well.
You have a great system then! Mine is just little bit more expensive and the difference is also obvious, thats why i unfortunately have to pay for Tidal (and Spotify).
But the fact is that Spotify has the most music, not my opinion but publicly available stats.
I often transfer Spotify playlists to Tidal, and Tidal usually is missing around 10-20% of songs. Never happened that some song is on tidal and not on spotify (at least for me...)
Spotify has great recommendations based on previous listenings which is great for discovering new music (Discover Weekly playlist)
Tidal doesn't have any recommendation system.
You click play on Spotify, music starts in like 0.1sec.
On Tidal, takes around 3-10sec, no matter on quality (high, hifi, master)
Tidal doesn't have public playlists (this is big for me!)
IMHO tidal is on life support, and searching for buyers.
I think the problem with playlist conversion has more to do with the software and the identification of albums than with the availability. When I first changed to Tidal I had the same problem, but the truth is most of the ones the converter didn't identify were indeed on Tidal.
They must have some problem with id'ing tracks. Even in some of their curated playlists, they include songs that are in their catalogue but, for some reason, appear as unavailable.
The info I've found in several articles online say that Tidal has many more tracks than Spotify. According to this Fortune article, 48 million tracks vs 30 million on Spotify.
A Quick Guide to Apple Music, Spotify, and More Top Music Streaming Services
I looked for more information, and I also found this:
About (Over 35 million songs according to Spotify)
About TIDAL (Over 50 million songs, according to Tidal)
Anyway, like I said, when I used Spotify I was very happy with it. I think it's a great streaming service and those 15 million tracks probably don't make any difference in most people's experience. Most labels that do streaming, they do it in both platforms.
I think I've had them all over the years, but have settled to Tidal for the excellent Roon integration, and Apple just for the ease with all my Apple devices. If any one of them went away Spotify would be fine I'm sure. They have all gotten much better over the years, especially Tidal. At the beginning it just wasn't very good.
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