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[All Platforms][Music] HiFi Quality - Lossless Streaming 16bit 44.1khz

I've just started a trial of Qobuz - they offer the standard 320kbps as well as lossless FLAC streaming (and high res downloads if you purchase them) the sound quality is noticeably better and on classical it's just wonderful to get all that resolution through your hi-fi or headphones! The catalogue has a way to go to get to Spotify's level, but they are getting there. The iPad app isn't' too bad (the desktop app is in need of an upgrade but I hear they are putting all their efforts into mobile apps right now).
So - lossless streaming - if Qobuz can do it then so can Spotify, they must have the same source - and obviously if you are asking £20 a month then those record labels and distributors take enough notice to make the high res tracks available for streaming. What this all means is soon, very soon, we will get lossless streaming and closely followed by high res downloads - but if Spotify aren't careful it will be Apple who get there first with an audiophile premium offering, and when they do it will be a much harder market place to make money in!

Updated on 2022-01-07

Hey folks,


We know that HiFi quality audio is important to you. We feel the same, and we’re excited to deliver a Spotify HiFi experience to Premium users in the future. But we don’t have timing details to share yet.


We will of course update you here when we can.


Take care.


I've been a happy Qobuz user for several years.


When TIDAL announced price decrease, I signed up for a TIDAL trial.


One of the first tracks I chose to play on TIDAL is the "MAX" resolution version of track 1 ("Introduction / Diaphanous") from Nels Cline's 2016 album Lovers.  I used the "TIDAL Connect" feature on the Mac desktop app of TIDAL, to feed the stream through my WiiM Pro Plus out via analog RCA cables (thus using the internal DAC of the WiiM) to my stereo system.


I was shocked and dismayed that that first track I sampled sounded much worse (thinner, more "digitized") than I remembered it sounding.


So I switched over to Qobuz and listened to the same track there.  Sounds as great as ever in 24-bit/88.2kHz on Qobuz.


So I investigated why that might be, and after a lot confusing and difficult pathways to figure it out, as best I can tell it seems that the Nels Cline Lovers album might actually be available on TIDAL as MQA-only, despite the "MAX" tag on the track and album.


It seems that in TIDAL, "MQA" is supposed to indicate MQA, and "MAX" is supposed to indicate high-resolution FLAC.  While, completely counter-intuitively, "HIGH" tag means non-high-resolution: CD-quality 16-bit-/44.1kHz.


While TIDAL's app doesn't show - that I could find - the actual resolution of the track you're playing, I was able to see on the WiiM Android app that this Nels Cline track was playing on TIDAL as 24-bit/44.1kHz (rather than the 24-bit/88.2kHz on Qobuz for this track).


So I have more confusion: Did TIDAL receive a 24-bit/44.1kHz track from the record label?  Is 24-bit/44.1kHz what happens when MQA is transcoded to FLAC?


Anyway, the bottom line for me is that TIDAL injects too much confusion and uncertainty into the experience for someone like me who really cares about the best possible sound quality and the highest-quality resolution.  And fatally, one of the first tracks I randomly chose to sample on TIDAL had immediately-noticeable and substantially-worse sound quality compared to the same track on Qobuz.


The only thing I appreciate about TIDAL is that they have the catalogs of some record labels I like (IIRC, Thrill Jockey was one?) that are not on Qobuz.  As of now, though $10/mo to have access to those few additional labels isn't worth all the other headaches I experienced with TIDAL.


Still, I am going to continue monitoring TIDAL's eventual improvements to entirely extricate themselves from MQA, and hopefully also make the resolution (bit-depth and sample rates) of all tracks and albums more prominent and easier to find in all their apps.  Bonus if they can clean up those counter-intuitive tags of "MAX" and "HIGH" - where high actually means "low."


Maybe at some point, TIDAL make more sense for me to spend $10/mo on, in addition to my beloved Qobuz, which is basically the same cost ($10.83/mo?) with my annual renewal rate.



Like you I'm avoiding MQA like the plague. Are you subscribed to Qobuz Club?

The bottom line is unless you can do fast A/B switching your mind can play tricks on you.

AES E-LIBRARY: Ten years of A/B/X Testing

"Experience from many years of double-blind listening tests of audio equipment is summarized. The results are generally consistent with threshold estimates from psychoacoustic literature, that is, listeners often fail to prove they can hear a difference after non-controlled listening suggested that there was one. However, the fantasy of audible differences continues despite the fact of audibility thresholds."

All in all, the position of audio science on this matter is clear: fast AB switching is far more revealing than any long term tests. No evidence has ever been presented to show otherwise or to demonstrate anything based on psychoacoustics why that would be so"
I trialed them as above with identical streamers doing fast switching. But I was streaming at 44.1kHz to stay under the MQA radar.

Hasn't Tidal been getting rid of the most MQA? and now they have real FLAC-files..

With my previous tests in my system, I felt that Qobuz did indeed sound the they might be my best bet now.



I'd think Qobuz does sound very slightly better. However for the last few weeks I've been on a free trial with Tidal and to be honest it's great. Very little difference in terms of sound quality compared to Qobuz - both platforms are a huge step-up from Spotify. 


Tidal also already has Connect, Qobuz have been saying its just around the corner for ages but it still hasn't arrived.


The biggest bonus of all for me is the rest of the family really like Tidal so at long last I can finally stop subscribing to both Spotify and Qobuz. Meaning Daniel Ek will never again see another penny from us. Now isn't that a happy thought😄


Qobuz has far less content. And the GUI is not beautiful either. The search is even worse than on Tidal.

In fact qobuz is missing so much that its definitely out of question for me.

But quality is indeed amazing.

Interestingly Qobuz has the album Cecile Monique - Genesis in 24bit 48khz, but Tidal only as a regular 16bit 44.1khz.

This album sounds absolutely fantastic in that 24bit 48khz quality.


And none of them have infinite likes or the possibility to also use local files on the computer together like Spotify has. These 2 things are huge by spotify, but I cant justify 11 € for spotify when others give me for same price studio masters ..


@mctesterson : MQA Quality is not listed, but if its in hi-res flac then you see its actual quality on the quality selector menu.

While Spotify doesnt list the current quality at all ☹️


So maybe Supremium will be split up into separate add-ons that people can pick and pay for individually?
New information about Supremium, Lossless and more : r/truespotify (




You may be interested in this: Read it before Spotify deletes it...

Today I read that someone dove into the developer code of Spotify and wrote the following about it:


"Hello again 🙂

After my last post here about Supremium, Spotify was quick to remove all the strings about it from their apps. Since then, the only thing that happened regarding the new plan, was the Supremium logo being found in the iOS app code a couple weeks after my post.


Spotify has now finally added new strings on their recent app versions, and it seems like there is a big change since last time:

Supremium is dead. Unless Spotify is playing with us, there is not going to be a Supremium plan anymore.

So in its place, welcome Music Pro.


The difference: instead of it being branded as a different plan, Spotify is calling it an add-onNot sure if it being called an add-on is something beyond than just marketingNo info about its priceThere is going to be a button on the sidebar called "Your Music Pro", just like the "Your Plan" button


These are the features that I can confirm are going to be included in Music Pro:


Advanced Mixing toolsThere are a lot of new strings but the idea is the same as I detailed in my previous postFilter library by mood, activity, genreLosslessUp to 24-bit/44.1 kHz FLACJudging from the strings, the playback quality might be displayed while listening, like Apple Music doesHeadphones Enhancement / OptimizationYou will be able to select your headphones model and "lift your headphones’ performance using patented technology"Also works with AirPods


I can't confirm if AI Playlists are going to be part of it, but they are coming too.


If you want to confirm by yourself, the strings can be found on Spotify (I personally got them from the alpha version


Hopefully, we will be able to enjoy lossless on Spotify some time this century."


Hmm, a glimmer of hope!  I like the name - better than supremium. Have a feeling they will market the add on price is justified due to inclusion of mixer - which many subscribers don’t really need/use.  I bet the monthly add on price will be around $7 - which results a total monthly $7 more than competitors.  That’s how Spotify will solve their revenue issue - thru this illusion. We shall see!


We have been waiting for YEARS for this and literally every other music streaming service offers HiFi or lossless music quality. Every few months there's an update that it might be coming soon. We do not care about AI playlist makers or any of the other gimmick updates in the last few years. Just please for the love of god, make it happen.


still no HD... and i've just had a preview on how it could sound on my system, since at home we've got a deezer fan that got it setup on Sonos.

it's a woa seriously.. it's sound so much better, that impressing!