[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 2017-10-27

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80% of the sound apreciation is subjective: it's not surprising that the placebo effect is the most influencing parameter.


I have myself, many times, found quality differences between OGG and FLAC in comparative listening benchmark.... but when reproduced in blind test : no way, OGG was even identified more detailed half of the time. Of course it's not. It's just perfectly identical.


Speakers introduce equivalent of 10% harmonic distortion. Encoding in OGG introduces less than 0.001% .. forget it


These posts are adding ZERO value to all concerned.

Too much trolling...!

I'm off to Tidal for quality audio...



These posts are adding GREAT value to all concerned (Except trolling from people that can't stand contradiction).

I'm not going to use Tidal for quality audio, cause it doesn't add any quality at whatever level of subscription, and I encourage everybody to perform real blind test to discover that you can't distinguish OGG320 from FLAC and that your ear doesn't perceive noises above 16KHz.



What we "can't stand" is when people create a post with an opinion/theory, and then are presented factual information clearly refuting the post, but the person ignores those facts, and continues to repeat their baseless and inaccurate thoughts ad nauseam.  At some point, in this case many comments ago, it becomes pointless.  

For the last time, moving on, and I hope you do the same.  


H7p3ri0n made some very valid points on the very small, if any, perceivable sound quality on lossless vs ogg/aac streaming (where you can't use the streaming music for mixing or processing, whatsoever).  


Notwithstanding that, consumers usually not only looking for actual higher utility.  many are looking for enjoyment of experience.  I can think of examples such as sport cars having acceleration or top speed far beyond the legal limits in most countries, expensive wines which quite often like audio gears cant demonstrate clear preference by most in double blind tests, antiques, high end mech watches with far less accuracy or functions comparing to quartz/smart watches, etc.  in fact, appreciation of arts or performance are also, to certain degree, not activities that could easily gauge by objective parameters (e.g. try search for "The time when Joshua Bell went busking in the subway, but no-one cared" or alike).  maybe it's quite silly, but enjoyment are often about "feeling".  If i remember correctly, one of the columnists of stereophile has remarked a few years ago that, after failed badly in a series of abx tests aiming to find out any audible difference exists in using expensive interconnecting cables, there was no difference because he could not see the equipment which was part of the enjoyment of listening to the expensive audio setup!


And it's clear that most competitors willing to meet this demand to provide lossless streaming music services.  it is really difficult to understand why spotify rejects this clear trend.  bandwidth obviously is not a problem in most developed areas as many pointed out - netflix recommends 5mbps and tidal only asking for 1.5mbps-2mbps for the best streaming experience on HiFi and MQA!  and download/offline mode is always an option for those really having bandwidth problem (or for those using DAPs like me which have to rely on download libraries anyway).


Come on, spotify.  wake up and response to your customers.  it's really defying business sense for subscription services providers not to offer a service that can charge significantly more when there seems no strong impediment to provide such services.




@rlowe as I have always stated : what I posted is not an opinion : it's indéniable technical facts for anyone with basic digital sound reproduction background. I'm perfectly aware of the lack of information on this subject and sometimes marketing disinformation, which causes many audio enthusiasts to buy useless gear, and in the present case : useless audio formats. 

And it's precisely why I posted.


Anyway I would be fine with a flac Spotify subscription, but it shouldn't be called "Hifi" cause it wouldn't be more high fidelity than "Premium". Maybe it could be called "Infinitium" or "BatMium" 😉

Casual Listener

What is being stated here is not "fact." The only thing that may be "fact" is that different people's ears hear different things.


I can hear the difference between Spotify and Tidal, and I can also hear the difference between Tidal and Amazon Music HD.

You will forever say I can't. I can only tell you that I can, on my equipment. I have done the tests. I switched from Spotify to Tidal because of it and from Tidal to Amazon Music HD because of it. And I didn't pay the premium to Qobuz because I did not hear a difference to Amazon to justify the cost.


I also own several pairs of headphones that all sound distinct based on source.


So, I, along with others here, do not accept that OGG320 sounds the same as 16/44.1 or above.


@NoNoise : no doubt that you hear differences between different music services, providing the same songs possibly coming from different masters.


Anyway, as I already wrote above : the difference that you perceive has nothing to do with the codec used : all music services use modern codecs with high bitrates for their premium subscriptions. 


Placebo effect plays a major role in music perception, and I can testify to have been trapped several times this way.


There is no shame in being influenced by the placebo effect, and if you still notice differences in real blind test : it's not likely caused by the codec being used : search elsewhere.

Casual Listener

Then I would have to say that Spotify processing of the OGG 320kbps files are subpar to the likes of Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz and the lot....  Glad we spent all that time to be technical just to circle back to the point that this group of us do not believe that Spotify’s files sound as good as the same files on other services and one possible way to resolve that would be to apply the same processing that services touting higher bitrate files use to provide that more crystalline sound that High Fidelity enthusiasts or audiophiles enjoy.

Well done! You summed it up nicely.

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