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Qobuz vs Tidal review: Who’s better in 2022

Qobuz vs tidal

For a long time, Spotify dominated the music streaming world. It’s quickly losing market share to a number of competitors. Many are leaving for different reasons (other than just Joe Rogan). One of the main reasons is the music streaming quality. Right now, Tidal and Qobuz are leading the race on music streaming quality. We compare Tidal to Spotify here if you want to see our breakdown.

In order to find out who the king of Hi-Res streaming is, we tested both Tidal and Qobuz. You can find out which service won and sounded the best below.

It’s not easy for people to choose the best music streaming service. Qobuz and Tidal are two well-known services that provide the best audio quality to their customers in the world. In this article, we compare Qobuz and Tidal, and we also tell you why you should choose one of them over the other

Qobuz vs Tidal: Top Audiophile Streaming Service 2022

Tidal is an American-based audio subscription owned by Jay Z and was launched in 2014. 

Qobuz has been quite popular as a French-based music streaming service in European countries since 2013.

Qobuz vs Tidal: Getting Started

With Qobuz, it’s very straightforward to get started. As part of the registration process, you’ll be asked to pick your preferred genres of music so that the service can better match your preferences.

Quboz makes the process of signing up for a free trial quite simple. Also, all of the streaming plans have the same streaming quality, you don’t need to pay extra for more.

In addition, registering with TIDAL couldn’t be much simpler. TIDAL’s signup procedure was a little more user-friendly. Instead of choosing specific genres during the signup process, users are presented with famous musicians from various genres. You may choose singers such as Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus from the Pop category. Under R&B, Usher, Chris Brown, Beyonce, and R.Kelly are top choices to pick.

Furthermore, users will find themselves greeted with a list of similar artists on the app’s homepage upon opening the app. In addition, users will be presented with top TIDAL mixes unrelated to their selected artists.

Between Qobuz and Tidal, Tidal’s signup process is a bit better as a whole. If you are interested in a free trial, things become more confusing since there are two primary options, each with a slightly different level of quality.

Qobuz vs Tidal: Finding Music 

Qobuz has an extensive catalog of high-resolution music available for streaming and purchasing, as well as compiled playlists, a well-designed interface, and album liner notes that subscribers will definitely enjoy.

On the homepage, there’s a “Discover” section that displays staff-curated playlists for new releases and a variety of genres, as well as similar albums depending on the category you choose when signing up. Musicians post playlists of their favorite songs to further engage their audience, accompanied by lengthy narrative descriptions.

Moreover, using the search function, you may find specific tracks and songs from your favorite artists which you have never heard before. 

Below the album playlist section, you can discover Panorama, exclusive editorial content on notable songwriters and artists, and Gramophone, the most eminent classical music magazine, which reviews and playlists from the editor’s pick that can only do so be listened to or downloaded via Qobuz.

There is also a “News” section that talks about the most recent gossip and other things that are going on in the music industry.

However, instead of suggesting algorithmically personalized songs, Qobuz recommended playlists based on Hi-Res tracks from various genres and new music releases. This could be an issue for some subscribers who want to have a customized playlist with their favorite artists, bands, genres, and more. 

Therefore, rather than automatically saving the subscribers’ style in music, they would sort out the genres through the discover tab and inform Qobuz of their music preferences. 

On the other hand, tidal features in the “My Discover” tab display personalized playlists based on what the subscribers actually enjoy listening to. 

When subscribers begin listening to their favorite artists’ songs, Tidal creates album playlists based on their selections. Additional features include the ability for subscribers to save and download all of their favorite music playlists, album covers, and tracks.

Consequently, Tidal has the most algorithmically personalized tracks, with subscribers getting good suggestions as they listen to more music.

Tidal has a variety of pre-made playlists in addition to its personalized recommendation algorithm. These categories may help subscribers discover new music based on their preferences.

Here are the sections where users may find good music: 

  • Recently played
  • Mixes for you
  • Radio stations for you
  • Because you added
  • Suggested new albums
  • Suggested new tracks
  • Popular playlists
  • Trending playlists
  • Popular albums
  • The charts
  • Party
  • TIDAL Rising

The “Explore” tab is another way to find good music; clicking on the tab will take you to a page where you can see genres, tracks, bands, and other things you have never heard before.

You can also see a long list of genres, as well as a mood, activities, and event section, which will help you find better music to match your mood and activities.

Qobuz vs Tidal: Best Library 

Music videos, audio tracks, podcasts, and others can now be accessed by scrolling and searching through streaming services. Now, let’s compare the music libraries of Qobuz and Tidal in this part.

Tidal has a massive catalog of music, with 70 million tracks, 250,000 videos, and 25,000 songs available in high resolution for streaming, as of January 2022. Users can now access the most recent and oldest exclusive interviews from their favorite artists, as well podcasts, music from the 70s, and more.

Qobuz’s music library, on the other hand, contains 70 million high-quality audio tracks and 60 million CD-resolution tracks. It is entirely a music streaming service, unlike Tidal’s music library, and does not offer podcasts or audiobooks.

Remarkably, the one area in which Qobuz really excels is its Hi-Res library, which contains 424,000 Hi-Res audio songs, and is on a level with any other Hi-Res music streaming service available on the internet.

Qobuz vs Tidal: Audio Quality

Both streaming apps have 3 audio quality options that users can use.

For Qobuz, they have MP3 at 320 kbps, CD Quality (16-bit/44,1kHz), and Hi-Res Audio (24-Bit/ up to 192kHz). Tidal also offers AAC Quality at 160 kbps, Lossless Quality at 1411 kbps, and High-Res Quality at 2304-9216 kbps.  

However, there is a difference between the two streaming services:

Qobuz allows its users to directly stream hi-res music without using MQA, while Tidal supports MQA in their High-Res audio quality option. 

This MQA feature has garnered many positive and negative reviews on the audio quality. Some say that Qobuz sounds more natural while Tidal sounds a bit off. But some users say that Qobuz and Tidal are of equal audio quality. It just depends on the song entirely.

Qobuz vs Tidal: Pricing

Qobuz and Tidal both have a variety of music streaming plans, but which one is better for you? 

Qobuz features two streaming plans – Studio Premier and Studio Sublime 

As of 2022, the Qobuz premium pricing plans have been decreased to allow subscribers, particularly the new ones, to save money while still receiving high-quality music and audio content.

The subscription price for the family plan is $17.99 per month, with up to six family members sharing a single subscription. Besides that, they will have a free 30-day trial before purchasing the subscription plan.

The family plan includes unlimited access to the largest catalog of CD lossless and Hi-Res music and saves subscribers the cost of two subscription plans (studio premier and sublime).

Individual studio premier subscription plans cost $10.83 per month with unlimited streaming and discovery. It also includes studio-quality streaming (FLAC 24-Bit up to 192 kHz), exclusive original editorial content, and subscribers can listen online. 

For studio sublime, an individual plan costs $15.00 per month with streaming and collecting favorite albums. Its features offer the same sound quality streaming (FLAC 24-Bit up to 192 kHz) and a discount on Hi-Res purchases of up to 60%. 

Similar to Qobuz, Tidal has two subscription plans – HiFi and HiFi Plus

Individual premium HiFi subscription plans start at $9.99 per month, and HiFi plus plans start at $19.99 per month. On the other hand, the Family HiFi plan costs $14.99 per month and allows up to six members of the family to share a single subscription, while Family HiFi Plus costs $29.99.

Below are the several features of Tidal’s two subscription plans: 

HiFi 

  • HiFi Sound Quality
  • Up to 1411 kbps
  • 80M+ songs and 350K+ videos
  • Ad-free
  • Listen offline with unlimited skips
  • TIDAL Connect
  • Listen in HiFi on your supported devices.
  • Track and share your listening habits
  • Expertly curated playlists

HiFi Plus

  • Innovative Audio Formats
  • Up to 9216 kbps
  • Master Quality audio, Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and HiFi
  • 80M+ songs and 350K+ videos
  • Ad-free
  • Listen offline with unlimited skips
  • TIDAL Connect
  • Listen in all innovative and immersive audio formats on your supported devices
  • Direct Artist Payouts
  • Up to 10% of your subscription is directed to the artists you listen to the most
  • Fan-Centered Royalties
  • The artists you stream get paid based on your streaming habits
  • Track and share how your listening habits impact your favorite artists
  • Expertly curated playlists

Qobuz vs Tidal: How The Artists Are Treated.

Tidal leads the industry in our opinion. They make extra efforts to improve artist payouts by releasing features like the the Direct-To-Artist Payout Program. This provides artists with more income the more thier fans stream them.

Qobuz, as of right now, has not released any sort of special terms for artist royalties; however, they recenly released access to an affiliate program which only artists can access. “Whenever a fan clicks through to Qobuz and signs up for a Qobuz streaming plan, the referring artist or label will earn money as an affiliate partner” – Source

Qobuz vs Tidal: Complaints?

Several complaints have been gathered about these two streaming services, Qobuz and Tidal.

According to an article, Qobuz’s Studio Premier package costs more than Spotify ($9.99 per month or $99 per year) but less than Tidal HiFi ($19.99 per month). Given that Tidal’s HiFi membership is the true competition in terms of sound quality, Qobuz wins out on affordability.

On Reddit, some people preferred Qobuz over Tidal. Although the subscription plan of Qobuz is quite expensive, it is worth it for them, especially since it has a better audio quality. Here are some comments or opinions of Qobuz users:

“I used to have TIDAL HiFi (19.99€/m) just to find out that MQA is just a gimmick….the only way to get MQA tracks was to use the Android TV all (I have an Nvidia Shield TV 2019). Besides, unless your amplifier provides the info, you cannot tell in any way bit/KHz of the song being played….Qobuz is expensive (25€/m) but works! And the quality is great! It is not supported by HEOS but I can use either Bubble uPnP or Android app thru Chromecast and tracks are played at their max available quality.”

“…. I’m a new user to tidal and I’ve used qobuz everyday for about 6 months. I was really upset when I found out a month ago that I was being charged $24 per month from Apple the entire time I had it and on qobuz’s website that same service was $15. This week qobuz lowered their price to $12.99 which I’m stoked about. I signed up for tidal recently when I found a 3 month free trial. When that ends it will cost me $19.99 – so far that is just not worth it….Qobuz is just such a better platform from my experience so far. I highly recommend trying qobuz..”

Moreover, based on rigorous themes review, they prefer to stream via Qobuz because it has the best sound quality, especially if you’re an audiophile. They believe there is no reason to pay $9.99 per month for something that isn’t significantly better than Spotify. 

Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

And The Winner Is: Qobuz vs TIDAL?

If you prefer streaming music in a direct FLAC file, buy hi-res tracks at a discounted price, Qobuz would be suitable for you. 

Tidal will be a great choice if you want to try out streaming music in MQA format and discover new hip-hop songs daily. 

Both have their strengths and weak points, but the winner really goes down to the user’s preference and what songs they play.

Here’s a quick video for additional insights

What do you think?

Written by Stephanne Alfaro

Stephanne Alfaro is a writer with a heart for R&B and Soul music. She appreciates underrated yet beautiful songs from independent artists and supports local artists through writing.

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