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post #1 of 105 Old 11-05-2018, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Qobuz in US?

I've heard that the streaming service Qobuz is coming to the US, but has anybody heard when? I thought they originally said "fall 2018".
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post #2 of 105 Old 11-28-2018, 01:49 PM
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post #3 of 105 Old 11-28-2018, 01:52 PM
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Press Release received today:
November 28, 2018

Qobuz Prepares for US Launch, Announces Pricing Plan

Qobuz, the world’s first and only certified Hi-Res streaming and download service, has spent the fall laying the groundwork for its early 2019 US launch. Providing the first opportunity music fans in the United States will have to experience true Hi-Res audio streamed, Qobuz has already secured a multi-million track Hi-Res catalog ahead of launch, and today announces its US pricing plan.

A revolutionary development in accessibility of a high quality music library, Qobuz offers the most true Hi-Res music of any streaming service. The 24-bit streaming FLAC files can be played on any equipment and require no special processing. Qobuz allows unlimited importing of music in any quality on all the user’s devices, and, with its up to 24-bit/192k Hi-Res download store, will continue to offer consumers options that flow substantial revenues back to creators.

US audiophiles have been eagerly awaiting Qobuz’s arrival stateside since its 2007 founding in France. In eleven European countries, Qobuz is already the streaming and download service of choice for true music connoisseurs looking for the highest possible quality. This premium reputation is based on both the unparalleled audio quality Qobuz offers, as well as its focus on deep metadata, complete digital booklets, interactive articles and reviews, and exclusive playlists, all available conveniently in-app on every platform. John H Darko of audiophile site Darko Audio said “The big story this year is the arrival of Qobuz to American shores.” Herb Reichert of Stereophile said “When I compare Qobuz' 44.1 sound to [CD quality] … I feel certain I will carry weapons and fight on the front lines to make sure Hi-Res streaming is here to stay.” The LA Times’ classical music critic Mark Swed called it “the greatest record store that has ever existed.”

The beta version of Qobuz is currently being tested in the US preceding wide release, and the finalized pricing is below.
- Sublime+: $299.99/year for full Hi-Res streaming and substantial (40-60%) discounts on purchases from the Qobuz Hi-Res (up to 24-bit / 192 khz) download store.
- Studio: $24.99/month for unlimited Hi-Res (24-bit /up to 192 khz) streaming ($249.99 annually).
- Hi-Fi: $19.99/month for streaming including 16-bit CD quality streaming ($199.9 annually).
- Premium: $9.99/month for 320 kbps MP3 quality streaming ($99.99 annually).

A US launch date will be announced soon, and here are some of Qobuz’s other preparations:
- It opened its US headquarters in NYC.
- It publicly presented itself on the 2018 audio show circuit as Official Streaming Platform at most major shows, and sealed partnership with the most prestigious audio companies. In 2019, Qobuz heads to Audio Expo North America (Chicago, April 2019) and the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
- It has secured exclusive editorial content and prioritized hard-to-find jazz and classical cuts to round out the diverse catalog.
At launch, Qobuz will be available on all Mac/iOS/Android/Windows operating systems. To stay updated on the coming USA launch, please contact Mark Satlof and Hannah Schwartz.


About Qobuz
Founded in 2007, Qobuz is a Paris-based commercial online music streaming and downloading service that addresses the needs of curious and discerning music lovers across the globe. Live in eleven European markets and launching in the US in early 2019, Qobuz offers an exceptional range of music genres as well as exclusive editorial content independently curated by a team of experts. Qobuz offers subscription to streaming services with genuine CD quality audio of more than 40-million tracks and over 2 million hi-res tracks up to 24/192 resolution from all genres. For more information: www.qobuz.com.

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post #4 of 105 Old 11-29-2018, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Great info. Thanks! I also heard that Qobuz will partner with Roon for integration in their platform. I wonder if Roon will keep Tidal once this happens?
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post #5 of 105 Old 01-11-2019, 08:56 AM
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Are their any AVS'ers on here, either overseas or in the U.S. "closed beta" program, who want to share their thoughts/experiences so far? I'm *very* interested in this... Specifically, for me at least:

- How does scanning/incorporating your own titles work? Does it "live monitor" your files (adding new albums automatically when they appear in the monitored folders)? Any problems with metadata/matching? Does it end up having a seperate "Qobuz copy" of the album/track and your copy, the way Google Play Music does, or does it recognize your copy as *the* copy and replaces it?

- If you have files at 24/44.1 or 24/96 that you incorporate/upload, will it allow you to play them back at 24/44.1 or 24/96 if you "only" have the 16/44.1 "Hi-Fi" tiered subscription? Similarly, with the basic $9.99 package, can your 16/44.1 redbook rips still stream at full rate? If your library came through at whatever resolution you owned it at, regardless of streaming tier, that would be a GREAT feature...

- Any issues/performance with Google Cast?

- What kind of web browser support is there? Tidal doesn't support Hi-Fi over browsers other than Chrome, which was a dealbreaker for me (due to circumstances beyond my control regarding my employer)...

- Are album purchases backed-up/redownloadable, the way they are with 7digital (but not HDTracks)?

- Do the app(s) support software EQ?

Any input is appreciated.

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post #6 of 105 Old 01-12-2019, 12:51 AM
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I think a more important question is the provenance of the files - I've seen some evaluations of the files and they were just upscaled files from CD quality to 24/96, so you were paying a premium for a file that offers no more quality than the CD, but takes a heck of a lot more space.
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post #7 of 105 Old 02-11-2019, 09:48 PM
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USA Launch is this week (Feb 14th)
http://hifitrends.com/2019/02/11/qob...wzFOP8foCLIr9w
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post #8 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 06:23 AM
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I am a Qobuz Beta user (running on a Roon Core). So far, not blown away. While they said up front that the Beta version would not have the full library implemented, I had no issue with that. What I DID have issue with is the claim that a certain Album was in 24/96 but it clearly was NOT - but rather in 16/44 (as clearly indicated by Roon). That kind of thing creates huge trust issues for me. If I can get a reasonable explanation why that is occurring and assurance that I won't need to double check every Album they have, I will consider going past the 30 day trial. But at this moment, I see little reason to make the shift from Tidal to Qobuz, the Qobuz "claims" of more hi res content notwithstanding.
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post #9 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
I am a Qobuz Beta user (running on a Roon Core). So far, not blown away. While they said up front that the Beta version would not have the full library implemented, I had no issue with that. What I DID have issue with is the claim that a certain Album was in 24/96 but it clearly was NOT - but rather in 16/44 (as clearly indicated by Roon). That kind of thing creates huge trust issues for me. If I can get a reasonable explanation why that is occurring and assurance that I won't need to double check every Album they have, I will consider going past the 30 day trial. But at this moment, I see little reason to make the shift from Tidal to Qobuz, the Qobuz "claims" of more hi res content notwithstanding.
I have had the same observation and found that, in the cases I found, the album is listed at the highest resolution Qobuz has but it was available only for download at that resolution. Streaming was at a lower resolution. Qobuz has said they are aware of the issue and will have a fix.

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post #10 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I have had the same observation and found that, in the cases I found, the album is listed at the highest resolution Qobuz has but it was available only for download at that resolution. Streaming was at a lower resolution. Qobuz has said they are aware of the issue and will have a "fix".
Kal: Is the plan to just "fix" the label on the streamed version to 16/44 to match reality or actually provide a 24/96 streamed version? If the former, I may not continue to be a Qobuz user. While Tidal is not perfect, I am not at all unhappy with it (though I am most certainly not an MQA fan). The only reason I would switch was to gain access to a lot more non-MQA hi rez music.

We shall see.
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post #11 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
Kal: Is the plan to just "fix" the label on the streamed version to 16/44 to match reality or actually provide a 24/96 streamed version? If the former, I may not continue to be a Qobuz user. While Tidal is not perfect, I am not at all unhappy with it (though I am most certainly not an MQA fan). The only reason I would switch was to gain access to a lot more non-MQA hi rez music.

We shall see.
Keep in mind that it is a beta and that issues shouldn't be a surprise. Once they go live though, that's a different story
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post #12 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PlanetAVS View Post
Keep in mind that it is a beta and that issues shouldn't be a surprise. Once they go live though, that's a different story
This may be a beta in the US, but it is most certainly not the original rollout. I had decided to sign up for the full year to take advantage of the savings. I will change that to monthly until they prove themselves one way or the other. I will need to investigate further to learn how to locate JUST the high res stuff since that is my primary interest. As I said, we shall see.
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post #13 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 02:59 PM
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got my invite...think based on what a few here are saying i might sit on the fence and see what happens. very disappointing about the 24/96 issue. i'm using tidal as well, and yeah i don't have any beef with mqa per se , but i certainly cant here a difference. it doesn't sound bad in any way, it's just not wowing me over compared to 16/44.

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Qobuz in US?

If using Roon and you also have Tidle, check the Versions tab make sure it’s playing the Qobuz version


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post #15 of 105 Old 02-12-2019, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
Kal: Is the plan to just "fix" the label on the streamed version to 16/44 to match reality or actually provide a 24/96 streamed version? .....................We shall see.
I do not know but, indeed, we shall see........and soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
This may be a beta in the US, but it is most certainly not the original rollout.
Licensing rights are different here.

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post #16 of 105 Old 02-14-2019, 11:13 AM
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I'm about 3ish weeks into my 30-day-free-trial, and so far I *really* like it. I haven't decided yet which tier I'm going to choose once my trial ends, but I'm fairly certain I'm going to remain a subscriber.

Cons
1. The interface and playback has been a little glitchy/touchy compared to my other subscription (Google Play Music). I wasn't shocked to see that based on it being Beta. Some of that is because of the (inferior) equipment I have available to stream from at work... but some of the problems (like a song being skipped) still occur on my (better) equipment I use at home.

2. The library is certainly a little limited/nerfed, particularly for more popular/modern genres, than Google Play Music.

3. Playing/finding "top tracks"/hits isn't as easy/useful within Qobuz as it is within GPM. Qobuz is geared more towards listening to entire albums than it is spot-finding/playing individual tracks. It's definitely geared towards "audiophiles" in this way (and others) in a way that the other services certainly cater more to the "casual" music fan. And in some ways that "casual" consumption is enjoyable/convenient.

4. I've been disappointed, at times, with the number of times the Hi Rez version is only available in the "21st Century Remastered" release. As a general rule of thumb, I'd almost always prefer to listen to an original release (pre 1994ish?) at 16/44.1 over a 24/96 "remastering". Soundgarden's Superunknown is one such example of an album that Qobuz only has available in (brickwalled) "20th anniversary remastered", regardless of fidelity...


Pros
A. Sound quality. [Warning: this is going to be my own subjective thoughts/opinion; no measurements taken. If you can't handle that, please feel free to skip/ignore]. I *really* like it. I took Tidal Hi-Fi for a 30 day free trial over the Christmas holiday. And I liked it. I really did. I don't mean to speak poorly of it, it was definitely a nice step up, fidelity-wise, over Google Play Music or my own MP3 collection. But when I would compare a track side-by-side with my own lossless FLAC version, I could often tell the difference. Sometimes I wasn't convinced it was anything other than just that maybe Tidal had boosted the Gain a little bit just to make it sound a little louder? Sometimes I could hear the "watermark" that some complain about on various corners of the internet. Other times I couldn't, when checking out tracks specifically because they'd been mentioned as "watermarked". But I could often hear a difference.

I can't hear a difference with Qobuz. At all. Qobuz sounds IDENTICAL, to my ears, flipping back and forth from my FLAC rips and it's 16/44.1, and my 24-bit FLACs and Qobuz Hi-Rez. And I like that a lot.

And it's really convenient/fun, as an enthusiast/tinkerer, to be able to so conveniently toggle back and forth between 320 kbps, 16/44.1, and 24-bit... The 1st Track on the Norah Jones Day Breaks album ("Burn," I think) has become my new favorite go-to track to showcase the audible difference between 320 kbps, 16/44.1, and 24-bit. I can't hear a difference between Qobuz 320 kbps and Google Play Music. I can't hear a difference between my FLAC rip of that song and Qobuz 16/44.1. And that song makes some of the most poignant audible step improvements as you bump the streaming quality up within the qobuz app...

B. The "other similar artist" recommendations within Qobuz are, in my opinion, *spot-on*, and that aspect of discovery/rediscovery is better/easier within Qobuz than GPM as a result.

C. Despite having some "glitches" in the UI, I do find the overall page/presentation of Qobuz to be very pleasing and "fun" from a "discovery" and "let's give that a try" standpoint. It's nice eye-candy in a way that GPM isn't and Tidal wasn't (for me at least).



We've come to really love Youtube Red in my house (free with Google Play Music subscription). So much so that I won't cancel GPM even if I pickup another music streaming service (like QoBuz). So I still have GPM for all the things that I still like about it (top tracks, larger library, etc). But the "pros" of Qobuz are, for me at least, worth adding to my music-listening-arsenal. I'd been toying with getting Roon for a while now, and this is probably only going to accelerate that as well... if anyone has any input on how that integration is working for them, I'd love to hear it.
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Has this now launched in the US? Sound&Vision has an article today that says it has. I'm currently using Tidal, but might try it out to get more selection in classical and jazz. SJ
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post #18 of 105 Old 02-14-2019, 11:37 AM
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Has this now launched in the US? Sound&Vision has an article today that says it has. I'm currently using Tidal, but might try it out to get more selection in classical and jazz. SJ

Still in beta format...full blast hopefully soon..

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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
I'm about 3ish weeks into my 30-day-free-trial, and so far I *really* like it. I haven't decided yet which tier I'm going to choose once my trial ends, but I'm fairly certain I'm going to remain a subscriber.

Cons
1. The interface and playback has been a little glitchy/touchy compared to my other subscription (Google Play Music). I wasn't shocked to see that based on it being Beta. Some of that is because of the (inferior) equipment I have available to stream from at work... but some of the problems (like a song being skipped) still occur on my (better) equipment I use at home.

2. The library is certainly a little limited/nerfed, particularly for more popular/modern genres, than Google Play Music.

3. Playing/finding "top tracks"/hits isn't as easy/useful within Qobuz as it is within GPM. Qobuz is geared more towards listening to entire albums than it is spot-finding/playing individual tracks. It's definitely geared towards "audiophiles" in this way (and others) in a way that the other services certainly cater more to the "casual" music fan. And in some ways that "casual" consumption is enjoyable/convenient.

4. I've been disappointed, at times, with the number of times the Hi Rez version is only available in the "21st Century Remastered" release. As a general rule of thumb, I'd almost always prefer to listen to an original release (pre 1994ish?) at 16/44.1 over a 24/96 "remastering". Soundgarden's Superunknown is one such example of an album that Qobuz only has available in (brickwalled) "20th anniversary remastered", regardless of fidelity...


Pros
A. Sound quality. [Warning: this is going to be my own subjective thoughts/opinion; no measurements taken. If you can't handle that, please feel free to skip/ignore]. I *really* like it. I took Tidal Hi-Fi for a 30 day free trial over the Christmas holiday. And I liked it. I really did. I don't mean to speak poorly of it, it was definitely a nice step up, fidelity-wise, over Google Play Music or my own MP3 collection. But when I would compare a track side-by-side with my own lossless FLAC version, I could often tell the difference. Sometimes I wasn't convinced it was anything other than just that maybe Tidal had boosted the Gain a little bit just to make it sound a little louder? Sometimes I could hear the "watermark" that some complain about on various corners of the internet. Other times I couldn't, when checking out tracks specifically because they'd been mentioned as "watermarked". But I could often hear a difference.

I can't hear a difference with Qobuz. At all. Qobuz sounds IDENTICAL, to my ears, flipping back and forth from my FLAC rips and it's 16/44.1, and my 24-bit FLACs and Qobuz Hi-Rez. And I like that a lot.

And it's really convenient/fun, as an enthusiast/tinkerer, to be able to so conveniently toggle back and forth between 320 kbps, 16/44.1, and 24-bit... The 1st Track on the Norah Jones Day Breaks album ("Burn," I think) has become my new favorite go-to track to showcase the audible difference between 320 kbps, 16/44.1, and 24-bit. I can't hear a difference between Qobuz 320 kbps and Google Play Music. I can't hear a difference between my FLAC rip of that song and Qobuz 16/44.1. And that song makes some of the most poignant audible step improvements as you bump the streaming quality up within the qobuz app...

B. The "other similar artist" recommendations within Qobuz are, in my opinion, *spot-on*, and that aspect of discovery/rediscovery is better/easier within Qobuz than GPM as a result.

C. Despite having some "glitches" in the UI, I do find the overall page/presentation of Qobuz to be very pleasing and "fun" from a "discovery" and "let's give that a try" standpoint. It's nice eye-candy in a way that GPM isn't and Tidal wasn't (for me at least).



We've come to really love Youtube Red in my house (free with Google Play Music subscription). So much so that I won't cancel GPM even if I pickup another music streaming service (like QoBuz). So I still have GPM for all the things that I still like about it (top tracks, larger library, etc). But the "pros" of Qobuz are, for me at least, worth adding to my music-listening-arsenal. I'd been toying with getting Roon for a while now, and this is probably only going to accelerate that as well... if anyone has any input on how that integration is working for them, I'd love to hear it.


interesting on this observation..i hope they successfully can pull this off here in the u.s. as I'm a current subscriber to tidal, and I think they are on borrowed time. plus I can't stand who is behind this company.

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post #20 of 105 Old 02-14-2019, 12:10 PM
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interesting on this observation..i hope they successfully can pull this off here in the u.s. as I'm a current subscriber to tidal, and I think they are on borrowed time. plus I can't stand who is behind this company.
Yea it's not my intention to be the leader-of-the-band for a "let's bang on Tidal" session... I really did like my 30 day free trial, and the two PRIMARY reasons why I didn't keep Tidal were very specific *to me* and likely not applicable to most:

1) I have a very specific computer situation in-the-office (outside of my own control) and I couldn't sign in to Tidal and use my HiFi subscription at work (which is a big chunk of my use-case).

2) I liked the Plex integration of the Tidal Library, *except*:
A) The Tidal (Android) app supported Google Cast to my whole-home-audio (Google Cast) setup
B) Plex was one of the original 7 apps to announce for the original 1st Gen Chromecast, and today supports whole-home-casting of my FLAC rips
C) For whatever reason, "casting" of the Tidal "library" within the Plex app was disabled; one of, if not my primary use-case for in-home use of a Tidal Hi-Fi subscription


As luck may have it, I'm not having Problem #1 with Qobuz (signed in here at work and streaming 16/44.1 lossless via the Firefox Web Player to my Fostex TR-X00's). And there is no Plex integration with Qobuz yet, but the fact that #1 works is probably going to cause me to *keep* it today and potentially add Roon (for integration) in the future....


All that said:
I agree with what you said, and I"ll take it one step further: I don't really care for MQA, and prefer Qobuz's approach to just offering 24/44.1, 24/96 etc, MQA-less "studio masters".
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post #21 of 105 Old 02-14-2019, 02:57 PM
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Omg my eyes. They need a dark mode on the desktop player ASAP.
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post #22 of 105 Old 02-14-2019, 03:01 PM
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I currently use Tidal and have been trying out Qobuz. I have a pretty good system and having a hard time differentiating between Qobuz 24/192 and Tidal MQA 24/192. Qobuz is supposed to be uncompressed 24/192 but again can't really hear a difference. I'll probably just stick with Tidal. Qobuz also seems to lack some albums that I have on Tidal.

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post #23 of 105 Old 02-15-2019, 06:31 PM
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So I started streaming Qobuz's HD+ tier using my Bluesound. I am using optical to my Pioneer receiver. Will optical pass the High Rez signal or should I be using coax? Compared to Tidal's MQA that never got unfolded for me I have to say it's like night and day.

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post #24 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 03:42 AM
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Hello all,
I have been using Qobuz USA, for about a month now. I use the Bluesound Node2 to stream through my system. The problem is that the Qobuz (in Bluesounds app), has no hi res choices. All albums are CD quality only. I have spoken to Qobuz and they are aware of this problem. It has been a month science I spoke to them about this problem, but no fix at this time. Qobuz also said I should contact Bluesound about this problem so they can fix on there end.

Regards
Jeff
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post #25 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelman99 View Post
So I started streaming Qobuz's HD+ tier using my Bluesound. I am using optical to my Pioneer receiver. Will optical pass the High Rez signal or should I be using coax? Compared to Tidal's MQA that never got unfolded for me I have to say it's like night and day.
You should have been using analog outputs of whatever Bluesound device you have out to the Pioneer receiver, to get full MQA unfold.

With Qobuz you may get the high res output form your Bluesound device, though the BluOS system is limited to 24/192.

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post #26 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeffeMusic View Post
Hello all,
I have been using Qobuz USA, for about a month now. I use the Bluesound Node2 to stream through my system. The problem is that the Qobuz (in Bluesounds app), has no hi res choices. All albums are CD quality only. I have spoken to Qobuz and they are aware of this problem. It has been a month science I spoke to them about this problem, but no fix at this time. Qobuz also said I should contact Bluesound about this problem so they can fix on there end.

Regards
Jeff
Try updating the app,and opening it from the Bluesound "more music" tab. I have the options.

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post #27 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 11:59 AM
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Try updating the app,and opening it from the Bluesound "more music" tab. I have the options.
Hello thanks for the reply. Are you saying to update the Bluesound app? I am on the latest vs on my IPad. Are you running yours through a computer or laptop? Maybe the problem is the IPad app?
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post #28 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 12:02 PM
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Hello thanks for the reply. Are you saying to update the Bluesound app? I am on the latest vs on my IPad. Are you running yours through a computer or laptop? Maybe the problem is the IPad app?
I am using a PC . I updated the PC BS app.

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post #29 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 12:05 PM
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I thought this was interesting...


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post #30 of 105 Old 02-16-2019, 12:12 PM
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I am using a PC . I updated the PC BS app.
Actually,
The new vs was waiting to uploaded! Thanks working now!
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