Amazon HD vs. Tidal HiFi (MQA)

ive spend like 2 months with qobuz going back and forth. it didnt sound much better than spotfiy to me (maybe like 5%) and had even less of my music than tidal. i would rate them in the following order based on music availability & sound qualtity from worst to best, for me at least . spotify - qobuz - amazon music hd - tidal hifi. but you should really try it for yourself, if you havent already.

My opinion:

Spotify has largest music library and best recommendation algorithm.
Qobuz has best sound quality.
Tidal is somewhere in between and doesn’t stand out in any particular way. And to me personally (although the files are higher resolution than Spotify) it sounded the worst.

All the services have fee trials though. Try them out and use whatever you like best.


I personally try to avoid spotify and here is my story.

I had a 3 month for 99 cents trial which required a card. I realized i never used it so i canceled it, coincidentally at this time my card # was stolen so i cancelled the card and account used for the trial.
I kept getting emails saying the card couldnt be charged please update, i kind of ignored this because i cancelled the trial AND the card was gone anyway right? WRONG!
The new card came in and i only have it for emergencies (remember the card AND account was changed). I look at it a few months later as i have notice that i had late payments that needed to be looked at. SPOTIFY SOMEHOW GOT THE NEW CARD AND WAS CHARGING IT EVEN THOUGH THE TRAIL WAS CANCELED, THE CARD WAS DIFFERENT, AND THEY SENT ME EMAILS SAYING IT WAS CANCELLED BECAUSE THEY COULDNT CHARGE THE CARD. WTF!
There is no phone # to call so its now an email battle it goes through 3 people explaining and reexplaing i dont want the damn service i want the charges taken back. I get to the point of just saying flat out here are the emails it was canceled, here are the emails saying it cant charge the card, and i no way gave them the new card info or authorization to use it wtf is up.
At this point a new higher up manager responds and says “we gave your bank account money back, thanks for contacting support”
I kept pressuring and asking how the frick they got the new card info and never got a response. The amount they refunded was more than they charged me. And im left with late fees and the credit hit because they didnt reverse the charges but just sent me some “hush money” payment.

So honestly fuck spotify


The timing of this is interesting:


I’m betting $100K that it isn’t “CD quality”. It’s the MQA basterdized 16/44 version. It will still be the same MQA garbage. Do you really think Tidal will spend the money to buy all new FLAC files for all their 70 million or whatever songs? They won’t.

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Doubtful, but it depends on how they do it. Does Tidal buy the FLAC rights and then do the MQA encoding on their end? If so, they already have the FLAC library to stream. Or, do they buy the rights and the files through MQA? If it’s the latter, then yeah, their prob won’t be a pure FLAC option. The former could be possible as TIDAL is about the only realistic source for MQA in most of the world. Clearly there is a tight partnership there that MQA may allow TIDAL to do the encoding themselves. I really don’t know how it’s done. The timing of this announcement may be coincidental. But it’s also highly suspiscious mere weeks after GoldenSound’s video.



The damage is done, so the way they try to fix it is by changing less for CD quality that they were already giving as part of their Hi-Fi service and more for their MQA? Seems like a marketing answer more than what people actually were complaining about.

EDIT: Nearly 150k views on that MQA video!


Buy hi res ?

Towards the bottom of this page…

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I did the hearing test for myself personally.
Tidal Mqa file and Quboz file running the same song in Audirvana.
And I couldn’t hear any differences.
This is probably because everything is sampled up to 32/96.
So it doesn’t make any difference if the file has 16 or 24 bit, which is provided by the service provider.
Since my Dac does not support Mqa and therefore cannot read it.
Presumably it would look different if the Dac supported it and could be switched off, at least in Audirvana this would be possible.

I can’t judge how good the Mqa format is because I haven’t heard it yet, at least not consciously.
There will always be camps that celebrate Mqa and there are those who celebrate Dsd and stay on Pcm and prefer a certain type of file like me.

I think DSD for example is not bad and although it is supposed to be 64,128,256,512 or even 1024 times better than a Cd I personally don’t like it.
I miss the necessary warmth in this format range and the pick-up that the PCM 32/96 format gives me.
In a way, the details are just as present, but perhaps not as obvious, which in the end makes them seem more authentic from a personal point of view.
I use DSD mainly for listening, I don’t deny that or how good the song can be, or for locating a passage.
Maybe sometimes because I just feel like it.
But mostly I have found my file format with the bit rate I think is right.

That’s what Audirvana can still offer with Tidal and Quboz.
I don’t necessarily see Mqa as a must-have.
Certainly many dacs will offer it in the future.
What can only be interesting is how the song sounds from the mastering. In the end, I think most will go back to their lasts where it will sound best and most sensible for them.

Quboz is also rumoured to be planning Mqa, I read somewhere. Although it is highly controversial at the moment, either both could benefit from Mqa or the format will split.
As a regular user, I have to say I don’t have to have it.
I’m more concerned with the background, the singer, the instruments, the context of the track and I’m not really interested in what’s going on in the mastering process, especially as I’m not savvy enough to understand it and want to enjoy music with a whisky and a cigar.
The other part is that today’s music doesn’t need much more than a PC or laptop and someone who can sing halfway.
Historically that was different when you consider that singers could also play instruments.
Because only then could you really call yourself an artist.
That is now the change of time, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of music is lost when you listen to it.

Let’s take today’s hip hop, which doesn’t harmonise at all with the beats of the 90’s or 2000’s. Or electro music sounds really flat today with its samples.
Pop is no longer what it used to be.
Do I really want to hear what it sounds like when it’s mastered?
You should ask yourself this question.
Is a tool that you don’t forget how music was actually composed 20-30-40-50 years ago?Yes
Do I have to finance this as a user who only wants to listen to music? No, everyone should be free to make this choice without an industry dictating anything.

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If that happen, I’m out of there. No f…ing way I want to support that.


The gear must be coloring the sound quality.

You know, that is a good point. Most modern music today should have a warning label printed on it that says “WARNING - No musicians or actual instruments are being played on this album.” It’s all canned, pre-programed crap. That and their ridiculous, millennial woops. Nope, you can have it. And you can have MQA as well. I have no interest in chasing that phony format.

I’m using AMHD and like it very much. Like @PicknPop , I’m no fan of Amazon, but at least they provide worthwhile services as opposed to the other three parts of the GAFA axis of evil. That is why I never looked at YT Music. I foresee a time when I give Quboz a try. But if they try and force MQA down our throats I will not even bother.

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After all of the crap that’s been going on with Tidal and MQA specifically, I highly doubt Qobuz is going to do anything with MQA. If they did, their subscriber accounts would start dropping like flies just like with Tidal.

It’s bad enough Qobuz has 2L Nordic Sound in their library, as 2L produces nothing but MQA.

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Same here.


Here’s the thing with MQA, even if it didn’t compress and add noise, other than filling up Bob Stuart’s bank account, what does it do? What is it offering that is worth paying for? I still haven’t seen a single person answer this question.

The vast majority of the music listening public doesn’t give a shit about formats and of the tiny minority that is audiophiles only an even smaller minority say they like MQA. And even those guys who are like 0.00001% of all music listeners probably like it because they thought it was “lossless” and “more accurate” and the promise of “better”.

The even tinier minority who just like how it sounds are ultimately doing nothing but perpetuating a sham. Bob Stuart really did well for himself.

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For the first time I have a thing my future Dacs must NOT have: MQA


I’d be surprised if any of the services did anything but host what they were given by the rights owners.


True. I’m not blaming Qobuz for providing 2L content. At least with Qobuz, you have the choice to not listen to it if you don’t want to. And that’s a perfectly fine option. Let them carry whatever they want and let the end user listen to whatever they want. Give them that honest option.

That’s one of the many issues with Tidal. They shove MQA in your face whether you want it or not, then lie about other titles being “originals” only to find out that they are still MQA.

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