Tidal HiFi or Apple Music Lossless or Both?

I’m juggling both Tidal Hifi and a 3-month Apple Music trial at the moment, now that Apple Music is lossless (and will be totally lossless by end of 2021). I was a day one Apple Music subscriber prior to joining Tidal.

However, I’m having a difficult time choosing which one to keep when comparing and contrasting each service. They have their strengths and weaknesses. I’m even considering just keeping both.

Are any of you in a similar position? What are you guys going to choose?

Qobuz for the win


I think the bigger question you need to ask yourself is what other features do each (or any other service) will be best for you, like what interface you like the best or which music service has the better algorithm to find new music or any other metric that is important to you.

I’d personally rate “quality” is kind of bottom tier since I can’t tell the difference with my gear, but that’s just me. For me usability and variety are much more important,that’s why i personally use Deezer, I like the algorithm, huge music selection, while it’s not a 100% FLAC, I’m more than happy with the quality


Picked up a Deezer Hi-Fi deal the other day, yearly subscription for just R$160 (~US$30), coming from Tidal Hi-Fi i quite like it, it has some features i was missing (such as download to desktop and podcasts), the catalog is solid and it was a whole lot cheaper.
As for you, pick up the free trials for as many services as you can, even Deezer and Quobus, and see which one suits you best.


They’re also affected by their sources for music files. If they’re not paying much attention to the quality of the files themselves then you can get a lot of inconsistency. I found this a lot with Amazon, because they’ll just buy a song once regardless of how many times it’s been released, sometimes you end up getting a crappy “Sounds of the 70s” version on what should be the original album.

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Apple music but its in a home theater setting through appletv AVR. Limited to 24/48.


Thanks. Yeah, I think I’m going to put a pin in sound quality for a minute and evaluate them on the merits you mentioned.

Qobuz is intriguing. The stalking horse that does just enough of everything. Can buy lossless/hi-res, can stream, etc. And the annual subscription does make the cost more competitive. I would give up some Apple ecosystem perks though. All things to consider.

that’s why I’m with Deezer, for now. tried Qobuz, hated their limited library and deezer was a good compromise.

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So I just signed up for the 3 month free trial of Apple Music because I wanted to listen to Beatles music which Qobuz appears to have lost. To my absolute shock, the same tracks on Apple Music sound better than Qobuz via Roon. I have no idea why. The EQ ability on Apple Music is primitive compared to Roon and it doesn’t have features like Crossfeed (which I liked on old Jazz albums), but I’ll be damned if the Apple Music versions don’t sound fuller and livelier when I a/b tested them. I have no idea why, as far as I know Apple Music isn’t doing anything funny with the music like MQA. Anybody have any idea what’s going on here?

Hmm, I wonder if this is a localized thing? I am in the US and it seems like their whole catalog is still available to stream.

Qobuz is better than both. The best high-res streaming service I tested among Tidal, Apple Music and Amazon HD Music.

Sounds better. Better curation on playlists. More information about artists and liner notes. And no damn MQA bullshit.

Not to mention a built in exclusive mode if you care about that sorta thing.

I’m throwing money out the window right now by having both a Qobuz and Tidal account. I’d love to pair it down to just one. I like the non-hoop jumping Hi-Res with Qobuz(I personally don’t have anything against MQA but it isn’t compatible with the majority of my stuff)but the Qobuz apps both are buggy as hell for me. Tidal has a good library but their search is a little frustrating for me. However, their apps just work and Tidal connect is a very useful feature.

Even though I am in the Apple ecosystem, Apple music is pretty much a no-go for me. The lack of auto sample rate switching on desktops, the inability to play native through third party OS or severs(i.e. Volumio, Rune, Audrivana), and incompatibility with with other software I heavily use makes it a non starter. You can take most of that and apply it to Amazon Music as well.

I am interested in Spotify Hi-Fi when or if it ever shows up. That might just be the singular streaming service for me. No matter what streaming service I end up using, I’m still getting my downloads from Bandcamp first.

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I’m in the US too. Abbey Road here for example is all samples and no actual tracks.

As for Apple Music sounding better, I’m honestly baffled.

How strange, here is what I see on my Windows desktop!

Huh. It looks like there’s at least 4 different versions of the album.

Qobuz is a mess.

Anyway, I do see your version while as well as other albums (including the new version of Harrison’s All Things Must Pass which was on sample state before).

Literally no idea what’s going on.

Def an annoyance!

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Alright I think I’ve solved the mystery of Apple Music sounding better. It’s the EQ settings. Basically, the more rudimentary EQ that I did on Apple Music is bassier than the more sophisticated one I did on Roon. That’s why it sounded “thicker” and “fuller”. When I flattened the EQ on both, they sound about the same. So… I guess I’ve learned I like a bassier sound profile. Good to know!


It’s funny because with my current kit (Fiio FH3+ Sundara/hip dac + dragonfly red) I find Tidal to be the thicker and fuller sound and Apple is cleaner and lighter. I’ve got the system macOS/iOS/iPadOS EQ shut off on my devices.

And I prefer that richer sound most of the time, but could live with Apple Music if I’m just judging it solely on sound. Conversely, the Abyss guys flipped for Apple Music and canceled Tidal.

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