While there’s no set date for the US Qobuz launch, it “will be announced soon”. Soon is good! We do however, have the Pricing Plan!
Hot off today’s Press Release:
- 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).
The other piece of the streaming puzzle:
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.
Tidal charges $19.99/month for their “HiFi” plan which includes approximately 40-million tracks in CD-quality and 12,855 Hi-Res tracks in MQA [footnote 1]. Seeing as the Qobuz “Hi-Fi” plan is also $19.99/month but is limited to CD-quality only, Tidal has the edge. In terms of numbers.
For the Hi-Res aficionado, access to 2 million tracks (and counting) for the Qobuz “Studio” Hi-Res streaming tier at +$5.00/month compared to Qobuz Studio or Tidal HiFi will be a no-brainer choice—Qobuz wins. In terms of numbers.
With streaming, it all comes down to the library (for me) and the interface. Since I do not listen to music according to bitrates, x number of hi-res tracks doesn’t tip my scale one way or another. Roon integration is more important to me than hi-res and we know that Qobuz is talking to Roon so integration should be coming soon as well. Once that deal is done, Qobuz Studio at $24.99/month looks to be the clear Hi-Res streaming winner.
I will note that the Qobuz library goes deeper into some areas of musical interest for me, mainly in terms of otherwise impossible to find out jazz. Their classical library also appears to better Tidal’s. YMMV.
The extra $50/year for Sublime+ is a case of simple math for people who buy a lot of downloads:
total cost of downloads purchased/year * 50% (estimated average savings)
If that number is > $50, Sublime+ is for you.
All in all, choice is good and a concern for sound quality is good. Qobuz’ entry into the US market is a win-win.
1. MQA data obtained from MQA_list.csv (last updated 26/11/2018)