The news of French Hi-Res streaming service and download site Qobuz coming to the US of A broke last December but the Official US Debut will take place at this year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) come October. Hi-Res’ers rejoice!
Qobuz offers three lossless streaming tiers—Hi-Fi which is CD-quality streaming for £199.99/year, Sublime which adds discounted hi-res downloads to HiFi for £219.99/year, and Sublime+ which gets you hi-res streaming and discounted hi-res downloads for £349.99/year. US prices are still TBD.
Here’s David Solomon, Qobuz chief Hi-Res music evangelist, from a press release announcing Qobuz as the Official High-Resolution Streaming Service of Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest :
It’s a great opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to the American high-end audio community. We pledge our full support to this market, and appreciate its dedication to and fervor for this format. We welcome all – no matter their genre preference – who desire a phenomenal audio experience.
I am a firm believer in choice being a good thing so while I love me some Tidal, Qobuz offers a different library and one that digs deeper into some of the musical areas I like to explore (I’ve purchased a bunch of music from Qobuz). In addition, the Qobuz streaming services allows users to offline their music not only on mobile devices but also on their desktop. This is a blessing for those who have iffy internet service. Of course there’s the hi-res streaming part. Qobuz streams straight FLAC whereas Tidal uses MQA. While there’s some debate over which is better, the key to any streaming service is the value of its library to you and how well it integrates into your hifi.
To my mind, in this day and age, a streaming service is only as good as its integration with hardware partners and Qobuz has been busy.
From my point of you, the big name on any streaming service list is Roon because Roon gets you into lots of hardware in one go.
I’ll keep you posted.