The State of Streaming Audio

The State of Streaming Audio - Hi-Res Music, Dolby Atmos, Best Streaming Platforms (a panel discussion on YouTube)

The State of Streaming Audio Skip around. Some will like this and some will fall asleep. Minute 28.15 is very useful talking about Soundiiz for transferring palmists.

Great advice about networks!



My palmist is pretty hairy. Oh for some glorious alopecia!

Seriously, surround is the future. HD surround DACs for everyone. No other reason to not stream all surround Grammy winners.

Except for you poor digiphobes.

@fuzztone You caught my typo. Look into a crystal ball and you may see Peter Tosh. If you have circumscribed hairy dysembryoplasia that’s hard.

Amazon HD is very good, no difference from Tidal or others. Stay away from Spotify. You need a great external DAC you can buy. Denafrips is the best for the money. DAC is probably as important as speakers for streaming. Server Bluesound Node is excellent. No need to spend 5K for server. Node plus good external DAC is a better return for your budget. Good luck.

Says you because you bought a $5k streamer and the Node was just as good.  Pray tell what did you buy so I can stay away from it.

Streaming audio is the term given to receiving audio mostly music over the Internet. The compressed music files are delivered in real time to a computer or smartphone and played directly. The streaming requires specific software that performs the transfer, memory buffering, decompression, and playing. See more information you because you bought a $5k streamer and the Node was just as good.  Pray tell what did you buy so I can stay away from it.

To DrBay's comment, we are all unique individuals.  For many people's ears and in relation to their equipment, they may not be able to tell the difference between the components you mention.  Others however, can tell the difference.  We are all different and the end goal is enjoyment of the music.  What pleases some will not please others.  Spend up to the point that one can not tell the difference.  As someone once told me, my ears are poor but my wallet is fat !!  

Have a great weekend everyone.  

Bluesound Node Gen 3 with Focal Arche DAC/Amp for bedroom (headphone) use.

Naim Uniti Atom HE DAC/Amp/Network Streamer for main (small office) listening room - headphone and speakers.

Roon + Tidal HiFi for organizing/streaming local HiRes files and streaming online content.

IMO - (for the money), doesn’t get any better than that.


@gwilmot Try Qobuz if you haven’t and it’s available in your area.  You can do a free trial, and most here seem to prefer it over Tidal for sound, more hi-res content, and user interface.  I switched to Qobuz a while ago and never looked back.  FWIW. 

+1 on Qobuz. In fact, my perception of the relative sound quality of streaming services.has Tidal sounding worst of all of the streaming services as of Nov 2020.

1. Qobuz

2. Primephonic

3. Spotify Premium (320 kbps Ogg Vorbis which is not lossless)


5. Amazon HD

6 Tidal

Are you including Tidal MQA in that comparison - just curious.

Quick background on my typical usage - I tend to use Tidal to "try out" albums, and if I fall in love with one, I'll buy the highest resolution I can find for "serious" listening. So my library at any time tends to be a mixture of hires files and Tidal albums/tracks, which is why the seamless integration of my Tidal library into Roon is a must have.

But I'm always up for experimenting, so maybe someone can help me out - suggest 1 or 2 tracks available on the other platforms in high quality that you feel really highlights their superiority to the same track on Tidal and I will do a comparison on my gear.


@gwillis MQA uses an algorithm that someone at Tidal thinks makes the music sound better but alters the original content.  Qobuz doesn’t do that, nor does it require you to have an MQA-compatible DAC or do all of its silly unfolding.  To me, the only benefit of Tidal is that it works better in mobile situations because it’s less demanding of bandwidth, but even that’s less of an issue as 5G rolls out so there’s that.  As a bonus, Qobuz has a ton more hi-res content than Tidal and, to me, a better user interface.  I switched from Tidal to Qobuz a couple years ago and will never go back, and many here have done the same.  Hey, it’s free to try and see what you think.  There are also differences in their libraries/genres so that could be significant too.  Decide for yourself. 

I have had Qobuz and Tidal for a few years and I prefer Tidal for the MY MIXES feature. It makes mixes based on you listening patterns, your library, along with Tidal's recommendations.

I have a very eclectic mix of music that I listen too and I regularity see new curated Tidal mixes for me that seem to always lead me to great new discoveries. I have been on a early 70's R+B and Soul bender for a while now. One Tidal Mix I tried last night went deep into the artist catalogs and led me to discover new artists, such as The Jackson 5. A group I thought from a distance was really bubble gum music, but there are some good tracks in their catalog.

This is a bit different from ROON Radio which seems to focus on more well known songs.


OK you talked me into it. I signed up for the 30 day trial.

BTW, is it weird that on the same day I did that I also bought 2 vintage RTR tapes (Beatles and Hendrix) on eBay . . .?