The Qobuz difference
Qobuz (pronounced ‘co-buzz’) is a French music streaming and downloading service. Since its founding in 2007, it has expanded to other countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands — and now the Qobuz streaming music service has launched in the U.S.!
The company features four levels of streaming services: Qobuz Premium, Qobuz HiFi, Qobuz Studio (a monthly or annual subscription that offers 24-bit streaming) and Qobuz Sublime+ (an annual subscription that offers 24-bit streaming, 24-bit digital downloads at reduced cost in addition to the streaming service). The streaming service can be used via the web-based Qobuz Player, or by using the Qobuz Desktop player which is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. Qobuz also provides Android and iOS applications, plus support for Sonos.
Qobuz offers digital music streaming in CD quality (FLAC 16-Bit/44.1kHz). In fact, Qobuz and Tidal are the only widely available CD-quality streaming services (Deezer Elite is currently only available to Sonos users). True third party HRA (High Resolution Audio) support for Qobuz is provided by Sonic Studio’s Amarra Luxe and Audirvana’s Audirvana Plus native cross-platform applications. Qobuz started supporting the Roon music player in January of this year. These three products provide delivery of uncompressed Qobuz audio streams to the desktop at greater than or equal to CD (44.1 kHz/16-bit) quality, up to 192 kHz/24 bit, depending on the song and what sample rate and bit depth are available.
Qobuz also provides a digital music downloading service, offering downloads in “Hi-Res” (high-resolution audio) quality (24 bits) as well as CD-quality (16 bits).
Hands on experience
ListenUp VP Phil Murray has been using a trail version of Qobuz. Some of his thoughts:
I’m thrilled with the number of albums available in hi-res audio, and the sound quality is top notch. I’ve had no issues streaming hi-res files — no drop-outs at all, just a seamless listening experience. Quboz has an easy-to-use GUI and a great smart phone app. And it actually includes album credits, reviews and background information about the album! Qobuz is going to change a lot of audiophiole perceptions about streaming music.
More key features:
The most comprehensive music catalog in the world
Qobuz offers the biggest catalog of Hi-Fi and Hi-Res albums in the world, both for new releases and specialized genres.
Thousands of digital booklets
For hundreds of thousands of albums, Qobuz includes all the information you need to recreate the appeal of a real CD: the names of musicians, producers, lyrics… there’s everything you need to know to appreciate your favorite albums.
Compatible with the biggest Hi-Fi brands
Qobuz is compatible with all types of audio equipment and also provides advice on your Hi-Fi equipment purchases.
An incomparable musical culture
Every week, Qobuz publishes interactive articles that widen your musical knowledge.
A unique selection of the latest releases
Qobuz’s experts cherry-pick the most exciting new releases for you, across every genre from all over the world.
Listen in offline mode
Enjoy your music even when you don’t have internet access
Here’s a Rolling Stone article with more info on the U.S. launch of Qoboz.