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Tidal versus Spotify Premium

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I think my ears are still pretty good but I cant really hear the difference between Tidal and Spotify Premium? How many of you can hear a discernible difference? and how?

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In my experience, CDs sound better than Spotify Premium...

I used to have Qobuz, which allows streaming in high-res, and sounds much better, even in cd-quality streaming. The only reason I migrated to Spotify, was because they have a 'family' formula, on request of my kids...

 

Cannot compare with Tidal. 

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I got rid of Spotify Premium after 3 years or so and went to Amazon Music HD which sounded better to my ears...and that says a lot (having tinnitus).  Spotify has best UI but Amazon sounded better...that won out.

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Another vote for Amazon HD. I was a long time user of the standard version. I recently upgraded to the HD and I'm amazed at the difference in sound quality on my headphones through a HiFi Man Headphone amp/DAC. The Ultra HD files (24bit/48kHZ) and up sound amazing. I spend 4-8 hours a day listening at work and I'm very happy.

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I have used Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, and Amazon HD.  "Lossless" version of all of them including Tidal MQA on Node 2i.  I only listen to Amazon HD.  And as a bonus it will catalog all of your personal HD music as well so you can play it all.

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2 hours ago, avguytx said:

I got rid of Spotify Premium after 3 years or so and went to Amazon Music HD which sounded better to my ears...and that says a lot (having tinnitus).  Spotify has best UI but Amazon sounded better...that won out.

Listening to spotify premium and Tidal High on my KEF LS50Ws I cant really tell a difference - they both sound very good as I toggle from one to another. What amI missing?

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What is the source from which you are playing your music?

You won’t get hd sound from an iPhone, for instance, unless you connect a dac that can do hi-Rez, like a dragonfly audio red, which is what I use. I can certainly hear a difference between Amazon HD and Spotify premium. Main thing is the clarify difference.

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22 minutes ago, Drewg said:

What is the source from which you are playing your music?

You won’t get hd sound from an iPhone, for instance, unless you connect a dac that can do hi-Rez, like a dragonfly audio red, which is what I use. I can certainly hear a difference between Amazon HD and Spotify premium. Main thing is the clarify difference.

I use my MacBook pro over bluetooth - The KEF LS50 Ws have a high end DAC built in - maybe I could hear a difference going thru USB. It sounds amazing the way its hooked up but I cant  hear a difference between Tidal and Spotify

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11 minutes ago, Fido said:

I use my MacBook pro over bluetooth

 

There's the first problem.  Even with APTx, you still miss out on a lot.  I was streaming BT to a device then optical to my Onkyo preamp and it was "ok" but in comparison to it being direct, the BT sound is almost unbearable now.  BT will always be more for convenience than SQ.  But if you don't hear enough difference, you saved 7 bucks a month.  I did a comparison of streaming from my Galaxy S9 over BT against streaming Amazon Music HD over WiFI usinc a ChromeCast Audio and it was major different since WiFi has more bandwidth to work with.

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2 hours ago, Fido said:

Listening to spotify premium and Tidal High on my KEF LS50Ws I cant really tell a difference - they both sound very good as I toggle from one to another. What amI missing?

Try amazon ultra hd and see if you notice. Honestly Ive heard those Kefs and they are super smooth but they mask the music...and bluetooth is the absolutely worst way to listen...

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Ok so I ran a usb cable from my MacBook Pro to the KEFs and played the same songs back to back and the Tidal files sounded much fuller and richer than the Spotify files. Obviously bluetooth is not the way to go - I will get these speakers on my wifi network and do the same for my living room setup and test the Tidal versus Spotify quality and see how my Klipsch system sounds with the different streaming services. 

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I mostly connect my Amazon hd 8 fire tablet to my amp with a double mini jack cable. I' ve got some flac files on it and they sound pretty good, good enough for me, which is the only frame of reference that matters anyhow...

 

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Also hard wired is preferable to wifi to avoid buffering and or bitrate throttling 

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23 hours ago, Kalifornian said:

Try amazon ultra hd and see if you notice. Honestly Ive heard those Kefs and they are super smooth but they mask the music...and bluetooth is the absolutely worst way to listen...

What does 'Mask the music" mean? I use the KEF LS50 W as near field speakers and they along with my HSU Subwoofer they sound amazing. They don't have the volume of my Fortes but for my intended purpose they sound really good.

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I was thinking about enrolling in Amazon HD until I remembered that my Roku XD resamples everything to 48kHz for HDMI audio. I did a little searching and as far as I can tell, all of the Roku players do this, even the ones with dedicated S/PDIF digital audio outputs. The troubling part is that apparently all of Amazon's players do the same thing; see post #24 here. And there is evidence that all competitors' streaming players do it, too.

 

In my all-digital system, I really want bit-perfect playback, otherwise what's the point?

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Honestly, free Internet "radio" streaming at 320k mp3 has plenty of "fidelity".  The only disadvantage is no control over what's in the queue.  We've got fiber to the house but even it sometimes goes dark for a time and that's when the thousands of flac files on hand get really handy.  I feel for the kids today who don't and likely won't actually own hard copies of anything.  Convenient, yes, but a mistake nonetheless.

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5 minutes ago, Edgar said:

In my all-digital system, I really want bit-perfect playback, otherwise what's the point?

 

Do you encounter bit pattern differences after up-converting then re-(down-)converting data?

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3 minutes ago, glens said:

 

Do you encounter bit pattern differences after up-converting then re-(down-)converting data?

 

Always. Resampling is not a trivial operation.

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5 hours ago, Fido said:

What does 'Mask the music" mean? I use the KEF LS50 W as near field speakers and they along with my HSU Subwoofer they sound amazing. They don't have the volume of my Fortes but for my intended purpose they sound really good.

 

My experience with the KEF LS50 W is one of a very revealing reproduction with excellent clarity and detail. 

 

I also use the KEF LS50 in a near field setup and the clarity and detail available from them is amazing when driven with an Arcam SA20.  Attention to amplifiers power and quality is a must with the KEF LS50... IMHO.

 

miketn

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2 hours ago, mikebse2a3 said:

 

My experience with the KEF LS50 W is one of a very revealing reproduction with excellent clarity and detail. 

 

I also use the KEF LS50 in a near field setup and the clarity and detail available from them is amazing when driven with an Arcam SA20.  Attention to amplifiers power and quality is a must with the KEF LS50... IMHO.

 

miketn

I LOVE the KEF LS50 Wireless speakers. They give me goose bumps.

 

In my living room I have Modified Forte1s and for surrounds Heresys and I high end Klipsch center chanel speaker. I play these speakers usually running them straight from my MA252 Integrated - When I want to stream or watch TV in surround I use my Yamaha AVR and the preouts into the McIntosh. I play a lot of Vinyl and play CDs and stream a lot. I love the sound of those Fortes. Hanging out in that room with all that great music playing thru that amp and watching TV the sound blows my mind. its a very different sound than the near field of my KEF setup but I am very happy with the KEFS - LIKE VERY!!!! Like WOW!

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