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Tidal vs Spotify

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by krismusic, Sep 5, 2015.
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  1. pureangus62
    To keep it short and simple, I switched from Spotify after 2 years to Tidal. I can hear a (small) difference in the quality and with a student discount I'm paying the same for Tidal as I was with Spotify. I haven't had any issues yet with Tidal's music library and actually prefer the UI. I do however miss Spotifys recommendations and think it had better a better artist/song radio. Maybe I just haven't used Tidal long enough to get good recommendations?
     
  2. Ancipital
    This will all be very interesting when Tidal gets bought out, as seems inevitable, by one of the big boys. It's quite poorly-run right now, and the financials are apparently a bit on the disappointing side, to the point where Jay-Z forgets that it's one of his babies in interviews.
     
    There has been a lot of speculation that Apple will hoover them up for what would be pocket change to them- I wonder how this would affect their lossless streaming, and other bits of their business model?
     
  3. ExtremeGamerBR
     
    You did a blind test (volume matched) to prove this small difference?
     
  4. pureangus62
    I did. Volume matched and all that (Tidal definitely is louder).Tidal just has the tiniest amount of sparkle in the upper mids/high that I could tell was missing from Spotify. If I wasnt actively listening I dont think I'd notice a difference but its there. Im paying the same for both services so Ill take an edge no matter how small it is.
     
    Also, Ill never claim that 320kbps MP3 sounds bad because it doesnt in the slightest so dont take what Im saying as "spotify is dirty water trash garble and Tidal is crystal clear amazing" because it really is a barely noticable difference to my ears
     
    canali likes this.
  5. canali
    agree...diffs are subtle for the most part....and they sure don't jump out at me that they're worth double the cost...or even for that matter that Tidal does not have consistently the superior sound (as those 2 blind tests in the previous page show  ...links  below, too).....will be interesting to see if Apple takes them over will the music move to 'high res' (as has been rumoured that Apple will go this route)...maybe we'll see more of that development with the new iphone 7...or 8...or maybe not.

    but as i'm finding: alot of Tidal's inventory ''cd quality 44.1'' is meh-ish quality, too, if you check out the loudness wars on any given album they have....i've learned alot by visiting steve hoffman's forum on this area.
    http://dr.loudness-war.info/
    ...so garbage in, garbage out.

    Hi-fi music streaming: People can't tell it when they hear it
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/05/hifi-music-streaming-services-people-cant-tell-it-when-they-hear-it.html

    similar to what "the verge"found in their own blind testing last summer
    http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/7/8872115/apple-music-tidal-spotify-audio-quality-test
     
  6. pureangus62
    I agree, and I wouldnt pay double the cost for Tidal either. The main reason for my switch from Spotify was the discount making them both the same price
     
  7. saintintn

    I use Apple Music and have Tidal HIFI, as well.  Where I hear the difference is through my home system (Rogue Audio Integrated, PSB Imagine B's, Marantz NA8005 DAC, and Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables) with Tidal having a slight edge.  But with the Dragonfly Red and Shure SE846's, I really have to strain to hear a difference on an iPhone.  Sometimes I swear I hear a difference and then go back and forth between the two and the difference disappears.  If you only listen to music via mobile, however, I think it's a really tough call.  My dos pesos.
     
  8. canali
    just switched back to spotify premium from tidal hifi (after 2 mo).
    like the spotify UI better, at least...don't find much diff at all
    for portable music listening, esp with so much ambiant noise.
    ..but we'll see what happens in the next few months...more changes
    will happen in the streaming world, i'm sure.
     
    starting to rip my own cds and buy flac, for better quality sound.
     
    when tidal truly shows a significant difference, as well as getting better mastered albums
    in their collection, then i might switch over...but until then paying double doesn't warrant it for me
     
  9. sonitus mirus
     
    Give Google a try.  
     
    You'll have a library of music that is grouped by song, album, or artist that can all be shuffled to play randomly.  Any songs that you rip from CD or purchase as FLAC and convert to Lame vbr -0 (or any version of mp3) can be uploaded to your library and will work seamlessly with any artist radio or shuffle play, as if it were part of the regular Google streaming music library.  It works on any PC, Android, or iOS device.  The best quality streams are 320 kbps files, which is friendly to your mobile data plan and still has a spectacular audio quality that most folks can't distinguish from a CD.  
     
    I've been using Google music and have tried everything else multiple times and still keep Google.  Unless you are after some social aspect that might be available only with Spotify, I'd strongly suggest giving Google music a test run for a month or two.  You might like it.
     
  10. chef8489
    With a military discount they are the same price. Which would you go for?
     
  11. Ancipital
     
    I suspect that especially for mobile use, you'd be hard pressed to hear much difference between Tidal's lossless and Spotify's highish bitrate Vorbis streaming. Maybe if you're planning to do a lot of listening with a nice desktop amp and decent headphones in a quiet room, you might benefit from Tidal's "Hifi" mode. However, for most people, most of the time, it's really hard to hear much difference except for that rare really hard to code material, which might sound slightly less pristine.
     
    Consider differences in catalogue and also quality of clients for the platforms you care about, maybe. I suspect that either would be decent enough to listen to- so these may be bigger differentiators.
     
    canali likes this.
  12. Quenty
    I have Google Play Music subscription and really like it. But Google doesn't have lossless music so I wanted to try lossless streaming services  from Tidal and Qobuz. I really like the Tidal's playlists and mobile interface, but from the second day of listening Tidal's HIFI I observed a serious problems with sound quality on some "lossless" tracks: some tracks, despite claiming to be HIFI lossless, are playing with significant audio defects (2 examples)
     
    Diana Krall's The look of love: from the beginning the sound of piano is distorted, the track sounds terrible.
    Shelby Lynne's Just a little Loving', please listen carefully from 2:38 to 2:40, the cymbals sound like they were encoded at a very low bit rate, although my Tidal application shows HIFI quality.
     
    I compared these same tracks with my trial Qobuz lossless streaming service and they sound great, without any artifacts . As there are many audiophiles on this forum, I'm surprised no one else has reported these sound quality issues with Tidal HIFI. For those of you who have Tidal HIFI subscription, did you notice any sound issues? 
     
  13. audiosplitz
    Just my 2 cents on this. I was using Tidal and Spotify concurrently at one point. Have not tried Google as yet.
     
    Sound quality:
    To me, I am on the move a lot where I take planes and buses very often. Tidal Hi-Fi and Spotify 320kbps simply could not be differentiated regardless of how good my audio gear was in terms of noise isolation and / or clarity. There's simply too much noise pollution around. That's not to say Tidal Hi-Fi sucks (it doesn't)...just that to fully leverage it, a quiet controlled environment is needed to appreciate the nuances of each song. 
     
    User Interface:
    In terms of UI, Spotify seems to work for me. Text and pictures is bigger ie. easier for fat fingers to actuate (not that my fingers are fat!). 
     
    Catalogue and Source:
    I found similar tracks on both platforms. Sure there are some artist exclusives for new music but it really depends on the genre or even the age of the songs you listen to. If you listen to 90s or 2000s tracks, either should be fine. Dunno about others but Sia's Chandelier on Tidal appeared to be crackly which I attribute to the song source. Anyone had the same experience?
     
    Pricing:
    A no brainer. Spotify wins hands down.

     
  14. Thenazgul
    I have both, Spotify and Tidal.

    On that type of gear you probably do not hear the difference. I don't hear it either when on the move and having my phone as source. On my main-audio system I do hear the difference between the two loud and clear. 

    On the User Interface part you are right. Tidal one is horrible compared to Spotify. Mobile spotify app is a lot better too. Yet I use Roon to solve that issue.
    I don't like the advertising / genre match system of Tidal and Spotify. It is really bad.
     
    Catalogue and Source:.
    Tidal catalogue is more complete. There are many artists that didn't wanna cut a deal with Spotify anymore.
     
    Pricing:
    Spotify if you have a family pack. Else it makes no difference. Tidal has also a 320kbs subscription which is also 10 dollars.

     
     
  15. chef8489
    I now have both for the 30 day trial. There are things I like about spotify that are not on tidal like the stations. Spotify 320 is 9.99 a month and tidal hifi is 11 a month for me. I dont think I need both so need to make a decision soon.
     
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