Another Boost for Hi-Res Audio

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Hi-Res Audio streaming music service Qobuz recently announced US pricing, bringing it a step closer to its planned US debut early next year.

The service is expected to be a leap forward for Hi-Res Audio as Qobuz will offer a much broader selection of Hi-Res titles, and it will be accessible through smartphones (Tidal’s Hi-Res streaming only works via the desktop at present).

Qobuz’s Hi-Res streaming service has been available in Europe since 2015 and is being beta tested in the US at present.

Qobuz’s catalog includes two million Hi-Res tracks.  By comparison, Tidal currently offers 165,400 tracks in Hi-Res under the MQA format.   The only other US Hi-Res Audio streaming service at present is the more limited Blue Coast Records with 500 Hi-Res titles.

Qobuz will charge a starting price of $24.99 per month for a Hi-Res subscription.  It will also offer a CD quality streaming service at $19.99/month and an MP3 quality service at $9.99/month.

There’s also a “Sublime” plan for those who wish to download Hi-Res music as well as stream for $300/year. It permits downloads at discounts of 40 to 60 percent as well as Hi-Res audio streaming.

Qobuz delivers Hi-Res at up to 24 bit/192kHz.

The company said, “Qobuz offers the most true Hi-Res music of any streaming service. The 24-bit streaming FLAC files can be played on any equipment and require no special processing. Qobuz allows unlimited importing of music in any quality on all the user’s devices…”

Qobuz streams music in 11 European countries and it has opened a US headquarters in New York City. In addition to its 2 million Hi-Res Audio tracks it offers more than 40 million tracks in CD quality.

Qobuz said it would not reveal its subscriber count in Europe.  It claims the following milestones:

  • In 2009 we became the first service in the world to offer “True CD Quality” for the entire download catalog
  • In 2011, first service in the world to offer streaming listening in “Real CD Quality” for its whole catalog
  • In 2011, first service in the world to integrate “True CD Quality” streaming into SONOS
  • First online music service in the world to have embraced 24 bit Hi Res across all repertoires and catalogs (over 45,000 albums available as of January 2016)

For more information:

Sony also announced a new Hi-Res streaming service in Japan this week in partnership with Rhapsody.

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  1. To get more customers charge like $9.99 and you could get 50 to 60 million subscribers instead of the 10 million you may get. Only real audio fanatics will pay this amount of money. Sony all ready has a hard time selling their hi res radio at $1200. Most of the competitors that compete with the radio in IASCA,MECA or USACI didn’t pay full price they payed dealer or less even they thought it was over priced Yes it’s a great piece of equipment but $1200 was still a stretch for them.

  2. My LG G7 smartphone streams MQA 24/192 files from Tidal… My Blusound Node 2 streams MQA 24/192 files from Tidal…

  3. Thank you for the mention. Here’s an update….
    Blue Coast Music
    is the ecommerce store we’ve been selling high resolution downloads from.

    Blue Coast Records is our record label. Yes, Blue Coast Records will be releasing our titles (about 50) on in the very near future. We are looking forward to working with them to move high resolution audio farther ahead. Enjoy!

    Cookie Marenco
    Founder Blue Coast Music and Blue Coast Records

  4. Certainly a smaller audience than Spotify, however, having access to a multi-million dollar hi-res music collection (and 40 million other tracks at CD quality) that you don’t have to rip or curate and can access anywhere at the touch of a button is a bargain to a lot of music lovers.
    One hi-res album on a normal download site would pay for Qobuz for a couple of months.

  5. Is this company in La La Land. Americans are sick of monthly fees. $24.95 a month is way more than this is worth. Good luck to these losers.

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