Qobuz Promises Hi-Res Audio Streaming

We audiophiles hate streaming because it's all just low-res junk, right? Tidal hasn't been awesome enough so we hate that too and we're just going to sit in our rooms and sulk and not listen to anything at all because it all just sucks. But Qobuz is knocking gently on our bedroom door....

Qobuz is an online music service. It offers pay-as-you-go downloads and streaming subscriptions. Its entire catalog of 40 million tracks is available in CD quality (16-bit/44.1 kHz), and it claims it has the world's largest hi-res catalog, at 1 million tracks, available through its hi-res (24-bit, up to 192 kHz) streaming service Sublime+.

Qobuz (I still can't decide if I love that name or hate it) offers music curation and exclusive editorial content from a team of music experts; Qobuz claims it is the only music streaming service to offer access to hundreds of thousands of digital booklets and exclusive information on each title in its catalog. Of course the service is agnostic with respect to platform; Mac/PC/iOS/Android/smartphones/tablets/desktops are all good to go.

Qobuz is a French company which launched in 2008 and its service is currently available in 9 European countries. The service will come to the US later this year. The pricing? I thought you'd never ask. The plans shake out like this:

Premium (MP3 320 kbps), $9.99/month or $99.99/year.

Hi-Fi (16-bit/44.1 kHz), $19.99/month or $199.99/year.

Sublime (Hi-Fi + downloads of Hi-Res 24-bit at MP3 prices), $219.99/year.

Sublime+ (Hi-Res 24-bit FLAC up to 192 kHz + up to 60% discount on a large part of the download catalog), $349.99/year.

All plans include all genres, artists, ability to import music for offline listening, curated editorial content, digital album booklets.

And, if you come out of your room, there's pie waiting for you. You like pie.

John_Werner's picture

Will Qobuz be compelling in a slightly stagnant market of mostly alike streaming services? They stand a chance with the only difference they seem to be providing which is the promise of offering the widest catalog of the highest resolution music. I think they're missing an early opportunity to only key on that difference by pricing the Sublime + at a cost which will only attract the most fanatical. By lowering the cost for Sublime + and really delivering the goods they can steal a market that has yet to bloom by getting both the diehards and those for whom the promise of both ultimate deletion and fidelity speak to. At over $300 a year I for one will probably remain with my current streaming service. Perhaps all streamers will embrace High-Res and MQA options by the end of the year?