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Hello folks,   I've spent a fair bit of time over the last 3 - 4 days comparing Qobuz with Tidal and I find the Qobuz Hi Res files more to my liking compared to the same MQA file delivered v

If Qobuz comes through with a radio service it lifts the game considerably.  I think the Spotify affection is also borne out of the fact it offers suggestions in line with actual listening habits.  Ti

Tidal gone

7 minutes ago, Grizaudio said:

Why does Qobuz want to charge two different amounts for upfront payment? 

image.png.0e8bcfedbd33fd96a7bce5c4a638c787.png

Go to the Qobuz website, the $249.99 doesn’t exist

Edited by awayward
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I just signed up to Qobuz. 

No MQA.... amazing! 

 

The 96khz tracks sound absolutely amazing. 

One of my favourites, much better via Qobuz:

image.thumb.png.16e6269dcdb99a9a68651a513d081610.png

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On 16/04/2021 at 8:37 PM, mbd said:

Apologies if this has been discussed (Did a quick scan through four pages of comments), but for those who already have Qobuz (US/EU based), are you intending to shift to the Australian version? I've been happily using the US Qobuz (via Roon) on my setup for a while, and not sure if I should shift the account to an AU based one. 

Yes, I've changed to AU (I had transferred from FR to US and my US trial period was about to end as the AU service became available).

The main reason is that I suspect access to subscribing through accounts in other countries will eventually become firmly geoblocked, and I don't want to have to transfer my Qobuz library over in Roon in future and have to manually redo all the Roon tagging.

Roon is just starting to become useable for me, so my current Qobuz library is small (< 200 albums which transferred easily with TuneMyMusic, although tags are lost), but I'll start using it a lot more as they get the bugs of the last major update sorted out, and the transfer will becoming more painful the longer I wait.

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1 hour ago, awayward said:

Go to the Qobuz website, the $249.99 doesn’t exist

"1 month free, then $249.99 / year" is just French for "$0.00 then $229.99 / year"

It loses a little in translation :)

(FYI: My PayPal transaction said I'd be charged $229.99 in a month's time)

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The service sounds great, but it’s missing some favourite electronica. 

small indie outfits. 

Edited by Grizaudio
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On 16/04/2021 at 8:07 PM, mbd said:

Apologies if this has been discussed (Did a quick scan through four pages of comments), but for those who already have Qobuz (US/EU based), are you intending to shift to the Australian version? I've been happily using the US Qobuz (via Roon) on my setup for a while, and not sure if I should shift the account to an AU based one. 

As I posted on the MQA Fraud thread, I have just shifted my Qobuz account library from the UK to Oz and have shut down my Tidal account (shifting all Tidal tracks to my Oz Qobuz account as well) No dramas, all sounds good, either via Auralic LDS or Roon.

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12 hours ago, Grizaudio said:

The service sounds great, but it’s missing some favourite electronica. 

small indie outfits. 

I'm finding the same. I'm also finding that everything is categorised under the one genre - Electonica. Whereas  I listen to a lot of sub and perhaps sub sub genres of electronica. Downtempo, psydub, psychill, chillgressive to name but a few. Unless you know the name of the artist you are searching for I don't think you would find it by simply browsing 'Electronica'.

It also doesn't make it possible to 'discover' artists in that sub genre that perhaps I haven't heard of.

 

I purchase alot of hi res music directly from the artist or the indie label from Bandcamp, and I've actually bfound some of them to be represented on Quobuz, which has been a plus.

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Well I just started my Qobuz free trial and they seem to have most of my favourite bands and a half decent amount of HI-Res. I listen to mostly heavy metal and classic rock. Have sampled a few Hi-Res tracks and compared to Tidal in MQA... initial impression is that the MQA on Tidal has a sharper treble in that guitar sound is a bit brighter and more defined... also a bit louder overall. I’m guessing that’s some sort of EQ thing? In comparison on Qobuz the heavy metal from the 80s sounds more like an 80s recording? A bit flatter / smoother / quieter. 
 

But yeah.. these are just VERY early impressions. My HiFi system is also very basic (Powernode 2i into Dynaudio Emit speakers)... so take with a grain of salt..

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On a quick listen today, I'm undecided MQA vs QOBUZ 24bit FLAC.

 

If only there was an easy way to filter tracks for an A/B listen and find high-res albums in Roon. I've been looking through the download store on QOBUZ to see what's readily available and what people are buying.

 

Most MQA and FLAC are 24bit 96Hz . I have found the occasional higher sample rate MQA (e.g. Marianne Thorsen's version of Mozart Violin Concerto's) but these are relatively rare.

 

Without going into specific details, my preference depends on the actual recording. For instance, I prefer the presentation mid forward musicality of the MQA version of Yifei Liu's Mulan's Reflection as opposed to that on QOBUZ.  The majority of tracks I listened to this morning sounded 'fine' on either with perhaps a slight subjective preference towards QOBUZ for orchestral. The description that QOBUZ seems smoother, flatter in EQ is something I also noticed.

 

In the end, I decided I'll just listen to whatever ROON chooses and 'enjoy' what I'm listening to. 

 

Disclaimer: Not the most resolving of headphones used in this morning's comparison. MBP -> ROON -> Wireless to Hugo2/2Go -> Empyrean

Edited by Dr_Kevy
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19 minutes ago, Dr_Kevy said:

 

If only there was an easy way to filter tracks for an A/B listen and find high-res albums in Roon

If the tracks are in your Roon library, you can use Focus to filter by sample rate

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1 hour ago, awayward said:

If the tracks are in your Roon library, you can use Focus to filter by sample rate

But only if Roon has updated the metadata for the particular album to reflect the correct sampling rate.:wink:

 

Does anyone know if the Qobuz caching feature (storing played music for offline replay) can be enabled in Roon? I can't see it. 

I'm just trying to pin down why the Qobuz desktop app sounds better (to me) than Roon playback of the same music -  Qobuz app having superior focus, articulation, depth perspective/location.

I actually doubt it's the caching feature, since Roon does cache to memory/disk(?) but doesn't retain.

FWIW I have all Headroom management/DSP/filters disabled in Roon - just sending native pcm rates direct to my DAC. The same of course for the Qobuz app which doesn't have any of that stuff.

Maybe it's just a case of simpler being better, but both should be sending the same data to the DAC so should sound identical(?).

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On 17/04/2021 at 12:30 PM, Kaynin said:


Tidal all over again...


Hmm yeah kind of, but MQA are smaller files afaik, so less likely to cause issues.
 

The thing is, I've set my Bluesound Node to only output CD 16 bit/up to 48kHz for qobuz and the SQ is fine, so I would possibly pay for it afterall. 

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22 hours ago, Tobes said:

I think it's up to the player software to recognise the Hi-res title and have a mechanism to display as such.

The actual 'Hi-res' graphic used by Qobuz is, I believe, a registered trademark of the Japan Audio Society and would need licencing to display(?).

Audirvana for example just use a little 'H' symbol for identification. 


Exactly. In the BluOS app required for a Node, it just has a HR or CD icon. I don't think there's any way to tell the actual bitrate and frequency. I wish I could use the qobuz app to control and select music, as it's far easier to use.

 

The good news though is I've been streaming a little while this morning with the highest possible quality set on my Node and it's been flawless (touch wood). I'm also streaming on kayo simultaneously. 

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I’m doing a side by side MQA vs Qobuz today. Mac mini M1 running Audirvana into a Fein 11. 
 

Playing “I’m Coming Out” in Flac in Qobuz. MQA in Tidal. 
 

Gotta say the Qobuz has more attack in the drums and sounds better 

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18 minutes ago, Esoterica said:


Hmm yeah kind of, but MQA are smaller files afaik, so less likely to cause issues.
 

The thing is, I've set my Bluesound Node to only output CD 16 bit/up to 48kHz for qobuz and the SQ is fine, so I would possibly pay for it afterall. 

 

It has more to do with the quality of servers that Tidal/Qobuz use.  Hopefully Qobuz are investing in this area.

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23 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

Exactly. In the BluOS app required for a Node, it just has a HR or CD icon. I don't think there's any way to tell the actual bitrate and frequency. I wish I could use the qobuz app to control and select music, as it's far easier to use.

 

Agree. This has been a bit of a ball-ache for me and my Vault 2i since getting on Quboz.

 

I've suspended my use of Roon since the day I kicked Tidal out (mostly on this premise, but also because I was running my Roon Core on a Synology NAS and there are clouds on the horizon over Roon Core working on the upcoming DSM v7.0). Now I'm on Qobuz, I am looking for a small form-factor PC to run the Core; no rush though.

 

I've been using the BluOS app to play HR stuff, but then going to the same album/track on the Qobuz app running on my Win64 machine and checking the bitrate that way. It does make me feel like a bit of a knuckle-dragging idiot having to do this as a workaround; it strikes me that this would be a good feature for future BluOS versions. The other workaround is to check the display on my DAC to see what sampling rate and bit depth it sees on the coax input but the problem here is that the font is tiny and my seating position is 5 metres away and I am overcome with CBF with this approach.

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41 minutes ago, Esoterica said:


Exactly. In the BluOS app required for a Node, it just has a HR or CD icon. I don't think there's any way to tell the actual bitrate and frequency. I wish I could use the qobuz app to control and select music, as it's far easier to use.

 

The good news though is I've been streaming a little while this morning with the highest possible quality set on my Node and it's been flawless (touch wood). I'm also streaming on kayo simultaneously. 

Funny, I’m also using a node and streaming Kayo and HR music simultaneously today.... No issues. My internet connection is around 45mbps

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6 hours ago, Chris.chapterten said:

Well I just started my Qobuz free trial and they seem to have most of my favourite bands and a half decent amount of HI-Res. I listen to mostly heavy metal and classic rock. Have sampled a few Hi-Res tracks and compared to Tidal in MQA... initial impression is that the MQA on Tidal has a sharper treble in that guitar sound is a bit brighter and more defined... also a bit louder overall. I’m guessing that’s some sort of EQ thing? In comparison on Qobuz the heavy metal from the 80s sounds more like an 80s recording? A bit flatter / smoother / quieter. 
 

But yeah.. these are just VERY early impressions. My HiFi system is also very basic (Powernode 2i into Dynaudio Emit speakers)... so take with a grain of salt..


I have a similar impression so far.

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I've been using Qobuz for the past 3 hours and comparing to WAV CD rips along the way.  I have to say, I'm a big fan so far, Qoduz sounds great to me.  I like the GUI, I think it's better than Spotify.  I've found that Spotify has become too busy, in their quest to keep adding new features to stay "fresh".

 

I transferred my Spotify album list via Soundizz, and it was a breeze.  I found it didn't pick up all of my albums, but I just manually added those.  

 

Two of my main concerns - server quality and library, so far, aren't a concern at all.  I'll keep playing over the next month, and if it continues like this then I'll cancel Spotify and just run Qobuz.

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Interesting the comparisons between Qobuz and Spotify, audio quality wise it's a no brainer until Spotify Hifi drops later in the year. 

I'm actually surprised that Spotify has not gone down the high quality audio path a lot sooner, I think they have really dropped the ball there.

Since using Qobuz from the release, I find myself missing the Spotify algorithms. 

The discover weekly and daily mixes have become a staple of my listening. 

What I've found is the more discover weekly I have listened to, has opened up a whole new world of artists and music to me to the point where I've been creating some really diverse playlists. Then because I'm listening to those playlist more frequently, the discover weekly becomes yet more diverse. 

 

If Spotify is CD quality only I reckon I'd be happy with that, just for the diversity and range of music that it has exposed me to. 

Long time Qobuz users can correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen that so far. 

Jason

Edited by Gambit 1870
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12 minutes ago, Gambit 1870 said:

Interesting the comparisons between Qobuz and Spotify, audio quality wise it's a no brainer until Spotify Hifi dropd later in the year. 

I'm actually surprised that Spotify has not gone down the high quality audio path a lot sooner, I think they have dropped the ball there.

Since using Qobuz from the release, I find myself missing the Spotify algorithms. 

The discover weekly and daily mixes have become a staple of my listening. 

What I've found is the more discovery weekly I have listened to, has opened up a whole new world of artists and music to me to the point where I've been creating some really diverse playlists. Then because I'm listening to those playlist more frequently, the discovery weekly becomes yetbmore diverse. 

 

If Spotify is CD quality only I reckon I'd be happy with that, just for the diversity and range of music that it has exposed me to. 

Long time Qobuz users can correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen that so far. 

Jason

 

Not an unfair assessment.

 

I ran Tidal over Roon for about a year and was ambivalent about the quality; it was ok, but not spectacular - better than Spotify, sure, but nothing to write home about; NAS based FLACs were invariably better. I resubscribed to Spotify as an interim measure (after ditching Tidal the day that Square bought-in). I figured it would be good enough whilst awaiting Qobuz. Spotify algorithms are head-and-shoulders above everything else out there, including Roon's suggestions. Spotify is brilliant for on-the-go (who needs lossless when using Bluetooth connections to headphones/cars etc?). I am glad to be back on-board.

 

Between Spotify periods, I acquired a separate DAC in my main listening area. The oddest thing happened. Spotify actually became tolerable when I re-subbed (not amazing, not spectacular, but not at all crap) when played through my home system. I think I'm going to maintain the Spotify sub due to suggestions and mobile synergies. It's also great for player groups over Sonos right now whilst waiting for Qobuz on Sonos.

 

A really odd thing has happened in the last 5 or 6 days since Qobuz went live though. Once we started to see more HiRes stuff filtering through late Wednesday, I have had Qobuz playing in the background a fair bit (except Sunday morning when it's vinyl alone - those are the rules at Chez Tel) and something new has happened. My listening is split into 2 modes; I either sit, concentrate and listen to whole albums in the main listening area or I have music playing for ambience in the background around the house (I usually group Sonos players and let this happen - think bbq, party, etc). Because Sonos has not had the geography-brake released for Qobuz yet (I'm told end of April by Qobuz), I just left Qobuz playlists (some HR, some just CD, and some mixed) running through my Bluesound, into my DAC and into the M6si amp as background on low to medium volume. The odd thing is that this is the first time I have experienced lower level background music that has pulled me away from the other task at hand, drawn me in and made me think "wow, that sounds good". It's happened maybe 7 or 8 times over the weekend and every time it's been a Hi-Res Qobuz track.

 

YMMV.

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I am still on my US Qobuz and just earlier had a chat with a mate who has the AU Qobuz trial There was an album he couldnt find on the AU Qobuz that is on the US Qobuz.  Its an obscure metal album but interesting its not on the AU version.

Has anyone else that has the US or UK based version done any comparison with mates on the AU version.  If there is a few differences I assume these would be down to geographical licensing rights?

FWIW, that same album is not on Tidal AU or Spotify either.

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25 minutes ago, El Tel said:

 

Not an unfair assessment.

 

I ran Tidal over Roon for about a year and was ambivalent about the quality; it was ok, but not spectacular - better than Spotify, sure, but nothing to write home about; NAS based FLACs were invariably better. I resubscribed to Spotify as an interim measure (after ditching Tidal the day that Square bought-in). I figured it would be good enough whilst awaiting Qobuz. Spotify algorithms are head-and-shoulders above everything else out there, including Roon's suggestions. Spotify is brilliant for on-the-go (who needs lossless when using Bluetooth connections to headphones/cars etc?). I am glad to be back on-board.

 

Between Spotify periods, I acquired a separate DAC in my main listening area. The oddest thing happened. Spotify actually became tolerable when I re-subbed (not amazing, not spectacular, but not at all crap) when played through my home system. I think I'm going to maintain the Spotify sub due to suggestions and mobile synergies. It's also great for player groups over Sonos right now whilst waiting for Qobuz on Sonos.

 

A really odd thing has happened in the last 5 or 6 days since Qobuz went live though. Once we started to see more HiRes stuff filtering through late Wednesday, I have had Qobuz playing in the background a fair bit (except Sunday morning when it's vinyl alone - those are the rules at Chez Tel) and something new has happened. My listening is split into 2 modes; I either sit, concentrate and listen to whole albums in the main listening area or I have music playing for ambience in the background around the house (I usually group Sonos players and let this happen - think bbq, party, etc). Because Sonos has not had the geography-brake released for Qobuz yet (I'm told end of April by Qobuz), I just left Qobuz playlists (some HR, some just CD, and some mixed) running through my Bluesound, into my DAC and into the M6si amp as background on low to medium volume. The odd thing is that this is the first time I have experienced lower level background music that has pulled me away from the other task at hand, drawn me in and made me think "wow, that sounds good". It's happened maybe 7 or 8 times over the weekend and every time it's been a Hi-Res Qobuz track.

 

YMMV.

I'm away at work at the moment, so I have yet to experience the Hi Res goodness of Qobuz (bring on Tuesday), but I think my statement will still stand. 

 

I'm with you though, if the music can cut through and draw you in to the point where it becomes the priority then that can only be a good thing. ?

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Started the trial this afternoon. Really liking it natively via my Linn.

The first 24/192 album I found is the Supremes - Where did our love go

 

Didn't expect much from this classic as a few other oldies sounded poor but this is quite good.

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1 hour ago, Gambit 1870 said:

Interesting the comparisons between Qobuz and Spotify, audio quality wise it's a no brainer until Spotify Hifi drops later in the year. 

I'm actually surprised that Spotify has not gone down the high quality audio path a lot sooner, I think they have really dropped the ball there.

I wouldn't bother writing up a Spotify/Qobuz  comparison on my big rig. Spotify doesn't stand up and frankly it's not a fair comparison.

However I was surprised that Qobuz was so audibly superior using my phone and $25 headphones.

 

I'm  not surprised that Spotify is dragging the chain on 16/44 - I suspect only a tiny, tiny fraction of their users care about audio quality. It doesn't really add up for them financially. A great many Spotify users believe streaming music should be free - how many will pay extra?

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My 2 cents. I've been using Tidal and I like the music suggestions it produces, which Qobuz doesn't seem to do. But the bugs in Tidal can get annoying, especially when using it on my Kann Alpha portable DAC, which can bug out and simply not work at all for 6+ hours straight! Qobuz has worked flawlessly on my pc and on the Kann Alpha. I can't see myself continuing with Tidal.

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On 16/04/2021 at 9:06 PM, PassionForSound said:

 

I'm having that issue too with Roon showing almost all albums as 16/44.1. During playback you can open the signal path and see the correct resolution, but it would be nice to see it on the album listings too.

 

Haven't noticed any albums not showing up though.

 

One other challenge I've found is that adding an album to your library in Roon favourites the album in Qobuz which means I can't rely on the favourites function to sort my favourite albums for when I'm out and about. Qobuz has a 1,000 track playlist limit too so I can't make a favourite albums playlist either :(

I just refer to my DAC, which doesn't lie.

Roon is still importing data.

 

 

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In terms of file choices,  sampling theory  predicts that

 

1. PCM eg 44.1/16 can sound better then compressed files like Spotify or MQA.  If testing this out be aware to level the volume as MQA can up the volume, which is a great way to sound better. Im not suggesting MQA do that to cheat.  If you cant hear a difference be happy,  get your ears cleaned or listen to a mates system.

 

2. PCM 44.1/16  encodes more then humans need. So "high res" like 24 bit or 96 kHz is only indicated for blue whales or bats.  If testing this out be aware some high res files are better engineered and some DACs can sound better with high res files but expectation bias is powerful.

 

Conclusion

Qobuz 44.1/16 might be best for most.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Grizaudio said:

Roon is still importing data

How do you know that?

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4 minutes ago, awayward said:

How do you know that?

Here's what Roon are saying over on the Roon community forums:

"it could take a week or even two or three for this all to flush out. Qobuz is reprocessing its catalog and even when it’s finished, there is a lag of up to a week for Roon Cores to pull down the new metadata. But we are delivering updates from Qobuz daily."

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4 minutes ago, Tobes said:

Here's what Roon are saying over on the Roon community forums:

"it could take a week or even two or three for this all to flush out. Qobuz is reprocessing its catalog and even when it’s finished, there is a lag of up to a week for Roon Cores to pull down the new metadata. But we are delivering updates from Qobuz daily."

I hope you are correct. I’m finding that if Qobuz has one HI-Def album the sample rate displays correctly, more than one sample rate displays them all the same, time will tell.

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Just made the move and left tidal for Qobuz. It’s a smoother sounding service. 

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Well you could just use the Qobuz app like I do - and quite like it, sort of a Roon lite.?

 

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46 minutes ago, Tobes said:

Well you could just use the Qobuz app like I do - and quite like it, sort of a Roon lite.?

 

The issue is you need a Chromecast end point. 

 

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It’s a great app ... Roon does pull a reasonable interface into it. But the wifi and multi room functionality of Roon is hard to beat. 
 

(Lifetime Roon subscriber ...)
 

 

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Guest Eggcup the Dafter

I know my tastes are a bit eccentric sometimes - but at least half of what I've looked for is missing on Qobuz, including a lot of my Tidal favourites. And the Albert Fuller Rameau harpsichord album is missing the Gavotte variations just like on all the other streaming services. I guess that's one I'll have to buy  if I can find it.
On the other hand Qobuz appears to have a bigger classical selection and sounds fine on my PC setup, so plenty to explore which is what I use streaming for - rather than just playing stuff I own or should own.
I'm not hearing that much difference between standard res tracks and Tidal. Less bass on a couple of tracks. I'm getting better cymbals and more precise drum placement on some of the high res tracks against Tidal MQA. Or at least, I think I am. I found Exclusive mode gives better sound in the PC app as well but that might be system dependent.
 

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Been testing it today - roon on antipodes/Dave/pre/power/gryphon speakers etc. 

 

Quobuz doesn't quite have the library of songs that I like as compared to tidal (e.g Annette askvik, Carolina eyck). It is smoother overall -  which helps for certain songs, but maybe sounds less dynamic?/airy? for certain recordings. Especially when comparing same resolution files.

 

Would certainly think there's a different eq curve happening as compared with tidal. 

Will keep doing some back and forth testing!

 

*Edit* - then I go listen to Tool -Invincible in high res and I'm wondering if I need to pay for both....

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46 minutes ago, Dr_Kevy said:

It’s a great app ... Roon does pull a reasonable interface into it. But the wifi and multi room functionality of Roon is hard to beat. 
 

(Lifetime Roon subscriber ...)
 

 

Roon is great for access to my purchased library around the house, Roon radio and the additional artist info etc.

But my purchased digital library isn't that extensive.

 

I've been a Roon Lifetime member for years, so I'll continue to run it in tandem.

The question is would I purchase Roon now given recent issues and having the free Qobuz app (which I find sounds better)? Maybe not.

Ultimately I'll use whatever sounds best (to me). 

 

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