Qobuz Redux
Sound & Vision|December 2021 - January 2022
Three years ago, French upstarts Qobuz made quite a splash upon entering the U.S. streaming market. What has happened with the high-res service in the interim?
MIKE METTLER

Time flies. Besides being the title of one of my favorite latter-era Porcupine Tree songs, these were also the first two printable words that came to mind after I found the answer to the question, “Say, when was the last time I did a deep dive with Qobuz?” was exactly three years ago. (“Sacre bleu!” is the PG-13 equivalent to the other choice words I thought of in that moment.) Fact is, a full 36 months have passed since I first delved into the many hi-res offerings of this très magnifique French streaming service. With that in mind, I felt it was high time for a hi-res Qobuz re-evaluation to see if the ever-expanding service has been able to continue building upon our constantly changing audiophile streaming ways.

I’m happy to report the platform has only gotten stronger and deeper in terms of content and presentation in the interim. At press time, the Qobuz hi-res catalog has increased to house 185,000 albums—up 15,000 albums since my last eval—and the service boasts 70 million tracks overall, almost double from before. True, a good portion of this burgeoning track total is only available at 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD quality), but more is always better, imo.

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