Australians who love HiFi audio quality have a couple of choices for high-res streaming, but they’re about to get one more, as Qobuz looks set to launch.
Tidal and Deezer are about to get some competition in the HiFi streaming space in Australia, because it looks like one of the world’s first high-res services looks set to launch on our little spot of the world.
You’ve probably never heard of Qobuz, unless you’ve gone looking for high-resolution audio online, because it’s a service that caters for exactly that, and yet has more or less been classed in the “Europe plus America” category of music streaming.
Specifically focused on high-resolution audio almost entirely, you can think of Qobuz a little like “Spotify for audiophiles”, because that’s kind of the approach. Similar to Tidal HiFi, Qobuz caters to audio across both the standard 16-bit we’re normally used to, plus the 24-bit audiophiles look to, delivering sound quality as high as 192kHz, which is among the best of the best in audio circles, before you start talking DSD or the impossible-to-find 32-bit 384kHz tracks.
While it has yet to launch locally, overseas Qobuz offers a price of around £15 monthly price for audio quality that high alongside editorial content, but also offers higher plans if you’re keen to purchase hi-res audio alongside it. However, hi-res is the name of the game for Qobuz, because that is all it delivers in streaming, focusing on folks looking for the best of the best in streaming, and nothing else.
On the store front, Qobuz offers purchases in both CD quality and hi-res, which means an Australian launch could potentially add to where Australians can find high-res music, because the number of places are definitely small.
We suspect streaming will be the main focus of the Australian launch, with what is expected to be a $25 to $30 AUD monthly cost for high-res streaming, competing with services presently offered by Tidal and Deezer, with Spotify’s own take on the concept coming later in the year in Spotify HiFi.
As for when Qobuz will appear in Australia, a launch is penned for mid-April, so we expect you’ll start to see official details for pricing and compatibility not just with phones and tablets, but with speaker systems like Sonos by then.