After a whole lot of buzz and a good amount of time in beta testing, the new (to us in the Colonies) high-resolution streaming/download service Qobuz has officially launched in the US. This come hot on the heels of integration with Roon, as well as CarPlay.
More details directly from Qobuz:
Qobuz, the world's first and only certified Hi-Res (24-bit/up to�192 kHz) streaming service, publicly launches today in the US.�A hybrid streaming service and download store, Qobuz�boasts�approximately forty million CD-quality (16-bit) and millions of Hi-Res (24-bit/�192 kHz) tracks, the largest available selection of Hi-Res streaming tracks anywhere.
Since its launch in 2007 in Europe, where it is the streaming and download service of choice�for true music�connoisseurs�looking for the highest possible quality, US audiophiles have been eagerly awaiting Qobuz's arrival stateside.
Qobuz is poised to capitalize on the modern developments making�high quality�audio available to a fast-widening audience looking for a higher-level listening experience. Improvements in bandwidth speed and Internet infrastructure and the introduction of affordable speakers and audio equipment represent an accessibility tipping point in the growing high-end audio market.
Qobuz is on all app stores, and a summary of its features is below.
Streaming in up to 24-bit/192 kHz true Hi-Res FLAC (about 29x the audio quality of MP3) with compatible gear.
The option to stream and offline download an unlimited amount of music on all devices-including both mobile and desktop.
A parallel Hi-Res download store with files for purchase allowing for options that flow substantial revenues back to creators- premium pricing for Hi-Res masters is a growth area for record labels.
Exclusive, curated, and in-depth editorial content. Deep metadata, complete digital booklets, interactive articles, reviews, and playlists in-app on every platform.
Library spans all genres, including specialist areas like jazz and classical
Unique dynamic interface allows user-selected genre focus. Qobuz' experts highlight music of interest based on user choices.�
Full Roon version 1.6 integration available.
Here's what the audiophiles are saying:
The LA Times called it "the greatest record store that has ever existed."
Sound & Vision said that Qobuz's subscription fee is "a small price to pay for a high-quality aural buzz you'll crave time and time again."
Audiophile site Darko Audio�said�"The big story this year is the arrival of Qobuz to American shores."
Stereophile said "When I compare Qobuz' 44.1 sound to [lower-res] ... I feel certain I will carry weapons and fight on the front lines to make sure Hi-Res streaming is here to stay."
Audiophile Review raved, "If musical availability and�streamed�quality mattered most ... I would choose Qobuz."
Owner and�chairmain�of Qobuz, Denis Th�baud, said "I am very proud of our United States launch. Our teams have been working brilliantly for over a year with our recording and publishing partners to get to this point. I am convinced that what we have to offer, on both the streaming and download markets, will be a success amongst American music lovers." Dan Mackta, Managing Director of Qobuz USA, added "I'm thrilled to be introducing Qobuz to the US, and I look forward to working with the music community to spread the word about streaming without sacrifice. It's all about the quality!"
Pricing plans are below:
Sublime+: $299.99/year for full Hi-Res streaming and substantial (40-60%) discounts on purchases from the Qobuz Hi-Res (up to 24-bit / 192�kHz) download store.
Studio: $24.99/month for unlimited Hi-Res (24-bit /up to 192�kHz) streaming ($249.99 annually).
Hi-Fi: $19.99/month for streaming including 16-bit CD quality streaming ($199.99 annually).
Premium: $9.99/month for 320 kbps MP3 quality streaming ($99.99 annually).�