Qobuz: your free trial
For audiophiles, the experience of listening can mean many things. And for our purposes – in this post and at our soundrooms – we use the term ‘audiophile’ as anyone who finds enjoyment from music. Love vinyl? You’re an audiophile. Geek out over the newest DAC? You’re an audiophile. Does a hot Friday night activity include A/B comparisons between speaker cables? You see where we’re going here… Whether you simply like listening to music, love hearing your favourites on great equipment, or fall anywhere between – we get you.
There’s a whole bevy of opinions about streaming and bit-rate and whether analog is warmer/richer and what high-resolution MQA files even mean. We won’t be unpacking all or any of that here, although rest assured there are ongoing conversations in our soundrooms each day about those topics and more. We like our streaming services and our music streamers. Which streamer and which service is an evolution, and that’s where Qobuz comes in.
This summer, Qobuz announced its arrival in Canada, with much fanfare from those eager to jump on board and possibly with a wary eye from some other services. Regardless of where you land on music streaming services, we’re happy that people have choices and encourage you to discover as many as possible while you find the right combination for you, your equipment, and lifestyle.
The Offer: extended free trial
In the spirit of that exploration and with thanks to our partners at Qobuz, we invite you to give the platform a whirl with an extended FREE trial session for 60 days – extended from the usual 30. Be sure to read the terms and conditions, then create an account and start listening. Explore the website and dig in to all the extras: find out about Qobuz and read the Qobuz Magazine.
We’ve taken the liberty of summarizing here what Qobuz has to say about itself, in their own words.
Rediscover Music. Love Your Music. And let the journey begin.
When we formed Qobuz in 2008, our goal was to offer the digital world the aspects of music fandom that audiophiles, those who love music best, have always cherished. For us, this meant quality sound, quality editorial, and a freedom of choice that wholly excludes bias. As a result of our diverse collective culture and our musical education, our business catered to artists old and new. We wanted to design a service that catered to highly specialized music lovers, all over the world.
Beyond the sound quality we offer, at Qobuz, we have our own, distinct style. This Qobuz style puts us ahead of other music services; it is what will lead you to choose Qobuz over our lesser competitors. We will help you to grow musically, providing recommendations, a stylish service, and a musical experience that breathes. The Qobuz website borrows the namesake from the ancient, symbolic and sacred ‘Kobyz’ instrument, which originates in the heart of Central Asia, and primarily Kazakhstan. Linked to the shamanic ritual, and therefore endowed with supernatural and magical powers so as to ward off evil spirits and disease, the Qobuz is a two-stringed viola made from horsehair and played with a bow. Whether Qobuz has the same transcendent virtues as its namesake is another story – come and find out for yourself!
How do you guarantee optimum streaming and download quality? The best musical experience is guaranteed by a number of different factors, each responsible for a different part of the music. Qobuz strives to ensure that requirements are equally met at every single step over the course of music’s journey of creation.
- Composition. It’s the first step that an artist, performer or band takes when they embark on the creative process, which results in a finished musical product. It is during this crucial stage that an artist defines the musical direction they wish to take. Composition is also the step which helps refine the musical identity of an artist and assigns them to a certain style.
- Recording. It’s the moment an artist enters the studio. Broadly speaking, the sound engineer’s practical and analytical viewpoint helps an artist obtain an end product that appeals to the audience and remains within the defined genre. The recording determines the final quality of the sound and gives it a particular tone. The sound engineer chooses certain techniques and equipment in order to guarantee the best possible quality of sound.
- Mixing. Mixing is the step where different effects are added — compression, equaliziation, reverb, echo — which will effectively define the sound and identity of the song and/or album. Mixing is an important part of the artistic process because this is the step when the sonic balance is struck between the different components of a piece. It is important that every instrument has a well-defined role in the spectrum of sound, especially in pop music. The sound engineer attends to this process as well to ensure optimum sound quality.
- Mastering. The main goal of this final step is to ensure a level of uniformity between pieces using a standard equalization process. Pieces need to be brought together with the help of different tools. The sound engineer tasked with the mastering process determines which treatments are needed in order to obtain a product with a high quality of sound and a satisfactory level of volume. Finally, depending on the desired format and the destination of the product, a reduction in resolution may need to be applied (with studios recording in 24-Bit quality and CDs having a resolution of 16-Bit). The application of ‘dither’ allows the resolution to be changed by reducing the noise of quantization. Without this final step, quantization would happen simply by ‘truncating’ the extra bits; the resulting quantized sound does not sound like music at all.
- Apps & Audio Source. In order to guarantee the proper implementation of all these links in the chain — and thus the work of all the artists, sound engineers, and producers — and maximum fidelity to sound, a reliable audio source is necessary. Before any analog amplification, a conversion from digital is necessary. Qobuz offers the optimum quality so that you can enjoy a high fidelity listening experience, no matter what kind of equipment you use. Whether you choose to listen on a smartphone or on a desktop computer, the Qobuz apps guarantee the best quality available with the equipment used.
- Sound Equipment. Sound equipment is generally made up of an amplifier and speakers, usually in a pair to benefit from a stereo listening experience. As well as having an amp which can amplify sound in the purest and most faithful way possible, it is important that the speakers can technically recreate all the nuances of a song. A good speaker should not colour the sound in any way but reproduce it in the most musically faithful way possible. Therefore it is important to have the adequate equipment to make the most of the audio sources being used.
- all content attributed to Qobuz online ↩︎