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Sonos gets hi-res audio with Qobuz first to enable 24-bit streaming

Sonos gets hi-res audio with Qobuz first to enable 24-bit streaming
(Image credit: Sonos)

Qobuz has beaten Tidal to become the first music service to bring 24-bit hi-res audio streaming to Sonos speakers. It's quite a coup for Qobuz – and welcome news for Sonos owners who have been waiting patiently for the chance to stream higher quality audio.

You'll need a subscription to either of Qobuz's tiers, Studio Premier or Studio Sublime, plus the Sonos S2 app, which supports 24-bit 44.1/48kHz for FLAC and is compatible with most Sonos speakers including the new Sonos Roam.

"For many years hi-res audio was only available to a select few with the knowledge of where to get it and how to play it", noted Dan Mackta, MD of Qobuz USA. "Now, millions of people have the hardware in their homes already – and the source has never been easier to access than through hi-res streaming with Qobuz on Sonos." 

The Sonos S2 app already lets users play 24-bit files from a local drive, but this is the first time that users have been able to stream hi-res tracks from a music service.

Quboz launched in 2007 and quickly became the first music service to offer CD-quality streaming in the UK. A subscription costs from £12.49 a month but new users can try it out for free here. In 2013, it became the first service to offer 16-bit streaming on Sonos, which may go some why to explaining how it got the jump on its biggest rivals – Tidal and Amazon Music HD – in this instance.

Qobuz 24-bit hi-res streaming is available now on Sonos in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Meanwhile, Spotify has announced plans to launch Spotify HiFi later this year. The new subscription tier will offer "lossless audio" streams, but not, it seems, 24-bit high-res tracks. But will that matter?

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