Qobuz has announced a series of significant updates to its music streaming platform and, most notably, the addition of even more high-res music.
This is through the forthcoming Qobuz Sublime+ tier, which will be available later this month for an annual payment of £350. It will offer 24-bit hi-res streaming of 60,000 albums "without any compromise and without any loss or alteration to the original version", says Qobuz. Users won't have to buy the hi-res albums first before they can stream them.
Tidal introduced hi-res streaming of its Masters-quality albums on desktop (not mobile) in January using the MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) format.
Currently the highest Qobuz tier is Sublime, where subscribers can download 24-bit music and stream CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio for €220 (£190) per year. If you have paid for a hi-res download, then you can stream that as well in the high-resolution format.
With Qobuz Sublime+ you will be able to stream directly from 60,000 24-bit hi-res albums to a mobile device, PC or laptop without first having to pay for the hi-res download (as is the case with the existing Sublime tier). If you do want to purchase any hi-res album via download, there will be permanent discounts on offer to Sublime+ subscribers.
Rival service Spotify currently lags behind both Qobuz and Tidal, having yet to deliver on its desire to offer CD-quality audio.
MORE: Spotify offers Premium users two weeks' exclusive access to albums
Qobuz is also planning to update its iOS and Android mobile applications in April/May, following changes to its Mac and PC software implemented in February.
The apps will have a new interface as a way to simplify management of playlists and recommendations, "for the first time integrating Qobuz’s rich editorial content in a very ergonomic way, previously only available on the website," the company says.
Qobuz is also working with Sonos to integrate Sonos system control directly into the Qobuz mobile app, in a similar way to Spotify Connect.
And in a further development, Qobuz is being integrated into DTS Play-Fi, a technology that offers lossless wireless multiroom streaming through compatible products.
For those who want the "ultimate" hi-res audio quality, Qobuz will offer a new DSD (Direct Stream Digital), hi-res multichannel download service from September 2017.
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