Audirvana vs. Qobuz

It’s not that easy to really A/B compare two different tracks/albums/recordings, but what is still pestering me is that i seem to notice certain differences between, say, AO using my own personal music collection and 3.5 streaming the same album via Qobuz. For instance, and try it for yourself, Eric Clapton’s “The Definitive 24 Nights” hi-res (24Bit - 48kHz}. Compare it, or something else, in stand-alone Qobuz, in 3.5 streaming Qobuz, and in AO using a file on the PC’s drive. I can’t comment on Studio streaming Qobuz or playing local files since I don’t have that set-up (although I once did). Must be subjective, I know (and equipment-dependent) but AO playing local files just seems much more open and expansive. I’m really just experimenting with a Qobuz 3-month free trial, and still undecided. Either way, a huge Audirvana fan (having tried 3.5, Studio, and Origin).

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Only you, with your set up can answer this…
Local file in Origin,
Local file in Studio,
Then streaming the same file on Qobuz…
Who’s sound better?

i guess since i never streamed,
Origin and Studio sounded the same… also better the Qobuz…
i’m i right ?
you’ll never know :slight_smile: you decide :wink:

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Endlessly comparing. The scourge of society. It’s probably always been that way. I stopped all that nonsense when I turned 65. Yes it did take that long. Buggar me. It’s a short life. Listen to the music.

I go to Presto Music or Native DSD etc. and sample the music. All probably in 44. If they sound OK I buy them

Sometimes they are duds. Mostly the music is incredible.

Buggar me. It’s a short life. Listen to the music.

[By-the-way, Ozarc is a great series. Laura Linley and Jason Batemen are terrific. Lots of throat slashing.]


Ammendment re Ozarc.
Like loads of books, movies, TV stuff, as the series extends they get to be r i d i c u l o u s.

Another example is Tin Star.


So true…

We are curious, now please tell us, which one is better?


I believe Damien did say he improved the sound in Studio/Origin from 3.5.

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I also think sq of Studio is better (had 3.5). So this test with an old app no longer developed for more than 2 years (just very neceary fixes) is not very relevant imo. Test with Studio (trial? payed for a month?) if you want to have a more realistic perspective.

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Yes, that’s a good point. Streaming Qobuz via 3.5 is not really a fair test for Qobuz, so I should try it with Studio. Thanks.

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I have both versions installed on the same Mac mini.
Regardless of whether you are using Qobuz, Audirvana Origin is slightly better than version 3.5.
It might be because I use more audio files than Qobuz.

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Streaming services default player software so far have all been terrible players vs standalone players, especially Audirvana. Qobuz’s default player, however, is exceptionally not garbage compared to the rest.
Playing local uncompressed tracks should be your reference playback sound. They will automatically beat internet travel and decompression noise.
I’m begging streaming player software to support track downloading and decompression to a temporary hard drive file in advance, and then playing that file, for uncompromised playback quality.
Studio will play your Qobuz streams the best, as well as playing local files the best.

For either one, Audirvana obtains the file, does any upsampling you’ve configured, then loads the file into RAM (or, depending on file size and your settings, as much of it as will fit), then plays it back out of RAM. So where is the step where “internet travel” affects sound quality?


There are fluctuations in electrical power intensity going on besides what the track’s digital values are. Even without stuff travelling through the internet, people still want power conditioning to combat it. With the internet on top, it travels through all kinds of switches and cheap bulk cable, all of which modifies it with it’s own signature, on it’s way to you. You’re absolutely right, internet streaming still sounds really good.

There obviously must be some quantitive evidence and published data to support these claims. Otherwise it is just speculation and opinion.

People with $50 Bluetooth speaker systems in a box could say that people saying anything could be better requires quantitive evidence, and published data, to support the claims, otherwise it’s just speculation and opinion.

Yep that’s this industry/hobbie in a nutshell no data to support opinions.

Run a race, stopwatch
Build a engine, dynamometer
Shoot a precision rifle, the target paper

Audiophile claims argued ad nauseam, nothing but smoke.
It ends up only being useful for comic relief, that’s good so let’s keep it going :+1:t2:


Well, first I bought a $300 dac after it’s built in amp got upgraded for $50, and I thought it smoked my sound card. Then I got the $1500 tube amp everyone was going on about, and it was way better. Then I got the hd800’s as soon as they came out, to replace my HD600’s, because they must be able to be better. Then I got the Sonarworks EQ software to make them spot on accurate. Then, I researched <2k dacs for a long time looking for an upgrade that should be better, and got a $2400 one that I can’t believe how much it smokes anything I have ever heard anywhere else before. Then I put big fat $50 Chinese made power cables from Amazon on it and my amp, and it was much better than the fat stock ones, so I got one for my monitor and pc, and not only did my monitor look better, but the one I put on the pc gave me richer and deeper digital audio and video outputs to my gear. Then a usb cable to the dac that didn’t seem like a big deal, but wasn’t worse for sure. Now, I have a $200 i/c cable in the mail to me that I hope beats my $50 BJC. Oh, and I thought a cheap usb card might beat motherboard usb, even though not as well as a $300+ single port audiophile one does, so I got a $50 7-port 3.2 card, and happily, it beat the mobo usb pleasantly.
Anyways, none of my upgrades are ever anything I have ever heard before. I just listen to what people say about how the stuff sounds compared to what they have. All the reviews from the customers of the cable on the way say it added refinement and depth to their sound. They usually do, but this one was on sale for 45% off, that’s the real reason I went with that particular one.
Oh, besides the audio gear measurements showing a difference that people argue is not related to what actually sounds good, I have a color meter for my monitor, and whenever I change video cards, it’s cable, or the power cables to my monitor or pc, it shows my calibration goes way off. My tube amp does seem less electronicky than my equally priced ss amp, and the big 2x sized tube that fits in my power rectifier socket does sound like something along the way got bigger. All of these upgrades are ones that I have heard claims about before, only the usb cable seemed like smoke. Except it wasn’t worse either, I may actually just have been tired of trying to hear any differences, after all of those power cables.
Re: power cables: now that I got the big fat cheap ones with a cheap shield, where only sheer fatness could be what’s improving things so much, I’m in trouble for upgrading it with slimmer but higher purity conduction at some point until things get really expensive. Unless what they’re offering really is much better than sheer fatness. But if sheer fatness helps this much, for sure I’ll lose something also unless it’s the same thickness, right?
If you ever see an old windup turntable with a horn, beg the owner to let you hear it. Something got lost also in the conversion to electricity. Those people on those old records really will sound like ghosts of the living, compared to this hifi digital crap. It’s been less realistic somehow, since then.

I know what you mean, I bought some titanium grinding that I lay my cables on, prevents radiation interference, makes mp3s sound like heavyweight vinyl. Awesome.


Seems that everyone that has done the titanium dust cable path upgrade is very satisfied. Glad to hear that you like it also, I’m going to save up and maybe around Christmas I’ll go for it. In the meantime the bog roll cable risers are ok but I don’t think they make the big difference I’m looking for.

Edit: here’s a picture I took


Oh, you don’t think cables make a difference.
Why do you care about Audirvana? Do you believe that the player used actually makes a difference? I bet the streaming services argue that bits are bits, there’s no difference.

There’s shit cables and good quality cables yes, and there it ends. I dont “care about” Audirvana, it’s a good bit of software for music playback, looks good and is as useful to a basic user like me as it is to audiophile users. I only have local files, USB to DAC DAC to Pre-amp, pre-amp to power amp etc… No streaming, no networking I listen on headphones or my main speakers that’s it.
But… I have friends with systems as complex as some on here, and with kit costing more than my car, does it sound better? Maybe, different yes, some I like, some leaves me cold - but hat could just be the music they choose to listen to… which to me is all that really matters, content is king.