Surfing on Google News I got a story that Sonos now supports a new lossless-compressed streaming service. In other news there are now lossless streaming services.
The service in question is Tidal.
Up until now I’ve been streaming Spotify to the Sonos and I’ve been happy with it. Spotify, as far as I can tell, streams 320 kbps Vorbis (like MP3, but different) to the Sonos system. This seems like a pretty goodly bit-rate.
Oddly I was having a conversation about this at work yesterday. How 320 kbps or high quality vbr (variable bit rate) is good enough. My comment then (and still is) is that 128 kbps sounds passable but my ears get fatigued after a short while. I still contend that 320 kbps sounds good.
So I signed up for a trial of Tidal.
Comparing Tidal to Spotify back to back they both sound good on my living room Sonos system (2x Play:5 + Sub). That said I think the Spotify sounds a bit muddy. I’ve been happy with Spotify, and likely will continue to be, but I think I’ll also keep around Tidal for my home listening.
As I was typing this the Run DMC / Aerosmith “Walk This Way” came on. I have to say that it sounded better than I have heard in years. Of course, for years I’ve been listening to compressed versions of it.
Does lossy compression have a place? Yes it does. I think my mind’s been changed though — where high bandwidth is available, I think that I’m moving back to lossless.
I suppose this means I have to haul up the box of CDs and re-rip all of them. This time I’ll rip them to FLAC instead of MP3.