Streaming Music and the Audiophile

We received a SONOS system for review just before Christmas. The review of the three-piece set (Playbar, Sub, and Play 5) continues. Happily, there is a lot of free repertoire and my own library that is helping to evaluate the system, but I’ve been using two paid services, Google Play Music and Tidal, to best complete the review. Both services, and many others, are accessible directly from the SONOS app.

There are many services like Pandora, Spotify, etc, that can be accessed for free, but if you are an audiophile and like classical and jazz repertoire, you will probably prefer a paid service. Rdio and Deezer are two other services I’ve tried, but both Google and Tidal seem to have the strongest lists of the music I enjoy.

The high end is embracing streaming. How can it not? I heard several streamers from quality audiophile companies at last year’s Denver show. I’m expecting to hear a great many more at the upcoming Los Angeles and Vancouver shows. As for the downloading v streaming debate? There’s a reason iTunes is down 13% this year. Let there be no doubt, streaming is the future. The kids have spoken! Remember the CD v LP debate? Cute.

Tidal is the second company to offer lossless playback (Deezer was first).

We have reviews of Tidal and Google Play Music upcoming, with the SONOS review shortly thereafter.

For the streaming uninitiated, there’s a clear description on the BBC website.