Qobuz vs. Apple Music: Which Streaming Service Is Better?

Dive into our in depth Qobuz vs. Apple Music comparison to see what the streaming services have to offer right now. 
apple music vs qobuz article featured image

Today, we’ll run you through a comprehensive back-to-back comparison of two heavyweights in the streaming industry – Qobuz and Apple Music. 

In the first corner is Qobuz, one of the first European digital music platforms that recently expanded to the US. It has a loyal following of roughly 200,000+ subscribers and boasts a huge content library of 100+ million tracks. 

In the other corner, we have Apple Music – a premium streaming service powered by the global tech giant. It has 90+ million active users, most of whom swear by the 24-bit 192 kHz lossless audio quality the platform provides. 

This review explores everything Qobuz and Apple Music have to offer, pits them in a contest of performance, and does its best to objectively declare which music streaming service is better. Sounds good?

Move your music library between Apple Music and Qobuz for free with just a few clicks. TuneMyMusic allows you to transfer, sync, convert, and share your favorite playlists between music streaming services.

Qobuz vs Apple Music in a Nutshell: TLDR Version

Overall, Apple Music beats Qobuz. The platform is much more accessible, slightly more affordable at the base level, and easier to navigate for first-timers and less tech-savvy folks.

Both Qobuz and Apple Music offer 100+ million tracks powered by cutting-edge coding technologies. They also both support 24-bit 194 kHz lossless audio quality. But, Qobuz’s FLAC coding has an edge over Apple Music’s ALAC due to more efficient audio compression. 

The streaming services are even regarding their respective content libraries and music-sharing capabilities. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: Ease of Access

Apple Music is one of the most widely accessible music streaming apps ever launched. It is available in 167 countries across all compass points. You just can’t beat it.

And, of course, Apple made all its products compatible with the Apple Music app. This includes iPads, iPhones, iPads, and Mac devices. If you’re driving a vehicle supporting CarPlay, you can even use Apple Music from its speakers.

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple music app interface

Apple Music seamlessly integrates with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and other streaming devices supporting the Chromecast feature.

On the other hand, Qobuz is a bit more of an “exclusive” app. It is currently only available to users from 24 countries. From a global viewpoint, Qobuz is accessible to most US and European users, in Australia and New Zealand, and a handful of Latin American countries. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz app user interface

Both Qobuz and Apple Music users who register from a supported country can continue using the app wherever they are in the world. 

The Qobuz music app works with most Apple-compatible devices and a broad range of other streaming devices/platforms like Aurender, Auralic, dCS, Innuos, Linn, Lumin, Bowers & Wilkins, and more.

Both Qobuz and Apple Music offer standalone apps and are available as web players. The apps are available on Google Play and Apple App Store shops.

Creating a new account on either app is a breeze. Users only need to download the software and follow a simple sign-up procedure.

For the Apple Music app, you only need to enter your email or Apple ID. For the Qobuz app, you can connect using existing Facebook/Apple credentials or create a new account from scratch by filling out the registration form.

Winner: Apple Music

Apple Music won this round without much of a contest. It is available in way more countries. This streaming service is available on all continents, while Qobuz is exclusive to Europe, the US, and certain parts of Latin America. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: Pricing

One of the first factors most users consider before choosing a streaming service is how much it costs. Both Qobuz and Apple Music offer several subscription plans and free trial versions of their respective apps, but they’re pretty different in this field. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple pricing

Let’s start with Apple Music. It offers three subscription packages, starting with the Student plan costing $5.99 per month, the Individual plan for $10.99 per month, and the Family Plan for $16.99 per month. 

qobuz logo small image in the comparison table at the end of article
Free PlanNoNo
Free Trial1 month (6 months with extra purchases)1 month
Individual Premium Plan$10.99$10.83 (with yearly plan), $12.99 (monthly plan)
Duo Premium PlanNo$14.99 (yearly plan), $17.99 (monthly plan)
Family Premium Plan$16.99$17.99 (yearly plan), $21.99 (monthly plan)
Student Plan$5.99No
Table comparing Apple Music vs Qobuz subscription plans.

One of Apple Music’s key advantages over competing alternatives is that even its cheapest subscription unlocks its high-level features – access to the full library of 100 million tracks, the Apple Music Classical mobile app, ad-free content, downloadable tunes, and lossless quality audio.

Pricier subscription options expand accessibility to additional users. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz pricing

Qobuz approached its pricing slightly differently. Users first get to choose between Studio (regular) and Sublime (advanced) plans before selecting how many people will use the app (solo, duo, and family options). 

The cheapest Qobuz subscription plan is the “Studio Solo” pack, which costs $10.83 per month on yearly plan on $12.99 month-to-month, while the trendy “Studio Family” plan allows up to 6 users to use the Qobuz app for $17.99 per month on yearly plan ($21.99 if on monthly subscription).

It covers all the basics, providing access to over 100 million tracks, Qobuz originals, premium Flac 24-bit audio quality, and the offline listening mode.

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz multiple user pricing

The Sublime Plan and its variants offer frequent discounts on Hi-Resolution purchases but at hefty prices. Qobuz Sublime Solo is more expensive than the priciest Apple Music subscription. Moreover, the fact that only users who live at the same address get to share one account is quite a letdown. 

In terms of free trial versions, Apple Music offers a one-month trial, and so does Qobuz, both of which refer to their respective “core” services. There are ways to expand the Apple Music free trial, like getting 6 months for free if buying an eligible HomePod, AirPods, or Beats.

Winner: Apple Music

This round is almost evenly matched. The price of subscriptions for Apple Music and Qobuz streaming services aren’t too far apart, and their respective “advanced” subscription options serve the same purpose. 

The reason why we believe Apple Music has the upper hand is two-fold. Firstly, their cheapest option is roughly half the price of Qobuz’s least expensive subscription, and they offer a 3-month instead of a 1-month trial version to all users. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: Content Library

Apple Music’s content library crossed 100 million songs in October 2022, and thousands of new tracks and playlists have been added in the past 15+ months. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple content library categories

These millions of tunes are neatly categorized into about 50 groups, including a range of themed categories like Hip-Hop, Pop, Country, and Dance, numerous mood-oriented playlists like Sleep, Chill, and Focus, as well as groups containing hits from specific periods like the ‘90s or the 2000s. 

The content library of Apple Music also boasts a few unique categories. The “Spatial Audio” contains tracks that support the coveted Dolby Atmos-powered spatial audio technology, providing a fully immersive listening experience.

Apple Music Live is where you’ll find scores of quality recordings from live sessions while DJ Mixes rocks dozens of unique, curated playlists by world-class artists. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple content library essentials

The service is also known for its “Essentials” category, an impressive collection of all-time classics in mainstream genres like Rock, Indie, Pop, and more. If you’re looking for the greatest hits of all time, you’ll likely find them here. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz content library essentials

In terms of content library size, Qobuz is evenly matched with Apple Music, boasting over 100 million unique tracks and tens of thousands of curated playlists. 

These tracks are divided into 10+ genres like Jazz, Country, Blues, Classical, World, and more. Some categories are fused together, such as Pop/Rock, Electronic/Dance, Rap/Hip-Hop, and Folk/Americana. 

Qobuz originals are called Qobuzissimes – brand-new releases launched by aspiring artists are regularly added to the collection. 

Winner: Tie

Both Qobuz and Apple Music have built huge content libraries with oddly similar results – 100+ million tracks are available on both platforms, complete with the GOAT tracks, trendy releases from emerging creators, original content, and more. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: User Interface & Navigation

Let’s start with Apple Music. The design of its UI is simple and intuitive; upon logging in, you can instantly access the most popular track selections by tapping the “Listen Now” button, “Browse” the entire catalog of available music, or use the search bar to look for specific tunes. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple UI

The search tool not only recognizes partial keywords but also instantly recommends the most popular options and trendy variations (in the form of “autofill”). 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple UI search tool

If no keywords are selected when using the search bar, the app will automatically open the “Browse” category and list some of the most popular genres. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple UI categories

Apple Music also has embedded music controls like track selection, play, stop, shuffle, and volume settings; the latter applies globally and can be used even if no tracks have been selected. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz UI

Qobuz’s user interface is comparable to Apple Music’s app in simplicity, but the platform itself is pretty different. Qobuz is both an audio streaming service and a music shop; they are connected, and you can access the shop and your purchases from the “Cart” button. 

Tap on the “Heart” icon to see your favorites, or if you just made a new account, use the search bar to find your favorite tunes. 

While Apple Music’s track controls are at the top, Qobuz placed them at the bottom of the screen, as illustrated below.

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz UI track controls

Besides music and volume controls, additional playlist options can be accessed using the “Settings” button (three vertical stripes). This menu also shows the selected audio quality of the chosen song. 

Winner: Apple Music

This round was pretty evenly matched, but we believe Apple Music has an advantage over Qobuz due to the simplicity of its app.

Instead of bombarding the user with all available features and options, Apple Music has broken down its features into three simple segments – Listen, Browse, and Radio. 

Qobuz is decently easy to use, but the fact that its digital store is such a large component of how the platform works might make it confusing to newcomers. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: Content Sharing

Starting with Apple Music, all you need to do to share your desired playlist is open it, tap “Share,” and either choose one of the available social media platforms (Twitter or Facebook) or “Copy Embed Code/Link.” 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple content sharing

If you’re connected to your social media profile, tapping “Share to Facebook/Twitter” allows for instant sharing, as shown below.

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple social media sharing

Alternatively, copying the code or link will simply copy it to the clipboard, which you can past to any page you like. 

Sharing content from Qobuz is almost identical. Just open the playlist or an individual track you wish to share, tap “More” (three buttons), and select “Share.”

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz content sharing

With both apps, you can seamlessly share existing playlists with other platforms like Spotify and Deezer, or even between each other. Just use the TMM share feature in a few easy steps.

Winner: Tie

There aren’t too many differences in how sharing is done from Apple Music and Qobuz. Granted, Apple Music made it a tad easier by including the “Share” button in the interface, while at Qobuz, you’ll have to do that extra click (on the “more” button). Still, the process is more or less identical. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: Sound Quality

Both Apple Music and Qobuz support cutting-edge audio quality, ranging from the basic 16-bit 44.1 kHz to the top-tier 24-bit 192 kHz. What sets these platforms apart is the technology they use to power their music offerings. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple ALAC audio codec technology

Apple Music uses its exclusive ” ALAC ” technology (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), developed to retain the totality of the original data makeup of each track.

ALAC functions almost the same as FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) but falls short of magical when it comes to audio compression. If you want to download songs from Apple Music on your device, the files will be a tad larger than FLAC files. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz supported audio quality options

Speaking of which, Qobuz supports three audio quality settings: MP3 (320 kbps), CD Quality (16-bit 44.1 kHz), and Hi-Res FLAC (24-bit 192 kHz).

Even the most nit-picky audiophiles would struggle to spot the differences in quality between Apple Music and Qobuz files when played at the highest resolution settings. 

Where Qobuz has an advantage over Apple Music, though, is sound compression. As mentioned, the FLAC codec technology is superior to Apple’s ALAC in chopping the file size of the chosen track by half; ALAC reduces the file size as well, but not with the same efficiency. 

Winner: Qobuz

Apple Music and Qobuz are tied if we compare their high-resolution, lossless audio quality. But Qobuz has a small edge over Apple Music with its FLAC technology, but only in terms of audio downloads. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music: Discovering New Music

Discovering new tracks is one of the top reasons most people use streaming services. Both Qobuz and Apple Music have made exploring available content a breeze. However, their approaches are substantially different. Let’s talk more.

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz content exploration - store

Qobuz’s shop offers a unique way to find new music. If you’re subscribed to the Sublime package, you’ll also find numerous discounts up to an impressive 60% (very impressive, actually!). Any music you purchase will instantly become available in the Qobuz web player and app. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing qobuz  grand selection and genre content exploration

Qobuz offers several ways by which you can find new music. In the app, you can use filters and keywords to search for tracks that fit a certain mood or are closely linked to the music you’ve described. 

And don’t skip Qobuzissimes if you’re searching for the most popular new releases. These are essentially “Awards” given to the trendiest songs from emerging artists, quirky projects, and collaborative works you might not expect. We had fun exploring it!

The easiest way to discover new releases and access some of the most popular tunes at Qobuz is to take a peek at the Qobuz Grand Selection. 

Expertly curated content is available on the Qobuz Magazine page, while the “Taste of Qobuz” offers a grand selection of personalized tracks based on the user’s previous searches and preferences. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple content exploration screen

Exploring content on Apple Music is as simple and fun as it can be. The “Browse” button will take you to the content discovery page, complete with Editor’s Choice picks, new releases in Spatial Audio, brand-new music from aspiring creators, and more. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple content editorial picks

The “From Our Editors” section is curated by Apple’s music experts. It covers a broad range of popular tracks and playlists across numerous genres and changes every day. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple new releases in spatial audio category

Apple’s partnership with Dolby enabled it to stream music powered by surround-sound technology, and you can find the latest releases supporting this tech in “Now in Spatial Audio.” 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple new releases

If you’re simply looking for fresh content, give “New Music” a shot. All the latest releases will be displayed here, covering a colorful palette of genres. 

qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing apple live and essentials

Apple Music Live will take you to the trendiest live gigs and concerts, but this category also includes the acclaimed Apple Essentials – tunes and playlists Apple Music deems the “greatest of all time.” 

You’ll also receive a free subscription to Apple Music Classical as soon as you purchase any Apple Music Plan. This standalone app features one of the world’s largest classical music collections – more than 5 million compositions from the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, Debussy, and Vivaldi.

Qobuz vs apple music article screenshot showing Apple Music Classical

Like “regular” tracks in the Apple Music library, the Apple Music Classical app supports 192 kHz 24-bit lossless audio quality; thousands of these tracks even support the coveted Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio technology.

Winner: Apple Music

There is more content than anyone could fully consume and explore in a single lifetime on both Apple Music and Qobuz. However, discovering old-time classics, new releases, and trendy tunes is objectively simpler at Apple Music, largely thanks to its simplified content exploration tools. 

Qobuz vs Apple Music, Which Is Better: Declaring the Winner

The main factor that contributes to Apple Music’s superiority over Qobuz is accessibility. Nearly anyone can use this streaming service, while Qobuz is mostly exclusive to European and American users. 

Qobuz’s flexible pricing options aren’t as impressive as the affordability of Apple Music plans, not to mention that the latter offers a 3-month free trial while Qobuz extends the same offer for only 30 days. 

Ultimately, they’re both amazing, but Apple Music is simply better across the board. Take a look at our rankings for a clearer overview of the criteria we used while testing these platforms. 

qobuz logo small image in the comparison table at the end of article
Ease of Access9979
Content Library9595
UI & Navigation9693
Sound Quality9798
Content Exploration9694
Table summarizing Apple Music vs. Qobuz comparison

If you want more content, check out our Qobuz vs. Tidal comparison or how Apple Music performed when facing the mighty YouTube Music. Or just head over to the comparisons page and see just about every platform you can imagine ranked against other streaming services. Stay safe and enjoy the music!