Qobuz and epic distortion on certain songs

I am having an issue with Quboz, please @DarthPool place this wherever is proper, this seemed to be fitting.

I just started using Quboz and I noticed on certain songs part of the song is distorted and the rest is fine, sounds perfectly normal. I would say it even seems to be like a frequency range or instruments. It’s happening on both headphones I own, so it’s not a headphone issue.

Not sure precisely what’s going on but I’ve never experienced distortion at all for any reason from YouTube, Tidal, or SiriusXM.

I was listening to movie scores or Oscars playlist and the song it happened on so far was some random daft punk song(other day). Just ended up changing the song, thought it was an isolated incident

This time I saved the songs I had issues with

You’ll never know - Renee Fleming
Overture from the H8ful eight @1:32 once the drums start kicking it starts to crackle @1:55 when the background instruments come in.

Any idea what’s going on or how to fix it?

I don’t have Qobuz but never discard an improper setup of your cables. I’ll explain: a few months ago I was routing a balanced (14 dBu) balanced signal with a pair of TRS to RCA cable. Physically-wise, all good, since it was just a dropped a wired signal… But for my single ended DAC input, it was way too much voltage coming from the source.

It took me a while to figure that out 'cause I was typically listening with volume settings not-maxed out and with older songs (60s to 90s – higher headroom). Until someday I maxed out everything and played a recently mastered track… Those “fart-sounds” could not get by unnoticed. :hear_no_evil:

Good luck.

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Well my setup is just a usb to dac/amp, it’s a combo unit, and straight out to the headphones.

Just going to cancel Quboz if I don’t get a resolution, I already emailed them

are you using EQ or anything else?
can you link the song?

Without knowing the PRECISE chain, from what SPECIFIC versions of these tracks are being played (there are several listed on a basic search), which Qobuz client is being used, what audio/USB driver, what the audio output mode is (WDM, ASIO, etc.) what the specific DAC/amp is, and what the headphones are, as well as listening level, EQ usage etc. it’s impossible to help with this sort of thing.


Damn well let’s see what I can provide.

  1. The track is directly off the H8ful Eight Sound track, it shows the cover of cd with that specific spelling. Also if you look at the playlists it the one which is on Oscar nominated scores or something like that.

  2. It is the Quboz app on windows 10, maybe I can provide a version. But it should be the most recent as I just got it 5 days ago.

Maybe tell me how to identify this info

  1. Well it the Nano BL, it shows that driver on the speaker icon on windows

  2. ASIO on wasapi, direct sound wont work.

  3. Elegia and HE6SE. Only happened once with the HE6se

  4. Like 12 o clock on the Nano and 2 o clock on the flux high gain.

  5. No EQ



Without knowing the SPL levels you’re listening at, it’s hard to say for sure, “crackling” is usually due to either clipping (of the amp, the transducer, or running into digital clipping) or interrupted USB data.

Be very easy to clip the Nano iDSD BL into the HE6SE. And quite possible to drive the Elegia into its excursion limiter. But that’s conjecture without knowing how loud it’s playing. It could occur on Qobuz in that setup, but not other sources, simply due to different levels of dynamic range/compression across different masters … especially if you’re listening loud enough to be getting close to the amp’s limits.

Comparisons to YouTube aren’t useful, since that’ll be compressed all to hell and there is no way to reference the master anyway. And TIDAL and Qobuz maybe using different masters as well.

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SPL is in dB right? The Nano doesn’t have a digital read out. I can’t say what 12 o clock amounts too.

But if it’s clipping, shouldn’t it be the entire song? It just sounds like it’s coming from either when that instrument starts to play or that frequency range.

Like in that song 30 seconds of it sounds distorted and the rest is perfectly fine

I mean I’ve been using that Nano for about 4-5 months. I had tidal for free for 3 months and had no issues. Just seems kind of strange this is only happening on Quboz.

Clipping is a product of high dynamic range when excess volume isn’t a factor?

Maybe give me a song that’s sure to clip and see if it happens

I don’t know what other ways to get to the bottom of this.


It wouldn’t help you if it did, as it wouldn’t tell you how loud the headphone was playing.

Download an SPL meter app on your phone and measure how loud the cans are playing at the listening level you hear the issue.

Absolutely not.

It would only be the peaks that exceeded the amplifier or transducers limits.

Could simply be different masters. All it would take is for the Qobuz one to have higher dynamic peaks than the TIDAL one and that could be just enough to go over the limit.

Clipping occurs when either:

  1. An amplifier has insufficient power and you listen loud enough to cause your headphones to draw more power than it can provide.

  2. A transducer is driven too hard and hits its excursion limiter.

  3. In the digital world, if you exceed 0 dBFS (usually a result of apply EQ boosts, without lowering master gain).

It doesn’t work like that.

No issues for me with the song you mentioned:

Maybe your driver is doing something strange? Try rebooting yet?

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– issue at the source: :white_check_mark:

On a 2nd thought, I use my Scarlett interface to drive the Liquid Platinum and sometimes I can hear some weirdness coming out of it – including distortion. Luckily, a simple power cycle resolves it.

Will try that today and maybe you can hear the sound/distortion occurring.

Nope, those tracks play cleanly for me - so the crackling you’re hearing isn’t part of the recording.

It might be down to the master, in your setup, at your listening levels, but it’s not innate to the recordings.

Okay, that’s what I wanted to see, if you guys are also experiencing it.

i’ve been having an issue with 96k on Tidal and Qobuz. It happens on my TT2 and Cipher DAC but not my Holo Spring. The file produces a pop crackle noise. I can play 96k files on Foobar with no issue. It seems related to the exclusive modes on both those services. Any ideas?

It’s strange, I just started to listen and Quboz was right where I left off. Same song, overture and it’s not clipping or any distortion. My mic into the ear cup while I’m listening. I even increased to the volume to try and make it clip.

Not sure what’s going on, tried the Renee Fleming song too

So I listened to that playlist from the other day, the song that distorts for sure is rinzler by daft punk.

I tried to record but the I guess the mic isn’t compatible with 3.5 to lightning dongle.

But it’s not happening on other songs for the time being, let me see if I can record with my PC. Obviously at the same time dB wasn’t able to recorded or figured out.

Yea it’s not allowing me to upload it, I recorded with my pc and it’s .m4a file, guess you could only upload photos and such.

I don’t know not to keep on this I guess it’s just the amp, just find it strange cause when I use my flux to power my HE6se I am not sure how that one is clipping. Probably an issue with vrms and the amp inside the Nano clipping causing the flux to play that.

Once my JNOG arrives hopefully this clipping issue will be resolved

I tried Qobuz in 2020 and canceled at the end of the trial mostly because of DAC issues and crashes (on Mac). It was a lot more temperamental than either Tidal or Amazon HD. I’m inclined to think it’s a driver/DAC issue and fully believe something odd could be going on.