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Removing any doubt about the playback of a Hi-Res album purchased on Qobuz!

By Philippe Daussin |

Today, we are answering the mail of this reader who has had difficulty in knowing if the album he has purchased in Hi-Res on our website is well and truly played in this form with the devices he owns.


I just downloaded for the first time a Hi-Res album on your website, but having read all your technical advice, I can’t find a clear explanation on your website (sorry…) and I’m a bit lost on what type of application to use to actually play my album in Hi-Res on my Hi-Fi system.

To play my digital files, I go through a Yamaha WXC-50 network player then through a Rega R DAC, which I connect to my amplifier.

Using my iPhone and Yamaha’s MusicCast software, I’m under the impression that I am being restricted to CD quality (44 kHz).

Using my computer and iTunes (I downloaded the purchased album via your Downloader) and then Airplay, I can’t be sure that I’m actually playing my files in Hi-Res, it’s all a bit unclear…

Do I have to download another audio player (for an additional fee), Audirvana? Maybe, I will need to talk to someone from Qobuz on the phone; and this could be much easier for me…

Thanks in advance.

Our answer

Hello and thank you for your email,

Let’s start firstly with AirPlay broadcast: unfortunately, it cannot broadcast digital audio files in Hi-Res. This is a certainty, even if the file is in Hi-Res, it will always be broadcasted in CD quality.

The problem would indeed be solved by Audirvana, which integrates the UPnP protocol and would broadcast toward the network section of your Yamaha WXC-50 the files in Hi-Res.

But let’s see what we can do with Yamaha’s MusicCast application, since our editorial board owns a WXA-50. From the Qobuz application integrated to MusicCast, the playback of digital audio files is done in Hi-Res up to 24-Bit/192 kHz.

But since you aren’t a subscriber, as is your absolute right, you can indeed play a Hi-Res file downloaded on our website via a player installed on your iMac and broadcast it using a Wi-Fi protocol toward your WXC-50—if this protocol handles Hi-Res digital audio, which is our original problem from above.

But here you go, the Yamaha WXC-50 is first and foremost a network player, i.e. it is able to go look for all the digital audio data present on the network to which it is connected, as long as these data are shared.

Thus, you will have to make your album visible by your network from its storage device—it is also called sharing a file—and use the Server function of the WXC-50 so that it can be seen on the network.

You’ll just have to select this album and it will be played by the Yamaha WXC-50 (choose Play now after pressing your finger for a few seconds on the album or the track), which is connected in S/PDIF to your Rega R DAC.

Best regards.