Am I paying for FLAC quality on Android if there is no HiFi bit perfect available?

  • 29 April 2023
  • 8 replies

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It came to my attention recently that Deezer doesn't have the bit perfect FLAC files available for the Android OS. An audiophile on YouTube who is quite respected and known in the digital music production and reproduction community  did a cameo on another channel about audio file formats from all the streaming services available currently. He said something that caught my attention and that was that while Deezer does in fact stream bit perfect FLAC files on desktop, it currently isn't supported on or by Android devices yet which made me ask myself, am I paying for music I can't even appreciate on my Android devices because Deezer is r raking in the revenue from mobile device owners who are paying for Premium tier subscriptions which are only bit perfect at 16/44.1 at the highest available quality but only on desktop or high end DAP? I hope this is not the case, but when I listen to Qobuz (which is FINALLY available on Canada as of a couple weeks ago!!) There is an audible and noticable difference when streamed through my LG Velvet and/or my newer Pixel 6 Pro. Qobuz allows you to import music files from other sources just like Deezer and the CD quality tracks I imported at 16/44.1 auto-detect the bitrate on Qobuz. My question is.... Does Deezer plan on adding a line of code or two for AOSP that allow Android devices to utilise and reproduce real lossless  FLAC files offered by your company? I'm still a faithful subscriber to Deezer HiFi because Qobuz is too expensive and I'm not an audiophile but I am a music enthusiast who appreciates lossless compression for the music I listen to. Some clarity on this Android issue would be appreciated. I'm just curious. I also understand that no digital audio file except for MQA and a couple of very rare codecs are truly lossless bit perfect files that are streamable on the appropriate networks and devices. Cheers 🍻♥️🎵


Toronto Canada 

8 replies

Userlevel 2
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Leaving the MQA issue aside, which is very controversial as to the actual quality and lossless issue, how are you streaming your music? Airplay in my understanding does CD quality and not really true hi res lossless at this time, is Android the same? When I then stream natively within my KEF Connect app I believe lossless is present at hi res, however still only CD quality in Deezer? Now, my imagination tells me the sound quality (soundstage, clarity?) is better, but I have no measurements to back that up. So how you stream I suppose might make a difference. But then does your system resolve to the point where you can tell the difference between hi res and CD quality? I would love to have Deezer go hi res to be able to give it a listen on my system. Honestly though, until Qubuz lifts the 2000 song playlist limit it is not worth my effort to sign up, giving all my credit card information for a free trial (as Tidal offers with KEF) and then remember to cancel later. In the end, I agree with your concerns and feel Deezer should move to hi res to remain competitive, whether in fact it makes a difference to most hi fi systems or not.

Userlevel 7
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Hey @Colin Salazar, could you send me the video? I will ask our tech team about it!

If the music streaming service or app you're using on Android does not offer a specific HiFi or bit-perfect option, it is unlikely that you are paying for FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) quality. FLAC is a lossless audio format that preserves the original audio quality without any compression.

Without a dedicated HiFi or bit-perfect option, it is more common for music streaming services to use lossy audio formats such as AAC or MP3, which provide good quality while using less data and storage space. These formats involve some level of compression, resulting in a slight loss of audio quality compared to FLAC.
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If you are specifically interested in FLAC quality, you may want to explore music streaming services that explicitly offer HiFi or lossless audio options. These services often charge a premium or have separate subscription tiers for high-quality audio streaming. Make sure to check the features and supported formats of the music service before subscribing to ensure it meets your desired audio quality requirements.



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I was under the impression that Deezer Premium was FLAC quality already. That was my question. Is it possible that Deezer has a compatibility bug in the Android app that prevents the FLAC files from being streamed at the 16/44.1 CD quality tracks as advertised? That's all I'm trying to figure out. My Sony XM5's interestingly turn on the DSEE Extreme when I change the developer settings for Bluetooth to LDAC at 24bit/48hz but then it disappears when I change the settings to a higher rate. I find that weird. Try it if any of you folkes have the XM5'S. Anyway, the music sounds great on my M on Momentum 4's and with the AptX Adaptive which also streams from my phone at 24/48 even though Deezer doesn't have a lossless compression option that high. I don't know if what I'm trying to ask is being said correctly... I just want to know if Android devices can stream (CD quality) FLAC files from Deezer over Bluetooth or not. Hopefully you get what I'm trying to ask. Now I'm lost. LoL. Cheers!

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Hey @Colin Salazar, could you send me the video? I will ask our tech team about it!

Unfortunately it was in my Google Discover news feed and since then I can't even find it on YouTube as I don't remember the title.☺️

I ask my tech team let’s see what they get from it.

Currently, Deezer offers high-quality audio streaming in FLAC format on desktop devices, but the availability of bit-perfect FLAC streaming on Android devices is limited. The highest available quality for mobile streaming on Deezer's Premium tier is 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC. While I understand your preference for bit-perfect FLAC streaming, please note that the difference between bit-perfect FLAC and the 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC on mobile devices may not be noticeably significant for most listeners.
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As for future plans, I don't have access to specific information on Deezer's development roadmap. However, Deezer continuously works to enhance the user experience and expand its features. I don't have access to specific information on Deezer's development roadmap. However, Deezer continuously works to enhance the user experience and expand its features. 

.... Deezer does in fact stream bit perfect FLAC files on desktop, ...  

Does it? The Audio data goes through the windows sounds mixer, right ?