Can someone explain Tidal to me please

I’ve used Qobuz for ages, but signed up for the £1.99 4 month Tidal trial yesterday.

I think it was the ‘hi-fi’ offering.

So, are things limited to CD quality unless you have an MQA enabled device when accessing via Naim app? Or is this just a CD quality tier?

I think Audirvana/Roon may do a first unfold of MQA, I may be wrong, but is there a way to search for better than CD quality Tidal content?

Tidal HiFi is CD quality unless you have a device that can partially or fully decode MQA files.
Room can do the first unfold but you need a MQA DAC to do it completely and give you the original resolution.

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Thanks Guinnless, so out of interest is there any hi-res on Tidal which is not in MQA format?

I’m a little cynical of MQA , always was, but more so after reading this:


There isn’t no. :neutral_face:

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The Tidal app can ‘unfold’ MQA, as can Roon. It’s not a separate tier, it’s included in the HiFi sub. I tried it for a while, and ended up disabling it and sticking with standard 16/44, as I could hear no improvement, and some stuff sounded worse.

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Fair enough.

That said, how many of us are truly convinced by better than CD quality?

I think it would also be fair to say that limited listening has been very enjoyable even if in CD quality ‘only’, and integration with the Naim app alone is a big bonus compared to the Qobuz app and clunky Chromecast.

An attraction (as with Apple Music which I detest), is that Tidal had music videos to relax to as well, and I watched several guilty pleasures (Duran Duran, no less, many poor quality videos but The Chauffeur must have been on film given the great quality!) via the Tidal AppleTV app last night.

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It doesn’t work with a Naim streamer though unless you use Bluetooth or Chromecast.

Yes me too.
I had the first unfold of mqa for a while and it was really nothing-y, if that makes sense.
Just a blue or green light.

A distraction from the music, and also from working to get better sq in my experience.

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Sorry, not sure what doesn’t work?

MQA decoding can’t be done on an Naim streamer directly. i.e. with the Naim App.

Thanks, that was my understanding too.

I’m definitely not convinced that a higher bit rate sounds better.

But I’m also definitely sure that I don’t know enough about the actually existing and possible technologies to write it off, partly because I’ve not researched it, and partly because I rarely in my life have ever heard very good sound systems set up very well on which to compare higher res file types.

By definition then you find a lower bit rate doesn’t sound worse! :wink:

But do dsd files have a bit rate of one?

I think many of us waited decades for a better than CD quality format - SACD and DVD-Audio never really took off, so when hi-res downloads arrived I took the plunge assuming it wiser to get hi-res downloads even if current technology wasn’t up to it. Some hi-res titles sound a bit better to me but many are just ‘more of the same’.

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But how can one tell in advance?

French Rooster suggested to me earlier today that if I get a .melco, I should buy the ecm LPs that I love as 24 bit files.

This seems like it might be a good idea.

But until you try it how can you know…?


Good evening @Alley_Cat, I have been using a TIDAL Hi-Fi Subscription ($19.99 a Month) in the US for a couple of years. I have enjoyed it and found it simple to use with the NAIM App at home. I also use it when traveling, connecting with the TIDAL app through my Mac air and listening with a set of headphones in the hotel rooms. I don’t care about MQA and have no intention to pursue it. My experience is that some albums are fantastic on my home system and others are ordinary.

I have bought a couple of hundred CD’s over the past couple of years, the majority after listening to an album on TIDAL first. Some just impulse buys usually at used CD stores. More importantly I have not bought albums after listening to them on TIDAL. I have bought a number of CD’s over my lifetime that I wished I had left on the rack at the store. So the monthly subscription is worthwhile for me in that it stops me from spending money and I enjoy the service they provide.

I hope that was of some help and enjoy your trial.


Thats a bit contradicting no? First you say you bought the majority of your CD’s after listening to them on Tidal. Then after you say you haven’t bought any albums anymore after Tidal. Is there a typo in there somewhere perhaps???

Stream them first…:blush: