'master' quality with Airplay and Tidal connect gives 'hifi'?

Playing around with my new Atom HE, i noticed that the quality indication made bij de Tidal App from my iOS device is different when playing ‘M’ stuff from Tidal. Like stated in my topic: with Tidal Connect i get Hifi and with Airplay it says ‘Master’ quality. Normally this means MQA also somewhere in the equation.
More interesting, the sound with ‘master’ quality / the airplay stream seems a bit more clear and with detail.

Any1 noticing something along the same line?

Naim does not support MQA at that this stage. So when you stream directly to the Atom you will get max CD quality.

If you use Roon you will get the first unfold of MQA.

With Airplay I am not sure what the actual resulting quality will be.

Naim do not support MQA and if you watch the Goldensound YouTube video in which he downloads his own files to Tidal, you will see what a good idea this is.
I changed from Tidal to Qobuz because of MQA, it is not what it pretends to be.


I don’t care if something pretents to be something or if someone tells a story on you tube. I just listen to music and let my ears decide. Especially combined with Audirvana, Tidal sounds superior compared to Qobus to my ears. Try random 3 numbers from both platforms and decide what you like best.

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I did, I prefer Qobuz.

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Airplay as far as I know is limited to 24/48 anyway regardless of which service you use, even apple music…

As MQA needs a min of 44.1/24 and a max of 48/24 and airplays max is just cd quality so 44 1/16 for music. So the Tidal app will downgrade to hifi and not master. Much like how the Naim app does the same and it used to do it for Chromecast but not sure if that changed recently.

MQA or not I do really liked Naim supported it. The MQA tracks on tidal when unfolded with an mqa dac sound better than the cd quality versions available on tidal.

I have two MQA devices and the differences are noticeable for the better. I know a real 24.192 is better then an mqa 24.192, but the mqa is also better than de 16.44.1 from the same master.

So Naim could not believe in the format but implements tidal connect, why not offering us the MQA also and let users decide if they use it or not. I my country Qobuz is not available and I only get Tidal as a streaming service and for this MQA is very attractive.

PS audio does not believe also in MQA but they implemented it because it does drive more sales. And they are big defenders of DSD.

When I compare my NDX 2 with my other streamers I feel is a great product and reproduces PCM beautifully, but DSD is not on par with my other DAC’s and not having MQA makes no sense to me.

I my case the need for two streamers in my main system to get the best of all formats was a logical choice, not believing in a format does not make it bad, it’s simply another option for sure better than Bluetooth, mp3 or acc.

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For reference, as many seem confused by this.

Airplay is capable of 16/44.1khz. However, if playing from Apple Music is becomes a lossy AAC.

Tidal Connect is not ‘streaming from your device’, in the same manner as Airplay. Your device (iPad etc) merely acts as a control point and your streamer (NDX2, etc) connects via the 'net to Tidal servers.

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taking aside any debate about SQ I’d imagine that Naim is gunshy on MQA because there are licence fees for its use and there could well be technical aspects to the DAC hardware implementation that do not sit well with other technical design choices Naim have made (though this is all speculative). Personally, I quite enjoy MQA, I bought. a Bluesound Node specifically because it offered it when tidal was the only hi-res streaming option available to me - but that was a consumer product with an appropriate price tag. I doubt MQA inclusion would have convinced me to part with the price of NDxxx, but it might make sense on MUSO level kit s a direct competitor to SONOS, Bluesound etc…

But conversely I’m going to speculate that there are people who might have been new to the brand that didn’t buy Naim because it doesn’t support it… Inferior or not. It’s a box that isn’t ticked in a world that likes it’s boxes ticked.

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