New Tidal offering on MQA

Good move I think.

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All depends on the pricing I suppose. If they offer the CD quality option at less than the current HiFi tier price then yes. If they price the CD quality tier at the same price as the current HiFi tier and increase the MQA tier price then not such a good move.


According to the article, the MQA-less seems to be cheaper than it was so far. I don’t know previous AUD prices, but $17.99 AUD is 11.55 euros and 23.99 is 15.40 euros. In Germany, Tidal Hifi with MQA is currently 19.99 euros.

What I would really want is a hi-res without MQA option, though.

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There is that option…its called Qobuz.


Yes, I have Qobuz, but I lost quite many albums in the transition from Tidal. And I use Roon at home so it does not matter there, but when I am on the road the Tidal app is IMHO much, much better than the Qobuz app*. Finally, choice would be good, who knows if both survive.

* And for some inexplicably reason, Qobuz insists on showing only poor German translations of content descriptions in the app if you are in Germany (same with French in France, I read). Super jarring as the app itself is English for me as are all my devices (I cannot stand UI translations, it is horrible).

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Tidal has different pricing in different countries, so you cannot compare AUS and DE prices.

I am aware, but looking at the tier prices in Germany it seems to fit somewhat that the 23.99AUD/15.40EUR Masters tier would be equivalent to the current 19.99EUR in DE. More than the 17.99AUD/11.55EUR one anyways. This is why I wrote “seems”. Aussies can chip in with the details

But just in a couple of countries

Interesting look at MQA:

Whole thread about it here:

Another MQA thread…

I for one will be glad to see it go. It just adds yet another unnecessary product differentiation. I hear a very subtle distortion with MQA tracks where my sources do not do the final unfold. Whether this noise is from (up)sampling or otherwise, I will never know. This goes away if the DAC does the final unfold (e.g. Astell and Kern SP2000).

QOBUZ tends to have a more laid back vocal presentation, it’s subtle and track dependent. So hard to compare generalisations. The Tidal app and speed is that much quicker though. It is far more evolved.

Whilst I wish NAIM would enable MQA full unfolding (if it’s capable of doing so, why not) I am happy enough without it. And preferentially play QOBUZ over TIDAL unless I’m using may Astell and Kern SP2000 as my other sources (e.g. the Naim I’m waiting on ; Chord) do not support MQA>


I am lucky enough to get Tidal for free (which is why I use it) and through a Bluesound Node 2i I have definitely noticed that there’s a difference between MQA files and non-MQA music, where there’s a choice available.

To my ears MQA sounds more detailed but there’s definitely a payoff in terms of excitement and attack. I don’t want my Led Zep sounding soft, thanks!

I would love to have more choice in this matter so I think this is a good move, both for Tidal AND the customer.


I think the basic question is around coverage. Will the MQA and non-MQA offerings have the same catalogues? I’ve got quite a few playlists on Tidal and I suspect they’re a mixture of MQA and non-MQA tracks. Will they all remain in tact if I switch to the non-MQA subscription?

I have downgraded and all my playlists seem ok. Including for example some of the Tidal Master playlists, e.g. Norah Jones. Even her Master playlist is still there but now playing in HiFi. If you click on HiFi logo it shows Master as shadowed, unable to select.

That’s good to know, thanks @timbre. Do we know when the new tiering will appear in the UK?

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