When Tidal “split out” or unbundled MQA and the CD quality combined I just went to HiFi only. My Naim items cant use it and i am not keen on the background hype IMO but happy with Tidal as they gave the option to separate.
If you use your Naim streamer within a Roon environment, the Roon Core can perform the first unfold of MQA material to a max of 24/96, which is probably 95% of the material available on those streaming services.
You can use Roon with the 2nd Gen streamers without any additional hardware or software. 1st Gen streamers need a small solution to Bridge the Roon environment to the UPnP input, but once done works without issue and gives a new lease of life to these products.
Thanks for the further advice Simon, I guess if you want the further cost of a Roon subscription then this is a option, however, still dont get the full MQA benefits and i assume not the full sound quality that is available from MQA either, so not sure taking this option is that worthwhile.
As HH advises, maybe better for OP to try out Qobuz.
Sure - with Roon I have Tidal and Qobuz alongside each other, and for all recordings cannot tell them apart.
For me unfolded 24/96 MQA streamed from Tidal is exactly the same as 24/96 streamed from Qobuz. Then anything higher from Qobuz sounds as good as the unfolded 24/96 Tidal Master, however, the volume of content at higher than 24/96 on these services is very small.
Now, for some locally stored content, I have preferred the PCM 24/96 over the MQA 96 version. For instance Joan Armatrading/Joan Armatrading, but it is very very close. However not a patch on my Nimbus Supercut pressing of this album, which is superb.
But then for Dave Brubeck the MQA 44.1k release is just wonderful with better separation that a SACD rip played as DSD64 and a MQA 176.4 version, which plays at 24/88.2, and comparable to a Columbia 180g reissue from 1990’s/2000’s. I haven’t forked out yet for one of the Analogue Productions repress either on 33.3rpm or even45 rpm, as this MQA 44.1k sounds so good.
So after getting my Naim Nova I subscribed to Qobuz and Tidal HiFi. My download speed is 30Mb and I really struggled with any Hi res content from Qobuz whereas Tidal was fine obviously Tidal HiFi uses less bandwidth than Qubuz Hi res. This combined with the way Tidal presents music and suggest music for me is fantastic, suffice to say I let go of Qobuz last month. BUT this is where Roon comes in, totally changed the game, Roon centralises everything and sends a Hi Res stream to your supported devices including my Nova. Roon use their own Roon Advanced Audio transport, this allows you to unpack MQA from Tidal and play with joy. Now upgraded to Tidal Hifi but play 99% through Roon.