TIDAL:- limited catalogue on Naim App

I am finding (or not) that when I access TIDAL via the Naim App that the catalogue of available albums is far more limited than when I access the same artist/album(s) on the Tidal app with the same iPad.

Examples include the albums for Marillion, and the Led Zeppelin back catalogue.

I would prefer to play ‘direct’ via the native TIDAL stream on the ND5XS2, rather than over Airplay fro the iPad to the streamer.

Does anyone else have similar experiences ?

Others have found the same issue in the past.
If you save an album as a favourite in the Tidal app, can you then see it in the Naim app?

Yes, that has worked for the two LZ live albums which were ‘missing’ from the Naim App.

Maybe there is a ‘hint’ hidden here to move to Roon (as a commercial partner J )

Both the Tidal app and the the Naim Tidal app filters “M - Masters” quality music files. To be sure, I checked my settings within the app and ensured I have the highest streaming quality possible, but I learned TIDAL HiFi members can access the growing catalog of master-quality albums and tracks only through the TIDAL desktop application.. So, the only way to find MQA files is using the Tidal app on a computer desktop.

When I find the MQA files, and save them as “Favorites”, they do not appear as MQA on any of my Tidal apps on smart devices, only on computer desktop. So we cannot get to MQA files from our smart devices.

The work-around that I am using: installed the app MConnect on my iPhone and play this it to n272 streamer via NQAP network attached storage.

If Tidal has TIDAL has partnered with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) to deliver guaranteed master-quality recordings directly from the master source, and we are paying for it, why in the hell are they only available on desktop application? Frustrating!

Tidal MQA material is identified as such on any device that is able to process MQA files. That includes the Tidal desktop app. When played on non-MQA devices, they will play as regular 16/44 files, so there is no point in labelling them differently.

MQA also available via Roon

Indeed. Which a) explains why they don’t appear (Naim streamers aren’t MQA enabled), and b) while they apparently will play as 16/44, being compressed versions of higher res files it is unclear whether they would sound as good as standard 16/44.
There is a separate recent thread giving the reasons why Naim doesn’t support MQA, with some discussion around the topic.

Almost, an MQA file played back with no decoding effectively loses the least significant bits to noise… so more likely playback as a slightly digitally noisy 44.1/14 bit or less file…certainly less than CD quality on a quality system. I can see why the Naim app would not want to select them given no native MQA decoding in the Naim products.
However I do see increasingly more albums appearing only as MQA on Tidal… not many but it is increasing.

1 Like

Yes, I’ve noticed thus too.

And does this do a first unfold of the MQA encoding?

No. When using uPNP (which is the protocol Mconnect uses), the file is untouched

edit: this needs addtional research. We are not sure to which part mconnect unfolds or not. We think it is untouched to my n272 via uPNP. Then the Naim handles from that point.

my IT guy contacted Conversdigital, and here is what they say:

" The monnect app does not unfold MQA tracks, and it delivers the original file to the playback device. The file is directly transmitted from Tidal server to the device. If the device is capable of MQA decoding, the track will be played after MQA decoding(unfolding). MQA unfolding has two steps, Core Decoding and MQA Rendering(Full Decoding). If the device does MQA Core Decoding, the audio output will be 24/96, regardless of MQA Original sample rate."

If the device does MQA Full Decoding, the audio output can be original sample rate, depending on the device’s supporting sample rate.

So when there’s an MQA and non-MQA version of the same Tidal file, will the MQA file sound a wee bit worse than the non-MQA version? Or will they sound the same?

So will these MQA Tidal files all show up as redbook files on the Naim app?
But then not sound quite as good as redbook files in playback on a good system?

Quite right Simon, well spotted! It seems to me that if you really want to find out what MQA can do, you should use hardware that supports MQA throughout. Just using Tidal to do the first unfold in software doesn’t sound any better than 16/44 to me, either through a Naim streamer or a little Dragonfly DAC I sometimes use, which does support MQA.

Yes I am seeing the same too on the NDX2. In my case, it has nothing to do with MQA, the are all CD Quality.

A particular album only has 6 playable track via Niam App whereas 10 tracks are playable directly from the Tidal App.

Unless you have identified the tracks as FLAC or MQA on the Tidal desktop app, they could be either. A Naim streamer will display then as 16/44 regardless.


They are all16/44 on the desktop app.

Unless they are MQA…

The non decoded MQA version will sound inferior to a PCM version … on a lo or mid-fi system this loss in quality may be perceived only marginally.
A non decoded MQA file is inferior to CD resolution and quality.

1 Like