Tidal: Source?

I find myself using Tidal more and more. As a newcomer to Naim (Uniti Nova) I seem to have a multitude of options at my immediate disposal to play music:

  • Natively on the Naim app
  • From iOS devices using AirPlay 2
  • From iOS devices using Chromecast
  • From my old Sonos Connect ZP90 (leftover from my former system)

I’ve briefly and unscientifically experimented with them, and they seem equally reliable and I can’t really discern any difference in terms of enjoyability.

So, I’m curious if there’s any known technical limitation with either method that should discount one over the other.

My previous experience with AirPlay (v1) and Chromecast have been extremely disappointing (on Apple and Google hardware respectively) due to frequent dropouts. But both seem solid on the Naim with my current wifi setup.

I’m curious what is considered “best” either anecdotally or technically.

For simplicity I prefer to use the Naim app to control Tidal natively. The other option, at a cost, would be Roon.

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I still don’t really “get” Roon. I’m perhaps in the minority, but I don’t care much for content surrounding albums. So long as the app UX is reasonably decent, I’m happy so long as it’s reliable and delivers the best possible audio content.

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The other key thing with Roon is that it acts as a transcoding media proxy as well as media aggregator. With Naim streamers that improves, for many, the SQ over native internet stream playback on the streamer. That is Qobuz and Tidal become and sound like local home served media as far as the streamer is concerned.

There are other transcoding proxy options out here (such as BubbleUPnP server) but require some technical knowledge to setup and can have limitations on their application clients.

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Hello Simon
Are you saying if I play music from tidal through my streamer it will sound better if it goes through roon aswell?

If you prefer listening to WAV over FLAC, then yes, and/or you generally prefer the sound of home streamed media as opposed to internet streamed media on your Naim streamer.

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Interesting to know, thanks Simon.

Great to know, thanks SImon.
This explains, at least in part, why the sound quality from Tidal seems to be better these days. I’m using it via Roon.

Best regards, BF

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