TIDAL High Resolution 2023 / 2024 (Apps, FLAC and sound quality)

TIDAL subscribers will be seeing conventional FLAC high resolution in August so I thought a thread would be appropriate.

If you have thoughts about the upcoming changes to the TIDAL service and apps, please share.

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The audio in me doesn’t like that, but the IT in me thinks that is the perfect way to do it with only the “power users” with external DACs even noticing.

Think I’ll stick with local files :wink:

Edit - sorry just noticed. For clarity I am not part of the beta, or a tidal user. Delete this post if you like (as thread owner I assume you can) :slight_smile:

What they are doing would indeed be annoying.

@joma0711 I worded that terribly and just posted an edit.


I guess a person’s reaction will depend on where they stand re MQA. I actually downgraded my Tidal subscription to get just lossless CD quality because I actively dislike MQA. So to my point of view, this change sounds like a positive step.


Apparently the reviewers issue is their lack of transparency which with Tidal is not surprising.

While I no longer stream, when I was using Qobuz for a year or so, I found that using the server bubbleUPNP’s feature to convert flac to WAV on the fly had positive sonic impact. Not sure if any stand alone streamers do this, but I suggest trying if possible.

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Fire me the mask of transparency is the issue, not the format choices.

This is a result of their poor choice of going with MQA in the first place. There’s never been a good reason to use MQA. The whole premise of saving bandwidth is laughable. By the time MQA came out most people buying a streaming service had more bandwidth then they could use on either their phone or at home.


Plus now they still have a whole MQA catalog that they have already paid for so they won’t want to change over to Hi Res FLAC until renewal time comes.

For sure.

The following is exceptionally messy in my opinion:

If a track exists in both and a user has selected Max, the HiRes FLAC will be prioritized over the MQA version. If a HiRes FLAC version (a FLAC version that is at least 24-bit, 48 kHz) does not exist then the MQA version will be the source file.

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My guess is six months from now MQA will vanish from Tidal. No harm no foul as far as I am concerned. Whenever I have been in the presence of someone who extolls the virtues of MQA I stop listening to them completely. It doesn’t seem glorious to me.


I’m curious if TIDAL gains or loses subscribers once conventional high resolution becomes an option?

The people who prefer their setup wouldn’t have a reason to change plus the switch to all conventional Hi Res is not going to happen until the current label contracts run out and the labels contracts with MQA run out.

Anyone else seeing albums previously in MQA now available in “MAX” which is TIDAL’s new high resolution FLAC stream?

This album was MQA just a few days ago and I’m not finding multiple versions.

Are the MQA files that have the Max option still available as well?

Curiously yours.

@scotte1 I am specifically confused about that.

On TIDAL’s home page in the sound quality marketing section, MQA nor the “Masters” badge are NO LONGER mentioned.

However, MQA is still mentioned on the pricing page (see captures).

I would like to hear from some other TIDAL subscribers who are seeing changes.

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It is interesting. My gut tells me existing files are likely to remain but expansion of the MQA library may be in jeopardy.

I guess time will tell.


Golden Sound just posted some testing conclusions in the Roon forum.

Very interesting.


This was posted yesterday in the Roon forum.