New TIDAL tiers and MQA

You’re still getting a clipped MQA stream when it is showing “TIDAL FLAC 44.1kHz 16bit 2ch”.

In this link, Tidal “HiFi Plus” Introduced - #16 by Terry_Stone, read the post and the one immediately following the findings I published that @wklie was kind enough to explain. That should marry with what you’re seeing.

There are further tests ongoing to try to get a definitive position for the new Tidal hi-fi tier, but essentially, you’ll not be getting what many people had hoped for or thought they might be buying.

It’s starting to become moot now for people like us in Oz as Qobuz has launched and is offering std and hi-res PCM.

You have an Australian account that can be tested?

I would like to test it myself.

No worries Terry.

I’ll be honest I don’t really care. I use TIDAL for music discovery and then I will purchase an album that I like in the the best possible format I can get. I don’t particularly care about the format unless the album sounds rubbish to my ears. I don’t have time to worry about this kind of thing now that I am in my fifties, I’d rather just enjoy my limited time on this planet.

I just thought that the information may be of some use, if it isn’t then the moderators can delete my post.



I don’t have a Tidal account anymore. The tests were done by a user from that I worked with to get to the bottom of this. I gave suggestions of tracks to try based on my familiarity of what formats I knew were solely mqa on Tidal (and ultimately part of the reason I terminated my account due to lack of choice).

If there is no Hifi 16/44.1 equivalent of the album then it is likely you get the CD quality of the MQA (96kHz and higher) source when you set it to HiFi setting.

Yes! Needs more respect. :smile:


Now that you’ve tried the 48kHz multiples, try the 44.1kHz multiples MQA instead, e.g. Magnificat album above, or other 2L albums. Check the signal paths.

It’s only logical you get the 16/44.1 MQA when you streamed a “Tidal Master” album and you set the setting to HiFi and there is no 16/44.1 Plain PCM available as a separate album.

You are basically telling the server to give me the CD Quality of this “Tidal Master” album, or in other words I want to listen to the undecoded version of the album because you set the setting to HiFi only.


But it isn’t CD though. It’s still 44.1/16 MQA. So MQA, but somehow even worse.

This is all academic when the debate was whether Hi-Fi tier subscribers were going to get lossless 44.1/16 PCM as the tier itself has been marketed as lossless. And it isn’t. So the user is not getting the choice they thought they were and all because the PCMs are gradually being removed by Tidal.

This is not a sound quality consideration, and neither should it be. It’s a consumer question and one that has grave implications on consumer choice and innovation across the future of the industry.

All else is moot.


The 16/44.1 MQA you get from a 24bit container is lossless.


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Porsche sell the Taycan Turbo S. It is fully electric and does not have a turbo.

Look, if people are that aggrieved, why not make a legal challenge? [Moderated]

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Off topic, but I looked at the Porsche site and got pretty excited by the “Build your own” section before realising I’d taken it far too literally…

It might indeed be entertaining and I’d guess it’s far from cut and dried. MQA’s position has moved from “lossless” to “audibly lossless” while still maintaining “use your ears to hear the difference”. If there’s an audible difference and MQA is formally “lossy”, (it is) then it might be interesting to see where the legal chips fall…


I already made the switch to Qobuz, like many Australian’s.

But more options are coming…
Spotify and now Apple…


What is there about audibly lossless that you fail to grasp? Surely all that matter is what is audible?

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You are right and I hadn’t taken this into consideration when I made my earlier remark about not really caring. If TIDAL are deceiving or even misconstruing information to their customers I hope that they are taken to task over it.

My wife deals with journalists about the issues surrounding provenance in her role at the National Art Gallery everyday, it is a shame we can’t easily identify the provenance of the music files we purchase or stream.


Chris, this is where the use of standard terminology is so important. There is no definition of the term, and you must see that it depends on who’s doing the listening. What I fail to grasp is the precise meaning, and it’s the use of woolly terms without formal meaning that’s the issue. If you can hear a difference who’s to say that’s not the “loss” that you’re hearing…

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Absolutely all of this.

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