Static noise from Tidal across platforms and equipment - WEIRD!

Hello, I have been using Roon with Tidal for several months (and Qobuz before that), and in the last week or so I have experienced an odd problem. On many tracks there is a background static crackling noise. Sort of what you would hear from a vinyl record. It occurs:

  • when playing through Roon or the native Tidal app
  • when playing from different platforms (e.g., iPad or Win10)
  • when playing to different equipment and speakers
  • whether using Tidal Connect or playing directly on the device’s speakers
  • using different playback qualities
  • using MQA or not
  • only when playing back (not when music is paused)
  • does not occur playing back local files from Roon

I can replicate the problem for certain tracks quite reliably. For example in Arlo Parks, For Violet, in Collapsed in Sunbeams ( the crackling is immediately audible to me even before the music starts.

Everything would point to a problem in the streaming itself, which I find hard to believe. I am totally puzzled and annoyed, it really affects my listening experience.

Does anybody have an idea of what is going on? And can anybody reproduce the problem?

Thank you in advance.

I assume you do not hear this on playback of your local library.

No. Local files play just fine.

Could anyone please try to play the track by Arlo Parks, For Violet, in Collapsed in Sunbeams ( and confirm you hear a crackling sound? It is immediately audible to me even before the music starts, and then during the song.

That’s the sound of vinyl I reckon… I can hear it clearly.
There is an instrument available in credits called Turntable Sample. I know because I added it in an album I ripped the other day. There was a credit on the CD package.

Apparently Vinyl is cool among young people.

This is a nice smooth sound

Try this track 1. Sweet Love It has a similar vinyl effect on the fade in and fade out… more subtle

Interesting. I was not aware of that, thank you for pointing that out. Are you saying that there is a setting that can be switched on or off in Tidal to do that? Because I cannot see it.

No, it’s on the recording to replicate the sound of vinyl… The needle on the record, it’s an artistic choice. If you haven’t heard a vinyl set up, that may seem strange.
The rotation speed of 33/3 RPM. I find it an evocative sound.

I often listen on Sundays to a show on WWOZ (New Orleans) called Vinyl Jazz or something like that. Also late at night R&B shows playing old records. All the ticks and pops are quite soothing to this old guy.

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When I was a young lad my father burst into my room and exclaimed in an awash of puzzlement “What is wrong with your stereo!?!”

I was listening to NIN Fixed. “Nothing.” I calmly replied.

As I approach the “get off my lawn” phase of life I will often listen to the same track on multiple systems across multiple streaming formats just to verify that what I’m hearing is an actual decision someone, purposely I assume, made when recording the track.

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Thank you, guys. I do like vinyl records, but not necessarily the crackles. And, I would like to be in control of whether I want to add them to my digital files or not. But thanks for the information, highly appreciated.

notwithstanding our nostalgia for noisy vinyl, of course, if you’re getting crackles on almost every song you play, something is wrong