When audiophiles want to stream Hi-Res (High Resolution) music, they get their fix from Tidal. And today, Tidal’s bumping up all that Hi-Res goodness with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) Technology.
You can already enjoy CD-quality Lossless files (1411kbps, 16/44.1 khz) from Tidal, which is superior to Spotify Premium’s lossy 320kbps. The one roadblock that prevented Tidal from delivering anything better is the vast amount of information that Lossless files tend to hold, risking longer buffer times. Not anymore. From today, (thanks to Spotify’s partnership with MQA) Tidal Hi-Fi members can enjoy a growing catalogue of albums in 1411kbps, 96 kHz/24 bit, authenticated and exactly as how the artiste intended you to hear it. This is double the sample rate and bit depth, which will positively affect sound quality.
This is possible because MQA technology can store Hi-Res music in smaller and more compact files, that you can download or stream smoothly without sacrificing quality. Traditional streaming file formats like AAC, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis, rely on compression, making some sacrifices in sound quality in order to stream better.
Tidal Hi-Fi subscribers don’t have to pay extra for this new service, but they can only enjoy it from desktop computers for now. No date has been set as to when MQA streaming will be rolled out to other platforms.
Spotify is now the standard bearer of music streaming, boasting 30 million subscribers and more than 40 million songs. In such a competitive landscape, Tidal is cementing its hold on the audiophile niche by offering quality that is important to them. But like all good things, it comes with a price. A Tidal Hi-Hi subscription will set you back S$20 a month, twice the price of Spotify Premium.
More information is available on Tidal’s website.