• HiRes FLAC and new audio quality levels
  • As of 8/2/2023, TIDAL supports HiRes Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) files on iOS, Android, Desktop and Web for HiFi Plus subscribers. HiRes FLAC is any FLAC file that is 24-bit, 48 kHz or greater (up to 192 kHz).

    All subscribers will see an updated audio quality settings screen on iOS, Android, Desktop and Web. This update makes it easier to choose the right audio quality for when you’re at home with a WiFi connection or on the go using a data plan. The formats available on each quality level is below:

    Max* – High fidelity lossless audio up to 24-bit, 192 kHz with HiRes FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), an open-source format that every artist can create and deliver their music in, and Master Quality Authenticated audio (MQA).

    High – Lossless audio with FLAC (16-bit, 44.1 kHz)

    Low (up to 320 kbps) – Listen to the music you love using lower data usage with compressed AAC files.

    *Only available for HiFi Plus subscribers


    Getting Started:

    • Navigate to Settings > Audio & Playback (mobile) or Settings > Streaming (desktop and web) 
    • Select Mobile data or Wi-Fi streaming (mobile) or scroll the Audio Quality section (desktop and web)
    • Select your desired audio quality level

    Why is TIDAL adding HiRes FLAC support? 

    Our commitment to open platforms for both artists and fans drives our continued adoption of the FLAC format. Adding HiRes FLAC gives HiFi Plus subscribers best-in-class audio quality in a format that can more easily be delivered by artists. Enabling greater access for both artists and fans directly aligns with our purpose of empowering artists to run thriving businesses.

    Is MQA still available on TIDAL? 

    We will still have MQA files available, however when an artist has delivered a song in both MQA and HiRes FLAC, the song you hear will be the HiRes FLAC version.

    Which devices can play HiRes FLAC available?

    Currently, HiRes FLAC is only available streaming directly from iOS, Android, Desktop or Web. TIDAL Connect, Sonos, and Chromecast support are coming later in 2023. 

    What do I need to ensure I’m getting the best experience with HiRes FLAC?

    The exact sound quality that artists and producers hear when they record music can be recreated through your speakers when listening in HiRes FLAC. To get the full experience, we suggest you research if the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) on your listening device can fully support the format (lossless 24-bit, 192 kHz) as well as use a wired or WiFi connection.

    What is the difference between HiRes FLAC, FLAC, and Immersive audio?

    HiRes FLAC is the distinction we make for any Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) file that is greater than 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, which is the standard CD quality. HiRes FLAC on TIDAL can deliver superior sound quality in files as large as 24-bit, 192 kHz.

    FLAC is a two-channel, stereo format, so music is mixed with a left and right speaker (or headphone) in mind. Immersive formats are multi-channel, so music is mixed with a three-dimensional space in mind, meaning sound is placed to the left and right but also above, below, and all around you.

    To learn more about sound quality and TIDAL, go here{Link to What is TIDAL? / What is HiFi? / What Audio Quality Do TIDAL HiFi Plans Offer?)}

    What file types are included in Max quality?

    You’re getting the best quality version of any song on TIDAL by selecting Max quality. The source file you receive depends on the format(s) delivered to us by the artist, label, or distributor. The hierarchy of availability is HiRes FLAC, then MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), then FLAC, then AAC (compressed audio), meaning that if we don’t have the file available in HiRes FLAC, the source file will be the MQA version, and so on.