- High Fidelity (HiFi) Sound Optimization
High fidelity sound is uncompressed music files. Unlike other services that rely on compressed MP3 files that decrease sound quality, TIDAL HiFi relies on FLAC, a more robust and realistic streaming format. FLAC offers audio in its purest form.
With a TIDAL HiFi and Tidal HiFi Plus subscription, you can stream millions of tracks in lossless quality. Lossless content is uncompressed CD-quality music; you hear the music the way the artists intended for their content to be heard.
In addition to HiFi sound, TIDAL offers Master Quality audio with a TIDAL HiFi Plus subscription. Master Quality audio is the only format that guarantees music fans that they are listening to the original master recording — the highest quality available. Learn more about Master Quality audio here.
While you will hear the difference with TIDAL HiFi and HiFi Plus on most devices, you will want to optimize your setup to achieve bit-perfect playback and enjoy TIDAL HiFi or HiFi Plus to its fullest extent. Below are the three steps to take to get the most out of your HiFi or HiFi Plus subscription.
Optimize Your Settings
- Adjust your settings to ensure you are streaming at the highest quality possible. HiFi is the highest sound quality setting on TIDAL HiFi, and Master Quality audio is the highest sound quality available on TIDAL HiFi Plus.
- Learn more about sound quality settings on settings on Mobile and Desktop.
- Streaming higher quality audio on WiFi is preferable as it may lead to less disruptions in streaming.
Optimize Your Playback Device
Not everyone prefers the same type of sound/playback, but high-quality hardware will best deliver the full experience of HiFi or HiFi Plus. TIDAL works with all speakers and headphones, and we have a wealth of great sound partners to help deliver the best listening experience. Learn more about Supported Devices.
You can also read about TIDAL Connect, our industry-leading technology to deliver in-app casting of high-quality music here: TIDAL Connect.
Optimize Your DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter)
To enjoy music as conveniently as we do today, we convert recordings from analog to digital. However, since sound waves are produced in analog form, the signal must first be converted back to analog before a speaker can play back music. This is done through a DAC or Digital-to-Analog Converter. The DAC changes a digital file back into an analog electrical signal with a constantly changing voltage that our speakers and our ears are able to process as sound.
Any device capable of audio playback contains a DAC; but, as with most technology, the quality of the DAC makes a difference in sound quality. High quality DACs are available in certain headphones, mobile devices, or as standalone units.
Once you have selected a DAC, read through the selected product instructions to connect to your playback device. Then, once connected to the TIDAL client, adjust your streaming settings as follows:
- Click the icon in the top left corner
- Select ‘Settings’ then ‘Streaming’
- Change the ‘Sound Output’ to your DAC
- Click (More Settings)
- Toggle additional settings as they pertain to your setup.
- Exclusive Mode only has an effect for HiFi and Master playback. This setting grants TIDAL exclusive use of the audio device eliminating interference. With this enabled, TIDAL has exclusive use of your DAC and will automatically change the frequency based on the song selection.
- Force Volume allows TIDAL to bypass its settings allowing the user to control the volume from their DAC or connected stereo device.
- Passthrough MQA disables software decoding of MQA. When this is selected TIDAL will leave the unfolding up to your connected DAC. This should only be selected if you have an MQA compatible DAC.