• TIDAL High Fidelity (HiFi) Sound and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) Technology FAQ
  • What is High Fidelity (HiFi) Sound?

    TIDAL HiFi relies on FLAC (16bit / 44.1kHz), a more robust and crisp streaming format. The majority of streaming services simply offer Standard Definition through the use of MP3s or other compressed formats - where aspects of the original recording are removed to compress the file, compromising on quality. With a TIDAL HiFi subscription, you have the ability to stream over 60+ million losslessly compressed tracks. TIDAL Lossless content is 4.4 times the bitrate of the highest Standard Definition streams offered by other services, allowing you to hear the music in its purest form.


    What is Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology?

    While HiFi audio is a superior sound, it is still limited in its resolution —44.1 kHz /16 bit. TIDAL has partnered with MQA to deliver audio in an authenticated and unbroken version (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit) with the highest possible resolution—as flawless as it sounded in the mastering suite and precisely as the artist intended. TIDAL is one of the only services to render 24-bit master files streamable on portable devices as it uses a state-of-the-art MQA compression process.

    Here you can learn more about Master quality audio at TIDAL, and here about how the MQA technology works.


    What audio quality does TIDAL HiFi offer?

    A TIDAL HiFi membership allows you to listen to the best quality sound based on your selected device, settings, and data availability.

    A TIDAL HiFi membership supports four sound quality options for you to choose from:

    Master - Authenticated files from the mastering process. Studio quality. Unrivaled clarity and depth. MQA is authenticated by the artists themselves.
    HiFi - Lossless CD quality (1411kbps or 16bit / 44.1kHz).
    High - Best compromise between data usage and sound quality (320kbps AAC).
    Normal - Reduced data usage for slower connections.


    Which iOS devices support TIDAL HiFi?

    TIDAL HiFi can be used on iPhones and iPads with iOS11 or above.


    Which Android devices support TIDAL HiFi?

    TIDAL HiFi can be used on Android Version 5 or later. Please note that the Blackberry Android is not supported. You can also enjoy TIDAL on your Kindle Fire with Android version 4.4.4 or higher.


    Which Mac devices support TIDAL HiFi?

    TIDAL HiFi is supported on Mac OS X v10.10 or later with a processor/CPU: Intel® Core™ Duo or faster and a RAM of 512MB (1GB recommended)


    Which Windows devices support TIDAL HiFi?

    TIDAL HiFi is supported on Windows 7 or later with a processor/CPU: 2.33GHz Intel® Pentium® 4, AMD Athlon® 64 2800+, or faster, and a RAM of 512MB (1GB recommended)


    What Web Browsers support TIDAL HiFi?

    For use on Macs (OS X) or Windows-based computers:

    Google Chrome (three latest released versions)
    Firefox (three latest released versions)
    Opera (latest version)
    Vivaldi (latest version)
    Brave (latest version)


    Which home audio devices and software support TIDAL HiFi?

    TIDAL HiFi offers integration with many of the most popular home audio devices. These includes:

    Desktop App connected via USB or other digital outputs(*)
    Sonos
    Google Cast or Chromecast
    BluOS by Bluesound*
    Roon*
    Naim
    Heos by Denon
    ng TV

    A complete list of devices and apps found here.

    (*)Indicates support for MQA.


    Which Smart TVs and Streamers support TIDAL HiFi?

    Roku
    Chromecast
    AppleTV
    Fire TV
    Android TV


    How can I best enjoy TIDAL HiFi in the car?

    TIDAL HiFi can be enjoyed via a standard 3.5mm / ¼-inch “aux cord” or via digital mirroring technologies like Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Ford Applink, and Samsung Carconnect. Some of these also support TIDAL Masters, depending on the vehicle model.

    TIDAL is also available directly in the infotainment systems of:

    Mercedes-Benz (in newer models with MBUX)(*)
    Volkswagen (starting with the 2020 Passat)(*)


    (*)Only available in select regions.


    How much space will TIDAL HiFi audio files take up when downloaded to my device?

    The following things determine the size of a downloaded song: the file’s bit depth, sampling frequency, and compression codec used. Note that higher-quality lossless files are larger. Below are examples of file sizes for a 3½ minute song:

    Normal - 2.5MB
    High - 8.4MB
    HiFi (lossless, 44.1 kHz sample rate) - 20 MB
    MQA (lossless, max 352 kHz sample rate) - 26.25 MB

    Note: Sizes of FLAC files can vary greatly depending on music dynamics, conversion tool used, what format the file was converted from and level of compression used. The information here is general and currently being revised for more accuracy.

    What data speed does my internet connection need to be to listen to TIDAL HiFi?

    For the best streaming experience on HiFi and MQA, we recommend a steady Internet connection of 1.5 to 2 Mbps or more. Note that HiFi audio usually consumes up to 5.5 MB of data per minute, and MQA up to 7.5MB of data per minute (varying based on the exact sample rates).

    Note: Sizes of FLAC files can vary greatly depending on music dynamics, conversion tool used, what format the file was converted from and level of compression used. The information here is general and currently being revised for more accuracy.

    How do I know the audio quality of content I am listening to?

    To view or make changes to the audio quality on your desktop, go to Settings on the left-hand slider. Select Streaming to manage your sound quality, either Normal, High, or HiFi/Master and confirm your output device.

    While a song is selected, you can find the type of audio quality to the right of the shuffle button.

    To view or make changes to the audio quality in-app, go to My Collection and select Settings in the top right corner. Select Streaming to manage your sound quality for both WiFi and Cellular data.

    While a song is selected, you can see the audio quality it is streaming in under the play/pause button.


    Why would I need an external Digital Analog Converter (DAC)?

    Most devices with a standard headphone output support HiFi quality. In order to enjoy MQA at its fullest potential, MQA has select partners that have built DACs to specifically playback MQA in the best and most accurate way possible. A selection of these DACs can be found here.

    Where can I find more information on TIDAL HiFi?

    You may refer to additional help on our Member Support site, here, or contact our Member Support team via this form. We are available 24/7 for all your questions, comments and concerns.

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