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Home / Tips and Tricks / How To Play High Quality Music With Tidal «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

How To Play High Quality Music With Tidal «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



As you may know, Tidal differs from the competition in its audio quality. Unlike Spotify and Apple Music, it offers its subscribers studio-quality audio from any device. However, before signing up for Tidal, be aware that there are only a few steps you need to take to stream high-quality music.

Tidal uses a proprietary audio codec called MQA, called "Tidal Masters". What makes this format unique is its ability to deliver 24-bit 96 kHz audio at a file size that can still be streamed. This is one of the highest quality music files available, as the sound output is much closer to that produced in the studio. For the context Spotify delivers premium sound with 1

6 bits and 44.1 kHz, which roughly corresponds to the CD quality. Tidal even has some songs with up to 24-bit audio at 354 kHz.

Step 1: Logging on to Tidal Hi-Fi

Accessing high-quality Tidal audio requires the highest level of subscription. For an individual, this means $ 19.99 per month. However, these costs also include Hi-Fi audio distributed through FLAC. While Tidal Masters is limited to only part of the Tidal catalog, most of the catalog supports HiFi audio, so you can always enjoy the best quality.

To save some money, you have some options. As a student, the price initially reduced to $ 9.99 per month. Tidal needs to verify your eligibility, and you must retest your eligibility every 12 months. For military personnel who pay $ 11.99 a month but need to verify their eligibility, a similar rebate applies.

If you are not a student or a military member, you can also subscribe to the family plan. With the master account, six accounts can access hi-fi audio and Tidal Masters for only $ 10 more than the retail cost. This is by far the best option if you have five people with whom you can share the cost.

Step 2: Enable Master Streaming

Now open Tidal and select the My Collection tab along the bottom. Select the gear icon in the upper right corner and locate the subgroup Quality . Select "Streaming" and tap under the grouping WiFi on "Master". If you have an unlimited plan, you can also enable "Master" on Cellular (note that this can quickly deplete data schedules)] How to play music with Tidal at the highest quality ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

Step 3: Searching for and Playing High Quality Audio

As mentioned above, not every song supports the highest quality MQA audio format. This list was initially quite small, but has grown tremendously, including many of your favorite new songs played on the radio. What you are looking for are titles with an "M" next to their name. This indicates that they are part of Tidal Masters and use the MQA format. You can also search for "Masters" on the Search tab and search for different playlists with MQA music.

Tidal plays MQA files with a software decoder. With this decoder the audio quality is limited to 24 Bit / 96 kHz. However, if you are using a telephone with an MQA hardware decoder (or a supported DAC), Tidal can deliver up to 24-bit / 354 kHz depending on the source. Only a handful of cell phones have this feature you will find below:

  • Essential PH-1 with audio adapter HD
  • LG G8 ThinQ
  • LG V40 ThinQ
  • LG G7 ThinQ
  • LG V35 ThinQ
  • LG V30 / V30 +

You know that the title is Masters because the search bar is now orange and the color of the Master icon is in the lower center.

This article was created during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on streaming, listening to, and creating music and podcasts on your smartphone. Take a look at the entire music and audio series.

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Cover Picture by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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