Mar 5, 20182321 views

For Those Who Don't Know!

Tidal HiFi (Master) is absolutely amazing! I don't know what I was doing this whole time without this streaming service or did I finally break and gone crazy?
I'm running Schiit Wyrd -> Bifrost Multibit -> Jotunheim -> Fostex TH-X00 Ebony / Sennheiser HD6XX
Incredibly smooth sound, precise and powerful playing anything out of anything, maybe my foobar is fubar'd.
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Kevin Lanning, CamStang, and 10 others
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are you using the MQA codec? I updated my firmware on my iFi Micro iDSD and personally I do hear a nice improvement.
I have both Tidal and Spotify on my desktop headphone setup. Tidal sounds much better, and I believe this is largely because the Tidal application lets me set the audio output to Exclusive mode for my DAC. Spotify doesn't have this option, but if it did, I'm betting the difference in sound quality would not be as pronounced (because I know for sure that some of the music I listen to on Tidal is not CD quality - it's 320kbs AAC). I don't know of a way to make Spotify use Exclusive mode with a connected USB DAC.
I keep Spotify around, mainly because Spotify has done a lot towards recommending new music that I actually *like*, and my music library has grown because of it. Tidal only ever recommends Jay-Z.
I tried Tidal but didn't like it. Clunky UI, constant streaming issues, and the fact that Jay Z uses it as a marketing vehicle made me go back to Spotify.
riseuplight
Same.
I thoroughly enjoy my Tidal HiFi subscription for at home use. I use Google Music on the go though to save on data.
CamStang
U can actually select normal, high and hifi In the app to save data. I think normal is 128 kbps, high is 320 kbps.
Ive been using Tidal for more than 2 years now and I do agree that the sound quality is indeed unmatched as far as music streaming services go. However the UI on both the Android and PC apps is a mess and needs to be fixed. Mind you the Android app has been vastly improving but is still not on the same level as Spotify for fluidity, ease of navigation, and general speed.
Concur Tidal HiFi is very good as long (as you have an unlimited data plan)
I had a subscription to Spotify. I also have Amazon's Music Service (I don't use it). I gave a trial run to Tidal and instantly canceled my Spotify subscription and turned over to Tidal. There is absolutely a sound quality difference for most of the music - the exceptions being recordings that weren't high quality to begin with.
Now, there are definitely downsides. The absolute biggest downside as far as I'm concerned is the playlists. Spotify has that aspect down, the more music you listen to the more it knows songs you'll enjoy hearing. I love that. Tidal doesn't have anything comparable. You can choose a playlist based on genre or put together by other people, but it is never based on what you've been listening to.
Ultimately, though, the added sound quality matters to me more than the user based custom playlists. Some of the songs I've listened to in Mastered quality have made me feel like I was listening to a song I had never heard before, even if it was one I had heard hundreds of times.
NUtsid
Correct on all counts, Tidal sucks,, but the quality and a large library are the only things that saves it right now, so somebody please acquire it away from J-Z, the most annoying-all-engulfing-suffocating-all about-me-and-only-me-aspect-of-Tidal, and fix it.
The artist radio selections can be amusing for a while, and then you are hitting the next arrow... again... again... millennials picking or some zonked out ai? I have put in Buffalo Springfield and it eventually once went to J-Z... how is that? ;)
Don't say Deezer, not buying into another device-centric closed, coded system, just for HiFi, the So-Nos, Bangher&Off, Tuningfork and Moonies etc. crowd... sorry, not buying into another cage/box...
Spotify, you are playing with it, just do it, or buy Tidal, and, oh, $10/month, get the world (a lot anyway) to buy in, you will make plenty...
Tidal is a mixed bag to me. Sure, it sounds better while blind A-B comparing it against, say, Google Music with most typically giving (from my perception) a larger sound stage to the music I am listening to. However, there are also drawbacks.
1. Primarily that they don't have enough bandwidth/ server speed to maintain quality streams while under load. If anything causes me to _not_ maintain the service this will be it, but it isn't the only problem either. 2. The UI is clunky. The keyboard shortcuts that exist aren't as responsive as I would like, and they are missing some very basic but useful ones that I would like to have. 3. The queue doesn't act like a queue. When I "add X to queue" it should be at the bottom of the queue, not set to play next. Queues are FIFO (first-in-first-out) for a reason! 4. Playlist/ favorites/ music management is lacking to say the least. They basically just give it to you as albums, songs, or artists and it is up to you to sift through everything you have put together to find what you are looking for. It is easier to just search for what you want in most cases.
Now, in comparison, Google Music does all of the above significantly better, but trades off in that they don't give you lossless music. The best you can get is 320kbps, which in comparison sounds compressed (sound stage-wise), is missing some of the highs/ lows, and has a tendency to muddy some of the sound... I am possibly not explaining that last one properly, but there will be times where vocals simply drown out the rest of the audio that _should_ be playing at the same time. It is like they put their music through an equalizer to make it sound good to the "masses"; just like electronics stores run the equipment they want to sell "hot" (higher contrast, brighter, etc.) to make it look better when compared to the other equipment around it.
It is also worth noting that my gear isn't currently the most expensive out there, so I am hoping that as I get some better gear I will continue to find new ways that Tidal is better than Google Music and (with any luck) solidify whether I maintain my Tidal subscription (one way or the other).
I tried a trial membership but ended it as I heard (not through Tidal, had to do some digging) that they don't stream the higher resolution music to Tidal on DAPs, only to the "home" version... I wanted it for portable use. That said this was September or October of last year, so perhaps things have changed.
geemoneybe
i subscribe to tidal and i stream high quality portable to my note 8, oh i guess i should throw in that tidal gives military discounts on subscriptions..
I subscribed Tidal a couple years ago and set it for the High Quality setting. Maybe I have hearing problems, it seems to be compressed. Have Poweramp installed on both of my phones which play hi-resolution audio and have hi-resolution headphones, playing songs thru Poweramp is far superior than streaming thru Tidal. It's was not even close. Cancelled my subscription.
Deezer>tidal
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Tidal is a terrible company, their support is basically non-existent. Any alternatives are very welcome. I'll check it out. Thanks!
jasonnugent
More than once I've heard instruments on a track that I've never heard before. Do the 30 day free trial and give it the test!
I'm shopping, as they say for one of these services, but along the way I've found numerous sites showing studies that indicate very few people can distinguish the quality from one level to the next, or one service to the next. I have no interest in buying Kool-aid at any price! Are they all BS, or is there really a clear winner? PS: my tastes are decidedly not hip-hop. Looking for better Jazz, Blues, Acoustic, and Rock (real Rock thank you) products. What say you?
RayF
I can assure you there is a huge margin of difference between tidal and for iex. spotify. Ofcourse this is noticable on the EPs that have great mastering. There is tons of crap which sounds just meh from wherever you tune into regardless of stream quality. But if you have decent geat you will have no trouble hearing the difference on your favourite albums. Unfortunately I do not know of another proper hifi streaming service to recommend - if there was I would have probably jumped ship myself (I have my own personal grievances with tidal, mainly the buggy and impractical UI / no real library management system / lack of proper genre tags, etc). If we want something better I guess we will have to wait until spotify jumps on the hifi bandwagon which im sure they will eventually.
Google music streaming to chromecast , using the digital optical out to my OL DAC.... This sounds CD quality to me. I have trouble telling the difference between CDs and this using the HD 600s. I doubt Tidal would sound better, but I'd be willing to try it I guess.
I see complaints about poor streaming; even the “best” service can bite, especially with a house full of router hogs...
My recourse is the 104 HiFi albums I have downloaded from Tidal on my phone. The same ones for go-to-getaway music in the car. Albums I would never likely own to listen to, some I have in other formats, some I plan on owning permanently, even the multiple re-mastered versions for smorgasbord sampling, well, it’s interesting and fun.
The other big plus... I will listen to an ’album’... the good ones were meant to be appreciated that way, art sequenced...
Streaming introduces fill-in & muting error corrections, and I find the downloaded albums superior,, unless the force is strong that day...
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Next is to setup roon, or another on the NAS. I know that these downloaded albums are for me to access as long as I am active with Tidal, well this is a service, enjoy all the venues provided. Like satellite radio; it will almost assuredly form a borg of some sort eventually.
Want some different enterainment; listen to the Grammy nominations feed/channel in season, built-in laughs and enjoyment.
Tried it before, can't really agree with you guys. I even paid for a few months to give it more time, both for me to try it out more thoroughly and for it to improve. The sound quality was as advertised (CD quality), but other aspects are subpar. Its app (desktop and mobile) is buggy and poorly designed compared to other streaming services (Spotify) and local players (foobar2k). The mobile app does not support gapless playback, which is super frustrating and immersion breaking when you listen to continuous albums. The collection is incomplete and updates slowly compared to other services (at least for my preferred genres: trance, progressive, edm.) I'll skip player integration as nothing integrates with my player (Sony NW-ZX300). Currently buying from Beatport and paying WAY more than what I would if I used TIDAL.
P.S. Using Jotunheim with the DAC module, really satisfied P.P.S. Current gear: Jotumheim with HD 6XX / Philips A5-Pro, Sony NW-ZX300 with IE80, Sony PHA-1A with DT770 Pro 250 Ohm for mobility, LSR30X on the way ;)
TonyChau707
I have to agree. I just could not get into Tidal and I am a hifi guy. It just never seemed to play smoothly and had a lot of network issues (we had Fios 150/150mbps connection so it isn't that.) I went back to local files on my computer. To me, even Spotify sounded almost as good but far better all in all. Full disclosure, this was two years ago so I may need to give it another try but they really failed hard back then.
gear: VTL IT-85, PS Audio DA, Senn 600HD and Devore Gibbon speakers.
Detex
I haven’t gotten any networking issues but I do agree with you guys as far as interface goes, It’s kind of a chore to organize or find anything. But for Canadians it’s better than buying from HDtracks, I can’t tell u how many albums I couldn’t buy because I was “restricted“ but on tidal I can stream them in MQA.
True at first it seemed pricey, but I use Tidal everyday, it supplements my record and digital music collections, integrates with my music players, I use roon on my laptop and have an aurender & mytec DAC at home on which the MQA masters sound really great, I'd certainly recommend folks to do a trial.
ih8tickets
Mytek DACs are really cool especially the Brooklyn, maybe one day I’ll get one.
DenonFanboy
I have a Brooklyn, been very happy for the most part when I got it early on it had some usb sync issues, with the Aurender but they fixed it in firmware pretty early on, no problems since then. The sound is great I use it balanced with the HD800S. Some of the Tidal Masters that unfold to 24bit 192 Khz are pretty impressive and some of the 2L Audiophile recordings expand out to 384KHZ sample rate, I hate to say analog sounding, but when the sample rate is that high, things sound really smooth and natural.
Tidal is purely wonderful. Add Roon and you're a high end sonofagun.
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Tragique
That's what I do ... will never go back. The HQ library of Tidal with Roon's amazing UI (and the ability to stream HQ to other parts of house) cannot be beat.
uccprince
Have been doing the same recently and it's great with Roon. Then, the Roon integration with HQPlayer seems like it's another positive sounding step (although I'm only just starting to play around with the demo version at the mo).
I have a month left on a 3 month trial. I lose the connection every single night between 8PM and 9PM Eastern for between 30 minutes to an hour. I won't be renewing because of that. It's a damn shame too because they do have a very good selection of music and the sound quality is excellent.
I'm listening to Blank and Jones on TH-X00 Ebonies through a Mayflower O2/ODAC Rev. B as I type this and it sounds every bit as good as my FLAC collection. I spent every free minute of several weeks last month reripping my entire 422 CD collection to FLAC.
https://vimeo.com/95874575


I also have TH-X00 Mahoganies, HD 598s ( my gateway headphone ), HD 600s and HD 650s. Is the Jotunheim as good as the reviews? Right now I go between an Asus Xonar STX and the O2/ODAC. Both are excellent. The STX has a 10 ohm output impedance though making it unsuitable for the TH-X00s.
I also recently discovered those and man do they sound great on my LCD2C's
I've been piping Tidal out of my Surface Book through the Grace SDAC and a DarkVoice 336SE (thanks MD) into a set of Phillips Uptowns (Beyerdynamics DT990 600ohm in the mail).
The Sound is amazing and a huge step up from Amazon Prime music.
MQA, even though the SDAC isn't supposed to be MQA compliant, is definitely an upgrade!
The nice thing about the WIN10 Tidal app is it's ability to completely bypass the internal DAC/AMP and turn off software decoding.
ohsigmachi
The software decoding is for MQA, the app will convert MQA for DACs that do not support it if decoding is turned on, if software decoding is turned off to my understanding its up to the DAC to convert the MQA signal.
DenonFanboy
If that's the case then the Grace SDAC is definitely decoding the MQA data. The Tidal App shows "Master" quality, and the software decoding is Off. And the sound definitely sounds more crisp and defined.
I heard that Tidal was potentially going under; any word on this? I have a large physical collection that I am slowly ripping to FLAC, but I'd love to pay $10-20 a month for hi-fi sound, to listen to the gaps in my collection.
Steveiam
They haven't turned a profit, but no word they're going under. Most likely they'll get acquired or purchased in the future.
https://www.whathifi.com/news/tidal-in-trouble?utm_content=buffer84690&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/is-tidal-in-trouble

That said, I pay the $20 a month tier for Tidal HiFi and absolutely love it. I do not experience drop outs, streaming is good and steady, and SQ is wonderful. Love the iOS and desktop apps too.
Not to mention , you get 50% off if you can prove your a student. I'm enjoying this for $10 a month
That's Awesome! I've been using Tidal over 2 years now and when MQA master audio quality came out , it's the shit and big difference. My current set up is also using Jotunheim DAC/AMP > Senheiser HD 6XX massdrop version > new Audeze LCD2 Classic > Audioquest Jitterbug for USB conditioner. Does the Schitt Wryd make a big difference for cleaner sound.? Wonder the Wyrd and Jitterbug would sound even better used to together.
jah_offisah808
Couldn't say if the wyrd did anything or not, I had a old pc that had really bad audio jitter that the wyrd fixed. Now I have a USB Gen 5 on the way for my new setup so maybe I'll get some improvements there.
I did the trial, and wanted to stop paying, but it's good (hifi) and the library is huge. It allows me to reminisce as well as broaden my listening. New year's eve was all jazz focusing on sax, nice 60+ years with just a few 'clicks',,, Sonny Rollins...
I played the bass clarinet as a kid. Loved the sound of the clarinet, started of course with the B♭, and then, I think so they could get someone to state, they ordered one and gave me a bass. I thought it was cool, but I did not know it could do this; a 'sax' with real wood.
A Tidal discovery 1/1/18, I was telling my wife that a bass clarinet could compete with a sax, but would have more wood - earth, and found this, she was impressed;)
** 3:30 mark:) David Murray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC4MjfAVD1M
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