Music streaming service TIDAL has announced that, starting today, it will be providing MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio to subscribers of the TIDAL HiFi package, at no extra cost. This announcement was made with much fanfare at the CES 2017. TIDAL and MQA had previously been together in CES 2016 to announce their relationship and there would have been no better place than CES 2017 to come up with the 'TIDAL Master' series!
In an FAQ on the streaming firm's website, TIDAL announced the following:
"TIDAL has partnered with MQA to deliver something infinitely better: 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 exactly as the artist intended it to sound."
MQA which is a UK-based private company used the pioneer scientific research on how people hear music. The MQA team has created a technology that captures the sound of the original studio performance. The master MQA file is fully authenticated in the studio and is small enough to stream, while also being backward compatible, so you can play MQA music on any device. Thus making a listener feel as is he is sitting in a studio with the artist.
Before this the best quality available on TIDAL was limited to 44.1kHz at 16-bits. MQA thus taking the experience to a whole new level with a bandwidth of up-to 96kHz at 24-bits.
As of now the service is available to all TIDAL Hi-Fi subscribers. This membership costs about £20 a month. Now with the release of MQA, the extra tenner was made all the more worthwhile for those discerning listeners.
TIDAL claims that it has about 30,000 songs curated with MQA. Only Warner Music Group (WMG) artists are available at the moment, but singers like Queen Bey who have good personal relationship with Jay Z (also the founder of TIDAL) have also made the High-Res cut!
Right now the MQA streams are only available via the TIDAL desktop app and you’ll also need a MQA compatible device to make it work. The recordings will be available in a section available in the app known as "TIDAL Masters". This is expected to be a first time for iOS users to appreciate lossless Hi-Res audio via streaming!
We cant wait to start using our TIDAL subscription account to stream Hi-Res Music along with our best Headphones, Amps and DACs, at the Headphone Zone office. Stay tuned for photos, videos and updates from our hands on trial.