TIDAL Integrate New Audio Format, MQA


If you haven’t heard of Tidal yet, where have you been?! It made headline news when it was first released because some pretty big names actually own shares in the company, such as Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kayne West amd Daft Punk to name a few. For those that don’t know, Tidal is a global, entertainment platform built for fans, by the music artists themselves. How much do these artists actually input into the company is questionable but either way, it’s become a hit to some.

In essence, it offers a music streaming service, similar to Spotify but taken up a notch, with highlights such as high fidelity, CD sound quality music, high resolution video and specific content such as Tidal Rising and Tidal X. They currently have a library of 42.5 million songs and 140,000 high res videos and have taken things further, by announcing the availability of ‘Master’ quality recordings. A wide variety of content from labels and artists, including Warner Music Group’s world-renowned music catalogue, is now available in Master audio across all of TIDAL’s available markets worldwide.


TIDAL has integrated MQA, the award-winning technology that enables this innovation, and has offered it to all TIDAL HiFi tier subscribers under a new ‘Master’ listing. Initially available on desktop, a wide range of recordings are already available and the collection will grow rapidly.

“TIDAL is committed to bringing members closer to their favourite musicians and offering MQA sound quality will allow subscribers to hear music just as it was recorded in the studio,” said a TIDAL representative. “We’re thrilled to bring master quality sound to our members.”

Mike Jbara, MQA CEO, said, “TIDAL is an artist-centric music company. We could not be more excited that they share our vision of having fans hear the authentic performance of their favourite music.”

This all sounds beautiful to my ears, but what actually is MQA? Well, MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated and it’s a new audio technology developed by Meridian Audio. Meridian says MQA will “fundamentally change the way we all enjoy music”. It’s a new method of digitally storing recorded music as a file that’s small and convenient to download or even stream, without the sonic sacrifices that are traditionally associated with compressed files.

Let me break it down, other streaming services currently offer audio at 44.1kHz/16bit, but Tidal with MQA, will offer 96kHz/24bit. Will you notice a difference? Apparently so, with a decent set of headphones or speakers. We look forward to checking it out!
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