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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2011
I currently have a Sonos Connect and that streams music at 44.1 Khz 16 bit to my Receiver with a Built-in DAC.

I am testing a Trial Version of Tidal and the Audio Midi Settings on the Mac display 96Khz 2 ch 32-bit integer when playing streaming music at a higher resolution.

Can anyone clarify if the Mac/Tidal output is significantly better than through the Sonos Connect (with Spotify and iPad)? Is this better than CD quality?

Thanks in advance.



Jul 29, 2006
Original (and wrong to my later findings) statement -


TIDAL BLOWS AWAY Spotify - it's not even close, especially not on a high end system like SONOS.

I'm making my way through building up my TIDAL library as we speak coming from Spotify (been using it for months though, TIDAL), and within 3 seconds it's a night and day difference; I have a Paradigm Millenia CT system I use for near-field listening w/ a few EQ adjustments via SoundSource (for near-field optimization).

Seriously, you'll thank yourself in the long run if you care about audio quality. Spotify DOES have a nicer interface w/ snappier response, and exceptional gadget integration. If they ever go full-on HiFi mode like TIDAL then I may look at them again, but until then I highly urge you to go TIDAL.


I now take back all but like 10% of the above statements; Spotify either DID something, because I distinctly remember the day I tried Spotify again a couple months ago and it just simply sounded better. Far better than I remember. Not sure what happened. Could just be me.

Now, I literally just switched back to Spotify because Deezer is awful, and my TIDAL sub. ran out. I swear.... it sounds the BEST. Out of all of them. You're not gonna hear a big difference unless you go all out on a high end, well mastered recording on TIDAL. Spotify also compresses and decompresses using OGG Vorbis with an incredible quality sound quality restoration algorithm when it comes out for final playback - something I learned recently, and it's just.. fantastic.

So again, I'd personally say now: Stick with Spotify. Hope you didn't go all out with TIDAL - but if you did, you can't go wrong with it, but again, Spotify's great. I'm now won over again with them.
Last edited:


macrumors G3
Oct 27, 2009
I only hear an obvious night and day difference when playing audio from Tidal in "Master" quality. But there's only limited albums and tracks that are in "Master" quality. Tidal's "HiFi" and Spotify's "Very high quality" settings sound almost identical. Tidal having a slightly crisper sound, only if you focus on the difference.
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Jul 29, 2006
Ok so I came back just to amend this - I'm playing back Spotify now w/ some settings changed in output, speaker placement, and while TIDAL still 'wins' - it doesn't come close to the UI, overall fit and finish and the SOUND... is far closer than I originally thought - I feel silly for super hyperbolizing the statements.

Will edit them.

Also, Deezer doesn't come close to either - not sure what's going on with it, but it sounds horrible vs. Spotify and TIDAL - the sound QUALITY is good (HiFi subscription), but there's no imaging, it sounds horrible w/ dynamics, shoutyness, and just overall crap digitization. Not my Mac, not my speakers, nor is it my SAMSUNG TV w/ Bose sound system or Xbox One X pumping music through the Bose.

On my near-field Paradigms Spotify is ultimate; half the price w/ 88% of the sound quality of TIDAL. Something even sounds better about it, like more 'there'. Spotify's been doing this the longest too, so it'd be safe to assume they got their streaming and audio delivery tech on lock.
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