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Tidal's iOS App Gains Masters Quality Audio Support

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Apr 12, 2001
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Tidal today added support for its Tidal Masters Quality Authenticated audio tier on iOS devices, bringing master quality music to iOS devices for the first time.

Master audio was previously available on Android, but hasn't been available to iPhone and iPad listeners.


Tidal's highest studio quality audio option is limited to certain tracks (Tidal says there are 150,000 of them) and you'll only hear higher fidelity audio if you're using appropriate hardware, aka, a wired connection. Full release notes for the new Tidal update are below:
- HiFi users can now access over 150,000 master-quality tracks - audio as flawless as it sounded in the mastering suite.
- CarPlay improvements
- Minor bug fixes
Tidal master quality songs are available to those who subscribe to its Tidal HiFi service, which is priced at $19.99 per month. Tidal does offer a 60-day free trial for new subscribers.

A full list of albums that feature master quality recordings is available on Tidal's website.

Article Link: Tidal's iOS App Gains Masters Quality Audio Support
 
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AppleUser2

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2009
136
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Can Bluetooth headphones handle this or does Bluetooth make this improvement redundant (I have Sony WH-H900)?
 
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EdT

macrumors 68000
Mar 11, 2007
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AFLAC is definitely rated for 24 bit, and may be rated for 48. AFLAC is Apples lossless sound format.
 
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kyjaotkb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
689
368
London, UK
AFLAC is definitely rated for 24 bit, and may be rated for 48. AFLAC is Apples lossless sound format.
It’s ALAC not AFLAC
[doublepost=1552343032][/doublepost]
Can Bluetooth headphones handle this or does Bluetooth make this improvement redundant (I have Sony WH-H900)?
No, you need a wired connection and a compatible DAC. Quite amazingly, while iPhones up to the 6S have a built-in decoder capable only to decode up to 16-bit, 48kHz, the $9 Lightning to jack adapter has a 24-bit, 192kHz CirrusLogic decoder. A good review of compatible hardware here:
https://www.qobuz.com/fr-fr/info/hi-fi/les-cingles-de-la-hi-fi/choisissez-votre-dac-ou-votre179124
 
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Delgibbons

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2016
707
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London
This looks excellent. I know there are some good external DAC available for iPhones.

Samsung UHQ headphones stream 24bit 96khz but I think its proprietary for Samsung phones. I use HD650's through the s10+ headphone Jack personally.

Playing some DSD 256 tonight through the S10+ built in sound chip. Some great soundtracks available now on high definition FLAC as well. Love good hires audio on decent headphones. When Samsung bought AKG parent company Harman they seem to have a new focus on audio quality :D

Screenshot_20190311-222848_Samsung Music.jpg
 
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kalafalas

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2008
247
535
California
And you still won’t notice a difference with your Bluetooth earbuds. It’s all placebo.
I definitely notice when connected to my Dragonfly & Studio monitors. The "master quality" not so much to be honest, thats more for making remixes and the like, but Hi-Fi/lossless even at 16/44.1 definitely.

Duh I wouldn't notice when recompressed to 16/44.1 ~256kbps aac (or even worse SBC) for bluetooth. The audience these features are geared towards are generally knowledgeable about how to utilize the quality, as they sought it out for their equipment.

I really wish apple would add at least a hi-fi option (16/44.1 ALAC) to Apple Music, or at very least the iTunes Store, especially considering AirPlay 2 supports it. I'm so tired of trying to find it on various random websites like Beatport or 7digital or bandcamp, all with very incomplete libraries and weird tagging schemes, and having to local sync everything as iCloud Music Library compresses down to 256.
 
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boodle

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2004
145
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No, you need a wired connection and a compatible DAC. Quite amazingly, while iPhones up to the 6S have a built-in decoder capable only to decode up to 16-bit, 48kHz, the $9 Lightning to jack adapter has a 24-bit, 192kHz CirrusLogic decoder.
Yeah, the DAC in the Apple Lightning to 3.5mm is pretty incredible for its size and price. I prefer my xDSD but the Apple adapter is arguable better than the dual AK4490ENs in my FiiO M9. The M9's balanced output is better, though.

I keep hoping Apple will rock the mobile audio industry by making the iPod Touch into an industry-leading DAP again even though I know this will never happen. :oops:

I really wish apple would add at least a hi-fi option (16/44.1 ALAC) to Apple Music, or at very least the iTunes Store, especially considering AirPlay 2 supports it. I'm so tired of trying to find it on various random websites like Beatport or 7digital or bandcamp, all with very incomplete libraries and weird tagging schemes, and having to local sync everything as iCloud Music Library compresses down to 256.
Right? This is the main reason I refuse to use Apple Music. Tidal HiFi is great but I'm looking at Qobuz for HiRes purchases. I suspect we'll see movement from Apple on HiRes within the next year or two but who knows.
 
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McScooby

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2005
832
468
The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
It’s ALAC not AFLAC
[doublepost=1552343032][/doublepost]
No, you need a wired connection and a compatible DAC. Quite amazingly, while iPhones up to the 6S have a built-in decoder capable only to decode up to 16-bit, 48kHz, the $9 Lightning to jack adapter has a 24-bit, 192kHz CirrusLogic decoder. A good review of compatible hardware here:
https://www.qobuz.com/fr-fr/info/hi-fi/les-cingles-de-la-hi-fi/choisissez-votre-dac-ou-votre179124
All very good, but unless :apple: decide to unlock its capabilities, is it not useless & capped at 24/48?
 
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madKIR

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2010
849
801
NYC
More marketing BS from a tanking service.
There is no way to really tell if it’s properly mastered. You can basically convert a usual 256 kB/s file into this and call it a day. The specs will show all the right numbers, but was it really converted from the master source? Also, nowadays sound mastering is so bad and all over the place that this super high fidelity format is rendered useless in many cases anyways.
 
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McScooby

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2005
832
468
The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
No, its capabilities are ‘factory unlocked’. Just don’t use the stock Music app...
I'm not so sure about that. I have Hi-Res audio files & use the Onkyo HF player (have also used VOX & Korg app), with Sony MDR-1A's (not that it can sense that) but on playback the Onkyo app or the others don't play music at native Hi Res, it downsamples as it tells you on screen what it's doing. On the Qobuz page you reference it mentions MFI developer kits, but no mention that Apple's lightning adapter can work Hi Res 'straight out the box'. What app do you use & where's the proof it's doing as you say?
 
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adamjackson

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Jul 9, 2008
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I assume and iPhone 10S + Lightning Earbud Adapter + Shure SE535s works, right? or SRH840s?
 
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shigzeo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2005
701
52
Japan
It’s ALAC not AFLAC
[doublepost=1552343032][/doublepost]
No, you need a wired connection and a compatible DAC. Quite amazingly, while iPhones up to the 6S have a built-in decoder capable only to decode up to 16-bit, 48kHz, the $9 Lightning to jack adapter has a 24-bit, 192kHz CirrusLogic decoder. A good review of compatible hardware here:
https://www.qobuz.com/fr-fr/info/hi-fi/les-cingles-de-la-hi-fi/choisissez-votre-dac-ou-votre179124

The iPhone most certainly not only decodes 24-bit audio, but plays it back at testable signal levels that exceed 16-bit- sometimes oustripping dedicated hi-res DAPs. As such, technically it is a hi-res audio device.

I’m sure this isn’t exciting to anyone else but I document RMAA measurements of various devices that come through my studio. I don’t publish square waves or oscillator waves but RMAA is simple to read despite inscrutable underpinnings.

http://ohm-image.net/data/audio

The point is that the iPhone has been able to play back and properly decode 24-bit files for a long time. Its output is also pretty good though has a number of weaknesses.

As for the utility of 24-bit, I can only comment by linking to a short essay I wrote on the topic (below). TL;DR - it’s pointless in the playback phase but important in recording.

https://ohm-image.net/opinion/audiophile/myth-24-bit-audio-hi-res-player-advantages
 
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dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
9,988
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Westchester, NY
I mean, the post actually says that it will only be supported over a wired connection...reading is difficult, I know, but still key.
So over bluetooth you'll only hear 16 bit Flac instead of 24 bit, which you still won't be able to hear a difference between mp3. My bad.

Still, I feel bad for people using their EarPods out of the box and think they're getting their money's worth at $19.99/month.
 
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