What is Hi-Fi music?
Hi-Fi audio quality means listening to lossless music in high-definition, enabling the listener to listen to music exactly how it sounded in the recording studio. This means that every musical element will be crystal clear and layers that were lost due to the stream, is still in the music recording, like it should be. Distortion fromt he vocals or the bass will also be kept to a minimum as well as a boost in the mid-range.
How is this possible?
This audio quality is achieved by uploading the music in a FLAC file instead of a typical MP3 file or ALAC (Apple lossless audio) file. The FLAC file that is used is compressed, retaining the quality of the music, just like how it was recorded.
“While HiFi recordings are limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, Masters will reflect the original source, which can range from CD-quality, to 96 kHz / 24 bit, and in some cases, ultra-high resolution files with sample rates of 192 kHz and beyond.” -Tidal.
What is the difference between MP3, FLAC and ALAC?
The difference is that, MP3 files lose quality the more the file gets shared or streamed. This means that when listening to an MP3 file (such as on Spotify), a lot of information recorded is lost, making it harder, or even impossible to hear all of the vocals or instruments used in the song.
However, tech giant: Apple have fixed this problem with ALAC. Unlike MP3 files, ALAC Files are compressed, keeping more of the musical elements in the music than Spotify. On the flip side, the biggest problems with ALAC is that these files are quieter than Spotify and tidal, as well as being the biggest file size in comparison. This means that listening to Apple Music through speakers or headphones could be annoying.
Like ALAC, FLAC files are also compressed, giving the same benefits as ALAC. However, FLAC files are more compressed, making the file size smaller than ALAC. FLAC files are also 24 bit, eliminating the quiet problem Apple Music has, while keeping the music quality. It’s basically listening to a CD, even though you’re streaming.
Okay cool, but how can I stream FLAC files?
Beyonce, Jay-Z and Sennheiser, paired up to create a music streaming service that allows you to listen to your favorite music how it was intended to be heard through ‘TIDAL Masters’. Countless songs you love, with secretes you have never heard before.
Each Master available song is indicated by a gold M icon next to the title, or the gold ‘master’ icon at the bottom of the music player.
TIDAL is even doing a $4 for 4 months deal for new customers to listen to as many of their favorite songs in ‘Master’ quality.
Is TIDAL as good as it sounds?
Yes, the music quality of the ‘TIDAL Masters’ are amazing and definitely as good as advertised. However, the interface might be due for an update as everything feels a little outdated. The playlists and the for you algorithm is great as well and there is definitely a great selection of songs with 60 million to choose from.
How much is a TIDAL subscription?
A TIDAL subscription is $16.99/MONTH for the regular or $34.99/MONTH for the HIFI subscription in Australia or $9.99 USD for the regular or $19.99 USD for the HIFI.
Is TIDAL worth it?
That is a hefty amount of money for the HIFI subscription, it better be worth every dollar! Even though the music quality is amazing and can’t be justified unless personally heard, I feel as though the price tag is too much just to listen to studio quality music. However, for the audiophiles out there, such as myself, you’ll love to appreciate the dynamic range and the overall clarity produced by the TIDAL masters.