Tidal Hi-Fi Music Service

Tidal Hi-Fi Music Service
The catalog size is great but Tidal doesn’t get the number of exclusives that some other services get. That said, all of the music I wanted to listen to was there and I discovered plenty of new music that appealed. It isn’t a cheap monthly subscription but as a music fan, I mostly care about how it sounds. With a good home hi-fi or headphones coupled with their new Masters feature Tidal leaves other music services in the shade.
Playback Quality
Reader Rating1 Vote
Outstanding playback quality
Catalog of 40 million songs
Hi-fi playback only from your laptop
Interface slightly clunky
Redcert Recommended

The word disruption is overused in the tech business but one industry that was truly disrupted and never recovered was the music industry. The sale of physical music CDs continues to shrink as we move our listening habits online. With the exception of the heartwarming revival of vinyl records, the future of music is digital.  There are more than a few of options for digital music in your home, on your phone or tablet. Apple Music and Spotify dominate the industry but so much of the headphone based, digital music we listen to sounds, well, just too digital. I don’t need access to all the music in the world, but I really want it to be crystal clear, sharp and sound more like music used to, hi-fi but in digital.

Tidal is a small company by comparison to the giants but with its strong artist shareholder influence, they are doing something cleverly different and I was keen to try what’s been called the Rolls-Royce of digital music.

There’s a standard version of Tidal but I opted for the Hi-Fi subscription to try the premium features. It’s a simple process to get the app up and running after downloading it from the App store for either iOS or Android. The app is minimal but functional and easy to navigate. I thought entering some basic personal info on age and gender would probably help my music discovery so I completed that and I was ready to listen.

Tidal_PlayerSearching for music is easy but Tidal make discovery, that is finding new music, easy for you. Clicking on playlists reveals Tidal’s selection of what they think you might like. There are playlists for relaxing, parties, dinner and all manner of moods or activities. These are playlists of the best or most appropriate music in that category, and they’re good.  As well as the Tidal created playlists, there are exclusive guest playlists created by artists themselves.

The My Music section of Tidal also works well and I created my own playlists for an evening at home and for exercising. I created them on my laptop, but they almost instantly showed up on my iPhone and I opted for Offline Mode, so I could listen to that playlist without using my phones data allowance while out walking. The offline mode is one of the most compelling features of Tidal is and using it is ideal for stocking up on things to listen to before traveling.

There are 40 million tracks in the Tidal catalog and around 130,000 HD videos. I’ve searched for acts I thought might be obscure, local or just too niche, but they’re all there including Irish traditionl music. As well as music and videos Tidal have broadened their appeal with interviews and exclusive shows in magazine style formats.

Earlier this month, Tidal announced they would be making a feature called Masters available. This isn’t just high quality digital music, it is music in a remarkable format that is reproduced like it sounded in the studio when the artist recorded it. Tidal have always had the edge with quality, but using this super high quality format called MQA, puts them ahead of the competition. Not all of the music on Tidal is in this format, but there’s plenty there to get started with.

Tidal_002As well as running on your iOS or Android phone, Tidal also runs on your PC and is integrated in various music players. If you own digital hi-fi devices like Sonos or Ixion Maestro, Tidal is integrated in to those devices and you can access your music and the rest of the catalog straight from their controls.

Price: €19.99 per month | More info: tidal.com

An edited version of this review appeared in The Irish Mail on Sunday, on 29-January-2017.

Related Posts
Read More

Review: 3DRobotics Solo

The maker says that the smart element of the Solo is not just that the drone does more and it certainly does, but it allows you, the pilot to do less. By giving you less to do they make it easier for you to focus on what this drone was really designed for, aerial photography. It’s designed to work best with a GoPro camera that you mount under the drone with the pictures from that camera sent wirelessly from the sky to your controller, where you mount your smart-phone or tablet. And it’s that footage that makes the whole drone experience worthwhile.
Read More

Netatmo Weather Station

Netatmo is a Paris based company who make lifestyle products for the smart-home. They make smart wireless cameras and thermostats but their best known product is the Weather Station for Smartphone.
Read More

Alcatel OneTouch 2004

Smart-phones changed the world. Some people would debate how much for the better, but they’re here to stay and I admit to relying upon mine daily, for everything from shopping lists to nudging me to take the stairs and burn a few extra calories.
Read More

Noke Bluetooth Padlock

Even though the lock and key has been with us for thousands of years, it was the industrial revolution of the 18th century that saw technology advance sufficiently so that a simple key could provide reliable and convenient security for business and home owners. From high-street shops to garden-sheds we still rely on an ancient invention to keep our belongings secure. It seems a natural evolution then, that it is the technological revolution of this century that may well be changing how we keep our valuables safe

Subscribe for the free weekly newsletter with the latest reviews and any current offers.