Mini-opinion by Noam Bronstein
I tried, I really tried to avoid a clickbait title. Just including those three letters “MQA” in a post title is going to attract some views, I know that. I can’t recall a debate as nasty as this one among the audio opinionaters, in the last dozen years or so. And that isn’t surprising, given the way this technology has been rolled out.
But…..I swear…I’m not here to exacerbate that, so chill and enjoy your Sunday. I don’t have a position or agenda on this. I’ve been casually streaming both Spotify and Tidal the last 4-5 years, and sampled a couple of others. I like Tidal’s sound quality, for the most part, and that’s the service I mainly use when I’m not spinning physical media. None of these services are perfect. Certainly their business models can and should be questioned. Again, my point is not to dig into a COW (can of worms).
What I’ve found is that the quality of Tidal Masters seems to have improved over the last couple of years, when listened to with a full MQA decode. That’s subjective though, there are other factors that may be skewing my perceptions. I’m including a few below, that I think represent some of the better major-label efforts that I’ve had the chance to hear. Nothing too esoteric or ‘audiophile’ here.
Alright, Tidal listeners. What do you think of these – worse/equal/better than their CD counterparts? On what basis? Are there other examples – good or bad – you’d like to share in the comments? Opinions on the quality of streaming, is it something you’ve embraced? Eschewed? Still undecided? OK for falling asleep but not for the main system? There are no wrong answers here. Discussion of equipment is fine as well.
As always, please keep the discussion civilized. We’re fine with frustrations being vented, not trolling. As Steve said (I’m paraphrasing), it’s ok to share your opinion without showing us your butthole.
Thanks for reading,
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