Tidal’s “Master” quality recordings, which are the streaming service’s hi-res MQA music tracks, are now available to listeners via its iOS app. The announcement follows the launch of the feature on Android phones back in January. Master quality audio first became available to Tidal’s desktop listeners back in 2017.
Hi-res audio — which is defined as anything with a higher bitrate or sampling frequency than the 16-bit / 44.1kHz standard used by CDs — is able to be streamed thanks to MQA, a technology that allows the file to be effectively compressed to the same size as a standard CD-quality audio file. Previously, getting the full benefits of MQA required using a device with a hardware MQA decoder (such as the LG V30), but this is no longer necessary due to a software decoder included with the Tidal app.
If you want to try out Tidal’s Master quality songs, you’ll need to be subscribed to its HiFi subscription tier, which currently costs $19.99 a month. The tracks are available with version 2.7 of the service’s iOS app. You’ll know you’re listening to the highest-quality track when you see a small “Master” label at the bottom of the playback screen.