Tidal HiFi Test - how representative?

To anyone who has taken the Tidal HiFi Test and also subscribes to Tidal HiFi, how representative of actual sound quality is the HiFi sample compared to what you hear as a "premium" subscriber? Are the differences between the A & B samples used in the test indicative of the improvement in SQ subscribers enjoy?
The enthusiastic Tidal advocates posting on A'gon have certainly got me curious.
06eb264a e8d8 4a8b 840c d8d32093f6bcghosthouse
I didn't even know that Tidal had a "HiFi Test? When I first signed up, which was about 5 minutes after getting the email from Tidal that is was now available in the US, I was streaming.

Tidal offered a 30 day trial as part of the deal. Now it seems like you have to earn it.

Signing up for Tidal is one of the best things that I have ever done in my audiophile career.
For those interested, here's a link to the "test" at Tidal.

Mofi - would you say the HiFi samples offered in the test are similar in sound quality to what you are getting while streaming? Thanks in advance.
Ghost...sorry, my computer isn't hooked up to my system. I use a Sonos Connect out to my DAC for Tidal access, so I really can't do an accurate hearing test.

I tried to listen to the HiFi Test on my computer, but the speakers aren't conducive enough to make a judgement.

Maybe someone else who uses their computer can chime in.
MoFi - Oh...okay, no problem. Thanks for trying. Yes, the differences I heard between A & B samples w/headphones are not likely to be audible w/most built-in computer speakers. Hoping some of the Tidal champions will comment.
I feel like when I signed up it was like a 7 day trial? This was perhaps 6 months ago. I was instantly hooked and I think the quality is superb. I also use a Sonos Connect outputting to a DAC. I just tried the test via my crappy laptop speakers with the laptop sitting on my lap and managed 2 out of 5. Not a particularly scientific method especially through bandwidth limited transducers where more compressed music may actually sound better. Cool idea though.
I listen to Tidal Streaming music using my MAC Book Pro Computer. As others have done above, I signed up several months after Tidal announced its availability in the US. I was immediately hooked. I did not know they have Tidal HiFi Test but my guess is the sound quality is the same regardless of test or paid subscription.

The best part of Tidal is their excellent uncompressed sound quality. In addition, I can change my mind on an album and quickly find a different album to listen to. The flexibility and sound quality of Tidal is a big listening plus for me.

Tidal music selections are improving and additional albums are always being added. There is a very slight delay when starting music on Tidal and another slight delay from song to song. This is not a problem for me since the sound quality is very good.

Tidal also offers various play lists you can select or you select your own album. Another advantage with Tidal is that you can select an album and then page down to see additional albums by that artist. When I signed up, Tidal Streaming was ONLY available on the Chrome browser so I installed it on my MAC Book Pro computer. It may be available on other browsers (I do not know).

You need to decide if the Tidal $20 per month charge is worth it. I feel the Tidal sound quality is well worth the $20. I suggest you give Tidal a try for one month and then decide. I highly recommend Tidal Streaming.
Hgeifman...sorry, I meant to comment on this several months ago.

You have stated several times that "there is a very slight delay when starting music on Tidal and another slight delay from song to song." I do NOT get this using my Sonos nor did I get this when I was using my Squeezebox Duet with ickstream.

Maybe that is an artifact of using a computer for the streaming?
Mofi and Hgeifman, I noticed the same thing when my stereo was down for a few weeks as we got our floors replaced, I listened to Tidal via the app on my laptop, there is indeed about a 2 second pause between tracks that does not seem to be defeatable. There is no pause via Sonos, I've never bothered to investigate why as all of my listening is through Sonos now.
Thanks folks. The comments are interesting. I would really love to hear from someone who has compared the test samples to actual content as streamed by Tidal. Hgeifman - is that something you would be willing to do? (Looking for ears other than mine to weigh in.) Thanks again.
When playing back Tidal from a computer the delay problems are a result of no gapless playback. In streamers like Sonos or Auricle they do have gapless playback so no delays. I hope Tidal fixes this. Spotify had this problem at first and eventually fixed it
Ghosthouse, My Tidal system is working fine and I prefer not to try the Tidal
Test system. However, I do not understand the problem. I clicked on the
Tidal test link above and discovered that if you "Pass the test, you get
a 30 day free trial for TIDAL". You have nothing to lose. Assuming
your audio system is okay (I do not know), you get 30 free days of Tidal at no
cost. You can listen to your favorite songs using Tidal and then decide.
Hg - No problem here. Just looking for a 2nd opinion on test sample quality vs actual streamed content. BTW - I'm pretty certain the 30 day trial is available with or without "passing" the test.
I love TIDAL! It is one of the best decisions I've made regarding HiFi.
Ghosthouse, I believe the test is just a sample to get the listener to hear how Tidal will sound through their system. I'm sure it's a premium signal to show the best that they have to offer. I didn't know about the test either, but I can sure hear the difference between Tidal and Spotify. Try it out. I went premium without thinking about it.
I just looked on my computer and when I play a selection, the HIFI indicator down by the volume control enables, or come on, so premium is HIFI.
Thanks, A$280...I've been trying to avoid downloading yet another program so was hoping I could get a clue about Tidal sound quality from the test samples they provide. The test doesn't require downloading anything. It is NOT an alternative "test system" to the actual Tidal streaming product.

Second point: I might be confused, but when I look at the actual Tidal site (not the HiFi Test screen; see screen at link below) - it looks to me like Tidal Premium is the low cost $9.99/mo option designed to compete price-wise with Spotify, while Tidal HiFi is the high quality uncompressed/lossless option that costs $19.99 per month. So from this, it seems Tidal Premium is definitely not Tidal HiFi. See screen at link here.


Let me know what you think. Thanks. (I do note 30 day free trial)
Love Tidal but I use it exclusively with the Roon Music Server. Amazing, simply amazing. Sound quality is excellent, access to what I want to hear is wonderful and I have noticed no playback delays which is probably due to the Roon server handing those things? Try this combo and you wont go back.
Ghosthouse, I see where you're going with this. Since I signed up for the more expensive plan right away, I don't know how the two plans vary from one another since I'm always hifi. Tidal hifi is streamed lossless, which they claim is CD quality, the way the artists intended for you to hear it. Tidal premium is restricted to high quality, which means the max quality will be AAC 320 kbps.
Hey 280 - For me to see what the hoopla is all about I might well just have to do the free trial. Have to say, I've been VERY happy with Spotify. Sound seems excellent to me. I don't notice obvious compression...things sound very dynamic with good frequency extension and imaging. But I remain curious about what I might be missing with Tidal. When I took the Tidal "test" with my AKG550 headphones + Dragonfly/Jitterbug DAC combo, I got 4 out of 5 correct (selected the lossless/uncompressed version for 4 out of 5 tracks) even though the B sample of the last 2 tracks had problems playing back in a timely way. Based on my experience with the test material, to my ears and with my gear, I found the differences between the Tidal A & B samples to be very subtle and the perceived improvement not really all that compelling as a reason to make a change and pay 2x more. I was a bit surprised and disappointed given the raves about Tidal. Even on my main system, I felt like I was somewhat guessing which sample sounded better. I'd rank any improvement from Tidal well below what an IC cable upgrade can bring. This is not intended to challenge what anyone else hears from Tidal HiFi and goad them into defending it. It might well be how my system is "tuned" (not as highly resolving as some???; although the AKGs are pretty resolving) such that the benefit is just not there for me. At any rate, I didn't want to make a final judgement about Tidal based solely on their test samples, hence my original question. Since no one yet seems to have compared test material vs actual streamed subscription content, doing the trial might be the only way to scratch the itch. Thanks again for your various comments.
I was thinking about this last night. I'm quite happy with the sound listening to Radio Tunes, which I pay the premium for. It comes in at 128AAC. I think I'll have to compare Radio Tunes to premium Tidal to see if I really need to pay the extra 10 dollars for HIFI. It's usually on for casual listening anyways.
280 - I'm certainly not trying to rain on anyone's parade. I do like the ability with Spotify or Tidal to pick an album or artist and just listen to their stuff vs hearing single tracks mixed with a lot of other "related" music - as is the case with something like Pandora (and maybe Radio Tunes?).
I wonder if the folks who say $20 a month for Tidal is too much think about how much a month they use to spend on CD's? I know I was regularly spending $50/month netting myself at most 7-8 discs. For less than half that I can listen to literally thousands of albums on Tidal at CD quality. Seems a relative bargain to me.
I agree Jond, but if I can still enjoy it at half the cost...
Ghosthouse, Radio Tunes just plays different artists one after the other, just like fm. Was mowing the yard today listening with the phone and heard quite a few blues artists I'm interested in which I'll look up on Tidal & Spotify. It's nice that RadioTunes lists the last 4 tracks played to give me time to stop and write them down at leisure. Yes, I carry paper and pencil when I mow. LOL
Tried to look up "Ball and Chain", by Gary Moore on Tidal with no luck. Searched in Spotify and there it was. I'm not too happy about that. Hope this doesn't happen often.
Hey 280...we like the blues and blues-derived R&R a lot. Here's a link to a Bruce/Moore version of White Room if you haven't already heard it...


ALSO - you can type the names Gary Moore Jack Bruce (no ampersand) into the Spotify search box and come up with quite a few good things to hear.

Carrying pencil and paper to make notes about music heard while mowing...good on you. Glad to read about someone else with a music jones.
There are 33 albums by Gary Moore on Tidal. Is Ball & Chain an album or a song?
Ball and Chain is a song from the 2002 GM album "Scars" (Track 8).
$280 if you like blues look these up on Tidal:

J Roddy Wallston and the Business eponymous album very unique sounding rockabilly blues with a touch of Leon Redbone.

Danny Kroha Angels Watching Over Me stripped down country/gospel blues with a hard edge.