Tidal is now offering “master-quality” streaming for ultra-audiophiles

The company claims it offers the sound of the mastering studio at home.

Tidal has become the first service in the world to offer what it’s calling “master-quality” streaming, offering its customers the chance to listen to music in ultra high-resolution.

Tidal already offers a high-resolution streaming option of 44.1 kHz/16 bit, but the new “authenticated and unbroken” format clocks in at something closer to 96 kHz/24 bit. Tidal claims it sounds “as flawless as it sounded in the mastering suite.”

The format was developed by a company called MQA, which has created a technology that makes it possible to deliver master-quality audio in a file that’s small enough to stream. It also plays on any device, unlike some high-quality audio formats like FLAC.

Tidal says that there are currently 30,000 tracks from Warner Music Group available to listen to via the format, as well as those from Tidal’s artist owners and other key independent labels, with more to be added over time.

Music currently on the catalogue includes David Bowie’s Young Americans, Jay-Z’s American Gangster and Joni Mitchell’s Blue.

Neil Young’s Pono player offers sound of a similarly high quality, but only through its proprietary player. It was reported last year that Pono was looking to launch its own high-quality streaming service, but there’s no indication when it will arrive.