Tidal, Spotify and High-Fidelity Audio Streaming – Listening Test.

22 Apr 2015

High Fidelity Streaming



Everyday we listen to all sorts of music, whether it’s in the office or in the studio, literally 100% of the day is filled with music. In our office, it’s a choice between the radio or Spotify.

Today I took a bold step in listening, I decided to put Spotify down and get myself on board with Tidal. I’ve been blogging about Tidal for a while, and thought it was high-time that I check it out properly and see if it’s worth it.

Was it worth it?

So, Tidal does what it says on the tin, it offers you lossless 44.1 FLAC, so you’re essentially listening to C.D. quality, and you can tell. Everything we listened to using Tidal sounded as it does on C.D., and it sounded really good.


Working in the music industry gives you an idea of what good and bad sounds like, and working as a mastering engineer really emphasizes what sounds bad. So, Spotify sounded worse than Tidal (audio quality-wise), which we should all expect being as Tidal is lossless.

So, will the average listener bother spending the £19.99 price tag per month? 

Probably not. We sat in front of Tidal, with our Mac Mini and some consumer speakers, and gave it a good listen, and tested between that and Spotify. Our verdict? We doubt anyone (who just listens to music casually) is going to sit and test the difference in quality, and with that in mind, I doubt they would hear the difference. I mean, realistically, if I listened to them at a minimum volume hours apart, I may not hear the difference.

What’s the verdict then? 

Tidal serves its purpose, but I don’t think it’s a revolution. Is it worth the price tag? That depends on the consumer and their habits. But, for the average Joe, it doesn’t seem worth the extra £10, and for the 40 million free Spotify subscribers, I don’t think they will be jumping onto the Tidal ship anytime soon.