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Tidal is revamping its lossless and immersive audio formats

Colorful graphic of Tidal logo
Tidal is dropping support for MQA. | Image: The Verge

Big news for audiophiles: Tidal is shaking up its audio formats. Starting July 24th, Tidal will drop support for Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) and 360 Reality Audio formats. Going forward, the streaming service says FLAC will be the default for stereo, while Dolby Atmos will be the format of choice for immersive sound.

Tidal allows users to stream in three tiers of audio quality: low, high, and max. Low uses AAC files, which go up to 320kbps. High offers CD-quality lossless FLAC files. And Max goes beyond that, with MQA and higher-res FLAC files. The Max tier is where the decision to drop MQA matters — and probably isn’t all that surprising to longtime Tidal users.

Tidal was one of the few services that supported streaming in MQA…

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