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Roland Moore-Colyer

Tidal just made its hi-res music subscription as cheap as Apple Music

The Tidal app open on a phone and laptop.

Music streaming service Tidal has launched a new hi-res streaming option at an Apple Music-matching price.

For $10.99 / £10.99 / AU$12.99 per month, Tidal will bundle the high-resolution audio option with its lossless audio tier, giving subscribers access to high-quality music streaming for a competitive price. 

As such, people with some of the best headphones and the best earbuds will be able to take advantage of a music library with more than 110 million tracks streamed at a lossless quality and supporting hi-res FLAC. People with compatible headphones and ear buds, such as the Sony WH-1000XM5, will also be able to listen to music in Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format and tap into Dolby Atmos

While Tidal pipped the likes of Apple Music and Spotify to the post with hi-res audio streaming, it charged a high price for such access. So this reduction in price and smart bundling of services – HiFi Plus subscribers will be automatically switched to the combined option – not only increases the appeal of Tidal, it makes it arguably more appealing than Spotify and Apple Music. 

That’s because the former has gone the other way and increased its Premium service by $1/£1 more than Tidal’s new tier without offering lossless or hi-res audio options (all users have is the option to select tracks to stream or download in “very high” quality), and Apple Music has a smaller library.

Changing tides

Now speaking as a Spotify Premium user, this move by Tidal has me seriously considering swapping.

Tidal offers a curated listening experience that arguably beats Spotify, with offline listening, a lot of exclusive audio options including radio, podcasts as well as music, and the aforementioned spatial/surround audio compatibility.

So all of that and a lower price than Spotify is a compelling argument for people to make a jump to Tidal. For me, there's the question of getting used to a new user interface, the potential for porting over playlists and whether my podcasts of choice are even available on Tidal. But there’s a free trial for Tidal, so I feel compelled to try it out and maybe you should too.

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