Tidal Connect on iPhone

Hello DCS and users

I have just discovered I can play Tidal from my iPhone using Tidal Connect direct to my Network Bridge. Thank you for this, it’s going to make life much more fun. Does anyone know if there is a sound quality difference between doing this and/or using Mosaic? I will let my ears decide in due course but am just seeking the views of other users in the meantime.

Thank you all

Simon

Hello Simon,
As I understand it, Tidal Connect is lossless so I wouldn’t expect there to be any difference with Mosaic, assuming that you’re playing 44.1/16 files.
For Tidal Masters, I have to use Mosaic in order for my Rossini to do the MQA unfold.
As you say, your ears will decide.

I’m pretty sure Mosaic Processor (the firmware that runs on dCS hardware) doesn’t yet support Tidal Connect. Perhaps you’re confusing it with casting over Airplay - which you can do directly from the Tidal App running on your iPhone to your dCS hardware. :slightly_smiling_face:

Good point Anup!

I now realise that, when I replied to Simon’s post, I was using Airplay rather than my Bluesound Node 2i (SPDIF -> Rossini), which does support Tidal Connect.

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Jonathan (and Anup)

Thank you for your reply. I’ve been listening to Neil Diamond Hot August Night 3 and there is a clear difference between listening via Mosaic and via the Tidal app on my iPhone. The sound quality listening via Mosaic is much better. It has more depth, more power to the music and it makes my foot tap. The only benefit of listening via my iPhone is I don’t get that irritating gap between tracks, which is noticeable on an MQA encoded live album (which this album is).

So, it leads me to wondering why this should be?

When I control the Network Bridge using Mosaic, I believe the tracks are actually being played through the ethernet connection into the back of the Network Bridge. It’s only track selection that’s being delivered over Bluetooth.

When I control the Network Bridge using the Tidal app on my iPhone, my phone tells me I am using Apple Airplay. So, does this mean that the tracks are being played over Bluetooth, not via the ethernet connection? If this is the case, it would explain (a) why I am getting better sound using Mosaic and (b) I was mistaken and the Network Bridge is not using Tidal Connect, it’s using Airplay and Bluetooth to play tracks, which is never going to be as good as listening via Mosaic/Ethernet.

Best regards all, Simon

Anup, thank you. Please see my reply to Jonathan below.

My understanding is that Mosaic app controls a direct network stream (like Tidal Connect would)

Tidal Connect (using Tidal on iPhone app as the controller) is not supported

So by using the Tidal app you are streaming over bluetooth which accounts for lower sound quality

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Thank you, appreciated

Not quite actually Simon, everything happens over Ethernet - the dCS Network Bridge doesn’t support Bluetooth (or WiFi) :laughing:

Nope, over Ethernet; the Apple Airplay protocol basically runs over any IP connectivity to the Airplay playback device.

In the case of your iPhone/Tidal App, when you select the Network Bridge as your Airplay device, your iPhone/Tidal App transports the track over Airplay protocol on WiFi to the rest of your home network, and then to the Network Bridge over Ethernet.

Airplay, both v1 and v2, actually supports Redbook quality playback (44.1k/16bits), so, (with the exception of MQA tracks), you should be able to playback Tidal tracks over Airplay in full Redbook resolution to your Network Bridge.

If you’re experiencing a quality difference between iPhone/Mosaic/Tidal versus iPhone/Tidal/Airplay of a particular Redbook resolution track (on Tidal), you might want to check the Tidal App configuration on your iPhone, specifically the [Quality] --> [Streaming] --> [WiFi] setting; make sure it’s set to “Master”.

:crossed_fingers:t3: :smiley: