You’re getting the best quality version of any song on TIDAL by selecting Max quality. The source file you receive depends on the format(s) delivered to us by the artist, label, or distributor. The hierarchy of availability is HiRes FLAC, then MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), then FLAC, then AAC (compressed audio), meaning that, if we don’t have the file available in HiRes FLAC, the source file will be the MQA version and so on.
While Tidal Max is indeed here, it appears (at time of writing) that there are still some caveats. “Max” quality may be EITHER Hi-Res Flac OR MQA, with priority given to the Flac if it exists. Tidal won’t directly show which version is playing, but your DAC and Mosaic will show the MQA logo if it is that.
What confused me for a while - hence the reason for posting - is that Tidal Max only presently applies to playback through their own app, and not yet to Tidal Connect or third-party apps, including Mosaic.
So for example: if I connect one of my DACs via USB cable to my PC, I can use their desktop app to play a particular “max” track that displays on the DAC front panel as “24/96”; yet the ‘same’ track played over Tidal Connect (even from the same app), or found in Mosaic (or ROON, for that matter) will display as “24/48, MQA.”. This isn’t something we have control over at dCS: Mosaic can only play what Tidal makes available to it.
In Hong Kong, I still see reference to HiFi and HiFi Plus only. No Max mentioned. Tried VPNing into various countries but their location detection is not trivial and I can’t circumvent it easily. I don’t mind subscribing at a higher cost if I get corresponding value. For reference HiFi Plus in Hong Kong per month is HKD96 = USD12.50 = EUR11.30 = GBP9.70.
Does anyone know if the Max offering will be rolled out globally in stages? Any idea how the HiFi Plus may map to the Max offering (or not)? Maybe it’s just still early days and more to come. Thanks.