Written by Nick Heer.

The Tidal Lie

The Verge’s Chris Ziegler on June 23:

Lossless streaming isn’t a gimmick. In fact, it’s the opposite: streaming services can’t entirely obviate owned music without it. Average-quality streams are great for the bulk of the market, but hardcore music lovers will absolutely pay a little more for something that sounds noticeably better. (I’m one of them.)

The Verge’s Chris Ziegler on July 7:

But what does this all actually mean in the real world? We wanted to find out, so we put a bunch of Vox Media staff in front of the camera for a blind test between Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music.


The results were very, very surprising to me. It was generally random across the board, though Spotify fared slightly worse than Apple Music and Tidal overall. In roughly 29 percent of the tests, subjects couldn’t tell any notable difference at all. Tidal — which wants you to pay more for lossless quality — most definitely didn’t take the crown, and in several cases, subjects actually identified it as the worst-sounding of the three.

Marco Arment reacted:

If you need to try really hard to identify whether there’s any difference at all, it probably doesn’t matter.

Invest your energy and money in what matters so clearly and obviously that nobody needs to strain to hear the difference: great headphones or speakers fed by great recordings of great music.