Sound quality - streaming Tidal via BluOS app VS Tidal Connect

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by K Brooke, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. K Brooke

    K Brooke Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hey all,

    I have been streaming Tidal via a Node 2i for the last year or so. I do it via the BluOS app from my devices. I’m using an external DAC so just utilizing the Node’s streaming function. It’s always sounded pretty good to my ears. A few days ago, I noticed Tidal released Tidal Connect so I started to cast to the Node directly via their app as opposed to accessing Tidal by going through the BluOS app.

    WOW, what a change for the better! Whereas Tidal via the BluOS app made every instrument sound isolated in its own space, streaming via the Tidal Connect app sounds so much more MUSICAL. All the sounds blend together so much better but without any sacrifice of tone or body or anything like that. I’ve done a tone of A/B tests and it’s very clear to my ears. The presentation is just totally different.

    Does anyone have an explanation for this? It’s puzzling as I assume it’s the same data from Tidal, the only difference is that streaming it one way is via the BluOS app and the other is via Tidal app directly.
     
  2. 500Homeruns

    500Homeruns Peaceful Punk

    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    I'll give this a bump because I am a new BluOS (NAD M12) user and I also use Tidal.
     
    displayname likes this.
  3. RGBARGEE

    RGBARGEE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    I have noticed the same thing as the OP...
     
  4. woodpigeon

    woodpigeon Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    The fact that Tidal Connect has been released is exciting. Hopefully Yamaha release MusicCast support for it. If not I look forward to the next shipment of Node 2i arriving in NZ.
     
  5. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    I haven't tried this yet, but what device are you streaming it from? If you are using an Apple device, is Bluesound picking up and playing the signal in Master quality?
     
  6. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    Answering my own question, casting Tidal from my iPhone is coming through as 44.1 for a track labeled as a Master.

    EDIT - I took another look at my iPhone settings and the tracks are playing at Master level. Will need to experiment further.
     
    displayname likes this.
  7. grx8

    grx8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    I also noticed a difference.
     
  8. wingram

    wingram Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    So - I will try to test this out later tonight and determine if I can hear a difference, but - assuming I understood everything correctly, in either case, my node 2i is still doing the streaming - the only difference is how I control it via the blusound app or the native tidal app - sould someone smarter than I am please explain how this would impact sound quality?
     
  9. grx8

    grx8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    Yes, the difference will need to be in how the BluOS app manages the data v/s the Tidal one.

    Now, on the BluOS forums they always claim that what they can do relies on the authorization (I think “api” is the right word but not sure) given by the developer.
     
    displayname likes this.
  10. wingram

    wingram Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Sorry - trying to make sure I understand your reply - the only way I can see this making a difference is if the Blusound app is telling the node to send either a different quality file or different mastering from the Tidal app - if the node 2i is playing the same file, it should sound the same regardless of the app that tells it what to play, right? Or am I missing something?
     
  11. grx8

    grx8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    It should, but there’s a lot of underground world in the music software world. Just take a quick read about Daphile or the guys that claim that over Roon sounds worse.
    Don’t know, not interested. Let me stream easy and play my records.
     
  12. Kristofferabild

    Kristofferabild Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    How did the Bluesound work with Tidal before? Was it actually streaming from the phone?
     
  13. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Tidal has something going on.

    I much prefer it streaming directly from my Mac than using Audirvana

    It sounds punchier and fuller on its own.
    The difference is huge actually.

    don’t know what is going on
     
    displayname likes this.
  14. Arstein

    Arstein Member

    Location:
    Bay Area
    I’m using my Node 2i thru coax to audio-gd nfb 11 , when using blu app or Tidal connect it seems the sound stage changes and volume is a little louder thru Tidal connect. Also wondering when using your generic ir remote to control tidal is that using stream via blu app or Tidal direct.
     
  15. MondoFanM

    MondoFanM Member from ATX

    Location:
    Austin
    Been using Tidal Connect with the Node 2i. Rarely open the BlueOS app. I do like it but am I missing something? Is it possible to always default to the Node 2i from the Tidal app instead of having to switch it? I never listen to music on my iPhone. Would be useful. But doesn’t seem to be a setting for that.
     
  16. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    If you wish you could also try Roon they give you a 14 days free trial, to me that also causes a very noticeable improvement on the the sound over Tidal and Chromecast. I haven't checked Tidal connect yet.
     
  17. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Interesting. I’ll experiment as well, I’ve never used the Tidal app directly with my Node 2i. Always used the BluOS app, thanks for the heads up.
     
  18. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Eternal Champion, Master of the Universe

    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Hmm, something is happening that is not supposed to then, because essentially Tidal Connect, just like BluOS, is sending commands to the Node 2i - i.e. it is acting as a controller for the Node 2i. In both cases the outcome should be the same. It's like using an OEM remote control on a TV set versus a third part remote - if you can change the channel then you can, if you can't then you can't. Tidal via BluOS should sound the same as Tidal controlled by Connect. There is no secret stream that only Tidal connect can access. I am wondering though whether the Tidal API in BluOS accesses a different stream to when it is commanded by Tidal Connect because it then uses a different server - that's possible but again, should not change the sound. Have you posted on the Bluesound forums and seen if Lenbrook staff have any idea what might be going on ? Tony for example, often responds to forum posts.
     
    dcottrell6 likes this.
  19. HankM

    HankM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Gonna try this, I've only been currently using BluOS
     
  20. dcottrell6

    dcottrell6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastampton, NJ
    Hmmm, I did try this and found no difference between the 2.
    The connect app should only be communicating via the api with the 2i performing the playback in both cases.
     
  21. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Okay, I finally got to compare Tidal Connect and BluOS and the Tidal Connect is surprisingly much better! I don't know how Tidal pulled it off but I'm glad that they did. BluOS sounds flat in comparison, still decent but I most definitely prefer Tidal Connect. Thanks for sharing the tip, quite a nice and unexpected bump in SQ.
     
  22. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    Now you need to compare it to Roon.
     
  23. Calico1976

    Calico1976 New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I’m hearing clearer and crisper sound from the BlueOS over Tidal. It’s like Tidal is muddier in some way. It’s too bad because I prefer the Tidal UX and would rather use it. Anyone else noticing that?
     
  24. grx8

    grx8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    I tried and wanted to use Roon, but I’m sure there was something I could hear that I didn’t like. BluOS for me.
     
  25. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you’re hearing a difference between the Tidal app and BluOS, it is likely due to different audio-related settings in your BluOS app compared to your Tidal app (volume, tone controls, replay gain, etc.). All things being equal in the apps, the Node should be playing the streams identically.

    Also note that the use of an external DAC with the Node will limit the SQ of MQA files unless your DAC is fully MQA capable. If you’re using the BluOS app with a non-MQA external DAC connected to the Node, you will be streaming 44.1 for all files.
     

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