Tidal Hi-Fi does it actually work?

Hi everyone,

I’m kinda wondering if Tidal Hi-Fi or high quality makes any sense in Djay? Is the software able to read and output the higher bit and kHz? @algoriddim?

And if it does so, are most of the controllers able to use the signal? From what I can see they are usually somewhere around 24bit and 44/48 kHz. Which from my understanding is also the range we can actually hear?

Maybe I’m also completely misunderstanding something :disguised_face: ?

People have complained that they have experienced loading issues when using the
Hi Fi version in Tidal and from memory Algoriddim have recommended not to use it…
To be honest, I have tried it and didn’t have any issues with it although I have it set to Normal as I couldn’t tell the difference between the two besides it taking slightly slower to load…


Yea I read there used to be an issue but that’s not what I’m getting at.

I want to understand if Djay is actually able to „read“ such high kHz/bit rates and if it’s able to send them in this quality to the controller and if so, are most controller able to process these signals or is the output eventually down to something like 24bit 48khz and the quality lost by the time it hits the speakers?

The controllers all receive the same type of signal from DJay.

When DJay plays an audio file (from disk or network stream) in any supported format (mp3, alac, flac, wav, etc) it converts it into PCM and sends that to the controller through the controller’s USB sound card. The controller then sends the PCM through its DACs to get an analog signal it can output to the speakers on its XLR, RCA, TRS ports.

I believe that Tidal sends hifi streams in FLAC format. Virtual DJ lets you see the stream’s format and bitrate. When I check in VDJ it says FLAC and often the bitrate is >1000kbit/s, which is A LOT better than the typical 320kbit/s you get with MP3.

So I know for sure that DJ apps are able to use Tidal’s hifi streams. But I don’t know if Djay can.

Does Djay support FLAC?


Now that’s a detailed answer… :wink:

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It sure loads slower when switching to HiFi. Since the option is available in Djay I expect it to actually work, and I think my quick comparison showed improved lows and definition. I’ll check again.

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Also, I seem to recall that recently loaded tracks are ‘buffered’ on your device. I’m not 100% convinced it will reload the same track when you switch (unless you’ve played others of course - which could be considered a ‘bug’ if that was indeed the case).

Keep that in mind when you try to do an A-B comparison.

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So most controllers atm have a soundcard that supports about 24bit/48khz, I noticed the old Traktor S2 MK2 had 96khz, the CDJ 3000 has also 24bit/96khz I think.

Tidal hi-fi setting is a 44.1, 16-bit file which they claim is substantially better: more like typically 96 kHz / 24 bit

In comparison Apple Music has 3 options at: 16-bit/44.1kHz, 24-bit/48kHz, and 24-bit/192kHz audio

So what I‘m wondering is, is Djay able to play at 96/192kHz and keep the quality? And if so does it matter if your controller isn’t supporting it?

What is the bit and kHz of the PCM in Djay?

I wouldn’t be surprised if they internally always use 44.1 @ 16 bits for all tracks. The processing engine will usually be higher / deeper.

If that quality is going out to supported hardware is a good question indeed.

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I believe that if you want to play an HQ audio file on an audio interface with lesser capabilities, the audio would have to be resampled. So, it will be supported, you just won’t get more quality than the controller’s audio interface can deliver.

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Could we get an official answer here? @Jru :sweat_smile:
I want to understand what Djay puts out into my controller :disguised_face:

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On Mac, audio is attended to by CoreAudio, which detects the bit depth(s) and sample rate(s) of the audio interface(s). What we want to know is what the capabilities of djay’s audio engine are - can we mix 24/192 files? can NeuralMix handle 24/192? can it handle 4 stereo tracks (5 if you’re including sample playback…) at 24/192 with NeuralMix and and and?

I’d guess it’s possible to output the highest resolution through an audio interface that goes to 24/192, but you’d have to re-map it away from your DJ controller interface’s audio output. Native 24/192 support would be amazeballs in awesomesauce, and I know CoreAudio does it…the question remains, can djay’s coding contend?

(SO happy this is an issue…came to djay for Tidal/FLAC and Master quality. I know MQA is a whole can of worms with their licensing, but I see a shift from PCM to PDM audio happening due to immersive audio/Atmos etc happening…we can build it; we have the technology lol)


24 bit references the usable amount of discreet values
44.1/48kHz references the sample rate
These are not in relation to the 20-22kHz human audible frequency spectrum

Higher bit values means you can have stronger and more fluctuating dynamics.
Higher sample rates lead to less stepping and higher clarity.
The bulk of the population will be happy with a 44.1kHz 16-bit/per channel audio file.

I have not done a spectrum comparison between my tidal hi fi subscription tracks and purchased tracks in Algoriddim, but this post has me wanting to now do a comparison.

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Sounds like a plan :nerd_face: when you are on it, would you also be able to compare the output you get from Djay for the same song? What software are you intending to use for comparison?

I would be happy to. I will be using a Fredenstein F610 and a TC Clarity. They are both hardware, not software.

Oh nice, that’s some fancy gear :sunglasses: well very, very curious to hear about the outcome of your little test!

Hi @Fresh27 and all here in the thread,

Apologies for the delay!

While I’m not able to share the specifics of the data, after raising this question to our developers, I can share that the answer is that using Tidal Hi-Fi does in fact raise the quality of the audio that is being played.

However, this is on a per-track basis when available as not all files/tracks on Tidal have been processed to support this output setting. That is ultimately out of our control and is a process that needs to be enacted on Tidal’s end of things.

I hope this was able to clear things up and answer your initial questions!


Hi Jru,

thank you for getting back to us, I really appreciate the time and effort you and your team take to engage with the users of Djay.

I would really appreciate a more detailed answer to my question. I started to get into the depths of bits and kHz and now I’m highly curious to understand what Djay can actually do with that.

Why are you unable to share more specific data?

Why would it matter how djay works?

djay moves the file as a bitstream to the DAC converter and then DAC converter handles the audio conversion from digital to analog.

It should not matter what kind of bitstream/file is transferred to the DAC, it’s all about the capabilities of the DAC itself what kind of stuff it can handle? And the DAC decides how to handle bits and kHz’s.

Or am I missing something?

The question was “what’s the highest resolution that djay can handle”. It’s not the DAC, it’s the audio engine:
it has to have the facility to be able to make djay’s bitstream output smooth to the DAC conversion, whatever that might be. there are 4 decks with a sampler that ALL have to be in sync to the DAC in terms of sample rate and bit depth…is there a point at which it can’t? if so, what is that?
It matters because the higher sample rates and bit depths make for more natural (and better) sounding recordings and therefore output. does djay’s engine take a 320MP3 and try to make it sound like a 24/192 wav file? can it, in real time, while maintaining sync?
Is what it does the best way to do that? what holds djay back, technologically?
(I like PCM and FLAC, but I see PDM and DSD as a way forward because of higher resolutions and immersive audio…which I think is what 2023 will be all about…)