HiFi Tidal vs Spotify sound comparison

So should you pay for the premium for Tidal? It depends on your financial situation. If you have the money and quality headphones, Tidal is the better choice.

For this test, I decided to use Westone W60 IEM’s and Galaxy Note 9. Both apps were installed on the same phone and placed on the home screen. Every song was played for 1 minute on each app. The volume was kept at 75% throughout the whole test. Tidal was set to HiFi and Master whenever possible; Spotify was set to the highest possible setting.

Is it worth paying $10 extra for HiFi Tidal?

Mark Tolbert

The results were interesting to say the least, Right off the bat I noticed one common theme, most of the songs were louder on Tidal despite keeping the volume at 75% for both tests. The results for the first 10 songs are listed below. I hope you will find the test interesting and useful in your decision on which subscription you will choose.

Tidal vs Spotify Results

Aqueours Transmission by Incubus – For this song, I was not able to notice any difference.
Winner: TIE

Peanut Butter Jelly by Galantis – The difference is noticeable right from the start and its HUGE. Tidal was much louder and everything was much clearer. All the instruments popped so much more you could clearly notice an improvement in vocal clarity.
Winner: Tidal HiFi 

Waiting for Love by Avicii – Again, Tidal was much louder and all the instruments popped so much more. The vocals were clearer and it felt like with Tidal you were sitting in a front-row seat of a concert, whereas with Spotify it sounded like a seat in the back-row.
Winner: Tidal HiFi

Outside by Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding- Another win for Tidal. Noticeable from the start but especially starting at 0:39 when all the instruments kick in.
Winner: Tidal HiFi

Elastic heart by Sia- Clean win for Tidal Hifi as the Spotify version sounded a bit muffled.
Winner: Tidal HiFi

Royals by Lorde – With Tidal, the instruments seem to pop more in this song but the difference is not easily noticeable.
Winner: Tidal HiFi

Tidal HiFi vs Spotify Conclusion

I tested 10-15 more songs in addition to the ones above and for the most part, Tidal was the clear winner.

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Of all the songs tested, I did not listen to a song where the Spotify version sounded better than Tidal. Rap and Hip Hop songs did not seem to have much if any noticeable differences between the two. So should you pay for the premium for Tidal? It depends on your financial situation. If you have the money and quality headphones, Tidal is the better choice.