Tidal HiFi on Android blares loud noise with headphones attached

vbimport

#1

At present I have a Tidal HiFi trial subscription and have been mainly streaming its music with the Tidal Android app. When I first installed the app, it initially gave authorisation problems when trying to download anything for offline playback, but their technical support got this resolved and it has been working fine up until Tidal launched its master streams.

When I try to play any offline music or even when intermittently streaming, the music blares out my headphones like a heavily overloaded amplifier. Unsurprisingly, this gave me quite a jump the first time it happened. This does not occur when playing music out the phone’s internal speaker or over Bluetooth. The exception is if I unplug the headphones at the time it’s blaring, the sound comes blaring out the phone’s internal speaker until the next track.

The following is a video recording where I play a few seconds of 5 tracks in the “What’s New” section out the phone’s internal speaker, followed by a bluetooth speaker and finally with headphones attached.

//youtu.be/7HmiyNE0wP0

I could not find any other mention of this issue from searching the web, so it could be just a glitch with my particular phone (OnePlus 2). I have also tried uninstalling the app, clearing its data, cache, etc. but the problem returns shortly after I reinstall the app, especially with any music I download for offline playback. The only other quirk I did find is that this only occurs in ‘HiFi’ quality mode. If I change it to ‘Normal’ or ‘High’ mode (96kbps or 320kbps AAC), the audio plays fine with headphones attached.

As €20/month seems rather steep for streaming music and the Tidal app is keen on trying to deafen me, I’m not going to go beyond the trial end.

So for anyone interested in trying Tidal, I strongly recommend not using its Android app with any high end audio gear. The simplest test to check whether this issue occurs in the Tidal Android app is to set the download audio quality to ‘HiFi’ in Tidal’s settings. Then download a test track and play it with headphones attached, but not on your ears.