Tidal and Qobuz not delivering the maximum quality on Android? solve now

In case you don’t know, normally, everything that is played with a sample rate (sample rate) above 48Khz on Android is changed by the operating system on the USB output to 48Khz. That is, it does not matter if a song in “Hi-res” (96kHz/24bit) [1] or above (192Khz/24 bit) is being played on streaming services like Tidal or Qobuz, Android phones will change the sample rate to 48Hz on the USB output most of the time. Although we have recommended in our article [2] the use of USB DACs (digital-to-analog-converter) to enjoy the transmission of music in lossless formats, depending on the situation it will be necessary one more step.

The solution to prevent the Android operating system (OS) from resampling (resizing) the “lossless” music to 48Khz is to use software that makes the transmission occur by accessing an audio path called “direct”. That is, instead of the cell phone’s audio output being limited to 44100Hz or 48000Hz by the Android audio system, the program will ignore this rule and use the full potential of the cell’s DAC (if there is a headphone output ) or the external DAC.

According to Oficina da Net reader Adrian Borges, it is now possible to access, in the case of Tidal, the USB DAC exclusively via a normal USB cable (the device’s own cable, without being OTG) on Android on more recent cell phones, without the need for use third-party apps. The reason for this is the use of the AAudio API, which we will comment on below. However, in the case of Qobuz, the version for Google’s mobile operating system is still not able to do the same, requiring an extra application.

[1] “What is Hi-Res Audio” article.

[2] “How to Enjoy Lossless Streaming on Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Deezer” article.

Why Android resamples audio files to 48Khz?

Android can currently use two different audio APIs (application programming interfaces), OpenSL ES and AAudio. The API “Open Sound Library for Embedded Systems”, commonly called “OpenSL E”, is older and is responsible for limiting music streaming applications to sending files with a frequency range of 48Khz. However, by using the AAudio API, it is possible to stream audio files on both USB and P2 output without resampling (resizing) to 48Khz.

How to access maximum audio quality of music files on Android?

An application called USB Audio Player PRO (UAPP) was developed for the exact purpose of circumventing the resample made by the Android audio system. Through a USB audio driver created especially for cell phones with Google’s mobile operating system, music playback and transmission will be processed directly by the cell’s USB DAC or DAC (if it is considered “Hi-res” or higher) .

According to eXtream Software Development, the company responsible for the UAPP, when using a USB DAC it is necessary to use a USB OTG (On-The-Go) cable. This type of cable allows for greater flexibility in connection management, allowing applications to be able to stream higher resolution audio files.

note: The app developer warns that there may be cases where an OTG cable does not work and a simple replacement for another one will solve the problem.

USB DAC/amp connected to a USB OTG cable plugged into an Android phone.  Source: DarkoAudio
USB DAC/amp connected to a USB OTG cable plugged into an Android phone. Source: DarkoAudio

Alternative to UAPP: Hiby Music

Another way to access lossless streaming services is through the Hiby Music app. In June 2021, its developer, Hiby, announced that it was adding the ability to utilize the Tidal library within the app. This is a free alternative for anyone who wants to avoid the Android resample and reach the “bit perfect”.

According to Oficina da Net reader Adrian Borges, Hiby Music, “since its version 4.1.0 build 5547, has access and makes use of the Android audio library “AAUDIO” for 16 and 24-bit audios and not old OpenSL ES, so it can actually deliver 24-bit 192khz via P2 without android system restriction”.

Using the UAPP app to access maximum audio quality on Android

Before starting the tutorial on how to use UAPP on Android to extract the maximum quality from songs played on Android, it is important to review what we will need to carry out the procedure.

Equipment and programs needed:

  • USB Audio Player PRO (UAPP)
  • USB DAC/amp (“USB headphone adapters”)
  • USB OTG cable
  • Mobile with Android operating system (OS)

First, download the USB Audio Player PRO (UAPP) app from the Play Store (Android app store). Now, follow the steps below to correctly use UAPP.

Step 01: Connect the USB OTG cable to the cell phone.

Step 02: Connect the USB DAC/amp to the OTG cable.

Step 03: Open the UAPP.

Step 04: When opening the application, a window will appear asking which driver you want to use (the standard Android audio driver or the HiRes direct driver, which was developed by eXtream Software Development).

Step 05: Open Tidal or Qobuz within UAPP.

The UAPP developer has a list of verified devices for the correct functioning of the app. Of course there will be more devices that will work with the app, as the market always has new releases. However, it’s good to have something as a reference, so check it out below.

Brand Model
aquarius X Pro
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
Bphone B1114
BQ Aquaris X2
cayin N6MK2
FiiO M11
FiiO M11 PRO
FiiO M15
FiiO X5viii
FiiO X7
FiiO X7ii
Fujitsu F-02H
Gigaset ME
hiby R5
hiby R6
hiby R6 PRO
honor 8 PRO
honor 9
honor 10
honor play
HTC 10
HTC One A9
Huawei New
Huawei P30
iBasso DX150
iBasso DX160
iBasso DX200
iBasso DX220
LeEco Max2
Lenovo Legion Pro
Lenovo P2
Lenovo Z2 Plus
Lenovo Z5 PRO
letv X900
LG G2
LG G6
LG G7
LG G7 Fit
LG G7 One
LG G8
LG G8X
LG Q7+
LG Q9
LG Q9 One
LG Style 4 (Q7)
LG V10
LG V20
LG V30
LG V35
LG V40
LG V50
LG V60
Motorola E5
Motorola G5 Plus
Motorola G6
Motorola one
Motorola Z2 Play
Nokia 7 Plus
Nokia X7
Nokia 6
Nokia 8
Nokia 8.1
Nubia Red Magic 5G
Nubia Z11
OnePlus 3Q and new
onkyo grandbeat
onkyo DP-X1
Oppo A5
Oppo A92
Oppo Find X2 Lite
Oppo Find X2 PRO
Oppo Rhine 5
Oppo Rhine 10x
pioneer XDP-100R
pioneer XDP-300R
really 5 PRO
really 6 PRO
really X2 PRO
really X3 Super Zoom
really XT
Samsung A11
Samsung Note 8
Samsung Note 9
Samsung S6, S7, S8, S9, S10 and plus variants
Shanling M6 PRO
Shanling M8
sharp Aquos R
sharp Aquos SHV34
sonim XP8800
Sony 1
Sony 1 II
Sony NW-A105
Sony X
Sony X Compact
Sony XA2
Sony XZ Premium
Sony XZ1
Sony XZ1 Compact
Sony XZ2
Sony XZ3
Sony Z5
Alive xplay6
Alive X20 Plus
vsmart Joy 3
vsmart live
wiki WIM Lite
Xiaomi MI 4 to 10
Xiaomi MI A1/A2
Xiaomi MI CC9 PRO
Xiaomi MI Max 1/2
Xiaomi IM Note 3
Xiaomi MI PAD 4
Xiaomi MIX 1 to 3
Xiaomi Poco F2 PRO
Xiaomi little M3
Xiaomi little X2
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Xiaomi RedMI K30 and PRO
Xiaomi RedMI Note 3 to 10
Xiaomi RedMI 4 to 8
Xiaomi RedMI S2
Xiaomi RedMI Y1
ZTE axon 7
ZTE axon 7 mini
ZTE Axon 10 PRO
ZTE Blade Max Z

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