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MQA audio: What is it? How can you get it?

Kauan

Member
Apr 20, 2020
1
0
20
Hi,

I have Tidals service with MQA-files, and have been wondering, how to get out the masters quality sound without buying an expensive DAC. I believe that many other Tidal users are figuring out this too. Probably the easiest way is through Tidal's desktop application. It encodes the MQA-files, and you can then output the sound to your AWR through a hdmi-cable (or digital audio cable). Just make sure that your sound output settings are 24-bit and 96kHz. This worked for me with MacBook Pro and Denon AWR-x3400h. My Denon AWR confirmed that the input sample rate was 96kHz, and you surely can hear it too.

The Tidal mobile apps don't encode MQA-files, so with them you will need an encoder. With Apple airplay, bluetooth or HEOS, you are limited to 44,1 kHz, so if you want to move the sound to your home studio, you will still need to figure out a way to get the sound from the encoder to the AWR.

This ordinary music lover would hope in the future Tidal apps with MQA-encoding, and streaming systems and services that can handle 24-bit / 96kHz sound output. The DACs I would leave to hifi-enthusiasts.
 

Vim Fuego

Active member
Jun 8, 2020
10
3
25
MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated, an audio technology making hi-res audio streaming a reality. But what is it, exactly? And why should you care?

MQA audio: What is it? How can you get it? : Read more
Didn't actually tell me anything technical about MQA at all, or why I would want this over established DSD format (which may DAC accepts natively), or steaming FLAC 24/96 PCM.

It appears MQA is just yet another way of compressing hd audio, and it's worse than FLAC, as MQA appears to be lossy in its compression, and its primary motive is bandwidth reduction, without adversely affecting sound quality. For someone that has no bandwidth restrictions, it's best to stick to a lossless format, which might result in higher bandwidth use, file sizes, but is being transmitted as encoded, and not messed with... The only winner for MQA appears to be tidal, as it reduces their internet bandwidth..
 

botrytis

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2020
8
5
525
It is more nonsense from Bob Stewart. MQA has been proven to be lossy, adds ringing to the file, not takes it away, Is not higher that 48KHz as the supposed 3rd unfold is just oversampling method, pays Bob Stewart and his ilk a small amount for every part of the chain MQA is used on, sounds better because the file is 3-6 db louder than a same FLAC version of the file. MQA also adds a watermark, which hasn't been turned on yet, but as soon as it is one will have to pay more to play the files.

MQA is all about squeezing the end user while giving nothing in return.
 

botrytis

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2020
8
5
525
MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated, an audio technology making hi-res audio streaming a reality. But what is it, exactly? And why should you care?

MQA audio: What is it? How can you get it? : Read more
Hi,

I have Tidals service with MQA-files, and have been wondering, how to get out the masters quality sound without buying an expensive DAC. I believe that many other Tidal users are figuring out this too. Probably the easiest way is through Tidal's desktop application. It encodes the MQA-files, and you can then output the sound to your AWR through a hdmi-cable (or digital audio cable). Just make sure that your sound output settings are 24-bit and 96kHz. This worked for me with MacBook Pro and Denon AWR-x3400h. My Denon AWR confirmed that the input sample rate was 96kHz, and you surely can hear it too.

The Tidal mobile apps don't encode MQA-files, so with them you will need an encoder. With Apple airplay, bluetooth or HEOS, you are limited to 44,1 kHz, so if you want to move the sound to your home studio, you will still need to figure out a way to get the sound from the encoder to the AWR.

This ordinary music lover would hope in the future Tidal apps with MQA-encoding, and streaming systems and services that can handle 24-bit / 96kHz sound output. The DACs I would leave to hifi-enthusiasts.
Didn't actually tell me anything technical about MQA at all, or why I would want this over established DSD format (which may DAC accepts natively), or steaming FLAC 24/96 PCM.

It appears MQA is just yet another way of compressing hd audio, and it's worse than FLAC, as MQA appears to be lossy in its compression, and its primary motive is bandwidth reduction, without adversely affecting sound quality. For someone that has no bandwidth restrictions, it's best to stick to a lossless format, which might result in higher bandwidth use, file sizes, but is being transmitted as encoded, and not messed with... The only winner for MQA appears to be tidal, as it reduces their internet bandwidth..
Well, it is all about money for Bob Stewart and a way for the labels to sell you the same library over again just for more money.

Remember this - Recording - MQA encoding - Bob gets paid - selling the file you - Bob get paid - using a DAC the decodes the nonsense MQA - Bob get paid. This is what it is all about. Not the consumer.

If MQA was as good as it says why are the results so variable and most Listeners find that MQA sounds worse, in a blind listening session where no one is coached by the MQA shills and the volume levels are matched.
 
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nikkas

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
4
1
18,520
I knew nothing much about MQA but found a very interesting MQA deep dive by GoldenSound on youtube Apr '21.
I really won't be desperate for an MQA device now .
 
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Jab49

Active member
May 7, 2021
2
1
25
I knew nothing much about MQA but found a very interesting MQA deep dive by GoldenSound on youtube Apr '21.
I really won't be desperate for an MQA device now .
Me too. He really put some effort into it, and tried hard to get their input, but evidence is evidence.
 

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