AURALiC's Inhouse Approach to Handling of MQA files

Interesting update on DAR about Auralic new firmware and its approach to MQA.

The simple answer is that Aurilac’s “MQA decode” is nothing of the sort, based on their description.

To advertise their firmware as having MQA decode would appear at first sight to be passing off. I’d be surprised if MQA weren’t having a few words with their lawyers at present.


Agreed…I don’t believe that the Auralic is neither Decoding or Unfolding in the way that we have come to understand those terms when applied to true MQA Decoders from Bluesound, Meridian, Mytek and others

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We did see it with HDCD though, flags bringing the lights on with uncertified CD’s etc. I have no doubt Auralic will be asked to expunge all mention of MQA from their documentation and they will probably comply. But can you stop them from making the lights come on when a MQA flag is detected?

There’s a discussion on MQA and I agree Auralic views on MQA. I’ve compared the sound quality of Auralic solution vs Tidal app, I’ve a hard time telling the difference.

Out of interest, which MQA DAC were you using when comparing?

There’s no MQA DAC, just software decoding… Auralic’s solutions vs Tidal app, both are pass through a same DAC.

So you haven’t had chance to compare fully decoded then. That is clear and explains much of your p.o.v.

Fair enough but good to note.

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That’s exactly why I was asking, Nick.
As you say, a fair enough comparison but not involving a full MQA end to end path.

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I think you are missing the point, Nick. I’m not comparing software vs hardware decoding. I want to test out Auralic own software decoding vs MQA licensed software decoding (Tidal app).

If I’ve difficulty telling the difference from both of them, It means Auralic own decoding does indeed up to par to Tidal app.

As for the argument that ‘MQA will make all music sound he same’ It seems that Auralic is joining the party then as there seems to be no difference reported.
Another Anti MQA argument kicked into the long grass lol

They are not joining the party, they are gate crashing. That is nothing to celebrate if it means anyone can do what they have done. It breaks the security built in to MQA and record labels will not like that.

I agree with your feelings here but as long as they don’t Unfold, they can do what they like however disengenuose.

There’s no security break if, as they claim, they are just up-sampling. If not, I guess we have to leave that one up to MQA’s lawyers. Very naughty to talk about a “de-blurring algorithm” though.

Has it (de-blurring) been trademarked? It might just be a phenomenon known to signal processing experts that now has a more commonly recognisable name thanks to discussions surrounding MQA. Of course if it’s copyright or trademarked then it’s naughty.

If it’s not copyright I can imagine we’ll see a lot more custom de-blurring and unfolding algorithms appear over the coming years if MQA sticks around.

I’m pretty sure it’s only been invented by / gained prominence due to MQA. And I don’t think that there’s anything that MQA Ltd. can do about use of such a term. But let’s be clear: de-blurring in the context of the MQA process is a very specific design goal with very specific technology to achieve that. Some might not believe that it makes a difference, but I do.

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My understanding was that any benefit from the ‘de-blurring’ process was available through standard, non-MQA playback. If that is the case why are people talking about copyright infringement?

The potential infringement comes from their description of their process as an MQA decode. It’s not, it appears to be an upsampling with filters, no unfolding is taking place of the MQA data that we’re aware of.

This may, or may not, sound better to you but it does appear to be misrepresenting their software using someone else’s trademark.

If a vacuum manufacturer started selling their vacuums as “Hoovers” I think Hoover would have a problem with that, notwithstanding the fact that Hoover is used as a generic term for vacuum cleaners these days.


Thanks for explaining. Your earlier post #13 quotes from the DAR article (linked at post #16) where Auralic specifically deny using any MQA technology. The authors of the linked article use the term ‘Pseudo-MQA support’, so where do Auralic claim to do MQA decode?

Claims made about “MQA Decoding Support” at the link below