Does MQA on iOS work?

I have upgraded my iFi iDSD Micro Black Label with firmware 5.3c and I’m trying to determine if MQA is working in iOS. Setup:

Tidal Hi-Fi via Roon > MacBook Pro > iDSD Micro BL > Audeze LCD2C

Tidal Hi-Fi via Roon > iPhone Xs > Apple CCK > iDSD Micro BL > Audeze LCD2C

I feel good that MQA is working when using my MacBook as the signal path shows:

When using the iPhone setup the signal path shows:

Is this working and Roon just isn’t showing the rendering step in the signal path? Or will it not because the iDSD BL is a renderer only and not a decoder? The lights on the iDSD BL aren’t any help because it’s always yellow with any audio, even just playing through th built in music app. It might be placebo, but I feel like the sound is better when using he MBP versus the iPhone.

I just recently got a Google Pixel 3 for work, so I intend to try that and see what the signal path looks like, but I don’t have an OTG cable yet. Would this work on Android or have a similar issue?

Any insight is appreciated. Thank you!

Have you setup the iPhone endpoint with the same MQA settings as your Macbook? Selecting ‘renderer only’ here for the iOS endpoint:

Looks like you do with the ‘with MQA signalling’ showing.

Hello, yes, both are set to Renderer Only. Thanks!

I think with ‘with MQA signalling’ showing you’re fine but let’s tag the experts @support and wait for their info.

Hello @CANiSLAYu,

That signal path looks as expected and you are getting MQA content outputted via your iPhone. Because iOS doesn’t have USB HID support, the signal path is unable to display the MQA Renderer stage but it is still being preserved at the 64bit Float to 24bit with MQA Signaling stage. Hope this helps!

– Noris

My Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital can do MQA Decoder and Render from iPad mini 2 without any problem, just make sure your iOS’s USB output is bit perfect:

  1. Volume setting is Maximum
  2. No other APP is sending sound, only Roon Remote.

Thanks everyone for the replies/guidance. I’d like to circle back and confirm everything is in good working order. With the iFi iDSD Black Label firmware 5.3c implemented a GTO filter that upsamples everything to 384kHz, which is indicated with a yellow light. Sadly MQA is also indicated by a yellow light so there was no visual confirmation available.

So I “downgraded” to firmware 5.3, which supports MQA, but doesn’t implement the GTO filter. So non-MQA content was green (44/48/88/96kHz) and MQA streamed from Tidal does trigger the yellow LED :slight_smile: Thanks again!

1 Like