I want to disable MQA! Roon says it's playing MQA on Tidal HiFi Plan

Roon Core Machine

ROCK OS, Intel i5, 8gb RAM

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Asus RT-AC68U

Connected Audio Devices

RPi 4, Topping E70

Number of Tracks in Library


Description of Issue

Roon shows it’s playing 44.1/16 MQA instead of Lossless 44.1/16 PCM. I’m on the HiFi plan, I’m supposed to only have standard CD Quality Streams. I don’t wan’t MQA. Please.

MQA exists on Hifi plan as well it’s just 16bit MQA not 24 bit studio files. Nothing you can do if that’s all Tidal provides for that album. There are lots of them and no standard flac.

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Welcome to the Roon community, @Martin_Albrich.

TIDAL Hi-Fi includes releases with sample rates of up to 44.1 kHz, which includes those in MQA.

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This must be a recent thing, because I explicitly remember that I bought HiFi because it said 44.1/16 lossless and no MQA.

This means they said they sold me Lossless CD Quality with my HiFi Plan and a few months later I still get compressed audio? So they save on bandwidth and lie about it? And they’re framing it as if MQA were better than CD Quality.

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I left Tidal for this reason.
In the early days of MQA I would only see MQA being used for above 16/44.
Then more and more 16/44 releases became MQA.
For a while it seemed there would also be a 16/44 FLAC version as well then the FLAC versions started disappearing.


I can’t leave Tidal, Qobuz doesn’t have half the stuff I need. This is a hostage situation.

Can you come with some examples?

In your specific situation above, note that Roon is not doing anything with that MQA content other than verifying it hasn’t been tampered with.

I understand you may not want MQA anywhere near your music, but that’s what TIDAL is giving you.

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For what it’s worth this was not my experience when I moved from TIDAL to Qobuz using Soundiiz. I’d say less than 10% of albums were missing and many of those were just name mismatches.

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I’ve found Qobuz to be less comprehensive with Independent artists.
Crussen - Resilient Reeds
Max Würden - Transit
For example, aren’t on Qobuz.
I’m not sure if they’re on Tidal or not as I haven’t had it for a while. They are on Apple Music though.

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Qobuz is very good with albums but, so far, pretty bad with brand new singles in hip hop and electronic music. (I just started a trial month.)

In my experience Apple Music is superior catalogue wise compared to Tidal and Qobuz, but that’s simply not an option in Roon. Unfortunately.

Q and T has more different versions of the same album though. In general I see VERY few examples that’s Q or T only. But it’s almost guaranteed that, music missing in Q and/or T is available in Apple Music.

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Ok. I don’t listen to hip hop that much, but in my experience, Q and T are just as bad with electronic music. Almost all my search results are available in both services. I listen to everything from death metal to tekno.

Nope its always been like that since they introduced this tier nothing has changed.

I think I’ll be going with Qobuz.

I have 1501 linked Tidal albums, 946 of which are MQA. I have all the same albums linked from Qobuz and Apple Music. I enjoy all of them depending on what I’m doing and what system I’m using.

So, I have interesting news. TIDAL support wrote back and they tell me, there is no way I get 44.1/16 MQA with my HiFi plan because HiFi is 44.1/16 Lossless ONLY.
They sent me the link to their offer page, where they advertise their plans and it clearly states that HiFi is Lossless CD Quality only, no MQA. So they basically just denied, and adamantly so, that they deliver 16 Bit MQA to HiFi customers.

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The left hand clearly does not know what the right hand is doing. A common phenomenon in large organisations in my experience.

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There is also evidence, that they always deliver the noisy MQA Version, just without the “unfold” and that silly blue light, even when the call it 44.1/16 FLAC. Apparently, there is almost no clean lossless audio left on TIDAL. I am out of there.

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