Is Roon supporting MQA? What are the pros and cons of MQA?

Is Roon supporting MQA?
The source for some Tidal content show MQA quality (see below)
but my DAC (Lynx HILO still shows that the content being sent to it is 48K). Is this actually 24x48K FLAC content regardless of any supposed MQA enhancement?

No, Roon is not unfolding MQA, it is showing you what the MQA unfold would be.

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A post was split to a new topic: Tidal Sync Issues adding Tidal to Roon Library

OK, understood. Will you please mention in the release notes if you add the functionality to support TITAL unfolding for its higher resolution. For now, I’ve gone back to upsampling 44 and 48K content to 24x192 so I do not know if this would hide the fact that Roon was in fact unfolding TITAL content.

Roon Labs is the latest software partner to announce integrated MQA support for its award-winning music player. Roon’s desktop software will support local MQA file playback, as well as TIDAL MQA streaming for HiFi subscribers.
Taken from Twitter

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A link to the source:

Let’s hope it’s soon! :slight_smile:

Finally, Roon is listed in MQA as Media Player partner!

Now, the question is what will Roon offers first unfold like Audirvana or full unfold?

It will interesting to see which way this goes…:wink:

It’s my understanding MQA doesn’t contain any data above 24/96, anything after the first unfold is upsampling. So the question is, will Roon be allowed to use the embedded filter settings and upsample with the MQA preferred filter.

Hopefully Roon will allow the user to select MQA support or not - opinion on benefit of MQA compared to standard CD resolution is mixed, and I for one want the option in Roon to select bit perfect playback even if in theory the non MQA resolution is lower (specifically with TiDAL content)


Just use a non-MQA original file and then you are fine MQA is not involved at all.


I understanding there’s little or virtually no components above 48kHz, so a 96kHz is all we need…but wait a minute, there are some recordings that are mastered in 176.4/192k or and 352.8/384k, these sampling frequencies must be properly display on the DAC upon playback, which reflects the actual recording.

My question if one use Audirvana or Tidal desktop app, your DAC will never see anything above 96k sampling frequency, so even if the original recording is mastered say 176.4/192, it will just display 88.2/96k.

Will Roon ‘up-sampled’ with the appropriate impulse filters beyond 88.2/96kHz? Something like MQA DACs do?

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You do not have the ability to choose a non-MQA file accessing TIDAL through Roon. Therefore, I want Roon to allow the use to specify it they want the TIDAL MQA file “unfolded” or played bit perfect in its folded form (this is the way it is done currently)

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In Tidal, if an album is encoded in MQA, there will be another similar album in lossless FLAC. At the moment you have to playback them to find out which is which.

For a full MQA DAC would it matter who does the first unfold? For all non MQA DACs I think you would want the first unfold done unless maybe using HQPlayer’s MQA filter.

For the DACs that implemented their own unlicensed MQA processing this would probably be a must.

Currently - as far as I know, Roon plays MQA files (FLAC and others) without unfolding them - I wasn’t even aware that TIDAL has MQA and non MQA files for the same album - as far as I can tell it doesn’t currently matter to Roon. I only use TIDAL through Roon and it is certainly easier to turn MQA support on or off in Roon than to have to mush through multiple copies of the same album on TIDAL looking for one with a lossless format. I thought one advantage of the MQA in the first place was that the base format (without unfolding the MQA stuff) was LOSSLESS and bit perfect. If you do not unfold and process the MQA enhancement you simply have a lower resolution bit perfect playback. If this is the case, then let the Roon user enable or disable MQA support as they wish then it will not matter if the 16x44 Flac file is MQA or not. Roon currently has no problems playing MQA encoded TIDAL format and it is not unfolding it currently.

Personally I would rather have bit perfect at a lower resolution than more teck processing to provide supposedly higher resolutions. Just my preference.

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MQA is LOSSY unfolded or folded. If you want LOSSLESS find the non MQA version of the album.

Playing MQA unfolded is currently the best you can get out of MQA without a MQA compatible DAC.


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If you search a particular album in Tidal you will see two identical albums(if there’s a MQA) but there’s no visible indication which is which. You need to playback them back. Enabling MQA means it will decode MQA, disabling it will pass through undecoded.

No worries, you still can get lossless FLAC of the album.