MQA full decoder with Tidal HiFi NOT Plus?


I what to use Roon and Qobuz is not available in Canada. I also do not want use MQA (for reason you might imagine). So the Tidal subscription is HiFi, not HiFi Plus. It does not give access to MQA.

However, when I look at the signal path in Roon, it say Enhanced and it looks like it’s decoding full MQA.

What do I miss? Is Tidal stream MQA regardless with your subscription tier?



I see the same thing as well and it’s because a large part of the library that Tidal has is held as MQA.
You can always turn off the MQA option on the device set-up as that will tell Roon that the Bluesound node is not an MQA device.

Personally I have left mine as is is as I don’t have any issues with MQA

Yes this is well known. Some mqa masters are 44.1/ 16bit MQA, not all are 24bit they are essentially using the MQA cd encoding. Tidal Hifi tier tops out at 16bit so will include these and it will decode the same as any 24bit MQA would. There is no way to avoid MQA in the Tidal ecosystem unless your on the free tier. 16bit MQA are not as common as 24bit though, but if that is the version they got supplied then that is what you get, you won’t get any 24bit MQA those will always be 16bit standard flac although many seem to believe these are not proper flac and are downgraded mqa files. I find this hard to believe as I doubt that is actually allowed with thier contracts with the labels and mqa to do this.

I believe you can truncate 24 bit MQA to 16 bit without destroying the ability of an MQA DAC to decode it. So if choose the lower tier you still get MQA, it just won’t be ‘Master’ quality. I may be wrong but that was the assumption from the reading I’ve done.

Doesn’t that counter the whole point of the authenticated part which is supposed to give you assurance that what you get is an unmolested stream. If Tidal are truncating to 16bit it’s been molested and is no longer MQA surely. Or is the whole MQA system that flawed?

It does, but if you are not paying for the highest tier, why would you still insist on the highest level of service? Added to which many would still consider it superior to straight 16 bit FLAC.

No, it’s designed to survive Airplay.

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Really I didn’t know that, makes any 24bit files seen a bit pointless then if they fully decode and Render with 16 does 24 bit really give it any advantages?

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I suspect, but can’t remember, that you lose the 2nd unfold with 16 bit MQA.

Not sure that’s the case , read some thread on another forum last night trying to get some more info. He truncated to 16bit by removing the first 8 bits and it still rendered on the DAC to the same res 352.8 and mqa light lit up as the full 24bit unmolested version. This was on a Mytech DAC.

No, the DAC is reporting the original sample rate of the master that was used for the encoding.

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Are yes more than likely. The black box firmly at work not knowing what you actually are getting.

If you chose a Master album, you got a MQA sourced album. You will have to find / choose a non-Master album if you want to avoid MQA. Downgrading your subscription does not automatically find a non-Master album for you.

Thanks for the responses. What is happening is still blurry. Any how, I really do not like MQA and wish Roon will integrate another streaming services available in Canada that does not support it.
Seeing “Authentication” on the path when I don’t pay for MQA (and never will) let me think I’m fooled.

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