MQA Roon Support

@danny - couple of questions:
1- Is your expectation that MQA will allow you to decode MQA into PCM?
2- How about a profiled DAC?
3- How about just the MQA decoder downsampling when told max rate is 192, say? Clearly it needs to do this for many mobile devices


  1. I assume you want higher than CD quality PCM. If so, then I would expect this, as that is the point of a software decoder.
  2. As per Bob’s talks on the subject, MQA can be tuned to certain DAC chips and to the recording equipment. I would expect a hardware device (I assume this is device is what you are calling DAC, and not the actual chip) would decode MQA to PCM right before it feeds it to the internal DAC chip. I would not expect it to stream out higher rate PCM to SPDIF or something, because it doesn’t know what is in the next stage of the pipeline. I think others may disagree with my interpretation, but as I said above, this is all based on sparse and conceptual information.
  3. No idea. Obviously they can do this, but who knows what they will allow.

Thanks @danny. Couple of clarifications:
1- I meant that Roon will decode MQA material into a higher rate PCM that could be fed to a standard DAC. Yes, I do mean a full DAC not just a DAC chip.

2- I do understand the “end-to-end” concept as one that includes an output DAC profile. However, making a profiled DAC a must-have is missing the point entirely for two reasons:
a- Amplification, speaker selection, and room clearly have a massively more important effect than a DAC profile
b- If you wanted to compensate for ‘a’ with say Dirac, you would not be able to since at no point you have a PCM stream to manipulate

To me the restrictions spell the demise of MQA. If the motivation is to create a good impression then I think MQA’s efforts are misguided - either the tech stands on it’s own, or it is so restrictive noone will care.

Speaking for myself, I have completely lost interest.

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@danny Thank you for your assurance. These whole DAC profiling and certification stuffs are driving me crazy… I will take my leave now to enjoy my music :smiley:

Hi Danny, I got one more question. What happen if Tidal decide to flip the switch to MQA, will it continue to stream 16/44.1 Redbook FLAC or convert all its Hi-Fi Premium service to MQA only?

Hi MusicEar,

In December @palbratelund said:

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge (or sloshed around in all directions near the bridge) since then.

Thanks Andrew, this is a good news.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Upsampling Tidal through HQP

So long as Roon says it’s playing bit perfect to your DAC then any MQA Enabled DAC with the right firmware will decode the MQA files. I’m looking forward to listening to the 2L demo files on my Prime Headphone Amp (bought before it was announced that it was MQA Ready, I should add) on Tuesday once I’ve updated my firmware.

In my ideal world, Roon would do three things, recognizing which one based on end point:

  • minimal mqa mode, no recognized endpoint, so decoding and rendering af highest end point bitrate
  • medium mqa, recognize the dac, and based on dac capability
  1. decode and render, compensating for that dac, stream max bitrate for that dac
  2. stream bitperfect to dac to allow it to decode and render
  • max mqa, recognize meridian speakers, decode, send in mhr allowing speakers to render

Lets see what we’ll get :slight_smile:

I’d settle for the last one, but we may be barking up the wrong tree here…

Added that one with you in mind :slight_smile:

I’m using Roon with my 818v3 and MQA is working fine. I’m very happy!

Using Roon with my upgraded Prime, and all sorts of new lights coming on, including the 4x sampling light even though Roon recognises the file as a 24/44 recording. Sounds very good.

Working ‘fine’, or you’re blown away by the difference between MQA files and ‘standard’ files? :smile:

I don’t think I’ve ever used the term “blown away”, but if you want, yes, I’m blown away by MQA. It’s a great move forward, particularly for streaming.

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Hahaha yes, I just wondered if it ‘working fine’ was just confirmation that it actually worked, or whether it was indicative of how impressed you were with MQA. :wink:

Sounds like you’re quite impressed. As one of the first few people that can experience it - care to share any initial impressions, comparing to non-MQA versions?

7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Tidal to launch MQA Hi-Res audio streaming in 2016

My Prime unit doesn’t show it, too. I can see the MQA LED (goes white) and the sampling Info LEDs only. I can’t see the blue/green LED light. But I have one of the very first PHA and I have heard that it should works in the same way as it works with the Explorer².
Have anyone the same experience?


Exact same issue here, the PHA MQA LED goes white but never green or blue. That experience occurred using JRIVER using ASIO connection. With Roon no luck to date. I tried both the ASIO and USB driver without any luck.