MQA software decoding in Roon

Do you guys have an estimate of when this will happen?

Is there some pushback from MQA Co. on the implementation? Clearly it has to come in first compared to any other DSP processing

Is there some pushback from MQA to limit/completely suppress DSP even when a non-MQA renderer is used?


1 Like

I curious to know as well. I also noticed that JR22 is decoding MQA now.

Don’t let JR get ahead of us in technology, please! :grinning:

Great stuff with 1.3 none the less!

1 Like

JR does not support MQA but it will pass MQA if all DSP is defeated.

1 Like

Same for Roon.

MQA should stand for Mucho Qonfusion Always.


Same for ANY bit perfect player. Friggin hell!

Assuming either of those things were true, do you think we’d air that sort of thing publicly?

1.3 has been out for one week, and with it, a disproportionately huge number of new users trying Roon, and a huge amount of product feedback and discussion on this site. Supporting all of these people is consuming a lot of time and focus. This happens with every major release. The dust is just beginning to settle over here.

You’ve been around here long enough to know we don’t put time estimates on anything, but especially not things that involve other companies.

In terms of new features coming, MQA software decoding is our top priority. It’s a top priority for MQA too. We want the same things you do, and we are well aware of the massive demand for this feature.

We’ll share more when there’s more to share.


Even if Roon were to implement MQA in future builds, software decoding can only do up to the first fold back to 88.2/96k. The second (176.4/192k) and third fold back (352.8/384k) will only happen in hardware decoding inside the DAC. So in the end, to get the ‘best decoding’ out from MQA, you need to ditch your existing DAC and buy a MQA DAC.

However, there’s sunny side to it. Since the nature of MQA decoding (some lossy above 22kHz) is likely to contain most of information in the first fold back, e.g at 88.2/96k, second and third fold back are basically just up sampling. So I think the first fold back happens at 88.2/96k in software decoding should be more than enough to capture all the information above 22kHz.

1 Like

I am looking forward to MQA streaming in Roon, and maybe it will take off with other labels supporting it, but as I am currently listening to a 24/192 version of Ella singing the Duke Ellington Songbook on a non-MQA DAC I can’t imagine it being much better. I’d rather have ROCK than MQA. :slight_smile:

1 Like

A software décoder is needed though for DACs that are only renderers like the Dragonflys.

Yes, but you still need those ‘hardware renders’ example like dragonflys to have its firmware updated to support MQA, Otherwise it just behave like a ‘pass through’ device. Due to the maximum capped of dragonflys at 96kHz, this is as far it can go. If you use Mytek Brooklyn DAC, this DAC actually built full MQA hardware decoding and can fold back to 352.8/384k.

Are you sure? When I set JR22 as my output in Tidal it shows up as 88/96 when playing MQA. If I choose pass-through option in Tidal then all comes out 44. I would think that it is unfolding if I see 88/96??

Can you point me to the link that JR22 officially support MQA?

Wouldn’t that be exactly as expected? i.e., Tidal unfolds to 88.2/96 in software, so that’s what JR22 will see.

If you select passthrough, then it won’t unfold, and you’ll just see 44.1/48.

Unless I misunderstand you?

That’s just the first unfold. Tidal is doing that not JR22.

Rumor is the Dragonflys will go up to 352.8/384k. The 96k limitation is the input, not the chip.

In fact the early Dragonfly is limited to 96K using ESS9023, subsequent ESS9010 and above can do up to 352.8/384k…

Good on you Brian - that’s the first time I have heard you be stroppy ! We should all be patient in the light of the release of 1.3 and the timeline for MQA implementation is not in your hands entirely


Completely understand. You guys have done an AMAZING job.

1 Like

Dude: You’re answering your own question! :slight_smile: Yes, I am not putting much stock in the 2nd and 3rd onfolds.