Pop/clipping on MQA track opening

I listen to Tidal via Roon over my HP laptop PC. Recently I added an external DAC/headphone amp (iHiFi Nano iDSD BL) for improved overall sound quality and to have full MQA rendering. I am pleased with the sound improvement, but I have one problem which mars my otherwise very happy MQA experience.

When I am playing an album where the tracks are just index points on a continuous musical fabric, I get a soft pop and/or a 1/4 second clipping off of the new track opening when transitioning to the new track. I don’t have a problem where the tracks are distinct works or clearly separate subsections of a work. I am assuming a little “air” at the beginning of the track makes the issue invisible or non-existant.

I have tried playing with buffer sizes and some other setting changes suggested in the Knowledge base without any effect. I noticed that when I pause an MQA track during playback that the indicator light switches from MQA to standard mode. I’m wondering if when transitioning from track to track, the unit is switching out of MQA mode and then back into MQA mode and causing a switching transient. I can’t detect any indicator light flicker. I don’t know if this is plausible and whether I should be continuing experimenting with settings or pursuing answers with iFi equipment maker. I fear if it is a equipment issue, the maker may be more defensive than helpful.

Hi @Alan_Rossitter ----- Thank you for the report and sharing this observation you have made with us. The insight is greatly appreciated!

Moving forward, to help aide in our understanding of this behavior you are experiencing with the iFi Nano iDSD BL may I very kindly ask you for the following information:

  • Is this behavior only happening when streaming MQA content?

  • If you use the device outside of Roon w/TIDAL are you noticing the same soft pop and/or a 1/4 second clipping off of the new track opening when transitioning to the new track?

  • You also mentioned having adjusted some of the settings in Roon. Just to make sure we are on the same page, you’ve already tried adjusting the resync delay, correct?


Thanks for your quick response.
1 - Yes, it only happens with MQA. Normal CD quality music flows over track transitions seamlessly.
2 - Yes, if I go directly to Tidal the same problem is present to the same extent.
3 - Yes, I did experiment with Resync delay. It sounded like a possible solution. It was a while back and I couldn’t remember what I had tried so I played with resync delay again now. It showed 100. I halved it to 50 and no change. I upped it several times, finally as high as 10,000. At the high values there was a noticeable delay in the initial track beginning to play, but the gap on transitioning between tracks seemed the same. If anything maybe longer but softer gap. These things are subtle, and I may be beginning to hear things.

Hope this helps.

Hi @Alan_Rossitter ---- Thank you for the follow up and my apologies for the delay on my end. The feedback is very appreciated!

Moving forward, being as you are experiencing this behavior with the iFi Nano iDSD BL outside of Roon my sense is that there is a more general issue occurring with the device. Out of curiosity have you tried using a different USB cable between the DAC and PC? Or perhaps testing with a different USB port on the PC?

“2 - Yes, if I go directly to Tidal the same problem is present to the same extent.”


Thanks for the support. I agree. The more I think about it, the more I feel it is a DAC issue or an issue in my underlying system, not a Roon problem. I have tried moving USB ports. I don’t currently have another USB cable to swap out for, but I can probably get one. The one I’m using is the one supplied with my new DAC/headphone amp – new and very robust looking and feeling, but you never know. I will give a report to the DAC maker. I’m also interested in trying a wired connection to my modem/router rather than Wi-Fi, but need to find or get a cable.

Thanks for your support again and your prompt responses. I’ll let you know if I find out anything interesting. I love Roon and MQA both and this is just a minor bump in the road. MQA is still a small part of my listening and only a small subset of MQA has the problem (though a beloved subset of Puccini, Verdi and Wagner esp.).

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My popping problem is no more. A new firmware update for my iFi Nano DAC solved the issue completely. Also an improvement in sound overall. I can finally say I am fully satisfied with the DAC and my MQA experience. Improvement on all levels of sound sources. For just $199 (I think) it is an excellent value.

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