Primary Version - Prefer FLAC over MQA option

Hi Martin,

MQA-CD is 16/44 it’s a cut down version so it can be supported on physical Compact Discs.

Were as the streamed files from Tidal are typically 24/44 FLACs and these do require more bandwidth than streaming 16/44 FLAC files.

It is this increased demand that can be troublesome for those with marginal internet performance.

Hope that helps.


I took a look at the 2L test bench and that’s where the numbers came from that I quoted. I’m by no means a member of the anti MQA posse but, unless I’m misunderstanding something, MQA is a larger file than 16/44.

The MQA CD is a relatively rare phenomena in streaming at this point. If Tidal is streaming it I am unaware of it. I do know that 2L have uploaded a handful of MQA CD’s to Qobuz. So in @Darin_Davis1 case, where he is streaming MQA in Tidal, he is correct: MQA (i.e. regular 24/48 non-compressible-because-its-already-compressed {unlike real 24/48 PCM}) is twice the size of 16/44. This is experienced by every user who uses it.


Yes, thank you.

1 Like

Thanks, I was taking a look at this when you posted. So, Darko got it wrong too?

Don’t want to hi-jack this thread, so bringing this back on topic … maybe there is a case for Roon to preserve playback quality by limiting playback to 44.1kHz/16bit streaming under certain conditions. However, I don’t subscribe to the idea based on format preference (even though I tend to prefer Redbook in many cases.)

I don’t know about Darko, just showing what 2L shows. Some of us have bandwidth caps to live within…another consideration even if MQA is only 10% larger. I’m the OP. I would simply like to have the choice.

1 Like

I read this:

Once transmitted, an MQA file’s data usage is roughly 1.6Mbps once FLAC compressed. That’s slightly higher than CD quality …

I think there is merit in what you suggest, but on the grounds of performance/ quality not in selecting a preferred file format.

Yep, that’s the idea. Just like when I use apps on my phone, Spofity and Tidal, I can set them to lower bandwidth/quality when on cellular vs. wifi and at will on either connection. That is what I’d like in Roon.

I often listen using Roon on cheap bluetooth headphones via my iPhone in the back yard garden. I don’t need even FLAC let alone better for this use. 320kbps would be more than sufficient and would preserve my data cap for other uses.

I only have 1TB/month which seems like a lot but isn’t with Netflix, security cameras, IoT devices, numerous phones and tablets, oh my. My ISP will allow higher data rates but all with the same data cap. One can pay $30/month for 50GB additional that doesn’t roll over, or $50/month additional for unlimited. This is on top of the base ~100Mbps down/~10Mbps up at $85/month. Overage is charged at $10 per 10GB over the cap.

I’m just asking for the flexibility to make the choice. I don’t do religious wars, nor do I care what others listen to or the format. I should update the original post to include my bandwidth wishes as I don’t believe i stated them…

Comparison is the thief of joy!


7 posts were split to a new topic: ISP Data capping and pricing discussion

I might not be following you, but Roon should be agnostic as to the “why” of the end user wanting to select a file format. If I want to privilege 128K mp3 over 16/44, or MQA, or real hi res, then Roon should give us that option in streaming just as it does today with our own local libraries.


And we can, sort of, using Focus but not as it applies to Radio.

Exactly. Not sort of either - Focus gives us very granular control over file format and many many other attributes. Just not with Radio or streaming. This is an oversight Roon should correct.

Yep, I misread your post, missed the bit about ‘just as it does with our local libraries’

1 Like

6 posts were split to a new topic: MQA Discussion Consolidation

Did this bug get fixed in the latest update, or am I just getting lucky :grinning:

Is it possible to force Tidal playback to 16/44 only?

I want to let me DAC do all the work on don’t want to play MQA.

Hi @BrianH,
I’ve merged you post into this existing topic, it’s not too long and worth a read to get up to speed.

Welcome to the forum, @BrianH. If you’re not aware, you can disable MQA using the Enable MQA Core Decoder switch in Device Setup > Advanced Settings. Therefore, most MQA titles will play at either 44.1kHz or 48kHz. Bit depth will remain unchanged.

1 Like

This isn’t a solution to Brian’s request as he wants CD quality (16/44.1) only from Tidal.