Roon radio Tidal MQA limiting

When using roon radio with Tidal set to hi-fi only, I see some mqa tracks pop up but the signal path shows 16/44.1 as expected. How does that work? Is it playing the flac without unfolding, or is it requesting the normal 16/44.1 version from Tidal, or…?

If you set TIDAL to Hi-Fi only you’ll get 16/44.1 even if you have an MQA title in your library. Likewise, if you select normal you’ll see Low Quality in the signal path because TIDAL will stream AAC.

Yes, noticed that. Was just wondering which 16/44.1 file.

I guess this happens on the TIDAL side. If your request is for a particular release that’s higher quality than your streaming settings, then a substitute is streamed. I assume it is the same version of the album/ track.

This is a good question. I believe the OP is asking, if Tidal is set to HiFi will Roon Radio pick a MQA track but only play the ‘non-decoded, embedded’ FLAC or would/should Roon Radio not choose MQA and only the normal FLAC version?

I need more time to observe to make a determination, and I’ve been enjoying Qobuz too much to bother :wink:

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No, because an MQA file isn’t sent by TIDAL. Roon may select a Master, but TIDAL will return a substitute because the global setting is Hi-Fi quality.

How do you know this? Do you have a reference to cite? I hope this is the case but the signal path info would be invalidated.

I made a mistake and set my tidal to hifi and it definitely sent 44.1 non MQA files. I thought I had an MQA issue but I’d flicked it on my phone streaming settings.

You can try for yourself. Change the streaming setting in your TIDAL account settings (Settings > Services) to Hi-Fi, High or Normal, and play an MQA track from your library.

But this isn’t breaking anything; it’s doing exactly what is expected–you’re asking TIDAL to only serve files of a specific quality. The Signal Path is accurate.

I do have it set to Hifi and Roon Radio has chosen MQA tracks not in my library and played them. Not so sure the setting is observed 100%, yet.

What I would really like is a per zone setting to set the ‘quality’ of both streaming services, alas what we’ve got is a good start.

I’m spending more time with Qobuz lately and until Tidal and Qobuz come to some parity regarding volume leveling I’m afraid I’m not to keen on allowing Roon Radio to roam.

When I had it set wrong it still “played” MQA albums but what came across was Redbook. Took ages for the penny to drop.

To be sure I understand, the signal path reported MQA but your DAC reported 44.1k/16 bit?

Presumably, this was the ‘embedded’ FLAC playing and not the non-MQA file?

I’ve check this with Radio. Of the dozen or so tracks played, 4 were identified in the Now Playing screen as MQA releases, but the Signal Path showed 44.1kHz 16bit. As expect when TIDAL is set to Hi-Fi.

This tells me the signal path is not accurate in these cases or it’s playing the embedded FLAC.

Regardless, I’m enjoying the music.

Why? The signal path is spot on; it’s telling you that the file isn’t MQA. If you’ve told TIDAL not to send MQA it won’t. If Roon requests an MQA file, TIDAL will send an alternative according to the streaming settings.

Ok. I would prefer that Radio not select MQA at all so that both Now Playing and signal path were consistent

Don’t subscribe to Tidal then :wink:

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I’m close, waiting for more leveling info to trickle down from Qobuz but I also don’t wish to throw the baby out with the bath water

Roon isn’t selecting the format, it’s selecting the album or track, so what’s the issue?

I believe by virtue of Tidal having both a flac version and an mqa version, Roon is selecting between them