Roon Ready MQA DAC recommendations

Can anyone tell me what DAC does work seemlessly? Deliver MQA unfolding and is FULLY Roon compatable? Really Roon Ready, RRR !

Going to ditch my Node 2 for something that does more than claim Roon Ready. Need a RRR quality DAC.

Mytek Brooklyn fed by RPi? Is there an option that does not require a transport?

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Hi Mark,

I can’t give you any specific recommendations but it’s worth checking out the [Roon Ready network players]
( and then look at the list of manufacturers to see which DACs support MQA decoding *.

*Best to look for MQA decoding rather than unfolding as it’s less ambiguous.

I know of several pretty pricey options.

Cary DMS 500
Mytek Manhatten II with network card
NAD M12 with BluOS module

What’s your price range?

I would love to know this as well. There seems to also be the added complication of US and UK specific hardware.

I already have a decent setup and want to add a Roon endpoint with MQA decoding to give Roon and tidal masters a try.

I don’t need an all in one streaming machine… I simply need a fully fledged dac that will unfold to 192/24 that I can plug directly into my power amp.

Meridian 218 is all I’ve found so far at £750.

I thought the Bluesound node 2 was an option but seems to not be fully certified from what I’ve read on the forums.

I’m very new to Roon, only heard about it yesterday, but I’ve got the core running in a docker on an unRAID server and now all I need is an mqa certified dac endpoint.

Hi Stephen,

Whilst Meridian 218 (808 & 818) can decode MQA, and Roon can stream to them … I think it’s important to note they are not Roon Ready devices as they don’t support RAAT they use the older Sooloos network protocol.

What’s your budget?

Hi Carl, thanks for the reply.

I don’t have a budget, but I want the correct piece of hardware for the job. If I have to spen £5k, then so be it, but it’s my understaninding that I don’t actually need an expensive dac with all the extra features of upsampling, if I’m going to exclusively feed it 192/24 mqa files.

That’s very interesting a bout the 218. I’ve not heard of raat until now, so I’m going to go have a look in your FAQ.

I was even looking at the HiFiBerry, as that seems to be "enough’as a dac but it doesn’t support mqa.

Ok, so now I understand raat, thank you for that. This leads me down the Roon Ready partners and the one that jumps out the most is the Bluesound node 2. But reading about those issues, what are the similar alternatives?

I’m currently browsing each of your partners products to see what then has mqa and Roon Ready.

This should be a lot easier than it currently is!

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Meridian Prime Headphone amp /DAC

Hi again, Just so it’s clear and that I’m not giving out the wrong impression… the community moderators, such as myself, don’t work for Roon we are just long established experienced users that help out on the forum. Check out [About Roon Labs Community]

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Thanks Carl,

I’ve been reading more about the nad/bluesound issue and I’m happy to wait for the fix.

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A cheap (interim) solution is the Meridian Explorer 2.
I use it with a Raspberry Pi 3 powered by RoPieee, primarily with headphones.
It decodes Tidal/MQA until 24bit/192kHz.


Carl…i can certainly give my vote for the Lumin family of Network Players.It has recently begun being fully MQA functional and the results on most MQA ready albums are superb…I also doubt you will find a company that gives the support that Lumin does…I have an ‘A1’…I doubt there is a better player out there…

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Is the Meridian powered by the USB on the Pi?

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usb powered yes.

The Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital looks interesting.


[quote=“seagull, post:11, topic:29830, full:true”]
A cheap (interim) solution is the Meridian Explorer 2.
I use it with a Raspberry Pi 3 powered by RoPieee, primarily with headphones.
It decodes Tidal/MQA until 24bit/192kHz[/quote]

That’s a nice little solution to use the raspberry pi to connect into a usb type dac. Does this sort of setup allow Roon to control the sound?

That looks to be the perfect solution, very nice find! Will it become Roon Ready certified though?

Edit* oh hang on, it doesn’t have any network connectivity, so would need to run it through a pi to make it Roon endpoint.

£300 vs £5500 for the lumin a1 when we’re looking specifically for a product that meets the requirement and nothing more. I’m sure the a1 is a great piece of kit though!

Carl, no thanks for moving my post which was intended for the BlueOS community. My whole point is that the Roon Ready network players list shows BluSound as Roon Ready…when it isn’t quite. That is, with the introduction of MQA many DACs/players which are certified as Roon Ready are not able to unfold MQA in Roon. As an example my Blusound node2 plays MQA beautifully using its own software but not through Roon where the unfolded 24/48 plays. My point was that this should be separately certified as RRR, REALY ROON READY… Fully ready, not only able to handle RAAT but also the full features of the DAC to include MQA.
There does not seem to be a way to know if a piece of hardware can do MQA in ROON. The Networks Player List certainly includes several players that do not perform the MQA unfolds.

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Here is the thing, BLUOS definitely cannot perform the MQA unfold. Their tech people say that they are working on it, “its in the hopper”. So how do I know that your other recco’s are good? Roon has to create a list/table explaining which hardware can not only handle RAAT but also MQA in RAAT.
Otherwise good folks like me are following the well intended advice of good folks like you and spending hard earned money only to be disappointed. That’s not good for me, you or the Roon experience.

Hi Mark, I see where you are coming from however a Roon Ready device is a device that supports RAAT no more no less … whether the device supports 48K, 96K, 192K, 384k PCM, DSDxx, or MQA rendering or full MQA decoding has no direct bearing on it being classified of Roon Ready … for that information you need to look at the manufactures specifications.

However that just my opinion, Roon labs view may differ so I’ll invite @Brian to comment.