Sony NW-A45 and MQA broken? (Was No Sound in Exclusive Mode)

I was hoping to use the MQA features of this DAP in DAC mode with Roon. The only way I can get output from the device is to turn off Exclusive Mode. Not sure if this is a Sony or Roon issue, any help appreciated.

I did try lowering the max bit rate to 24 with no luck.

Thank you

It should all work. Did you set it as “private zone” ?

Works wonderful on iOS as well !

Thanks @stevev1, looking at your settings and changing Voume Control to ‘DSP Volume’ enabled playback in my scenario. Private Zone setting does not appear to have any influence for me.

I don’t think through that MQA is being decoded on the Sony and I’m unsure if it is a decoder and/or renderer only :man_shrugging:t2: Playing a MQA 176.4KHz album from Tidal plays back at 88.2KHz on the NW-A45. I messed around with various combinations turning the Roon MQA Core Decoder off/on and MQA Capabilities of the device.

Thank you again for your help.

After some searching of the Roon community forum it appears that applying DSP Volume breaks the MQA signaling to the DAC.

@support can you weigh in? The only way I can get audio out of the Sony NW-A45 with Exclusive Mode on is to enable DSP Volume that in turn breaks the MQA signal to the DAC. The information on the Sony website indicates this device is both an MQA decoder and renderer.

Are you sure about this. I only got that it was a decoder from the Sony site. See:
" Plays and decodes MQA™ files
The NW-A40 Series is compatible with playing and decoding MQA™ files, so you can play even more lossless-quality music." (My bolds)

Which would fit with exactly what you are seeing. MQA decode only ever unfolds to 88.1 or 96. After that you need the Renderer portion to up sample to the resolution of the originating file and apply MQA filters. Sony just seems to Decode.

I am not sure about anything when it comes to MQA :man_facepalming: You are more than likely correct and would explain for sure the behavior I am seeing.

Hello @Wakajazz ,

We unfortunately do not have the Sony NW-A45 in-house as a part of our Roon Tested program, so we cannot be certain what level of MQA functionality of the device and on what inputs it supports MQA. What operating system is the computer that you connecting the Sony NW-A45 to running? What happens when you play to the device using the Tidal desktop app using “Exclusive Mode”? If you are unfamiliar with how to configure the Tidal desktop app for exclusive mode, I’ve included the instructions below.


Hey @John Letting you know that the Tidal app (macOS Mojave) exhibits the same behavior as Roon with the Sony NW-A45 including the inability to use Exclusive Mode. Conclusion being that the device decodes only, no unfolding/rendering.

This support post can be closed.


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