Why do manufacturers support MQA?

Sony, Universal and Warner holding shares in that company makes is interesting enough for HiFi producers. I think that really gets some attention. SACD was only pushed by Sony. Now, all relevant players are on board.

The way I see the game, Mqa is here to stay. And I hope I’m very wrong

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It is annoying, for those who want a high quality DAC but not MQA, that you must pay for an MQA license anyway.
There are product sold as e.g. “PRO” that have better hardware (e.g. matrix mini-i pro 3) but also include MQA.
If you want the version without MQA, it is “inferior” in hardware.

MQA is not a choice anymore, it is shoved down your throat, if you like it or not.
On Tidal it is introduced like a cuckoo chick, it is there and is taking over, everything else will be killed.


Has this been posted? If not, here are a bunch of reasons why manufacturers will be looking to MQA and the future…


I can confirm that Lumin supported MQA because of plenty customers asking for that since Tidal gave “free” access of MQA music to HiFi subscribers.

We have to support whatever format Tidal / Qobuz / Spotify supports, whatever they choose. We didn’t and still don’t support OGG, but we will have to add OGG support for the latest Spotify SDK changes in the near future. Hypothetically if Qobuz chooses to support an arbitrary proprietary new $$$ format that everyone hates, we will have to support it too.

We still get enquiries about MQA from potential customers considering our products these days.


Although I can’t stand MQA myself, I fully understand why you must include it. I wish everyone offered their product also in a non-MQA version, but I am sure that from a sound business view that that would be unwise. So many times we buy product that has at least one feature we will never use, but as long as it satisfies what we do need at a price we are willing to pay, and it sounds great, we will likely buy it. Why should MQA be any different? And I see so many recommendations for Lumin products that you guys must be getting it right in many eyes.


Bob is not an objective figure when it comes to honesty about MQA, he is a salesman.
MQA is closed technology and a lot about it is problematic.
Even a fan like you should be skeptical about the why of MQA and it monopolizing the streaming industry, limiting choice for consumers.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Lumin T2 DSD512 MQA Roon Ready Network Player

It isn’t monopolising the streaming industry. Tidal are offering it, there are plenty of other streaming industry suppliers willing to take anyone’s money instead if they do wish.


Manufacturers of so called audiophile and wannabe audiophile gear?
Some are getting paid, but mostly it is about customers who do not need to know how many problems MQA invented to “solve”, massive number of recordings that are being magically “authenticated” during batch conversion to MQA etc. And if asked, would not be able to tell what is different about MQA.
Some of them will say that they compared to redbook on Tidal and MQA sounded better. And they have every right to demand it from vendors. MQA relationship with customers is not a problem, MQA Ltd scamming with big labels to lock customers in their ecosystem is a problem.

But there are plenty of vendors of the audiophile gear who do not. Extensive list was published on SBAF and it includes not a small names: Chord, Bryston, McIntosh, Marantz, and many other, and of course Shiit, miniDSP.
What is interesting that I went on SX Pro website and listed the recording interfaces and converters from major pro audio vendors from the highest price to the lowest: Apogee., Lynx, Prism, AVID, Crane. I might have missed something but I think that none of those vendors seem to support MQA.

And interfaces and converters from RME, Dangerous, Lynx are high quality and used a lot by audio enthusiasts. I look around me now and I see RME ADI-2 Pro, Bryston BHA-1, niniDSP SHD, Bryston BDP-2, and zero MQA. So we can live happily for a while without paying for Bob Stuart plans to conquer the world. Life is good.


It has monopolised an entire streaming platform (Tidal) though. Currently, this platform represents 50% of Roon’s streaming partners. I wouldn’t be feeling too blasé about this, myself.

It represents a material restriction of choice, at least as far as Roon users are concerned.


What about hardware, almost impossible to find a DAC nowadays without having to pay the MQA license fee.

Most audio and video products have a long list of marketing checkbox items which any given customer doesn’t want, but pays for the implementation (including licensing fees):

“I don’t want THX Ultra 2 certification”
“I don’t want Atmos”
“I don’t want Dolby Digital+”
“I don’t want Spotify Connect”
“I don’t want Bluetooth”
“I don’t want Roon Ready” :laughing:
“I don’t want DSD”
“I don’t want MQA”


You might want to scroll up to 12 hours earlier.

That list doesn’t even include the likes of Linn or Naim.

So the same facts are used in the service of anti-MQA posts; there is insufficient adoption by many brands, indicating that MQA is a failure, and simultaneously, there are no non-MQA products available, restricting choice. It’s that attention to detail that so advances the cause.

I find myself thinking that the process is rather like buying a car…you may want to buy a black BMW car, but then go to an Audi garage that has a red, say, A4 for sale, and complain that you cannot buy what you want?


Why? Because so-called „audiophiles“ fall into almost any trap laid out in front of them and most manufacturers don‘t have balls to say no to this BS. Only Linn and very few others have.

If they would have (at least small) balls, this whole MQA scam would have ended a long time ago, just like EFL now, as a total non-starter.


That is expressed by most hardware providers also. Only a few like McGowen of PS Audio will actually come out publicly about it. But MQA’s aggressive marketing and ‘slight-of-hand’ has won over a large number of sheep. I for one do not like that Tidal is now in bed with MQA to the point of hiding what one is paying for.

Then add all those who said they didnt want HDR10+ (because they are quite happy with DV) - right up until some streaming service they use decided to adopt it and drop DV leaving them wishing they had HDR10+ too.

This is a large part of the problem for customers and OEMs - you kind of have to try to support everything - just in case because events way outside your control or influence can leave you out in the cold.

VHS vs Betamax.
It was not the best system that got to be the successful one, it was the one with the most titles, in this case prOn.

MQA vs lossless is a marketing thing and momentum is the enabler, not quality.


I wonder what @Jack at Twitter thinks about this. If MQA is indeed fraudulent, not really providing the goods and services it was contracted to provide (lossless audio, for one), an hypothesis he can easily assemble a team for to investigate, he can tear that contract up and be done with MQA. I really hope he looks into this.


I highly doubt he cares unless it becomes an obvious reason for lost subscriptions at that tier.