When will we finally have MQA decoding?

What’s the status of Auralic or, more specifically, Altair, supporting true, licensed MQA decoding? I bought my Altair based, in part, in the promise of future compatibility w MQA. I understand Auralic applies it’s own decoding to MQA, but—good or bad—that’s not the same.

I’d hate to do it, but if this isn’t resolved soon, I’m buying a Mytek.

You can buy Mytek Brooklyn DAC that has built-in MQA certified hardware decoding. Just need to set Altair to ‘MQA pass through’ in the web browser interface.

I’ve Mytek Brooklyn DAC(borrowed from my colleague) and I compared side by side with Auralic own ‘in house’ and MQA certified Mytek Brooklyn I’ve a hard time telling apart, both sound equally good. In the end I settled down for Auralic own decoding and invest on a high quality DAC instead.

I stream Qobuz at up to 24/192 with very good results. More or less everything from the major classical labels is now released on Qobuz in 24/96.

Many people have serious reservations about MQA. Whatever the hype, its value isn’t yet certain. I’d prefer to see everyone relax and wait patiently to establish the truth of the claims made for it and whether we actually need it.

Agreed. As a classical fan, I listen to Qobuz everyday and TIDAL is only for testing purpose.

Remember, MQA is not real high res, it is compressed, lost of dynamic range. I would say it is a high res version of MP3.

Audiophile industry will soon find out that MQA is not for them. Major media push MQA really hard just because of the big PR money behind of it.

Again, my question is not at all about the efficacy of MQA. There are MANY contrasting views on what it is—good and bad—and I have no interest in debating it. My question is whether AURALIC will support it like it said it would.

Still, I would appreciate an answer. And, you shouldn’t downplay Tidal use. That was another major selling point touted by Auralic—the 1 year free Tidal. I love Tidal.

Interesting. Thanks.

I think there are more of us listening to Tidal and music other than classical than you might realize. I’m 62, but listen to 90% non classical. To cede that market to your competitors(like Mytek, etc.)might be unwise from a business perspective? And no, I’m no troll. Been involved in high end for 45 years. Watching, reading, buying quietly but fervently. Very much enjoy your products.


I concur 100%. I listen to about 5% classical, and when I do it’s on vinyl. I’d say 40-50% of my listening is to new music via Tidal Masters on my Altair, which is why it’s essential, in my opinion, that Auralic work out an MQA license and software download for the Altair. At least, I hope and assume that if you can secure rights to MQA, then hardware compatibility is possible via software update. I generally buy one significant system component/upgrade each year, and acquiring the ability to listen to true MQA is #1 on my list this year, and I feel like it shouldn’t be b/c I thought I’d ticked that box when I bought my Altair.

Is quality of sound in high-res better with Tidal or with Qobuz? I now stream from Tidal (HIFI/Master). I am looking for the best sound expirience…

For the same track, Qobuz sounds way better then TIDAL, I have done a lot of A/B testing. Even back to the days that both company only offer CD quality FLAC files, Qobuz still sounds better than TIDAL.

We already developed our own simulation technology to play MQA in higher resolution. We actually encourage people to select CD quality then use upsampling function inside ARIES or ALTAIR, it will give better sound then MQA itself.