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What is MQA?

Master Quality Authenticated Logo

MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated - it's an audio technology making hi-res audio streaming a reality and was developed by the co-founder of Meridian Audio, Bob Stuart.


MQA allows for high res streaming, but uses much less bandwidth to do it.


MQA Core Decoder

This unfolds the MQA file once to deliver even higher than CD-quality. It is included in some products like the Roon Core, as well as streaming services such as TIDAL and media players like Audirvana.

The first unfold recovers all the direct music-related information. Output is 88.2kHz or 96kHz.


MQA Renderer

These products feature an MQA renderer which can complete the final unfold. Renderers can be great portable products such as USB DACs and headphones. For example the AudioQuest DragonFly can connect to an MQA Core signal and complete the unfolding of the MQA file.

An MQA Renderer will include ‘stream lock’ but is not able to decode an MQA stream or authenticate it.


MQA Full Decoder

Products with a full MQA Decoder unfold the file to deliver the highest possible sound quality. At this level of playback you are hearing what the artist created in the studio – with precise file and platform specific DAC compensation and management. The Moon 390 Network player is a good example of this.


View the full list of 'MQA Partners':


MQA has also announced 'original quality' real time streaming concerts with 'MQA Live'.


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