How it Works
MP3 files deliver just 10% of the original studio recording. MQA captures 100% of the performance.
MQA captures 100% of the original studio performance. It then cleverly adapts to deliver the highest quality playback your product can support.
After capturing the performance, MQA folds the file to make it small enough to stream.
We call this ‘Music Origami’.
MQA can be fully approved in the studio. With our studio toolset, all playback scenarios can be previewed.
Explore different levels of ‘unfold’
MQA will play back on any device to deliver even higher than CD-quality.
See how MQA ‘unfolds’ to deliver the best possible listening experience.
MQA Core Decoder
This unfolds the MQA file once to deliver even higher than CD-quality. It is included in some products with digital outputs such as Bluesound, Pioneer and Onkyo players, 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.
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. Partners include Aurender, Bel Canto Designs, Brinkmann, Cary Audio, Meridian, MSB, Mytek, NAD and Technics.