Introducing Bob Stuart – the man behind MQA

Recent neuroscientific research into how we hear has been key to the development of MQA. Bob Stuart – MQA’s founder – explains how these new theories have moved the conversation on from the diminishing returns of ever-increasing sampling rates to a new definition of resolution and a more natural and authentic sound.

Discover the thinking behind MQA

Hearing in the forest

  • Our ears are incredibly adept at determining where a sound is coming from. This timing sensitivity evolved to help us thrive in forest environments. As sounds reach us, microseconds apart, our brains build a 3D sonic ‘picture’.
  • Similarly, at a live performance, we're able to position individual instruments. It’s why live music feels so powerful and a recording seems so flat in comparison.
  • MQA captures this timing information from the master, so it feels like you’re at the performance.
“In almost 40 years of attending audio press events, only rarely have I come away feeling that I was present at the birth of a new world.”


Find out the benefits of partnering with MQA

The sound of the studio in a stream only 15% bigger than a CD

MQA achieves the seemingly impossible – studio-quality sound in a file that’s small enough to stream. In other words, given 44.1k MQA can deliver sound equivalent to 96k. And at CD data rate, MQA is better than 192k today.

“MQA delivers the real thing. It’s the first opportunity to hear the authentic sound of the studio, and for you to know you’ve got it.”

Bob Stuart, MQA Founder

There’s a problem with digital – it’s called blurring

Unlike analogue transmission, digital is non-degrading. So we don’t have pops and crackles, but we do have another problem – pre- and post-ringing.

When a sound is processed back and forth through a digital converter the time resolution is impaired – causing ‘ringing’ before and after the event.

This blurs the sound so we can’t tell exactly where it is in 3D space. MQA reduces this ringing by over 10 times compared to a 24/192 recording.

Find out how MQA resolves the problem

MQA vs. air

The vision behind MQA is to do no more damage to sound than air. By being able to resolve two sounds 8μs apart – 15 times better than 192k – that vision has been realised. See how it compares below.

Music Origami

MQA folds master quality sound into a small file, so our users stay in control of their stream quality, and their carbon footprint at the same time.



  • Traditional encoding discards music information to reduce size
  • MQA captures the entire signal and then ‘folds’ it up
  • This file will play at above CD quality on any device
  • On an MQA-capable player the file is unfolded
  • This unlocks the full MQA experience