MQA: One Year Later …… Suddenly, More Questions

Mytek Manhattan II

Doug Schneider writes ....

On April 1, 2016, we published “Myriad Questions About MQA,” my article about Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), a digital music format for high-resolution music files developed by Meridian Audio and now spun off as MQA Limited. (Audiophiles define high-resolution music file as a PCM digital file with a bit depth and/or sample frequency higher than the Compact Disc standard of 16 bits and 44.1kHz, aka 16/44.1.)

From what I’ve learned about MQA, it promises two main benefits. One is the claimed lossless compression of files of resolutions as high as 24-bit/768kHz to 24/44.1 or 24/48 (depending on the original sampling frequency), the results being files roughly 50% bigger than a 16/44.1 file. Since the process is claimed to be lossless, there should be no reduction in sound quality -- when the file is decompressed, all of the original information should still be present. MQA files are stored in such industry-standard file formats as FLAC or ALAC, so even audio systems and DACs that can’t decode MQA files should be able ......

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