What is MQA?
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download, while also being backward compatible, so you can play MQA music on any device. MQA technology is licensed by labels and hardware manufacturers worldwide. Visit mqa.co.uk for more information.
MQA in USB Audio Player PRO
USB Audio Player PRO includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording.
The MQA logo will be displayed when playing MQA music:
When the app is playing and decoding MQA, either the green ('MQA') or blue ('MQA Studio') light will be displayed right next to the MQA logo in the current song and mini player display. This denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. ‘‘MQA Studio’ indicates it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.
USB Audio Player Pro includes MQA Core technology, which unfolds the MQA file once to deliver better than CD-quality. The first unfold recovers all the direct music-related information. Output is 88.2kHz or 96kHz. When a USB DAC is connected that implements an MQA renderer, further unfolding can be done by the DAC.
When a DAC is detected that implements an MQA decoder (for example, the Meridian Explorer 2 or the DAC inside certain LG models), the MQA decoder inside USB Audio Player PRO is deactivated and MQA decoding is performed by the hardware. No green or blue led will be displayed in the app in this situation.
Requirements for decoding MQA
To be able to decode and play MQA, audio needs to be played in bit-perfect mode and a bit-perfect audio path needs to be present to the DAC. Please note that there are two bit-perfect options inside USB Audio Player PRO: one in the section 'Internal HiRes audio' and one in 'USB audio'. Please enable bit-perfect in the appropriate section. MQA decoding can either take place when using the 'Hires audio driver' for internal HiRes chips or when using a USB DAC. The DAC needs to be capable of playing at 88.2kHz and 96kHz. Furthermore, an in-app purchase is required to activate the MQA decoder.
Shortly after starting playback of an MQA track, the player will display information on what is needed to get MQA to decode if the above requirements are not met and the blue or green led will not light up, indicating the MQA is not being decoded.