About MQA – New Tech Hurts My Head

Sometimes my mind hurts when I read about new technology. Old ideas that just had to be true keep being demolished. Even the idea that copies are never as good as the original seems to be dead, dead, dead. Now we are told that some copies are improvements. Genuine improvements, not just enhancements.

We are being told by audiophile experts that Meridian’s MQA digital recording process “encapsulates” master recordings into files that, when played through an MQA decoder, yield music that sounds better than the original master recording. Somehow MQA corrects flaws in the digital original, the result becoming an improved version of the master. It sounds better than HD audio on players with an MQA decoder. Even on conventional players it is said that MQA sounds better than CD quality.

MQA files are smaller than you might expect – one online source said MP3 size, another said 1/3 the size of a FLAC file.

MQA will be available on some streaming and download services. Warner Music Group has announced a long-term licensing deal with MQA. Some MQA music is currently available via High Res Audio, Onkyo Music, e-Onkyo, 7digital, 2L and Technics Tracks. I have read Tidal is already converting its music to MQA. Over the coming months, MQA will expand to more streaming platforms and into download stores worldwide.

Will wonders never cease?

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