TIDAL MQA Compatible Dac?

Do I need a MQA compatible dac to get the most out of my Tidal Masters subscription or is my Topping D10 good enough?

If you want a great mqa compatible dac that’s relatively inexpensive, the iFi zen dac just came out and it has mqa support. I would say that you would want to take advantage of mqa

So is MQA the only way to achieve Tidal “master” quality? Or is it decoded at the software level?

I think so. I believe to take full advantage of tidal mqa you need a dac that can decode it. I am not super fond of mqa and don’t know if there are any hassle free software decoders, but I believe mqa was intended to be decoded by hardware

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*edit, i understand now. thanks

mqa first unfold is in software (max. 24/96) like the Tidal app on PC/Mac or Roon/Audirvana for example
mqa second and third unfold take place in the dac

  • you can play mqa tidal with your topping, but only get the first unfold
  • the second unfold is where the magic happens (timing, filters, etc.)

the @M0N named ifi Zen Dac is probably the cheapest way to get in the mqa (not the worst, at all)
if you need something portable, you can go for the ifi xDSD or the ifi nano BL
the worst way would be the Audioquest Dragonly Sticks - but it works

if you want to use a DAP, there is the Hiby R5 with mqa support coming - others get it with firmare updates
if you want to use your mobile cellphone and its Android 8 and higher, use the App USB Audio Player Pro and enable mqa in the menue + login to Tidal over the USB Audio Player Pro(UAPP), not the Tidal app
your android phone is only the transport(first unfold) - the cellphones intern dacs are not mqa (unfold 2)supported
you will have to add an extern DAC
other DACs with MQA support are:

the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+
ifi iDSD micro black label
… to be continued…

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I don’t think the dragonflys are the worst way you could do things, just not my favorite

worst for mqa from what I remember

and for the rest … soso
not the biggest fan but there are far worse DAC/Amps of course

is there any good dac that is mqa compatible under like $200? is it even worth it for that price too?

iFi Zen Dac was just released for 130 usd and it looks pretty sweet. Even uses a Burr Brown dac. I would say it’s worth what they ask for sure, but I have yet to hear it personally

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I think the only android phones that can support it would be lg phones and onkyo phones

yeah the iFi Zen Dac might be better than my d10 lol

yes the 2 plus the “Essential phone”

depends on your prefernces

I prefer the ifi DACs(Burr Browns) sound over others like SMSL SU-8 with Sabre chipset

if you decide to get the Zen DAC, try to compare your D10 to it - maybe with some FLAC Files

so expensive… and i have a jds labs atom amp already, but the project looks so awesome

Wait really? It’s not around 130usd? Also personally I would take the zen dac over the project, as I was not really impressed by the s2

sorry, was referring to the project audio…
anyway i have been reading more and more into mqa and WOW this is a controversial topic. many suggest mqa is just a business tactic, scam, etc, while other swear by it. i really want to try it lol. the ZenD is only available as pre-order / back order in the US so that will have to wait.

yo man, relax lol. he’s super helpful, knowledgeable, and above all he’s just sharing his damn opinion which i am asking for. audio is all subjective and opinionated.

Hi Lothar,
@M0N never said anything else - his subjective opinion
can´t understand where this heat/spice comes from

It’s pretty common to me, a friend has one and most dealers in my area have project gear.

I did not claim I have heard the 660s, I mainly have just expressed my opinions on the matter and also gone off of the information available online. If there is a significant sonic difference, please let me know, as I will edit and correct previous posts I have made concerning the matter. Everything I have seen right now just does not make me believe there was an intended, significant sound change.

And also I make sure to let people know that this is my opinion and mine alone, I’m not stating any of this as fact. This entire hobby is subjective as shit, and everyone has different opinions, and everyone is entitled to share their own feel what they like. Everybody does not have to see eye to eye on everything.

And just because I say I don’t prefer something and then recommend something else does not make the thing I don’t like somehow worse, it just doesn’t meet my preference or match my standards, and does not make it less of product. I have nothing to gain by pushing products or my opinion here. I’m not a reviewer, I have no affiliation with any company or product, I’m just here to enjoy having conversations with people that like this hobby, and try to help people out on the way. This is my cure for bored at work syndrome