MQA Declares Bankruptcy,the%20US%20and%20other%20countries.


The financials are eye-opening. Annual revenue never exceeded £700,000 while administrative expenses exceeded £4,000,000 for 2020 and 2021!

Does anyone think Bob Stuart took this much money out of the company?

Wow. So MQA has become another Dolby FM technology. But then, many in the industry thought MQA was a scam.


In 2015 having access to hirez streaming was a big deal because of the file size needed. Now that isn't as much of a constraint and I think the problem MQA addressed isn't as difficult. I like the SQ of MQA, particularly on vocals.

I purchased a digital cable and connected my BlueSound Node2i to my ARCAM.  They told me the DAC inside my ARCAM was better than the BlueSound and not to worry about MQA.  I think MQA sounded better.  Maybe I will try QIbuz.  I demoed QUobuz and I thought it sounded better.  However the Tidal library is larger and I like the graphics.

Needless to say the digital Audio world has always had its ebbs and flows, and will continue to do so.



Matt M

@mattmiller Needless to say the digital Audio world has always had its ebbs and flows, and will continue to do so.



Audio coaxial cables FTW 


MQA isn’t done. They simply entered administration because their backer went dry on cash. They’ll likely be picked up by a new investor. This sort of thing happens all the time.

@kenjit All music is a scam! You get the first listen for free, get hooked and then you have to pay, some way. /j

kenjit - either get a quality audio system or a set of ears, maybe both and listen to real music

Interesting, just saw an email from Sound and Vision that TIDAL is now offering hi-rez FLAC subscription plan subscriptions.

Someone here once described MQA as a stopgap solution to a temporary problem that had served its purpose and needed to die. What has changed besides the company's finances? To my ears it was always simply unlistenable.

IMO MQA always sounded inferior.  I did a A/B in my listening room Qobuz vs Tidal and FLAC via Qobuz almost always sounded better.  This was playing on a good and very revealing system not a boom box.  


The best thing that could happen for music consumers that care about quality is for MQA to sunset.  Then development and investments can be made to further the other formats or new alternatives.  If MQA goes away I won't miss it.


No, until now FLAC wasn’t the center of their hi-rez tier, MQA was. That was MQAs thing with the “unfolds” to save bandwidth. I’m sure somebody else could elaborate on the technical specifics but that’s how I understand it. Check out the Sound and Vision Article

It's a compression schema that has no future relevance, so not surprised. Hi-Res digital audio has now gone beyond the need for the specific capability. As others have said, it was never accepted as a viable choice by many, and called a scam by others. In any case there are better solutions out there now. Sorry for the haters, but Hi-Res audio is the next step in quality beyond the CD, and we will continue to see technology evolve and get better. 

Not sure how in tune some of you guys are w/ the economic situation going on right now.

Someone mentioned that their investor's funds dried up.

This kind of sounds, to me, like MQA got caught up in the liquidity crisis.

I'm certainly not an economist, but I actually began informally studying economics about the time the pandemic started to unfold because I am a small business owner.

Would love to hear if anyone else smells something similar ...

At its most basic level MQA is software upscaling at the first "unfold" and additional hardware (if present) upscaling filter at the second "unfold". I think it’d be more dynamic if it was actually upscaling everything to a super high bit rate (like a chord m scaler). In its current form, it’s just managing the upscaling if the content is available from the publisher at the native high sampling rates. There’s just not much native content in the super high sample rates.

I don’t listen to Tidal or even have a MQA device, but conceptually it makes sense for recreating atmospheric transients in music. The actual resulting sound of their upscaling filters is what really should be questioned and to date, I’ve not seen any qualitative A/B listening test among MQA’s upscaling filter and other software (HQplayer, PGGB, etc) and hardware upscaling (Chord M Scaler) solutions.

Where they get hammered is from their business practices. Namely, downsampling content which was originally a native higher bitrate than the tier the customer paid for—in essence, giving the customer what they paid for. As they sell tiered plans that makes sense, but for the audiophile, the main consumers of the hi-res music, it breaks the cardinal law of "do no harm" to the music.

Ironically, the audiophile (who has bought in to the concept) would likely go for the high tier plan and have the hardware decoder, thus making it a moot point.

@OP and Tuenefuldude - regarding MQA's financial situation...

MQA is essentially a software company whose success is dependent on licencing its technology to third parties, whether they be streaming services or hardware manufacturers.

MQA has had significant ongoing costs in software development, and remuneration of its staff, incuding its executive directors.

The key difficulty for MQA is that demand for high resolution streaming is in itself a niche and MQA faces a fundamental strategic difficulty in promoting a product whose attractiveness is essentially premised on the need to conserve bandwidth.

As such, the technology is being eclipsed by the easy availability of fast broadband connections and with 5g mobile telecommunications.

MQA's difficulties, I believe, are less to do with the general economic situation than with the fact that it's technology is becoming obsolete.



@yoyoyaya Sounds like you are correct.

Would be interesting to hear people's thoughts around here, on how our current economic situation has and is affecting companies involved in providing both the equipment and the (streaming) services that are so intimately tied to our hobby.

The MQA lossy standard reeked with control motivation from the very beginning. While they amped up some selective recordings pleasing some, on the whole it was considered a product for control more than improvement in sound. 

Good riddance. This should help Qobuz which is also good news. 

@tunefuldude. I think one way in which tighter economic circumstances would have impacted on MQA relates to the fact that hardware manufacturers are less likely to be buying licences for a technology that appears to be losing traction.

What’s the point of Hi-res anyway, when most music is compressed to less than 10dB of dynamic range anyway!! It’s appalling how even vintage recordings are treated. And as for new music.... much of it that I like very much, is crushed and clipped and compressed so that little breath remains between the peaks. Just import the audio into any waveform editor and what you’ll see does NOT look like real music.  I never found MQA to sound any better, only mildly different.  

My opinion is that MQA never really had a chance because it is a proprietary  technology.   MQA adds costs and complexity throughout the music/supply chain to play high resolution music when the competition is using a standardized format that is free.

The music streaming market is brutal and the higher resolution part of the market is worse.  Time will tell if Tidal is able to survive.  I hope that the market changes help Qobuz to survive.  I love Roon and Qobuz works great with Roon.


Does this mean when streaming Tidal you are no longer listening to hi-res?  If not, what resolution are we listening to.

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