CES 2017: TIDAL Masters brings MQA

tidalmastersA juicy tasting of MQA was experienced at T.H.E Show @ Newport on a Meridian Ultra DAC, and ever since we have anxiously awaited the arrival of more MQA content.

The day has finally arrived…. At CES 2017, TIDAL announced it will offer MQA content to all TIDAL HiFi tier subscribers under a new ‘Master’ listing. Initially available on the desktop TIDAL client, a wide range of recordings are available starting today.

“TIDAL is committed to bringing members closer to their favorite musicians and offering MQA sound quality will allow subscribers to hear music just as it was recorded in the studio,” said a TIDAL representative. “We’re thrilled to bring master quality sound to our members.”

We plan to visit the CES Hi-Res Audio Pavilion to give it a listen! In addition to TIDAL MQA announcement, new partners also detailed their support for MQA.


AudioQuest, are also announcing MQA implementation in their USB DAC products, DragonFly Red and Black. MQA will be available to AudioQuest customers later this month via a free software update. Steve Silberman, VP of Development, commented: “AudioQuest aims to deliver amazing sound quality and MQA implementation in our products demonstrates this commitment. We’re very excited to offer AudioQuest customers the best

possible audio experience.”


Michiko Ogawa, Director of Technics & Executive Officer of Panasonic Corporation, had the following to say in support of MQA: “The rapidly growing music streaming industry needs essential audio technologies like MQA to deliver an authentic music experience to a mass audience. We are delighted to be working with MQA to help achieve this goal.”

Audirvana, Creator of Audirvana Plus for MacOS:

The integration of MQA technology is a major step towards enabling all Mac users to hear their favourite artists as if they were right there in front of them,” commented Audirvana founder Damien Plisson

Back to Vegas….

Sample of albums available from TIDAL Masters…



  1. Stereophile’s resident engineer, John Atkinson, wrote a tremendously insightful article about what the technology is and a how it works. In a nutshell, MQA is not really a new format per se, (say like DSD) as it is a new form of LPCM compression that is both lossy and lossless simultaneously!

  2. Hello Audiophile Hivemind,

    Can someone explain how this will all work? Is the conversion from MQA to FLAC (or whatever) done by the TIDAL software or do we need to have MQA compatible hardware to get the full MQA affect. I was streaming one of the MQA “masters” on my Auralic Mini last night. It was telling me that the album was 48kHz/24bit FLAC without any MQA compliant hardware in the stream. Is that the best I’ll get without a MQA DAC? Does TIDAL software produce a better resolution?

    And most importantly, what does “SS” think about this? Surely he has an entertaining perspective!


    • I am running the tidal app seperatly from the one in audirvana.The master files I am playing are showing up on the DAC on my nuprime Ida 16 as 96 khz .This is not a mqa DAC so tidal is doing it in software.audirvanas tidal software should be upgraded to do the same by end of January.Sounds great on my system

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  1. CES 2017: 12 hour Tour – Technics, DEG, Mytek, Sony, ELAC, Nagra, MSB, SweetVinyl, dCS, AudioQuest, Musical Surroundings – Part-Time Audiophile

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