Hi. I´m using a Fiio M6 as an external DAC, connected to my Mac Mini late 2014, running MacOS Big Sur, through USB.

Settings: I selected my Fiio M6 as an MQA decoder for Tidal. The question is: when I see, at the bottom left corner MQA 24/192 with the blue dot (or green dot, depending on the album)…does it really mean that the Fiio M6 is processing and decoding properly MQA?
After reading the features of the device, I don´t see it is considered as MQA-compatible.
When playing streaming with Qobuz, no problem at all. If the album is HiRes 24/192, I know that the Fiio M6 is HiRes compatible, according to Fiio website and the device itself (on the back of the DAP, I see the HiRes logo…so no doubt about it).
But, when I listen to an album on Tidal, labelled as MQA, and the 24/192 with the blue or green dot, appears on the bottom left corner, does it really mean that the M6 is actually “decoding and processing” completely the MQA album?
Or is it, in fact, being really played as 16/44.1 Cd-quality, despite the MQA logo and the blue or green dot?
I´ve been looking for the info, but there seems to be no confirmation of MQA support for the Fiio M6 when used as an external DAC.

Does anyone know the answer for this?


Hello @ecoisa01,

Audirvana 3.5 integrates the MQA Core Decoder that performs the first unfolding (up to 88.2 or 96kHz) to benefit from the high resolution of the MQA audio files even without an MQA audio device. By MQA decision, the second unfolding (to 176.4 or 192kHz) can be performed only in a MQA renderer/decoder DAC.

Non MQA capable audio devices can benefit from the high resolution (doubled sample rate compared to the encoded file one) thanks to the MQA decoder integrated in Audirvana 3.
In this case, Audirvana brings, in addition to the general Sound Quality improvement, the decoding of the MQA file that would be played only at little above CD quality otherwise, losing all its high resolution benefits. Note that decoding the signal beyond twice the sampling rate of the encoded file (for the few rare recordings actually made above 96kHz) can only be done in a DAC MQA.

You then need to leave “Not MQA decoder” for your DAC in the Audio Settings, so that Audirvana performs the MQA decoding.

If you have a DAC that is “MQA decoder” then, you can select MQA decoder. That means that no audio processing done in Audirvana, as the DAC is doing all of the MQA decoding.
If you have a DAC that is “MQA renderer” then, you can select MQA renderer. That means MQA first unfolding done in Audirvana, and no other audio processing as the DAC is doing the other unfolding

The Blue color means that the file is “Studio authenticated”.
The Green color is for other MQA audio file.

Note that your device is not MQA compatible.

Hi, Damien
Perfectly explained. I´ve already changed the settings to “No MQA”, since you´ve clarified that Fiio M6 does not support MQA. I must admit it was confusing, as one of the latest firmware updates indicated that Fiio M6, when used as a music player, was compatible with Tidal Master (!). But…nothing was explained as to what to expect when M6 was being used as a DAC, connected through USB on a Mac Mini and using Audirvana.
Anyway, you´ve solved my question and my settings have been properly changed.
Thank you for your help. I always learn something from your explanations.

It looks like that indeed the MQA support has been added with the latest firmware update. Check this with Fiio just to be sure.

I´ll contact people at Fiio. I was, now, reading some news about the latest firmware updates and…version 1.0.1, reads "Updated Tidal to version (with MQA support)"
Apparently, they say that, if you use Fiio M6 as a music player and launch the Tidal app integrated in the device, there will be support for MQA.
But, will this be the same when using the M6 as a DAC connected to a Mac Mini and using Audirvana?
In this case, will the M6, used as external DAC, act as an MQA decoder?
Apparently, Audirvana is not identifying it as an MQA decoder, if I check the settings.
Anyway, I´ll contact Fiio, to clarify this.