I paid for this app licence to listen to MQA from Tidal - now you tell me it won’t play it and I have to pay again for Studio. I would like me original licence money returned please as the system won’t do what I have paid for

No MQA from Tidal, is Tidal issue surely not Audirvana. MQA is dead.


Are you aware that the company MQA went bankrupt and is bought by Lenbrook? Because of this Tidal has anounced that they are phasing out all MQA files for FLAC files.

You can’t hold Audirvana accountable for the fact that MQA is dead, nor for the actions taken by Tidal. Also, as far as I know Audirvana 3.5, still plays (the few) mqa files left on Tidal. There are a lot of other posts on this forum about that. So I don’t know who told you it won’t play. Search this forum.
You could file a complaint with Tidal, but I doubt they can help you either.

Send a mail to They are the only ones who can answer your money questions.

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I think you can still play MQA files that you have locally. Audirvana cannot do anything about the fact that a service provider changes the conditions. In addition, this software has been obsolete for a number of years. I don’t think it’s entirely reasonable to ask if you can get your money back.

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There are hundreds of MQA tracks still available and MQA has survived and been purchased to carry on. Also why put the MQA option on the settings?

Yes, but the only streaming service providing MQA is (was?) Tidal. And guess what: Tidal is phasing out all their MQA tracks in favor of FLAC (they officially anounced that a couple of months ago). It is just a matter of time before there are (almost) no MQA tracks available on Tidal.

On another note: If you still have MQA tracks on your local system, Audirvana 3.5 will play them no problem. Audirvana 3.5 still has all the functionality to play MQA files.

No, MQA is not purchased to carry on. Lenbrook bought them for a nickel and a dime because of some wireless streaming protocol. Lenbrook seems not interested in the MQA format at all.

The MQA options you see is information Tidal shows in Audirvana. Audirvana simply displays what is provided by Tidal’s API (Application Programming Interface).

Please search this forum on the subject (simply search for MQA 3.5). Also search the internet for more information.
Here is a link in this forum:

MQA tracks with 3.5 - Audio Formats / MQA - Audirvana

What I understand from the link above is that 3.5 still streams Tidal including MQA. So again, who told you 3.5 could not play MQA in Tidal anymore? There is/was also a discussion on the Roon forum about this. Do Roon users want their money back (or a discount on their subscription) because of Tidal phasing out MQA? Of course not.

You simply have to get used to a changing world without MQA and don’t blame Audirvana for it. MQA has itself to blame for this.

Audirvana 3.5 is still perfectly capable of upsampling music, streaming Tidal, Qobuz and playing files from a local library. If you bought it solely for MQA you IMHO made a bad purchase decision to begin with, because you just as well could have used the Tidal app on it’s own.

I am using Audirvana 3.5 still on a regular basis (with Qobuz and my local library). I bought if for the (in my ears) excellent sound quality and that still has not changed.


If you dont like quality sound that is fine but I do. Flac is taking its place but still plenty of new releases are in MQA so ill use the Tidal app rather than yours

Who is ‘you’ and ‘yours’. Who are you referring to? You know you are talking to forum members here and not Audirvana staff?

Again who is ‘you’? Who are you referring to? Who told you it won’t play? Did you read any of the answers written here? Did you read the links given to you?

In the end: you do you. If you think MQA is more quality sound than other formats, enjoy it as long as you still can. People are only trying to explain the situation here. Don’t blame Audirvana for things beyond it’s control.

No use to continue this discussion any further. Have a nice day.

And to avoid any confusion: I am not associated to Audirvana. I am just a forum member. If you want to have a discussion with Audirvana staff about this issue or your money send a mail to
(probably they are the ‘you’ you are referring to).


Find the MQA / Tidal storyline here. It’s not a secret


There are a couple of technical reasons why MQA is actually lower fidelity than the hi-res FLAC Tidal is switching to. If you’d like I can discuss further, but please be assured you are gaining rather than losing in terms of quality when your streaming service replaces MQA with hi-res FLAC.


I understood that MQA is merely a file delivery method, not actual a sound file . Is it not the case that you could have almost any resolution file folded like laundry using MQA?

It is with a great soundstage and vinayl like sound

How I see it; we start with a PCM/WAV file. This is a lossless format and can be any resolution. (endless discussions possible about lossless from the artist’s brain to the wav file) MQA creates a 44.1khz or 48khz wav file from which the ‘data’ from above the nyquist is folded into the noise of the file. (this is what HDCD also does, for example). This raw data is then packaged into a lossless FLAC. MQA is an encoder that packs data into the data stream. FLAC is also an encoder that will work less efficiently because there are now ‘strange’ patterns in the noise. A 44.1 MQA file in FLAC is larger than a standard 44.1 in FLAC.

It must be a good sound as Audivarna Studio supports it and I paid for it with my inititial subscription. I do enjoy Flac files as they are great on my high end hifi but i find them a little brighter and in your face than MQA files. The biggest critics of MQA appearto be those that don’t support the system.

So, the technical stuff:

  • Filters Part I: Digital audio requires filtering.

  • Fourier analysis: In Fourier analysis, used everywhere in audio, you have quantities called “conjugate variables.” Two quantities that are conjugate variables vary inversely. (This is the basis of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. As an electron’s momentum becomes more precise, the conjugate variable, its position, becomes less precise.)

  • Filters Part II: With digital filters, time-based distortion (the Gibbs effect, often referred to as “ringing” or by MQA as “blurring”) is a conjugate variable to frequency-based distortion (worse filtering of ultrasonics, producing harmonic and intermodulation distortion). It’s important to note in this regard that “ringing” itself occurs in the ultrasonic range with digital audio filters.

  • MQA filters: MQA’s marketing is that its filters don’t create time-based distortion, or “blurring.” This is correct (their filters have been measured). But remembering Fourier analysis, the only way they can do this is not to remove ultrasonics, creating harmonic and intermodulation distortion. Further, since “ringing” or “blurring” occurs in the ultrasonic range, if that exists in the recording, MQA’s filters cannot remove it.

  • MQA file compression: It is lossy (the original can’t be reconstructed mathematically from the MQA file, unlike FLAC, for example). This is almost certainly because MQA wanted to preserve its intellectual property - if it had used lossless compression like FLAC, it would have been much easier than it was to measure exactly what MQA’s filters are doing.

  • Dynamic range: MQA files must tell the MQA processor what to do, so between 1 and 3 bits of digital “word” length are used to do this. Each bit is approximately 6dB, so MQA files lose between 6 and 18 bits of dynamic range compared to non-MQA files.

  • Summary: MQA-processed files contain more harmonic and intermodulation distortion and possibly an equal amount of ultrasonic ringing, lose information due to lossy compression, and lose dynamic range compared to non-MQA files.

This has nothing to do with whether one supports MQA or not. It’s just mathematics (Fourier analysis and lossy vs lossless compression) and basic digital filter design. If you like the way it sounds, wonderful - there’s no disputing personal taste. It simply doesn’t permit reproduction that is as close to the original as an equivalent non-MQA-processed file.


Thanks for that easy to understand explanation…


So, snake oil it was!

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The way it was marketed, yes. But other respected audio manufacturers have produced similar filters, though in a less deceptive way and without the lossy compression. For example Ayre (at least at one time, don’t know if this is still the case) had Listen and Measure settings on its DACs, and the Listen setting was a filter with similar characteristics to those of MQA.

This is because a very small amount of distortion can sound “warm,” “organic,” or “exciting” to us, rather than our reaction being “ugh, that’s distorted.” Albums have been produced with this in mind; for example Jimmy Iovine, who went on to found Beats headphones, used something called the Aphex Aural Exciter on Springsteen’s album Born to Run. The Exciter produced a similar very low level distortion effect, which was thought to be perfect for an album recalling listening to rock ‘n’ roll on car radios in your youth.

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I’m familiar with the aural exciter… I use the snake oil analogy because, 1. MQA didn’t give you this superior listening experience, as you described, and 2, many years ago when MQA was first mentioned, it was, according to an article I can no longer find, as a solution to pirating.

You only have to listen to CD quality after a MQA album on a decent system to hear the difference. Because of what Audirvana has done i am moving across to Roon to listen to high end music