MQA, Tidal and Sonos?



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Not going to happen, time to shop elsewhere.
Not going to deter me from using Sonos for everyday listening. Apparently I already have one MQA compatible DAC and another that is promising an MQA firmware upgrade. Who knows, I might not hear or like the difference with Tidal. No harm in satisfying my curiosity, though. But it will have to wait a few months. I'm in a Brasil and the DACs are in Canada.
Schiit Audio won't be supporting MQA in their DACs. http://schiit.com/news/news/why-we-wont-be-supporting-mqa
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Schiit Audio won't be supporting MQA in their DACs. http://schiit.com/news/news/why-we-wont-be-supporting-mqa
I'm aware of that. I own a Schitt DAC and headphone amp. It already supports up to 24/192, although that won't help with the new Tidal streaming MQA option.
More interesting info here: https://opensource.com/life/16/9/whats-wrong-with-mqa

For those who swear they can "hear" the difference between 16 and 24-bit audio, guess what? MQA tosses out the lower 8 bits (which are well below the threshold of hearing), and "folds" the audio above 22KHz (which is well above human hearing range) into those 8 bits. Seems you could achieve the same thing with 16/96 FLAC, without the extra processing, proprietary tech, and fees. So, what's the point on MQA again? Clearly just an attempt to enrich Bob Stewart, and add DRM to streaming.
Benchmark Audio, whose DACs are used in many a studio, doesn't seem too impressed with MQA either (spam filter won't let me post the URL, grrr)

Seems Sonos would be in pretty good company if they ignore MQA.
A humorous article, from Robert Harley, the technical incompetent who got his job at Stereophile by winning an essay contest. I think he was a shoe salesman, lol. http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/master-quality-authenticated-mqa-the-view-from-30000-feet/

MQA stands for Master Quality, Authenticated, supposedly meaning it has been authenticated by the studio to sound exactly the same as the studio master. Well, Harley insists it sounds even BETTER, lol. He talks about "temporal blurring" and other mambo jumbo.
Wonder how many full page glossy ads Meridian had to buy on The Absolute Sound in order to merit that brown nosed nonsense?
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Just out of curiosity, how many of you "expert" posters have listened to any MQA files? I haven't, but I'd like to.
Oh lookie, yet another dripping with condescension use of quotation marks. :8

Sorry pal, not talking religion with you. This is a heavily leaning objectivist site, and though we don't enforce it as strongly as Hydrogen Audio, we dont exactly encourage nonsense that is not backed up by empirical and experimental facts. So unless you are willing to talk objectively instead of anecdotally, you should probably go pray somewhere else.
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I can definitely hear the difference between redbook and 24/96 on a good headphone setup.
Double blind, level matched? From the same master?

That's the kind of discussion I was hoping to start.

Hydrogen Audio wouldn't countenance such a discussion unless it was backed up by ABX results. It's not unreasonable for 'believers' in HiRes to be similarly challenged here.

Really? I'm a member of Hydrogenaudio and I'd hate to think that they are "censoring" discussions by not "countenancing" certain posts. Although I fail to see what relevance Hydrogenaudio has here, perhaps you might want to rethink that statement. Here is an excerpt from a discussion about MQA from Hydrogenaudio. It seems they do "countenance" it, after all. I certainly see no evidence backing up anything in this question and the reply. Just hearsay--as in, "people say." Very scientific, indeed.

"Q. Has anyone done an ABX test with an MQA release vs a FLAC?

A. No real abx i heard of. The MQA'd versions sound different to their older available versions. People say the new MQA version played over an MQA capable DAC and its captured output by a modern ADC are sounding indistinguishable."
I'm a member of Hydrogenaudio
Hydrogenaudio Terms of Service / Notices:
8. All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.
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I'm a member of Hydrogenaudio
Hydrogenaudio Terms of Service / Notices:
8. All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings. Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.

I am aware of those rules, which are regularly ignored in Hydrogenaudio. In that case it would be reasonable to infer that Hydrogenaudio does "countenance" discussions that appear to violate its rules and offer no scientific reasoning. But, as I said earlier, I don't see the relevance of Hydrogenaudio to this discussion.
Considering Meridian prohibits unpacking of MQA files, there is no way you can downsample them. Therefore there seems to be no way to account for mastering differences between the MQA version and a same sourced downsample, making a legitimate ABX impossible.

My, how convenient. :8
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Oh lookie, yet another dripping with condescension use of quotation marks. :8

Sorry pal, not talking religion with you. This is a heavily leaning objectivist site, and though we don't enforce it as strongly as Hydrogen Audio, we dont exactly encourage nonsense that is not backed up by empirical and experimental facts. So unless you are willing to talk objectively instead of anecdotally, you should probably go pray somewhere else.


Certainly this discussion does drip with condescension, "pal", as do many discussions in this community. I am not speaking anecdotally. although I did make a reference to personal experience. In fact, my original post was a question. As for "this is a heavily leaning objectivist site," I suspect only because of the sheer number of posts made by so-called "objectivists." If you would be so kind as to point out the group rules discouraging anything but "objectivism" I will be happy to consider them. Oddly, I thought this was a group for discussion of Sonos products. ("Ask questions, find answers, and share your Sonos experience with other music lovers around the world.") In any event, it was others, not I, who transformed this thread into yet another discussion of what you might refer to as "religion."
Edit: After posting the initial portion of this message I have perused the group rules and see absolutely no indication that this forum is intended to be "a heavily leaning objectivist site." The fact that some attempt to make it so, as this discussion has clearly demonstrated, does not alter the community's original intent as expressed in those rules. (And, by the way, "experts" is in quotes because nobody has offered any evidence that the people criticizing MQA have any experience with MQA. I have no experience, but I am not passing judgement on MQA.)
In any event, it was others, not I, who transformed this thread into yet another discussion of what you might refer to as "religion."
That's a bit disingenuous if I may say so. Anyone who comes along enquiring about MQA must, by definition, have bought into a belief in HiRes, otherwise why pose the question?
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In any event, it was others, not I, who transformed this thread into yet another discussion of what you might refer to as "religion."
That's a bit disingenuous if I may say so. Anyone who comes along enquiring about MQA must, by definition, have bought into a belief in HiRes, otherwise why pose the question?


Nonsense. My original post was: "Tidal is now making available a limited selection of MQA streams to its hi-fi subscribers, making it the first major streaming service to do so. Perhaps it's time to revisit the topic of whether Sonos will support MQA?"

So would you then say that anyone who has every expressed a desire for 24/96 playback in Sonos is also "disingenuous" and should be discouraged from asking about this possibility or discussing the matter?

To be truthful, there was no malicious intent in my original post. I simply thought the matter was worthy of discussion. And I still do. The fact that it would draw out the usual group of "objectivists" was the last thing on my mind. Of course, this has now gone beyond that, with some suggesting, against all reason, that this is an "objectivist" community. I think that goes too far, and I suspect that some people responding here have too much time on their hands or are unable to tolerate any discussion of subjects with which they disagree. What's next, a suggestion that civil discourse here should be censored if objectivists disagree with the opinions of others?
OK, you got plenty of discussion as to why it's extremely unlikely to happen on Sonos. It's yet another attempt to repackage music that was recorded at or below CD quality, which will never, ever sound better than CD quality. It's about as likely to succeed as every other similar attempt (SACD, DSD, DXD, Pono, etc). What more is there to discuss?
Exactly. You got your answer, that should have been it. The fact that you tried to combat the discussion occurring after that answer with your "Just out of curiosity, how many of you "expert" posters have listened to any MQA files? I haven't, but I'd like to." certainly flies in the face of your pleas to keep this from becoming a discussion of who can hear what. So while you may not have wanted the discussion to get dirty, you certainly jumped right into the mud when it did.

And knock it off with the hyperbolic claims of "censorship". Nobody is stripping you of your free speech rights on a freaking message board, so you can stop the drama. :8
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OK, you got plenty of discussion as to why it's extremely unlikely to happen on Sonos. It's yet another attempt to repackage music that was recorded at or below CD quality, which will never, ever sound better than CD quality. It's about as likely to succeed as every other similar attempt (SACD, DSD, DXD, etc). What more is there to discuss?
That's a fair opinion, but it is an opinion, not necessarily fact ("which will never, ever sound better than CD quality." )To answer your question, apparently there is far more to discuss, since many participants here have decided to wander off into another field (metaphorically speaking). Perhaps you should ask them why they continue to broaden the discussion? Of course, when some digress or it is suggested that this type of discussion should not be permitted, others will respond. In fact, you were the first to immediately stray "off topic". "Tidal hasn't gone belly up yet? They've been bleeding cash since they started, never attracted enough subscribers to be cashflow positive." Did that in some way contribute to a discussion of my original question?
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Exactly. You got your answer, that should have been it. The fact that you tried to combat the discussion occurring after that answer with your "Just out of curiosity, how many of you "expert" posters have listened to any MQA files? I haven't, but I'd like to." certainly flies in the face of your pleas to keep this from becoming a discussion of who can hear what. So while you may not have wanted the discussion to get dirty, you certainly jumped right into the mud when it did.
Really? The fact that nobody here has indicated that they have experience with MQA is not relevant? Many are judging, but apparently not from experience. Hence "experts" in quotes. Isn't that a little like suggesting a book be banned before you have read it? There is nothing "dirty" about this discussion. In fact, it is quite civil. You and others may not perceive it as such because you are being disagreed with.

Really? The fact that nobody here has indicated that they have experience with MQA is not relevant? Many are judging, but apparently not from experience. Hence "experts" in quotes. Isn't that a little like suggesting a book be banned before you have read it? There is nothing "dirty" about this discussion. In fact, it is quite civil. You and others may not perceive it as such because you are being disagreed with.


By your own rules no, it is not relevant as to whether Sonos is going to support it in the future. That was your specifically stated purpose of the thread and your reason for dismissing any conversations about the validity of Meridian's claims as off-topic. To quote:

And many others have concluded that higher resolution audio does have benefits. I am in that camp, although I'd be the first to acknowledge that those benefits are more obvious with good headphones and a good DAC and headphone amp. I'd rather not turn this into another one of those discussions.


And then you turned it into a discussion of who has listened to MQA and what they heard.
Oh, and the day I care about being "disagreed with" by a person who believes in nonsense like Hires audio is the day I fly out the window. Matter of fact, it is when they agree with me that I start to worry. 😃
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Really? The fact that nobody here has indicated that they have experience with MQA is not relevant? Many are judging, but apparently not from experience. Hence "experts" in quotes. Isn't that a little like suggesting a book be banned before you have read it? There is nothing "dirty" about this discussion. In fact, it is quite civil. You and others may not perceive it as such because you are being disagreed with.


By your own rules no, it is not relevant as to whether Sonos is going to support it in the future. That was your specifically stated purpose of the thread and your reason for dismissing any conversations about the validity of Meridian's claims as off-topic. To quote:

And many others have concluded that higher resolution audio does have benefits. I am in that camp, although I'd be the first to acknowledge that those benefits are more obvious with good headphones and a good DAC and headphone amp. I'd rather not turn this into another one of those discussions.


And then you turned it into a discussion of who has listened to MQA and what they heard.


Ah, I I understand now. You and others have the right to take the conversation in whatever direction you wish, but the rest of us are denied the right to respond when you do so. This is now bordering on illogical, IMHO.
Yes, that's right. You expressed the wish not to take part in a conversation like that, and only wanted an answer to your question. You got your answer. If you truly did not wish to take part in the conversation, then that was your cue to leave. None of the rest of us have any qualms about debating the issue, it was you whom expressed reservations.

So I ask again; since you got your answer and do not wish to take part in a discussion about who hears what, why are you still here?
Perhaps it's time to revisit the topic of whether Sonos will support MQA?

Been revisited. The answer is no, Sonos is extremely unlikely to support it, given that Sonos' architecture supports 16/48 streams, max. Sonos has a long history of backwards compatibility; their first products from 10+ years ago still work with the latest firmware. They were far ahead of the pack with SonosNet; you may have noticed all the very recent mesh routers suddenly flooding the market. For these and many other reasons, they have a very loyal customer base. They're unlikely to abandon their long time customers, requiring them to buy all new hardware to support something as unlikely to succeed as MQA.