MQA-CD is a physical Hi-res music format, but while the discs are relatively affordable, playing them back can be anything but.
********** UPDATE (PLEASE READ)********
The sound quality difference I experienced between the MQA decoded CD and the standard CD audio is because rather than the CD being 16bit (as normal) - the patent says it's 13 bit with 3 bits used for the MQA data - however others now say it’s 15 bit with 1 bit going to the MQA. Apparently the MQA bit(s) get ignored as noise by a standard CD player. .
There are Loads of complaints about me saying that the "MQA version sounds better" - how could this be when Brothers in Arms can't ever sound any better than a CD as it was only mastered at CD quality originally". Well perhaps because that's not what was demonstrated in this video.
Angry Audiophiles - Just stop, take a breath - and read this paragraph....
I wasn't comparing the full bitrate CD version of the album vs the MQA version. I didn't play the standard CD version of Brothers In Arms at any point in this video.
The comparison was between the *compressed* version of the album (contained on the MQA CD) vs the MQA unfolded version (contained on the same CD).
SUMMARY: In a test of the REDUCED BITRATE VERSION vs the MQA UNFOLDED VERSION.
WHICH SOUNDED BETTER?
A) The MQA UNFOLDED VERSION
So all I experienced in the video was the MQA version sounding better than the reduced bitrate version - which of course it would do.
So next question... Will an MQA version of an album that was only ever mastered in 44.1khz 16bit sound exactly the same as a normal (non MQA) CD version of the album? - Yes of course it would, if the album was only ever mastered in 44.1khz 16bit and that's the only version available it can only ever sound as good as that.
You can read up on MQA Audio here: www.mqa.co.uk
Universal Music Japan’s MQA-CD page (in Japanese) www.universal-music.co.jp/international/mqa-uhqcd/
This is a useful site for downloading Hi-res Audio test files (including MQA) www.2l.no/hires/
Clearing something up that seems to have caused confusion.
MQA existed before MQA-CDs in the form of Downloadable Files & Streaming. That's what all those USB decoders (including mine) are designed to decode. MQA-CDs are new(ish) and only available in JAPAN- however MQA downloadable Files & Streaming have been around for a while. These MQA-CDs are an adaption of the MQA format into a physical version that can be sold in Japanese stores.
------AFFILIATED LINKS/ADVERTISING NOTICE-------
All links are Affiliated where possible.
Useful Links below:
Amazon have the MQA-CD Samplers listed (AFFILIATED LINKS)
Rock & Pop amzn.to/2yGGP97
Rock & Pop amzn.to/2tHjUVl
I bought my MQA-CDs from CD Japan www.cdjapan.co.jp/feature/Worlds_First_HiRes_CD_by_Universal_Music_Japan
Jun 27, 2018