Is MQA better than FLAC?

Modern music industry is very multi-faceted. For example, each streaming service has its own requirements for track formats and bitrates, and it is OK. In addition to the streaming platforms, there are also physical media:

  • vinyl records;
  • compact discs;
  • audio cassettes.
Is MQA better than FLAC?

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Such formats have huge popularity among music lovers. In these circumstances, labels and studios are forced to create dozens of versions of one track with different mastering, which increases the cost of recording.

In 2015, the British company Meridian Audio decided to improve the situation and introduced a new codec – Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). Its purpose was to standardize music production. It could guarantee the audience the ability to hear the track in its original way. The audio codec preserves sound quality but it has a low enough bitrate to send files over a network without difficulties.

MQA audio coding is based on the origami principle. Some of the information required to play the track is encapsulated in a range of noise below 24kHz. Later, it may be extracted during playback. This requires a special decoder in the form of an application or hardware platform.

However, because the use of special decoders is rare, most hardware can recognize the MQA format as FLAC. Because of this, not all listeners are able to experience the true quality of the MQA format.

So, is MQA better than FLAC? That’s a very controversial question. But if customers have the right equipment for MQA, they will definitely feel the difference. Anyway, it’s a pretty good concept. Perhaps in the future, when this format will be more developed it will be available to everyone.

If you don’t know where to find tracks in these two popular formats and compare them, try to use Tidal. This streaming service offers music with high-quality sound.

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To subscribe to the Tidal service, simply transfer your music library there using the special Musconv application:

  1. Select the streaming service you want to transfer your content from;
  2. Tick the checkboxes next to what you want to move (or synchronize);
  3. Pick a destination platform;
  4. Start the procedure and wait a couple of minutes;
  5. Ready!

If you need more information – ask our experts for help!