B&O and Hi-Res Music Streaming

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  • #20513
    BRONZE Member

      Hi forum,

      as I got all of your attention now by a provocative title I wanted to start a discussion not around the audio quality of B&o but why our loved brand won’t support Tidal Master Quality Audio (MQA).

      All B&o audio products I have at least support Tidal connect but the quality gets downgraded to HiFi which is good but I would rather like to enjoy Master Audio as if you are used to it you hear a clear difference. By connecting my iPad with a DAC to our Core I get Master Audio and the quality is way better.


      So what do you think? Why do you think B&o won‘t support Master Audio via Tidal connect? Is it because they don’t believe in the quality of the music, their products or because they think we don‘t use Tidal?

      • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Tim.
      BRONZE Member

        In my opinion, MQA is a dead man walking. It attempted to solve a problem that no longer exists (insufficient bandwidth to stream lossless audio). Besides this, they have consistently failed to deliver proof to support their sound quality claims, all while doing what they can to hinder independent efforts to measure what the format actually does to the sound (I recommend watching GoldenSound’s videos on the topic to get an idea). The gist seems to be that MQA is far from being a lossless format that preserves the original master.

        There’s also the fact that Tidal is now adding support for actual high-resolution lossless files, and the MQA company has gone into administration.

        BRONZE Member

          My personal opinion is that B&O make some very poor Audio players per se. There is nothing like a proper separate streamer in their line-up. Its either the Wifi Boxes, soundbar or via the TV panel App. The BL28 may be the exception?

          So that aside, MQA. To me this is nothing but a subtle form of DRM and there’s plenty out there to suggest the wrapper (MQA) actually adds noise.

          My Streamer of choice – the Auralic Aries/VegaG2 has no MQA. Auralic refuse to implement it and have algorithms to bypass-it or partially unwrap the music file without MQA.

          Linn refuse to implement it for the same reasons. I also believe Naim refuse to implement it as well.

          Last I heard a few weeks ago was that MQA had gone into receivership? There is a question as to what Tidal will do now – double down and try and keep MQA (if a Buyer is found) or ditch it.

          As an opinionated opinion, however, I do think Qobuz is a superior to Tidal.

          BRONZE Member

            Besides the MQA discussion and weather it is the best format, a better one than standard MP3 or if it even is lossless, at least for me it looks like there is no real hi-res wireless audio with B&o, right?


            shouldn‘t a manufacturer of speakers over 10k € per piece support the best audio formats?

            I totally agree on the player side. The core is not really great and has huge limitations.

            GOLD Member
              • Flensborg/Danmark

              The fact that MQA is literaly dead and the dozens of studies and articles that show that MQA/Tidal Master Audio is more a fraud than a way to get better sound quality should lead you to change the title of this thread.

              If you want to discuss the audio quality of the B&O devices, it is fine – but that is not what the title indicates.

              – update 18 may 2023
              Thanks for changing the title.

              Furthermore, when you talk about ‘the best audio formats’, you will first have to define what you understand when you write ‘best……’.

              Also, it would be nice to know what you mean by ‘The core is not really great and has huge limitations’.
              This kind of statement is not a decent starting point for a proper discussion.
              Why is it not great and what are these limitations?



              • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Millemissen.
              BRONZE Member

                Furthermore, when you talk about ‘the best audio formats’, you will first have to define what you understand when you write ‘best……’.

                Also, it would be nice to know what you mean by ‘The core is not really great and has huge limitations’.

                Let me try and put across my key perspective on streaming and streaming players.

                1. Listen to a few high end streamers like the Bluesoubds, the Auralics Altairs (£700-1800) and in sound B&O price territory, you will hear clear clear differentiation between those units, BS5, Core, essence on the BL90s, probably on the 50s as well. Go into the Uber high end (£5000++)  and it improves again but distinguishing the value proposition becomes more challenging.

                FLAC via DNLA into Beovisions is even more muddied – but that may be a function of Powerlink. The world has moved on in many aspects.

                2. In terms of sound quality (again through the perception obtained from the BL90 as a transparent benchmark) is that CD sounds very good. Where I believe and understand it is/can be improved dramatically is not having a higher bit rate/sample rate recording but having a device that can upsample a CD to say a resolution like DSD512. Now you may all cry bits are bits and you can’t make more? But – again as I understand it, upsampling “stretches” the signal spectrum and permits more effective filters at ultra high frequencies to take opportunity to subtract noise artefacts from the music signal. The DAC then operates at its computational sweet spot (my Auralic Vega G2 is best at DSD512) to “compress” and convert to analogue.

                So to me and my layman’s understanding combined with my listening preference, file quality is not Uber critical, but upsampling and optimal DAC processing doth maketh a good sound and desirable output.

                • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Mr10Percent.
                GOLD Member

                  Tidal has indicated it’s HiFi Plus will either simultaneously offer FLAC in addition to MQA or switch over to FLAC files.

                  B&O Mozart products cannot process anything above Tidal’s HiFi redbook CD lossless quality. But I would imagine a software update would allow for proper handling of hi-rez FLAC from Hifi Plus.

                  I hope this gets delivered.

                  GOLD Member
                    • Flensborg/Danmark

                    What would you possibly gain with a Hifi Plus stream on a Mozart product compared to the lossless 16/44.1 variant — other than paying more….if that could be a gain?


                    SILVER Member

                      Streaming to B&o:

                      I use Audirvana in combination with Qobuz.
                      Qobuz is intergrated in Audirvana (as is Tidal). B&o devices are UPnP music out-puts in Audirvana; devices to stream to. So I use one Beosound to stream Qobuz hires music to and JOIN other B&o to my needs.

                      The format streamed by Audirvana is WAV/PCM.

                      • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Carolpa.
                      BRONZE Member

                        While I would like as many high-res options as possible, lets not over-estimate how much you gain compared to a good ol’ CD: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2023/05/results-internet-blind-test-of-24-bit.html

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