MQA Functions Using Nautilus,Direct Stream Mk11 and Airlens

Dear Tech Sages: I have my system’s network with the following components connected:
Roon Nautilis,Direct Stream Mk 2 and Airlens. All three of the components have setting options for MQA,with the choices being Renderer Only,Decoder Only,Renderer and Decoder,or none. Is there a most favorable way to set the correct choice for each of these components to optimize an MQA signal? I had thought that the Nautilus,being purpose built as a Roon Core,would be the logical choice for Decoder.Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks, Matt

I have a Roon NUC, AirLens and MK2 setup. My understanding is that you’ll get one unfold and that is from the AirLens. The MK2 does no unfolding.

So the highest I could get from MQA was 96kHz no matter what I tried with Roon.

I have since switched to QoBuz which does not do MQA but gives you “native” right up into the 300s. All MQA processing is turned off in AirLens.


I do not believe you will get the full benefit of MQA with any of those pieces. First unfold only.

I have two components that state they do full MQA unfolding. One says it does 4x, the other says it does 8x. Whatever. I can’t hear any difference with any MQA anything. As such, I pay no attention to it. Others think they can hear a difference. I will suffer on as is I guess. I too prefer Qobuz and have Roon set to prefer anything over MQA. It amuses me that they have such a setting. MQA is a separate entity that has nothing to do with Roon.

Thanks,Dave. Out of curiousity,did you try having the Nucleus+ do the unfold,rather than the Airlens? Appreciate your time and thoughts. Matt

I don’t have a Nucleus+. Went the NUC route. I saw no unfolding options in Roon at all.

Roon does the first unfold I believe. Am I wrong in thinking this? I think @minnesotafats told me that long ago.

Check out this thread that I started in Audio Components, should answer the questions:
AirLens & Direct Stream DAC MKII & MQA

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Thank you,sir. Much appreciated. Matt

I think Roon has the capability of doing the first unfold. I forgot how to select it. I have been using Qobuz so much that I am forgetting MQA operations. :slight_smile:


Never found Roon unfold. All mine were done via the AirLens.

I left Tidal for Qobuz due to MQA. Qobuz uses native hi-rez (that’s why Neil Young is with Qobuz) while MQA is noted to be a lossy format (ditto on Neil).

Also, Qobuz was half the price (here in Canada anyways).