MQA is a unique file format because it can be played on any player that can play an mp3 file. It is "backwards compatible" in that way.
However, depending on your software and hardware components, that same MQA file can be "unfolded" to various levels of resolution.
The MQA Core Decoder upgrade on your Aurender will enable the Aurender to "unfold" MQA files at up to 96 kHz sample rate. With the Aurender Core Decoder activated, you can play MQA files up to 96 kHz on ANY DAC that will play at that resolution, regardless of whether the DAC has anything to do with MQA or not.
Aurender offers the MQA Core Decoder upgrade for a one time cost of $49.99 to enable this functionality on your Aurender.
Follow these steps to purchase and install the upgrade on your Aurender:
1. Make sure your Aurender System Software is up-to-date by going to the "Software Update" section of the Settings menu in the Conductor app. The app will prompt you to download and install a Software Update if one is available.
2. In the Settings menu of the Conductor app, go to the "MQA Core-Decoder Upgrade" tab. Tap the "MQA Core Decoder Update" hyperlink as pictured:
3. Follow the prompts to purchase and install the upgrade. The purchase is administered by the Apple App Store.
4. After the purchase and installation of the upgrade is complete, you will now find an "On/Off" switch to enable or disable MQA Core Decoding. Flip the switch to the right/on position to enable MQA Core-Decoding:
Note: to fully "unfold" MQA files (in cases where the MQA file contains super high resolution [176.4 kHz or higher], your DAC needs to be either an "MQA Full Decoder" or "MQA Renderer." In either of those cases, there is potential to play MQA files at even higher resolution than 96 kHz. MQA Full Decoder DACs do all the work themselves and they do NOT need any help from the player (Aurender). If your DAC is an MQA "Full-Decoder," then you do NOT need to purchase Aurender's MQA Core-Decoder Upgrade. MQA Renderers, however, do still require the player to perform the first-level "Core Decoding." Please consult your DAC's documentation to determine whether or not you need to purchase the upgrade.