What is MQS?

24-bit, 192kHz high-resolution audio is considered studio quality and also referred to as: Mastering Quality Sound (MQS).

Astell&Kern natively supports MQS (24-bit / 44 - 192kHz), which is the closest quality to the original sound intended by a recording artist. Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is an acronym of collective lossless & high-resolution audio source formats that typically come encoded with 24bit, 44 to 192kHz of bit/sampling rates. Since MQS delivers about 6.5 times more detail than a conventional CD (16bit/44.1kHz), listeners can enjoy a more realistic music experience.

What does 24-bit and 192kHz mean?

Hertz(Hz) refers to the number of times the sound wave gets measured per second. Files with 192kHz are measured 192,000 times per second. In the digital audio source, 192,000 points per second entails the number of points connected as one line associated to the signal. This is referred to as the sampling rate.

24-bit is each of the 192,000 signals that contain the binary code and is recorded in exponential terms. 2 to the power of 24 is expressed as the numeral 2 multiplied by a total of 24 times, which is referred to as the bit rate.

Sampling rate is the association between resolution and how much information is contained within the music. Bit rate pertains to the dynamic range of a song and clearly expresses the change in pitch and strength of a note.

The higher the sampling and bit rates, the closer you will hear the original sound as it was intended.

When comparing the frequency analysis of MP3 files and CDs (10kHz bandwidth), the differences in noise frequency are evident. When CDs and 24-bit files are compared under the same conditions, the difference in noise is close to zero.


  • Astell&Kern Support

    John Whitney: MQA support for offline and online Tidal mode are currently unsupported. Support for MQA, if announced, will be through a firmware update via Wi-Fi.

  • John Whitney

    Could you comment on the MQA decoding format that TIDAL now supports and how that ‘format’ works with the TIDAL streaming service on the AK240? Thanks

  • Astell&Kern Online Store

    Anthony: DSD cannot really be compared to PCM audio, as PCM audio’s bit resolution are usually measured in steps of 8. DSD stays at a constant 1 bit the sampling rate is measured at a much more finer level (mHz for DSD vs kHz for PCM audio). DSD uses pulse density modulation versus pulse code modulation for standard PCM audio.

    According to the Wikipedia page: “Noise shaping occurs by use of the 64-times oversampled signal to reduce noise/distortion caused by the inaccuracy of quantization of the audio signal to a single bit.” You can read more about DSD at the Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Stream_Digital

  • Anthony

    Can DSD be more explicitly compared to other formats. I understand the massive increase in sampling rate, but 1-bit vs 24-bit is the wrong direction, correct. 2.8MHz@1-bit has fewer samples than 192kHz@24-bit, correct?

  • Astell&Kern Online Store

    Bill: There isn’t a particular or specific brand of USB wall chargers we recommend, but one rated with at least 5V/2.1A of output is recommended. Please do not use the “quick charging” kinds of USB wall chargers that come supplied with some smartphones, as those can cause a spike in voltage that can cause damage to the AK Jr.

  • Bill Laughlin

    I own a “Jr.” player. Regarding charging the battery, Page 5 of the owner’s manual mentions the option of using a “separate 5V 2A output adapter to charge it.” Is there a particular model or brand that you recommend? Is this a standard USB interface, or must I be careful not to use certain chargers [like you mention with the USB cable, using ONLY the one supplied] so that I don’t cause a malfunction ?

  • Astell&Kern Online Store

    Zack: MQS is not a format itself, but stands for “Mastering Quality Sound” that refers to any high-resolution digital audio (24bit+ or DSD format files).

  • zack dunphey

    Is astell and kern planning on bringing mqs format to the us soon

  • VIc Johnson

    I’ve just recently had to renew my laptop ! What do I need to do to establish connection to my A&K 240 ? I had help with my last laptop ! Thanks

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