at the expense of a lossy format? The only one that wins from that is the streaming service as they save some money on bandwidth.Yeah, but at the expense of MQA. The node 2i really does not need an external DAC. For people who want to pay more there are upscale streamers.
I'd suggest that if someone is looking at a node 2i, they already past a budget point out of the low cost work - the nod 2i would already fit into upscale streaming. (just with a bad dac)
Also, the user has the Qutest already and the dac in the node 2i is only a small step up from a el cheap-o dac in a laptop or a phone. The Qutest is really good.
yes, some users don't really care about the quality of the music, they just want the music. phone dac? onboard PC dac? whatever? But, if they have a $1000+ dac they should 100% use it. Again there is no magic with MQA, it is just a compression and it is lossy. Is a smaller file helping the listener? Is there some extra spice in MQA? No there isn't. Music isn't recorded in it, Music isn't mastered in it. Almost all music is mastered in PCM (the other would be the sub 1% in DSD.) MQA is just compression and detail is lost (ie, lossy). Can people tell the diff? Do people care? maybe/maybe not. Is it worse than lossless. yes (maybe not to the point people would care but 100% yes stuff is lost.)
Given the same recording/mastering, no one should ever pick MQA over FLAC (or another lossless format) - other than if you are the company streaming (to save bandwidth)
Is MQA add some flavor. *shrug* but that isn't something the compression should be added. Want a different sound, add tubes, play around with DSP presets etc..
That is the reason i use Qobuz, everything is lossless.