The first headphones with embedded MQA decoding come from ASUS and its Republic of Gamers line.
The ASUS ROG Delta S gaming headset packs MQA inside making it the first headphones with MQA Renderer tech thanks to the industry-leading ESS 9281 QUAD DAC onboard. The result is that, when hooked up with an MQA decoder (such as Tidal), the Delta S will unfold and unleash the maximum quality of the MQA file.
As you have probably already worked out, the ASUS ROG Delta S is not what you'd class as audiophile headphones, the programmable RGB lighting on the earcups may have given the game away even before you found out what ROG stood for. However, even though the Republic of Gamers Delta S is aimed squarely at the gaming arena, we are told that they are “designed to offer flawless audio quality”.
ASUS is a company driven by innovation, whose ROG line is committed to pushing the limits of the gaming experience. Gaming continues to set the bar for consumer entertainment, demonstrating what is possible and driving up quality expectations across all entertainment categories. The best collaborations come when partners share similar aspirations.
Of course, whether you are gaming or using a source other than Tidal, the promise of “unmatched realism with impeccably clear, detailed audio” is a very tantalising one.
Furthermore, gamers are perhaps more demanding than you might think. For instance, the Delta S boasts Hyper-Grounding tech, which is exclusive to ROG. Here you have a multi-layer PCB set in a unique layout to prevent electromagnetic interference that results in “pure, noise-free audio”, according to the company.
Could Delta S be the first in a wave of MQA-rendering headphones? That is something we will have to wait and see, along with the release date and UK pricing for the ASUS ROG Delta S cans