Saturday, August 15, 2015

MQn minimalist PC music player - The king of sound quality

Could MQn be the best sounding pc music player available?

Many believe it is....I am one of them.... and for those who have not yet tried MQn.... if you think your current Jplay, Playpcmwin, cMP cPlay, vortexbox, foober2000, MPD solution is rocking, wait until you try it!

Essentially MQn is a highly optimised (sound quality first/convenience second) wasapi based open source ram loading music player (that's a mouthful), which as the description suggests is capable of loading any number of concurrent .wav files you select for playback into memory before playback begins (subject to ram availability). There's no fancy interface, no fancy controls, no fancy branding..... MQn just plays .wav files and sounds amazing doing so.

Link to mqn blog.... by SBGK

See below... MQn's basic command prompt interface. 

MQN Player - Interface - Grizzlyaudio

MQn has amazing forum support, it's members are passionate and keenly involved in the players evolution. Check out the threads at

MQn apparently plays flac in certain containers/bit rates.... however I could only get .wav playback to work. So if .wav only playback this is an issue, your either going to need to find the solution yourself and try the software, or click away and be happy with your current player. 

Pssst....... I'll let you into a little secret, your missing out big time!!

For some, .wav only playback may be the straw that breaks the camels back. However, I urge you to stop and try the software, before you make this judgement. I was one of those individuals that thought I couldn't live without flac playback. But after I heard MQn v2.59, My priorities changed, I forwent any playback convenience in favour of unadulterated sound quality; Converting & re ripping my entire CD collection :)

Listening to MQn I'm not sure how much better PC music playback can possibly get.... Subjectively, MQn delivers an extremely detailed, rich and dynamic 'analog like' musical rendering performance. It's mid range and upper bass qualities remind me a lot of the organic presentation vinyl provides. MQn really does have wonderful jitter free & blooming mid range,,,, with very strong/detailed upper and mid bass response/rendering. 

So how do you get started? 

Make your way to the MQn google drive repository >>

Download these 4 files, into c:\musicplayer\*.* on your PC. 

1. Paste.exe
2. MQn.bat
3. One of the mqn play files
Read the MQn read me file found in the google drive folder to select which file is suitable for your means of playback. Some files have been optimised for Realtek outputs, USB or a combination of both.
4. MQn control.exe

Once completed, select any/all .wav files you wish to listen to (you are only limited by RAM availability) then simply right click the file(s) and select copy, or conversely hit control & C, both functions load your music files ready for MQn to place them in ram. 

Once the files are copied, make your way back to the c:\musicplayer folder and double click the MQn.bat. A command prompt will appear and music "should" play (as per the above command prompt image). If nothing happens make sure you have no other instances of players such as squeezelite open, as MQn needs direct and exclusive access to your output device. 

Note, not all versions of the mqnplay worked on my pc, so you might have a bit of trial and error finding one that works on your machine. Its important to note, different mqnplay versions 1,2,3, are optimised for various outputs. So pay attention and select the most appropriate file for your desired output method. There are 3 options: 

MQn file optimisations include: 

Text is extracted from the MQn help file. 

MQn.exec1 is for realtek laptop drivers/HDMI and some dacs

MQn.exec2 is for usb eg I use it for my MF Vlink 192 usb/spdif converter
MQn.exec3 is a vanilla version and should work with everything, but sound very slightly 

Personally I prefer an archive version v2.59.... however I don't mind 2.71 either, especially when I'm looking for a higher level of detail retrieval. The trade off is a slight shift towards a more digital rendering quality. 

Either way Mqn is brilliant. Guys, that's all I need to say...

Let me know your thoughts


  1. Can you add this information to your blog? Note that I copied it from a post by sbgk at the Tir Na HiFi forum. It is required to make the current version of MQN to work.

    uploaded haswell v16 versions with mqnplay for win 10 and win 2012 r2/win8.1

    only plays one file, up to 2gb size.

    download mqncontrol.exe, mqnloader.exe, mqnparam.txt and mqnplay.exe v16 for your os (win 8.1/2012 r2 or win 10)

    uses mqnparam.txt file for device name and pin no

    just replace the values with your device, note the backslashes are \\ and \ rather than \\\\ and \\, pin is set to 0, so if yours is different it won't work at the moment.

    first line device, second line pin, it expects to find 2 lines so don't miss the pin.

    use mqndevinfo.exe to find your device string and pin no.


    needs to be started from mqn.bat or equivalent, ie copy the file to clipboard and run mqn.bat

    can be used with the previous hard coded mqnplay version, if someone want's to do a sq comparison between hardcoded and parameter device method.

  2. Hi,
    i couldnt download paste.exe. It google drive said it has virus. any help?
    regards, Bostjan

  3. @Bostjan --> save to your gdrive, than make a copy / or change the name of this file, than it will be possible to download

  4. I have posted a Beginner's Guide to MQn on Tir na Hifi, 6Dec2016.
    It is for 44/16 files and Windows 10 or Server 2012 R2 only.