What do the standard, ‘b’ and ‘c’ variants of the firmware do?

The standard, ‘b’ and ‘c’ variants of our more recent firmware versions for many devices are ultimately the same firmware, but with some slight variations that may make them more or less suitable for you in various scenarios. Please see below for a more detailed description of each firmware version and when it may or may not be suitable.

  • The standard firmware version contains all the expected features of each firmware update, and is generally considered to be the ‘default’ firmware version. Devices will ship with the standard version of whichever firmware is applicable to them at the time of manufacture, and for users who are unsure of which firmware version to choose, we generally recommend this version
  • The ‘b’ firmware version functions almost identically to the standard firmware version, but with all MQA capabilities disabled. This firmware option is recommended for users who want to play music from Tidal without MQA playback – with MQA rendering/decoding disabled, Tidal will instead play a CD quality FLAC file, or a Hi-Res FLAC file if one is available. This firmware variant is also recommended as an alternative option in the unlikely event that users encounter issues with other firmware versions.
  • The ‘c’ firmware version is again almost identical to the standard firmware version, but also includes the GTO (Gibbs Transient Optimised) digital filter. Digital filters offer subtle differences in audio quality that some users may find preferable – for more information on the GTO filter, please see our Tech Note: Gibbs Transient Optimised Digital Filter. Please note that due to the upsampling that takes place when the GTO filter is active, some LEDs on your DAC may not display as normal – corrected versions for the GTO filter are available in our LED Calculator.

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