Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), the high-quality audio technology that doesn't gobble up bandwidth, continues to gain steam. MQA launched several major partnerships at CES 2016, including an agreement with smartphone maker HTC, Scandinavian music label 2L and several equipment manufacturers.
In MQA's suite at the Venetian (30-335), the company is demonstrating MQA technology on the HTC One A9 phone, a “proof of concept” exclusive at the show.
In the meantime, MQA has inked deal with music label 2L, becoming the first label to offer fans a chance to buy their music in MQA. Founded by Morten Lindberg – a highly respected figure in the world of digital music recording and a GRAMMY multi-nominee, including three selections in the 2016 list – the Scandinavian music label is revered for its pristine-quality recordings.
Commenting on MQA, Lindberg says, “Meeting Bob Stuart and discovering MQA has been a total revelation. I have spent many hours with Bob listening to original recordings and being constantly amazed by the incredible sense of space and clarity brought by MQA. The end-to-end process allows us to more accurately capture the original sound and to deliver it perfectly all the way through to music lovers.”
The library of MQA music is set to expand further during 2016 with 7digital, HQM (Japan), Onkyo Music and Jay Z-led TIDAL all aiming to bring MQA music to the masses.
At CES 2016 new playback partners including AURALiC (Venetian 29-122), Aurender and Bluesound (Venetian 34-204) will also debut their MQA offerings. The Bluesound range of MQA-compatible products will compromise the Node 2, Powervault 2, Pulse 2, Pulse Flex, Pulse Mini, Vault 2, and all legacy Bluesound components. AURALiC and Aurender will also be demonstrating new MQA-enabled products. MQA will be available on all three of AURALiC’s streamer models: ARIES, ARIES LE and ARIES MINI.
Other companies adding MQA include Berkeley Audio, dCS, Ixion and Kripton. All of these brands are actively planning MQA-enabled product lines, adding to previously announced MQA-ready product announcements from Meridian Audio, Mytek, Onkyo, and Pioneer.
Commenting on these announcements Bob Stuart, MQA creator, says, “It’s truly gratifying to see such widespread levels of industry support for MQA. We are especially delighted to partner with 2L, MQA’s debut content retailer, and we look forward to welcoming aboard many more partners during 2016. We are also honored to work with HTC at CES 2016, enabling the opportunity for the show visitors to hear MQA on today’s portable music device of choice, the smartphone.”