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MQA High-Resolution Audio Technology Gets More Backers

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) high-resolution audio technology, developed by Meridian co-founder Bob Stuart, is getting more hardware backers.

Mytek Digital and AudioQuest become the latest hardware makers to support MQA following recent announcements by Pioneer, BlueSound, and Onkyo. Meridian also offers an MQA-equipped audio product.

For streaming and downloading music, MQA files deliver higher performance sound quality in smaller files compared to today’s high-resolution music files. Music from analog, PCM and DSD masters can be MQA-encoded and placed inside any lossless-audio “container” such as FLAC, ALAC or WAV and can be played back in lower resolution on non-MQA devices.

Myteks’ product, The Brooklyn at a suggested $2,000, will be on display at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest running Oct. 2-4 in Denver. The product combines USB DAC, preamplifier and headphone amp and also connects to analog turntables.

Details of Audioquest’s product were unavailable.

During the recent IFA show in Berlin, Pioneer unveiled  a portable high-resolution music player (or DAP for digital audio player) that supports MQA. Onkyo also used IFA to show its model , positioned as a step up from Pioneer’s. Both are the industry’s first DAPs announced with MQA support. For its part, Bluesound recently announced plans to add MQA to its high-res wireless multiroom-audio products.

BlueSound has said its products will likely be in the first wave of MQA-equipped products, which will likely be available this year.

Early this year, Pure said it would add MQA technology to its wireless multiroom-audio system in 2015.

Stuart, meantime, is lining up support from music labels, download stores, and streaming services.