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Pioneer Readies 1st High-Res Portable Player With MQA

Pioneer became the first company to introduce a portable high-resolution music player that will support high-resolution MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) files, but an introduction time for the U.S. market hasn’t been determined, the company said.

MQA will be available as a firmware update, the timing of which wasn’t disclosed.

The machined-aluminum XDP-100R portable will be available in early November in Europe at an undisclosed price.

MQA files deliver higher performance sound quality in smaller files compared to today’s high-resolution music files, Meridian has said, citing efficient encoding that contains all of the sound of the original master. The technology will also make high-resolution music streaming practical.

Music from analog, PCM and DSD masters can be MQA-encoded and placed inside any lossless-audio “container” such as FLAC, ALAC or WAV.

Music companies are also planning to support MQA technology, developed by Meridian Audio chairman Bob Stuart.

The Android Lollipop-based player features built-in Wi-Fi, enabling the device to download high-res music files direct from through a preloaded OnkyoMusic app. With direct downloads, consumers avoid the need to download files to a computer and then sideload them to the portable. will likely support MQA downloads because its runs on a platform built by 7digital, which plans to support MQA. The site is available in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. OnkyoMusic said it is discussing the potential to add MQA files to its site.

Key features of the portable include ability to download apps from GooglePlay, video playback on the 4.7-inch 720p touchscreen, and support for such high-res formats as DSD 11.2MHz and 384kHz/24-bit FLAC and WAV files. It also comes with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA to stream files from networked DLNA sources, Bluetooth with AptX, MicroUSB, 32GB embedded storage, and two SDXC memory card slots that expand storage to 288GB. It also comes with built-in speaker for casual rather than critical listening.