Pioneer became the first company to introduce a portable high-resolution music player that will support high-res MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) files, the company announced at the recent IFA 2015 show in Berlin.
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 at an undisclosed price. U.S. availability wasn’t announced.
MQA files delivers higher performance sound quality in smaller files compared with today’s high-resolution music files, Meridian has said, citing efficient encoding that contains all 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 plan 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 OnkyoMusic.com through a preloaded OnkyoMusic app. With direct downloading, consumers avoid the need to download files to a computer and then side-load them to the portable. OnkyoMusic.com 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.
Key features of the portable include ability to download apps from Google Play, 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 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA to stream files from network 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.