This is something I have been looking forward to for a very very long time.
MQA is the brainchild of Meridian - one of the foremost experts in digital audio. Their apodizing filters used in their CD players and DACs have always been something of a special sauce.
With MQA, they have taken that technology further - with the ability to compress a high resolution audio stream and encode the most optimal filter for the reconstruction of the high resolution stream means you can now create high resolution files that take up the same space as a CD quality file.
The biggest beneficiary of this technology is obviously high resolution audio streaming - particularly here in Australia where NBN support is still sketchy for most of us not fortunate enough to be in the NBN ready zones.
TIDAL has already pledged support for MQA so it is perhaps timely that BlueSound is getting BluOS MQA-ready.
June 1st can't come fast enough.
Bring the Studio Home with MQA
We are very excited to tell you that MQA music will be available on Bluesound June 1st with the release of BluOS firmware version 2.2.
The teams at Bluesound and MQA have been working very hard behind the scenes to bring MQA to Bluesound, and look forward to being able to wirelessly connect listeners with the artist’s original studio recording.
“MQA is a natural match for Bluesound’s hi-res music and wireless streaming platform, and we’re very excited to be the first wireless multi-room system to play back music exactly how it was recorded in the studio,” said Greg Stidsen, Bluesound Director of Technology and Product Planning. “Imagine being able to instantly listen to the original studio performance from your favorite artists with the touch of your smartphone, tablet or laptop, without sacrificing sound quality for convenience.”
What is MQA?
Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that delivers master quality audio in a fully-authenticated file that’s small enough to stream to any Bluesound Player in your home. You can be sure you’re hearing exactly what the artist approved in the studio. All Bluesound Players include a powerful decoder and audio renderer for the Master Quality Authenticated system. This ensures that MQA-encoded audio files and streams sound exactly like the original source file.
Gary Tye has literally just walked in the door after returning from Munich, and hearing MQA music played on a Bluesound system. Gary's take is that an MQA encoded & decoded recording sounds like the best of analogue, with all the goodness, and none of the nasties. The fact it uses around the same bandwidth as a CD-quality stream, and can be streamed via a music service, will be a big attraction to the format.
How do I play MQA on Bluesound?
MQA can wirelessly be played on any Bluesound Player, whether that’s a wireless speaker tucked onto a bookshelf or listening out loud on your full HiFi system. With recent announcements from services like HighResAudio, 7Digital, and TIDAL to offer MQA-encoded high-quality streams, Bluesound listeners will be ready when MQA libraries become available for streaming. When listening to MQA on Bluesound, the MQA logo is shown in the app to indicate that your Player is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file. This is how you know that the sound you’re hearing is identical to the original studio recording.
Together, Bluesound and MQA hope to change the way you listen to music wirelessly in the home, letting you hear exactly what the artist approved in the studio. If you’d like to learn more about MQA master-quality recordings and how it works, check out MQA’s website and this excellent Absolute Sound primer.
This is truly the next step in bringing the experience of the studio into your home, making Bluesound and MQA the perfect fit for those who love music the most.