CES 2019: The Latest News on MQA’s Growth, Including TIDAL Masters on All Android Devices

CES 2019: The Latest News on MQA’s Growth, Including TIDAL Masters on All Android Devices

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(January 7, 2019) MQA is entering 2019 with big news and an ever expanding list of partners. Prior to this year, only LG and Essential smartphone owners were able to enjoy TIDAL Masters tracks on their mobile devices. Now, all Android-based devices (regardless of make) can do the same with the release of a new TIDAL app that supports Masters playback across the Android universe of products. Additionally, the latest version of USB Audio Player PRO offers an in-app purchase that unlocks MQA decoding on Android devices.

MQA is also reporting that Nugs.net (a destination for live music from the likes of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, and other big acts) now supports streaming and downloads in MQA quality on both Android and iOS devices. While Astell&Kern is now supporting MQA playback on its SP1000M, SE100, and SR15 portable players.

In other MQA news, chip maker ESS has launched an all-new USB Audio DAC chip called the ES9281 PRO along with a series of USB Low-Power Audiophile DAC chips. These chips feature integrated MQA rendering that allows manufacturers to easily integrate MQA audio into their gear. Speaking of manufacturers, the following new MQA capable products are launching this year:

  • Technics’ SL-G700 Network/Super Audio CD Player (MQA-CD)
  • NAD Electronics’ M10 Hybrid Streaming Amplifier
  • Onkyo’s TX-8250, TX-8260, and TX-8270 Network Stereo Receivers; the NS-6130 and NS-6170 Network Audio Players; the R-N855 Network Stereo Receiver; and the CR-N775D Network CD receiver
  • Pioneer’s SX-N30AE stereo receiver and the N-30AE network audio player
  • Sony’s Walkman NW-WM1Z portable player

MQA is also venturing into in-car audio, with a world’s first auto demo at CES 2019 with electric car manufacturer Karma Revero.
 

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Matthew J Poes

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Todd any chance you can find out if this android update will apply to amazon devices? I have many and would love this revelation.
 

Todd Anderson

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As far as I know, it’s all android based phones (which would logically apply to android based handheld devices)
 

Matthew J Poes

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As far as I know, it’s all android based phones (which would logically apply to android based handheld devices)
Amazon uses fire OS. It’s a custom version of android and even the apps have to be specially made and submitted to a different store. I don’t understand any of this well enough to know what’s unique, but I would be curious if this automatically applies. I supposed I can go look myself.

I know it’s possoble to run android apps on amazon devices, but I was even hoping the Fire TV’s might get Master quality out of this. That would make me want to use one of the sticks in my theater.
 

Todd Anderson

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Ah... didn't realize that. I've asked.
 

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I know it’s possoble to run android apps on amazon devices, but I was even hoping the Fire TV’s might get Master quality out of this.
Master Quality? You haven't fallen for this MQA sham have you??
 

Matthew J Poes

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Master Quality? You haven't fallen for this MQA sham have you??
Hah, not really, I know all the pitfalls. I won’t pay extra for the feature and I get that it may even be worse. I like having the option where available. Obviously, given what we are learning about MQA, it would be better if Tidal would switch to using simply a standard lossless compression system like they do for HiFi.

Actually what I would like far more than higher but rate/sampling rate is multichannel. Can we convince them to introduce multichannel streaming music, and for the industry to finally embrace mixing in multichannel. Half the spatial components we use to understand the sound space we are in are necessarily absent from 2-channel, relying on our rooms own reverberation and envelopment to trick our brain. Better would be to recreate the actual qualities of the original space or event (if made up in the engineers head).

By the way AJ, will you be at AXPONA this year?
 

AJ Soundfield

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Ok, just checking.;)
The 2 AES papers on MQA, with files supplied by B Stuart himself, haven't gone so well...and that is in the SOTA critical listening facilities at McGill. Android devices...please.:rolleyesno:
Unfortunately probably won't be at Axpona, only our very own FL show in Feb planned for this year (yes, will be using "extra" channels as you mentioned). Never say never of course...
 

Todd Anderson

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Emotiva XPA Gen 2 4xStereo 2XSingle
Other Amp
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Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, OPPO Sonica
Answer:

“Android Auto and Android TV as well as Amazon FireTV and Fire Tablets will be coming soon but isn’t yet implemented.”
 
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