Strong Momentum and Awards for MQA at RMAF 2016

October 20 2016, 03:10
RMAF 2016 in Denver, held on 7-9 October, marked the largest-ever public showcase of MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)-ready products, supported by hundreds of MQA albums available to download. The MQA team was recently recognized at the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA), held on 6 October in London and, at RMAF 2016, MQA’s founder, Bob Stuart, was awarded the Rocky Mountain International Hi-Fi Press Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award, while the company won the Innovation category for the second year running.

The team at MQA, the revolutionary technology which delivers master quality audio in a file small enough to stream, picked up three awards at two industry events in October 2016.

First were the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA), held on 6 October in London. Organized by b2b publisher MA Business, the awards acknowledge the achievements of UK engineering companies that compete on a global level. The Awards are held in association with headline sponsors Cambridge Consultants and sponsors Innovate UK, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, maxon motor UK, Premier EDS Solutions and RS Components.
Alan Wood (MQA) with Eric Wilkinson (COO, Cambridge Consultants & Chairman of judging panel) and Johnny Ball, TV presenter & host at the BEEA Awards 2016

The Judges’ Special Award is given at the discretion of the judges to a recipient that, in their opinion, deserves particular recognition. The panel of BEEA judges unanimously agreed that “the development of the MQA audio codec – and its positive reception by leading consumer electronics brands – shows the UK is more than capable of holding its own in this highly competitive market.”

Rocky Mountain International Hi-Fi Press Awards
Meanwhile, at the Rocky Mountain International Hi-Fi Press Awards (RIHPA), MQA’s founder, Bob Stuart, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, while the company scored a further success by winning in the Innovation category for the second year running.

The RIHPAs celebrate success in the high-end audio industry, with winners selected via anonymous ballot by specialists from some of the world’s leading high-end audio publications. The ceremony was held on 7 October during Denver’s annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), which brings together more than 400 companies in the consumer audio and home entertainment sectors from across the globe.

MQA founder & CTO, Bob Stuart, commented, “It’s a huge honour to be recognized by both the British engineering community and the global audio press. As well as acknowledging the hard work of the team, these awards demonstrate the value of strong partnerships and I’d like to thank all our hardware, music service and label partners for their belief and tremendous support.”
Bob Stuart (founder & CTO) Alex Seeburg, Spencer Chrislu, Lisa Sullivan, and Jeff Dean from MQA, at the Rocky Mountain International Hi-Fi Press Awards 2016

MQA Momentum at RMAF 2016
At the Denver show, in addition to demonstrations from MQA-enabled products already on the market, visitors could also witness further MQA-ready unveilings, including the Bluesound launch of the world’s first MQA-ready soundbar. The Pulse Soundbar joined Bluesound’s family of MQA-ready wireless Pulse speakers and Node players, enabling wireless hi-resolution music streaming to any room in the home.

New MQA partners at RMAF 2016 included MSB with the launch of its first MQA-ready product, the Select DAC. Cary Audio launched its first MQA-ready product, the DMS-500 and Aurender was showcasing its new A10 music server. Bel Canto introduced MQA support in its ACI600 integrated amplifier.

For anyone looking to incorporate MQA into their home audio system, an MQA-ready DAC offers the ideal partnership, and RMAF was host to a number of outstanding examples. MSB took the wraps off its MQA-ready DAC, the Select, showcasing it in a loudspeaker-fronted demo. Mytek Digital offered headphone demos of its Manhattan II and Brooklyn products. The final production version of Brinkmann’s Nyquist made its US debut in Denver, while Meridian Audio was part of a speaker-led demo with its new Ultra DAC.

The Pioneer XDP-100 and Onkyo DP-X1 models are also superb examples of the ‘mobile’ potential of MQA, and both were featured at RMAF 2016. The portable digital audio players are both MQA-ready, meaning there is no need to limit hi-resolution audio to home listening.

As MQA Founder & CTO, Bob Stuart stated, “It’s been an extremely busy 12 months for the MQA team since last year’s show, and with the support of our partners we’ve made huge progress. As a result, we’ve seen a steady stream of MQA-ready products released in to the market, and hundreds of MQA albums are now available from music stores across the US, Japan and Europe.”

RMAF 2016 was MQA’s first public show since the company recruited respected music industry executive Mike Jbara as CEO. Mike and the MQA team, including company founder and CTO Bob Stuart, continues to expand the company’s reach in the music industry, both in hardware and software partnerships. Following on from the signing of the long-term licensing deal with Warner Music Group, the MQA team is currently encoding thousands of hi-res titles in MQA, as well as working with Warner on roll-out plans.

MQA music fans can already choose from more than 250 MQA albums from renowned labels, such as ECM, RME Premium Recordings, Sono Luminus, UNAMAS and 2L. Recordings are available on music download stores across Europe, Japan and the US, including 2L, 7digital, e-onkyo music, Kripton HQM, Onkyo Music and HIGHRESAUDIO.

In further music industry recognition of MQA’s status, this year also saw the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) include MQA as an approved technology for delivering hi-res music on streaming services.
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