The company MQA Ltd (developer of the eponymous compression format MQA – Master Quality Authenticated) announced the creation of the new Hi-Res audio codec MQair, designed for transmitting high-quality audio files wirelessly. The developer notes that it has already been approved by the Japan Audio Society association, which certifies high-quality sound.
The technical name of the new codec is SCL6, but for “public use” the company uses the name MQair. The codec supports two audio formats, PCM and MQA, with sampling rates up to 384 kHz, via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Ultra-Wideband (UWB). It offers low latency and high energy efficiency, as well as a very wide range of bitrate “scaling”: the developer assures that the codec can very smoothly, in “small steps”, go from “hi-res” bitrates of 20 Mbit/s to “low-quality” streams below 200 Kbit/s. According to an MQA representative, this means that changes in data rates during streaming will not have a noticeable effect on sound quality.
It is not yet known which brands will use MQair, but Tidal is expected to be one of the first, which already uses the MQA format for its high-quality catalog.