Canadian audio group Lenbrook has today announced that it has acquired the assets of MQA, the British-based technology company that developed the MQA high-resolution audio encoding technology used by music streaming service TIDAL and embedded in many audio devices. .
Master Quality Authenticated is a technology developed in 2014 by UK audio company Meridian Audio, founded by industry veterans Bob Stuart and the late Alan Boothroyd. MQA is a proprietary audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. The idea behind MQA was to provide high-quality and certified audio encoding that is a true and pure version of the studio master recording.
Unfortunately, MQA went into administration on April 3, 2023. MQA was one of the high-end streaming tiers offered by Tidal. Although TIDAL still offers MQA as a format on its HiFi Plus tier, the streamer has paired high-resolution PCM with MQA, possibly because the future of MQA was in some doubt. The acquisition by Lenbrook should bring clarity to the future of MQA as a high-resolution audio format.
This acquisition boosts Lenbrook’s intellectual property portfolio, which now includes an assortment of significant patents and introduces two leading audio codecs – MQA and SCL6.
Gordon Simmonds is CEO of Lenbrook and has this to say about the acquisition: “Lenbrook’s vision is of a thriving hi-fi industry where technologies that drive both consumer choice and the pursuit of the highest sound quality are worthy of investment and nurturing. We see this acquisition as an opportunity to ensure that the technologies developed by the scientists and engineers at MQA continue to serve the interests of the industry rather than being limited to any one brand or company.
Grammy-winning producer and recording engineer George Massenberg reacted to the news by saying, “I am very relieved that MQA and SCL6 will continue under Lenbrook. MQA’s technology, with its faithful rendition of detail, complexity and sound stage , gave us reason to get back into the recording studio and reverse a 20-year decline in the quality of audio delivery methods.
MQA was founded with the insight and support of record industry executives, recording artists and audio engineering experts. The project sought to provide creators with a means to efficiently preserve the details and nuances of recordings in high-resolution recorded formats, a push against the trend of heavily compressed music.
“I am delighted that MQA will be in good hands with Lenbrook,” said Morten Lindberg, Grammy-nominated mastering engineer at 2L. “For 2L, using MQA has allowed us to enhance the experience of our recordings, beyond raw capture, with increased access to sound detail, transparency and reduced listening fatigue.”
Lenbrook is well-capitalized and takes a long-term view of investment and market development. The company has NAD, Bluesound and PSB loudspeakers. The acquisition of MQA will bring certainty to the technical development and financial feasibility of the technology. As part of the deal, Lenbrook has retained a core group of engineers and developers as well as some sales and marketing personnel, including Andy Dowell, previously MQA’s head of licensing, who will lead business development activities. Will continue to lead.
“MQA is the only technology that considers the entire audio signal chain from studio to listening room to ensure consistent quality of reproduction. The patents and research underlying MQA represent a significant contribution to digital audio quality due to its focus on time domain issues that were not well understood until recently, said Greg Stidson, CTO of Lenbrook. “We are committed to continuing to grow our market and encourage the possibilities these technologies can achieve.”
Andy Dowell said: “As one of MQA’s most significant licensees and owner of the award-winning BlueOS high-resolution content platform, Lenbrook is well-positioned to build on what was started. Its BlueOS platform work has proven that the Lenbrook team understands that being a licensor requires a certain amount of neutrality, but also takes a customer perspective when it comes to wants and needs from a product development perspective. Could.
Comment: MQA technology has brought high-resolution audio streaming in a multilayer format that is highly efficient in appearing at different resolutions using software and hardware. There was a possibility that MQA could have sunk without a trace, but it’s a great and efficient way to stream and expose high-resolution music and Tidal has done a lot to ensure that, as have Pioneer and Onkyo. Just like hardware manufacturers have done. Warner Bros. also has a long-term licensing deal to use MQA. Now that the technology is safely in Lenbrook’s hands, the future of MQA looks much more certain.
more info: lenbrook.com