On the eve of the High End Show in Munich, Germany, MQA Ltd. has made several major hardware and content announcements. On the content side, MQA has announced an agreement with Merlin Network, a digital rights agency that represents independent record labels.
Based in Amsterdam, Merlin acts collectively on behalf of thousands of independent labels from more than 50 countries, and has negotiated global agreements with services such as Deezer, Google Play, KKBOX, Pandora, Soundcloud, Spotify, VEVO and YouTube. The multi-year agreement with MQA allows for labels represented by Merlin to encode their master recordings using MQA technology.
MQA has also announced new hardware partnerships with CanEVER Audio, dCS, Esoteric, IAG (owner of the Audiolab and Quad brands), Krell, Lumin, Mark Levinson, MOON by Simaudio, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, TEAC and Wadax.
The company has also confirmed that AudioQuest will release a firmware update for its DragonFly Black 1.5 and DragonFly Red micro-DACs on May 17 enabling playback of all MQA files, including TIDAL's collection of MQA-encoded Masters titles. Announced at CES, and originally scheduled for late January, this update is the first implementation of the MQA rendering technology.