MQA ‘MQair SCL6’ wireless codec supports MQA and PCM audio up to 384kHz

The Japan Audio Society (JAS) has certified MQA’s latest scalable codec, SCL6, for use with its Hi-Res Audio Wireless logo. It will be marketed as MQair.

The new codec aims to improve wireless audio quality by focussing on the time domain, which it says is a critical factor when it comes to our perception of high-resolution sound.

“High resolution isn’t necessarily defined by the big things, it is shaped by small elements in the sound that convey details, separation, colour, and space,” explains Bob Stuart, MQA Founder & CTO. “Our reference for transparency is air itself. With MQair we can extend the MQA ecosystem to wireless devices.”

The technology is another solution to a better audio experience from consumers, says MQA.

Working over Bluetooth, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and Wi-Fi, MQair supports both MQA and PCM audio up to 384kHz. The encoded data rate can be scaled from 20Mbps to below 200kbps. Benefits include low latency, and extended battery life.

Wireless devices now account for a huge segment of music listened over headphones, earbuds, and wireless speakers. According to market analyst Futuresource, Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones are forecast to have a combined annual retail value of $69bn in 2022, with wireless headphones securing a market penetration rate of 85 per cent.