EXOGAL Audio, which makes the acclaimed Comet DAC, has announced that it has ceased development of MQA for inclusion in its products.
In a press statement, EXOGAL founder and CEO Jeff Haagenstad said: “We have been evaluating MQA technology and watching the wider MQA ecosystem since early 2016.
“After much research on the fundamental technology and more importantly on the market demand for MQA, we have reached the decision to cease the pursuit of adding MQA to our products for several reasons.”
Among the reasons, he added, was EXOGAL products “themselves exceeding the performance of our products with the inclusion of MQA”.
Plus, “regardless of the breathless hype by the audio press, actual consumer demand is just not there” and “regardless of the announced support from record labels, a suitable base of playable content is not widely available.”
MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated, an audio codec that uses lossy compression and is meant for use in the field of high-fidelity digital audio streaming and file downloads via the Internet. It was launched in 2014 by UK’s Meridian Audio.
The statement further reads:
As for the technical details of our evaluation of the technology vis á vis our own technology, we prefer not to violate our NDA’s with MQA and Meridian.
Much like Wadia’s technology before us, EXOGAL technology is already oriented in the time domain and does not suffer from the time-smearing effect which MQA is supposed to eliminate.
Suffice it to say, we were never able to achieve the advertised level of performance using the MQA technology and thus it does not meet our standards for inclusion in our products. Many experts outside of our company have articulately made the case against MQA and we see no reason to elaborate or comment on those findings.
We will continue to watch the market evolve but for now, we are out of the MQA game.
EXOGAL was founded in 2013 by audio industry veterans Jim Kinne, Larry Jacoby, Jan Larsen and Haagenstad, all of who innovated for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Wadia Digital.