Spotify HiFi might be too late, there's a new HD streaming service coming for audiophiles

The firm behind MQA is moving into Hi-Res streaming

Headphones on vinyl records
(Image credit: Richard Newstead / Getty Images)
Quick Summary

The company behind the MQA audio technology is partnering with HDTracks for a new music streaming service.

Aimed at audiophiles, the service will use proprietary tech to transmit lossless audio in the best quality possible.

Spotify has planned to launch its own higher-resolution music streaming tier for more than three years, and recent reports have suggested that it is close to finally doing so. However, it might have already missed the boat.

Not only are there plenty of alternatives that offer high bitrate HD streaming already, including Tidal and Qoboz, the likes of Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited also provide higher quality audio tracks – often at no extra cost.

And now there's a new rival service coming that is sure to pique the interest of audiophiles. Especially those listening on the best wireless headphones and devices.

The company behind the MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio technology is partnering with HDTracks for a new lossless streaming service designed for music lovers who want the very best performance.

Lenbrook Media Group acquired MQA from administrators last year and a full streaming platform is part of its plans for a series of technologies and ventures it has planned around a newly-formed MQA Labs.

According to What Hi-Fi, the new service (which is yet to be named) will use Lenbrook's Airia tech. This is a codec designed to ensure music can be wirelessly transmitted at the best resolution possible regardless of bandwidth.

The end result will be a service designed specifically for audiophiles who usually prefer to listen via wired or local sources. It'll provide tracks in PCM, FLAC and MQA formats.

Lenbrook also hopes to encourage "many of the world's leading high-end audio" manufacturers to include the service as part of their ecosystems.

"We have wanted to launch a streaming service for some time," said HDTracks co-founder, David Chesky (via What Hi-Fi).

"In Lenbrook we have a partner with global reach to help us launch a service ensuring quality and consumer choice. Fans will get to choose their format – either PCM/FLAC or MQA – in a service that will ensure high-resolution audio streaming whether you are in your home or on-the-go."

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.