Essential Phone Gets MQA Streaming

MQA has announced that Essential Products, the Palo Alto, CA-based company started by Android co-founder Andy Rubin in 2015, has equipped its Essential Phone with MQA decoding and streaming capability.

Owners of the Essential smartphone will be able to stream Master Quality Authenticated (MQA)-encoded music via Tidal by downloading the Android app from Google Play.

In a press release announcing its partnership with Essential, MQA cited the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)’s recent “Connecting with Music” report, which found that 90 percent of consumers who subscribe to an audio streaming service use their smartphone for music listening.

“Using a smartphone to listen to music is increasing rapidly worldwide,” the report said, noting that smartphone usage for music in the U.S. increased from 54 percent to 63 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Essential said the audio upgrade is part of the company’s commitment to deliver new software features and updates to its community.

“Tidal is proud to partner with a company that values superior sound quality,” said Lior Tibon, Tidal’s chief operating officer. “We strive to provide fans with elevated listening experiences, and our partnership with Essential illustrates how we’re committed to this mission.”

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