Onkyo and Pioneer firmware update adds MQA, Amazon Music and more
Sister brands Onkyo and Pioneer have announced a raft of new functions on selected components including MQA support, Amazon Music, and eARC.
Owners of Pioneer and Onkyo products will soon be able to enjoy native support for Amazon Music as well as MQA decoding. Additionally, the companies have integrated eARC on selected A/V receivers. The new features all come by way of the latest firmware update available over your Ethernet connection.
Prime Music is an on-demand music streaming service available free of charge for Amazon Prime subscribers. The service features a library of about two million tracks. Amazon Music Unlimited, meanwhile, offers a discounted monthly subscription to Amazon Prime members and has tens of millions of songs.
You will be able to access Amazon Music via selected stereo receivers, network audio players, and mini-system receivers. Also, thanks to the firmware update, certain soundbars, AV systems and lifestyle audio products will get the new feature too.
MQA is a way of providing high-quality audio in a backward compatible format. All MQA encoded music is from the most trusted source; the studio master, providing the most accurate form of the artist’s music. MQA-encoded music is available from Onkyo Music in the UK and Germany.
The firmware update will enable MQA decoding on Pioneer’s N-70AE and N-50AE family of Network Audio Players. Additionally, the NC-50 and NC-50 DAB network audio players with a CD player and stereo amplifier built-in will also get the update.
ARC (Audio Return Channel) technology currently supports the transmission of audio signals including LPCM, Dolby Digital, and DTS formats from ARC-compatible TVs or devices connected to the TV.
Now, with the introduction of eARC, systems can transmit HD audio and multi-channel PCM signals from eARC-compatible TVs. Specifically, eARC can transmit object-based audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X as well as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless audio formats.
The rollout will initially activate eARC on the 9.2-ch Onkyo TX-RZ830 and Integra DRX-5.2 network A/V receivers. Also, thePioneer 7.2-ch SC-LX502 and 9.2-ch VSX-LX503 A/V receivers.