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Mytek Announces Clef Mobile MQA DAC/Amp @ CES 2017

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  1. AxelCloris Administrator
    Earlier today Mytek, makers of the Brooklyn and Manhattan II DACs, announced their first portable DAC/amp combo, the Mytek Clef. The Clef sports a Sabre 9018 DAC chipset and is capable of 24-bit/192kHz PCM and DSD128 playback. It accepts signal via a driverless USB Class 2 MicroUSB input as well as AptX Bluetooth for everyone and AAC for iOS users. Mytek state that the integrated amp can easily drive headphones at up to twice the volume of most smartphones.
    clef_right_front_view_red_led_jan2017-1701024886.jpg    clef_right_back_view_jan2017-1701024867.jpg
    The Clef is reasonably small measuring in at 4" long, 2.5" wide and 0.5" tall. There's an internal battery that provides approximately 8 hours of battery life when disconnected from a power source. Perhaps the most notable feature of the Clef is that it's only the second portable device after the Meridian Explorer 2 that supports high resolution MQA playback when connected to a computer with a USB cable. Mytek state that the Clef "...
    allows for taking the phone calls while listening to music through non-microphone 
    headphones and has a host of additional hi-res DSP audio features."
    The Mytek Clef is expected to retail for $299 when it ships in Q2 later this year.
  2. Deftone
    well the design is very unique thats for sure.
    maxh22 likes this.
  3. bmoura
    A little pricey when yon look at the iFi Audio portable products.  Their new iDSD Nano LE gives you DSD 128 and PCM playback for only $129 - less than half the price of the Clef.
    Or you could get their iDSD Nano which adds DSD 256 and costs $199 - a substantial savings vs. the Clef.
  4. sil3ntscr3am
    The Clef is a DAC/Amp combo and getting both iFi portables (LE is a DAC from what I can read, iCan is an amp) will cost $328, double the equipment/size to carry. I think the X-Duoo XD-05 is an interesting alternative.
    Different folks, different strokes.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  5. WCDchee
    No the IFi is a dac amp as well.

    However the IFi, while it is a great value proposition, isn't the best portable dac amp on the market, and the mytek probably performs at a higher level. That said we don't truly need know till we try it.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  6. bmoura

    No, the iDSD Nano and the iDSD Nano LE are both DAC/Amp combos.  So you would get one or the other - not both.
  7. WCDchee

    Ifi's nano line is quite an entry level line up. There are better DAC amps out there like the the Oppo, the mojo, etc. The mytek is probably a higher quality dac amp too.
  8. lostman
    Interesting! Can use it with my laptop and also unplug and use as a bluetooth receiver? Will be keeping an eye on it for sure.
  9. LajostheHun
    Why because it costs more or you actually know something?
    It;s certainly is much uglier than the Ifi products.
  10. MarkF786
    None of those other devices offer AptX and AAC over Bluetooth.

    It's actually a pretty unique device and has my interest piqued.
    gtb75 and cardeli22 like this.
  11. lostman
    I hope it's not made of plastic. Plastic doesn't age nicely (got Nexus 5X and plastic scratches easily and looks bad). Some metal would be nicer. Metal with scratches has more character. That said, it's harder to get good wireless range with metal chassis,
  12. gtb75
    And none of the iFi models listed offer MQA either. I am a Mytek Brooklyn owner and was listening to Tidal Masters last night - MQA is very impressive!
    cardeli22 likes this.
  13. KaspianXL
    This is a very fascinating device in my view, but I noticed a few surprising things about the Clef on the Mytek website.
    The output impedance is listed as 10 ohms, so it may not be ideal for IEMs with multiple balanced armature drivers. These days, pretty much everybody else seems to be shooting for 2 ohms or lower, so this spec is a bit disappointing to me.
    Also, in addition to being fully MQA compatible when connected via USB, the Clef it is capable of performing "single unfold MQA" via Bluetooth. I have not seen a detailed explanation of how that would work, but I assume it's somewhat similar to the partial decoding that is currently being done within the Tidal desktop app. 
  14. jwbrent

  15. KaspianXL

    The output impedance spec has been changed on the Mytek site from 10 ohms to 1.0 ohms. I believe the original spec was just a typo.
    cardeli22 likes this.
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