Mytek’s New MQA-Friendly Clef Portable AMP/DAC – CES 2017

They say the world is getting smaller and more connected with technology. At this year’s CES Mytek is definitely following suit with their new Clef ultra portable DAC and headphone amplifier. Measuring only a mere 4″ by 2.5″ by .5″ the mini-USB powered device holds a 9018 Sabre chipset capable of 24 bit/192k, DSD128 and MQA compatibility. The latter of which is only the second device introduced to date to do so on a portable level.

While the Clef isn’t Mytek’s first MQA device, their DAC offerings have traditionally landed in the full-size, desktop or rack-worthy category. This time around, in addition to all the the wired tech the portable Clef incorporates Bluetooth (including aptX) for tablets and phones and is expected to deliver up to 8 hours of playback time before needing a recharge. Also included on the device is a microphone for receiving phone calls with headphones that don’t include the native ability. While MQA may still offer up some polarizing commentary within the high end community, its inclusion certainly hasn’t ever hurt and the add here is quite a surprise on the micro level. The new AMP/DAC is currently slated for a 2Q17 release with an estimated MSRP of $299. Definitely one to keep an eye on as things develop.


2 thoughts on “Mytek’s New MQA-Friendly Clef Portable AMP/DAC – CES 2017

  • MQA? Is that the Meridian method of wireless? My impression about wireless? That it is both a terrific convenience and rapidly evolving/changing. Changing so fast that next year might have two or three new competing systems we aren’t even aware of. Such is the room for improvement in both wireless quality and connectivity.

    • MQA is a way to compress and uncompress hi-res audio to make it streamable, a way to fix time-domain smearing of the digital signal, and a way to authenticate the provenance of the recording. The record companies are opening their vaults to MQA and allowing their masters to undergo this process–that’s a BIG deal. If it works as promised and as reported by top audio journalists, it could become a major evolutionary step. Google around for more information.

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