Mytek Brooklyn Bridge Network-Attached DAC Page 2

After a breather, I set the illumination to violet to match the decor of my listening room and connected the Brooklyn Bridge to a Windows 10 PC running the latest foobar audio player, an iPad running Spotify and a Michell Gyro SE turntable with SME 309 arm running at 33.3rpm. On the output side, the Brooklyn Bridge fed a Naim NAP 250 DR power amplifier [HFN Dec '15] into PMC Twenty5.24 loudspeakers [HFN May '17]. As for headphones, these included Bang & Olufsen H6, HiFiMan Sundara [HFN Jun '19] and a pair of the ultra-revealing Focal Spirit Pros [HFN Dec '15]. I also loaded the iPad I was using with the mConnect control app, which works a treat with the Bridge.

sqnote True Heft
Superb clarity, fine detail retrieval, an-inky-black background from which the music emerged... One thing's for sure, from the get-go the Brooklyn Bridge sounds instinctively 'right'. And this is true across all its various inputs, whether streamed from Spotify over the wireless connection, TIDAL or hi-res files via (superior) wired LAN and music files pushed over from my PC via USB. All were handled in a manner as impressive as the technology Mytek has managed to pack into this unit's compact enclosure.

Yes, the S/PDIF, USB and LAN inputs – in descending order – sound a little more authoritative than music delivered via the Wi-Fi connection, the latter losing a little top-end sparkle. But these differences were subtle, and overall the Brooklyn Bridge pulled off that clever trick of sounding essentially neutral yet always emotionally engaging. There's a subtlety about the Brooklyn Bridge's delivery (I'd hesitate to call it 'magic') that never failed to draw me in to whatever music was being played.

The track 'K' via TIDAL, from the self-titled album by American ambient pop band Cigarettes After Sex, was swiftly accessed and played using the companion mConnect app. The Brooklyn Bridge delivered the deliciously husky and androgynous vocal performance of band founder Greg Gonzales in a truly captivating manner, the track underpinned by a solid, weighty bass line boasting a well-defined 'roundness' to the notes that revealed the instrument's true heft. Indeed, the Brooklyn Bridge never puts in less than a superb performance low down, bass lines sounding taut and superbly detailed. Perhaps when listening to upright acoustic basses there is the occasional sense that a little more resonance wouldn't go amiss, yet these instruments always sound lifelike, and never is there any suggestion of artificiality in the way they are presented.

In terms of its ability to craft a believable musical soundstage, the Brooklyn Bridge filled the listening room with a sound that was not just precise but virtually holographic. And did so effortlessly. With the track 'Rise And Fall' from Runrig's The Story album [Ridge Records RR079; 44.1kHz/24-bit FLAC] pushed via PC over USB, the different instruments were not only easy to locate in the soundstage but it almost seemed possible to reach out and touch singer Bruce Guthro as he delivered his heartfelt lament.

For The Record
Now, while I am well aware that precious few enthusiasts will be looking at the Brooklyn Bridge as a phono stage, the feature is there so I felt duty-bound to give it a spin. With my Michell Gyro SE turntable cued up with both Ortofon Rondo Red MC and 2M Black MM cartridges ready to mount in turn, I took a pristine copy of Chris Rea's One Fine Day LP [Magnet 0 190295 498856] from its sleeve. Despite expecting the unit to struggle with a low-output MC, the sound emanating from the speakers was sumptuous. Even better, switching to MM was a revelation, the album being delivered with all of its top-end sweetness intact. What's more, bass lines were again punchy and taut.

Returning to my digital music files, and with the emphasis on more hi-res content delivered via USB and LAN, I pulled up tracks from Enya's album Dark Sky Island (Deluxe) [Warner Music Group 2553131; 96kHz/24-bit, FLAC]. The Brooklyn Bridge served up the lush sounds in a manner that was rich and unrestrained yet neither gloopy nor gushing. It was the perfect chill-out experience. Next up was the Danish String Quartet's self-produced Last Leaf [ECM Records 581 5746; 96kHz/24-bit, FLAC]. Here the sounds of the harmonium, piano, glockenspiel and cello on these traditional pieces came across with real fire and finesse.

The headphone section, having already served time in the field on the Brooklyn DAC+, proved no less impressive and drove both the Focal Spirit Pro and HiFiMan Sundaras without obvious issue. Differences between the in-phase and anti-phase sockets were subtle and more down to preference than outright superiority, but the overall sound was rich, detailed and difficult to fault when it came to timbral accuracy or maximum output levels. Frankly, as something of an analogue addict I must confess that I came to the Brooklyn Bridge expecting cold metal. Instead, I discovered gold.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
If the Brooklyn Bridge is anything to go by, then the old adage about good things coming in small packages is spot on. This network-attached DAC turns in an exceptional performance using any input or source signal you care to throw at it – even good old analogue LP! Its many configuration options might seem daunting at first, but your perseverance is rewarded with first-class sound.

Mytek US
Brooklyn, New York, USA
European distributor HEM Sp. z o.o., Poland
+48 22823 7238