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Metrum Acoustics launch MKII Octave DAC

  • Metrum Acoustic’s flagship Hex DAC’s USB implementation knocked it out of the park – an internally powered M2Tech OEM module. It’s one of the very few DACs that I’ve heard that doesn’t require Concero or Audiophilleo intervention to reach optimal performance – the Hex kept it all in one box.

    Time now for the junior Octave to see MKII improvements. The receiver section of the Hex has been trickled down to the new Octave to ensure 192kHz support (previously a lottery with the MK1) and lower jitter. The aforementioned Hiface-based USB receiver is available as an option.

    The front fascia has also seen a minor facelift; although it’s still fairly ‘agricultural’-looking.  This is a one-box solution as opposed to the MK1’s two.  Cees Ruijtenberg said,” By excluding the umbilical it is more reliable and the housing is rock solid.”

    “I call it the mini-Hex!”, he continued.

    Octave MKII

    The base-level MKII Octave will sell for €785.00. Silver and black versions are available. The optional USB module is available at time or order for €103.00 or post-purchase for €165.00.  All pricing attracts VAT of 21% for customers inside the EU which means a USB-equipped unit will sell for €1075.00.

    Further information: Metrum Acoustics

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram


      • All I know is that they’ll be released soon and he won’t take any pre-orders. Maybe you can get an early sample as a reviewer? It never hurts to ask… 😉

        • Maybe. My review queue is pretty well stacked at the moment and I still have the AURALiC Vega vs Metrum Hex comparo to pull.

          • I hear ya!

            The reason I’m more interested in the new Jkenny DAC (550 EUR) is that I have my doubts the Octave MKII will perform twice as well at almost twice the price (1075 EUR). I guess what I’m saying is that at some point the law of diminishing returns kicks in and Jkenny seems to provide great value in that respect. It also runs off-grid and in doing so bypasses polluted mains current, which is very appealing to me.

            You’ve heard both the JKDAC32 and Metrum Octave MK1. Am I talking nonsense or is Jkenny on to something?

            • I agree. The law of diminishing returns kicks in super early! However, we won’t know how they compare until someone hears both.

              The MK1 Octave sounds more open and transparent than the JKDAC32 (itself a mini marvel) BUT the Metrum *needs* a decent USB-S/PDIF convertor. This means its real cost of ownership is much higher than the John Kenny unit.

    1. Since you actually heard the Concero feeding the HEX:
      Did you notice any improvement/change in sound when using the upsampling filters of the Concero?

      You say the HEX is the only DAC that did not benefit from the addition of the Concero. Does it include playing with the built-in filters?

      I currently have the Concero + Metrum Quad but the Concero does not work with the Squeezebox Touch (EDO). If the compatibility issue cannot be solved, I will have to move on, sell the SBT and get a laptop.

      In this case, I might well sell both the Quad and the Concero and get the Octave mkII, don’t you think?


      • No difference with Hex filters into Concero that I could easily discern. So, yup – go the Octave MKII with Cees’ special USB sauce.

    2. Hey John, do you happy to know if the Metrum Octave plays nice with Audirvana+ or are they likely to get in each other’s hair?

      • Yes – optical out of yr computer into the Metrum should be totally fine. For better results, get a USB convertor (the W4S offers the best bang for buck currently).

        • Since I live on a tiny island in the Med, I can’t really go and test 10 devices and then pick one… With regards to budget and logistical constraints, I have to just base my research off the internet. I like reading your articles. They help a lot.

          I’m still pondering purchasing the Metrum Octave Mk II over the Jkenny Ciunas 😉

          What about the USB module in the Mk II that is similar to the Hex’s? If I could help it, I prefer to go USB, as I do not currently own a digital cable (ca. 100 EUR), nor a transport (extra costs of at least another 300 EUR I would think). I would really like to use Audirvana+ over USB.

          Also, will the sound be up to snuff compared to going the S/PDIF route? 6moons seems to think so…judging from the Hex review.

          Your input is much appreciated.

          • Metrum’s new USB implementation is just superb. Negates the need for a USB convertor.

            • Pardon my confusion… regarding the two reply comments made by John on 1 April.

              “Yes – optical out of yr computer into the Metrum should be totally fine. For better results, get a USB convertor (the W4S offers the best bang for buck currently).”


              “Metrum’s new USB implementation is just superb. Negates the need for a USB convertor.”

              Could you confirm which was your preferred option and why? Too close to call?

              Thank you.

            • The Hex’s USB implementation is utterly superb. I could’t really pick a difference from using a USB-S/PDIF convertor.

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