Originally Posted by tamahome77
Tried the stock hiface, didn't really like it as it sounded too bright in my system even though it brought slightly more detail to the table. Just made my music more edgy sounding which I do not like. I much prefer the Terlink usb converter. It's more natural and analog sounding with a bit of warmth to my ears.
Originally Posted by Shahrose
These were my findings as well. I preferred the Teralink-X2 over the HiFace, but liked the Essence STX/ST even more because the Teralink didn't have the greatest bass quality or attack.
These were my initial findings as well. At first listen, the HiFace appears bright but that's not its main problem. Presently, the HiFace is going to work best in dedicated music computers only because every time you click something with your mouse, it sends an audible static-like sound through the headphones. I experienced a similar thing, although louder, with my up-sampling North Star and Stello when I tried to use them with cable TV. Every time I changed channels they emitted a loud and annoying static-like sound, (which I didn't think was doing the headphones any good). I switched to a NOS Constantine for cable TV use and no more static. For this reason, IMHO, the HiFace is not ready for use in a work computer, where you're going to be doing things while listening.
Now, the extra brightness: I'm not sure at this early stage of my evaluation if the brightness is a function of the HiFace or from the source material because it doesn't seem to be present in the same quantity with every recording or in every stream I listen to. Unlike most of you who mainly listen to your flac libraries, I mostly listen to internet radio streams for the sheer variety that is available there. I have found quite a number of 320 and 256 channels and that is where I spend most of my time. As it turns out this is not a bad thing because you will be able to listen to exactly what I heard and draw your own conclusions. http://188.8.131.52:8253/ and http://184.108.40.206:8199/ are oldies channels in 320 and http://220.127.116.11:8300/ is an ambient channel in 320. The oldies channels exhibit the extra brightness, but the ambient channel does not. http://18.104.22.168:8000/ is a french jazz-funk channel in 320 that also does not exhibit the brightness. It would be easy to say the brightness is a function of the channel, but many of my flac recordings have it and many don't. For example, Goldfrap's Seventree, which could easily slide into sibilance and brightness, doesn't, while Francoise Hardy's La Pluie Sans Parapluie and KT Tunstall's Drastic Fantastic are both overly bright relative to how the Thingee presents them.
So, is the HiFace letting me hear things that have escaped the Thingee, or is it overly bright as some have suggested? After a few hours of listening I'm in the group that thinks it's a little to edgy (read listening fatigue). To be fair I will also say that this technology may be on to something but at this stage it reminds me more of the early days of CDs, where everything was overly bright, and the snare drum was so loud it hurt your ears.
These have been my initial impressions and they might very well change after I've had a chance to live with it for a while.. I will continue to evaluate the HiFace over the next few days on this laptop set up, but it's not going to stay here because of the ever present static-like clicking and popping sound, (more often than not), when ever I open or close windows or try to do any work. I'll also try it on my dedicated music computer which has an optical out and see if it has any use there.
Another thing is that USB jacks were never made to hold this kind of weight and therefore the HiFace requires some sort of prop under it to support the weight of the device itself and the pressure from the coax cable. My laptop is on small feet for cooling purposes so this is what the HiFace looks like propped up in this setup.