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HRT iStreamer - the cheapest way to an audiophile signal from iPod to your amp? - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Originally Posted by BmWr75 View Post

Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post

 Lossless from iPod to amp?  The question was, are there cheaper than HRT, the answer is yes; and, one is the X-FI HD.

The question is "HRT iStreamer - the cheapest way to an audiophile signal from iPod to your amp?".  


The analog signal out of an iPod is not considered audiophile quality by many people.  But, the digital signal from an iPod has great potential to be converted to audiophile quality sound.


Creative Sound Blaster X-FI HD is USB soundcard as best I can tell from reading the descriptrion.  It has nothing to do with pulling a digital signal from an iPod.

No matter how many times you break it down to him, he still won't get it. So just ignore him.

post #17 of 30

I'm so glad that we finally have options. Before, we were limited to overpaying(IMO) for the wadia. I think it's only a matter of time before we have affordable portable docks. I know one is already in existence, but it's far to expensive for me. From the impressions both the pure and the istreamer are great products for what they are. But I'm going to try to wait it out a bit longer to see what else might pop up. Neither one is crazy expensive like the others. The pure may be the best value right now, but only time will tell if it's as good as the istreamer. But if nothing else, you do get a digital signal and decent analog out from it.

post #18 of 30

I am especially surprised at the i-20 pricing when the Pure range of DAB radios is comparatively expensive here in Oz, and I dont think we even *have* the DAB format - its a Brit thing :)

post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 

To answer my own question.........NO.

The Pure i-20 is the cheapest way!!



I did an A/B comparison between the Pure i-20 and a Cambridge Audio DacMagic today.  The Pure i-20 was being fed Apple lossless files from a 160 GB iPod Classic.  The DacMagic was being fed the same exact files via iTunes streamed wirelessly to an airport express using the optical digital out.  Compared many passages of my favorite list of high fidelity recordings.  Amazingly, the volume between the two sources matched exactly (to my ears anyway).  The amp was a Matrix m-stage running a GD-Audio OPA-SUN opamp.  Headphones were AKG K702s.  The Matrix has two inputs and a front Source 1 & 2 switch.  So, I could switch sources on the fly.


Bottom-line:  I could hear no difference between the $99 i-20 using its internal 24/196 DAC and the DacMagic DAC.  IMO, the Pure i-20 is a killer deal.


Coming soon......a comparison of the HRT iStreamer and pure i-20.

post #20 of 30

I am an old (!) hi-fi nut from the 1950s.


My headphones have included Grado, STAX electrostatics and many in between.  Most of my listening is on the following system:


1.  Sources:

                    Linn LP12 with Grado Platinum Cartridge

                    Bryston CD Player

                    Sony SACD-1

2. Line Stage Controller -  


3. Amplifier

                    Custom Ultralinear Tube Amp; 60 watts RMS

4. Speakers

                    Quad Custom 989 Electrostatics


The system can distinguish between different mice releasing flatulence (if you are appreciative of that sort of thing) in the background of a cello concerto.


Now, to the point:




And for those that mentioned the Pure, how does it sound?


I have run the iPod products in to my system with the Wadia and various DACs, including the Cambridge Audio.


My own conclusion with with the various DACs is that the resulting sound is equal to a decent CD player but not a great CD player; the Sony and Bryston are noticeably better.  


Using the HRT Music Streamer and Streamer II out of my Apple laptop gives a roughly equal sound quality to the Wadia/DAC combinations.


SO--- how about a comparison of the iStreamer and Pure, please.  I will soon have an iStreamer and will give my own opinion herein on it; I will not get the Pure and will let someone else spend the 75 English Pounds for the comparison.


Tillman in Snow-free South Florida

post #21 of 30



Thanks for the comment on the Pure I-20 !!!


I look forward to your comparison with the HRT.



post #22 of 30

I have to admit I didn't realize the iStreamer had a wall wart since none of the other HRT's use one.


Note, with these A/B tests, all I-devices limit digital output to 16/48.  I'm not sure what the ipure is doing with the 192 it says it is outputting.  I also think, but am in no way sure, that when streaming music with apple, the streaming also cuts the bit rate/data depth to some level - possibly also 16/48.  So you are not getting the full signal and some of these tests may be ascew.


I was going to get the iStreamer myself - it was by far the cheapest solution I could find at the time but  based on the 16/48 limitation I decided to stay with the LOD when portable and then get a better DAC (the HRT MS2+, but my original plan was the MS2 since it was cheaper and better than the iStreamer) for the best possible solution for on my computer.

post #23 of 30

I like the Pure i-20, because the craddle provides firm support to the back of the iPod. You can use clickwheel or touchscreen without bending or loosening the electrical connectors which is a problem with most other docks. I would have liked to see a volume control on the i-20 for use with active speakers. 


My iPod Classic has a Headstage Arrow amp permanently glued to its back. That adds 8.5mm. I wonder whether that would still fit into the i-20. Otherwise I would prefer the HRT iStreamer.

post #24 of 30

How is the iHRT iStreamer performance comapring to CLAS or Fostex HP-P1?

Any recommended external rechargeble batttery for  iHRT iStreamer?

post #25 of 30

You are correct of course, there are only a handful of devices that are iOS compatible, that is, will pull a digital signal from an iPod (or iPad). All of the other mentions in this thread of USB capable DAC products, even the other HRT products which are also USB DACs but do not work with an iPod, are irrelevant to the conversation. Those products only work with a computer, perhaps someday with an Android mobile device, but not iOS. I own an iStreamer and it is a fantastic iOS DAC. Regarding one other item earlier in the thread, the iStreamer is most certainly portable as it runs on the USB standard 5 volts, but you have to bring your own battery. I use mine as a portable with a USB battery that is 2.1 amp capable, and rated at 7000 mAh. That will power the iStreamer and iPod Touch 2g combo for about 12 hours with power conservation efforts like continually dimming the display and no Wi-Fi/Bluetooth or any other apps running. Partnered with an iPad2 it's about an 8 hour run time. Admittedly, that battery costs about $45, so portable use carries additional cost.

post #26 of 30

I have 4 different USB batteries that will work well with the iStreamer.

The smallest is a Tekkeon MP1860a, unfortunately now discontinued and it's the lowest capacity of the bunch at only 4,400 mAh, though not the cheapest but quite good build quality.

The next largest capacity is an IoGear GearPower, 6,600 mAh and also nicely made but slightly cheaper.

Still larger capacity is a New Trent iCurve IMP70D at 7,000 mAh, it's been replaced by a newer model though with the same 7,000 mAh spec.

Largest capacity is the Anker Astro3, at 10,000 mAh. In each case the common thread needed for iStreamer compatibility is a 2.1 amp output spec/capability, many USB batteries top out at 1 amp output and those won't work.

post #27 of 30

There is no place for me to try out and compare a CLAS or HP-P1, so I went with the iStreamer due to it's being significantly cheaper than the other two are, though the Fostex includes an on-board headphone amp in the deal, the others are just DACs and require use of a separate headphone amp at additional cost.

I'm sure there must be a separate thread going on it, but the all-in-one iOS/USB/Headphone amp/DAC/with integral battery that looks by far the coolest and best is the upcoming CEntrance HiFi-M8.

This one will do it all, and based on the pedigree will sound great too, but will retail for $699.

Edited by MikeyFresh - 3/30/14 at 5:02pm
post #28 of 30

15 months ago when I last posted in this thread I forgot to include a picture of the iStreamer with battery set-up:


HRT iStreamer rig with DIY interconnect cable, ADL Stride, AKG K 420, AQ Carbon 30 pin dock cable, IOGEAR 2.1 amp USB battery, and McIntosh music player app for iPad.

post #29 of 30
Is the I streamer still relate to now? It has been 5 or 6 years since it was introduced
post #30 of 30
Well I got mine, $75 new sealed. Well worth it for he quality it gives. Nice detail over headphones, excellent bass.
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