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Review: Hifiman HM-101 USB DAC

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Pro-Tip: Click the images to enlarge them if you want to see more details on the product. smily_headphones1.gif
Packaging:
The HM-101 comes in an aesthetically clean plastic box that's straight to the point.
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Unboxing:
Inside the packaging you'll find the HM-101 it's self, a mini USB to USB cable, and a multilingual manual.
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Specs:
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
THD[Distortion]: 0.07%(Lineout)
S/N: 96 dB(Lineout)
Stereo Crosstalk: 78 dB(Lineout)
Output Level: 1.5v at 36Ω ; 2.0v at 150Ω
Max Output: 62mw at 36Ω ; 26mw at 150Ω
Dimensions: 36 * 60.5 * 13.8mm
D/A Chip: PCM2702E
LPF & Headphone TDA-amp: TDA1308
Compatiblity: Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu(Unofficial from the company, tried it my self and am currently using it on Ubuntu build 11.04)

The HM-101 has a mini USB port on the top of it, line output, and an headphone output on the bottom.
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First Impressions:
First thing I noticed was the nice glossy finish the HM-101 and the brushed aluminum finish on the housing which was a big surprise to me as I thought the product's housing had a plastic housing from the pictures I saw on head-direct. Great build quality. Plugged the DAC into my computer and Windows automatically installed the drivers so the product was good to go, no need to manually install anything which is very convenient.

The product is recognized as a source option.
11164

Front and back of the HM-101, glossy finish swag.
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Using the DAC:
Once I got the HM-101 plugged in I listened through both the Line output and the Headphone output, the Line out is quieter and according to the manual included, it's suggested for use of being connected to your speaker or audio system for when you need to increase the volume so there isn't any distortion.

One of the things I easily heard that was different compared to my Auzen Prelude was how lush the mids and highs became from what I was previously used to. Lots of smaller detail I didn't notice before and vocals stood out a lot more. It was a completely new sensation to my ears. I tried out a few of my other headphones to do comparisons with my soundcard and the DAC just to make sure there was a noticeable difference.
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I relistened to a few of my favorite albums in 320kb/s MP3 with the DAC and it was a fun experience to hear all the different details I missed out on before.

Fragma - Toca
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Bass Storm: Volume 3
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Ørjan Nilsen - In My Opinion
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Armin Van Buuren - Mirage
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Oceanlab - Sirens of The Sea
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Above & Beyond - Group Therapy
350

Conclusion:
For the price of $39 dollars I definitely recommend picking them up especially if you want portability, the sound difference compared to my Auzen Prelude was substantial I haven't bothered to even plug my cans back into them for regular use. The HM-101 is definitely a keeper for me.

I would also like to give a huge thanks to Nankai here on Head-Fi. atsmile.gif

You Can Purchase The HM-101 Here:
http://head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=113

Other Notes:
Headphones used in this review: ATH-A700, MHP-839, and AKG K81-DJ.
Edited by EpicPie - 12/15/11 at 2:16am
post #2 of 50

Nice impressions beerchug.gif Is that the Lexa S ? The HM-101 looks pretty small next to it.

post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parall3l View Post

Nice impressions beerchug.gif Is that the Lexa S ? The HM-101 looks pretty small next to it.


Thanks, and yes that would be the Lexa S. smily_headphones1.gif

I should have mentioned that the HM-101 is quite literally the size of a match box but I didn't feel like it was necessary, haha.
post #4 of 50

Really nice review :)

post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acenima View Post

Really nice review :)


Thanks bruv. ^^
post #6 of 50

 

Your pictures are way better than mine.

 

 

post #7 of 50

We need a sub-$100 DAC shootout!

 

HM-101 vs Fiio E10 vs Fiio D3 vs Fiio E7 vs M-Audio Transit vs Behringer UCA202!

post #8 of 50

 

You mean DAC+Amp right? =)

post #9 of 50

Whatever! We need it! :D

post #10 of 50

Behringer UCA202 has 50 ohm output impedance :S

post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Your pictures are way better than mine.

 

 


Haha, thanks. :P
post #12 of 50

HM101 can not work with ipad. It was a mistake on the manual. We are working on correcting the manual right now. 

Reply
post #13 of 50

Good power output for the size, price, and included DAC as well.

 

Nankai, any chance we can get more specific specs? Roll-off, headphone out THD/SNR/crosstalk, and with what loads?

post #14 of 50
Output impedance wink.gif
post #15 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

HM101 can not work with ipad. It was a mistake on the manual. We are working on correcting the manual right now. 


You may also want to fix the typo's in the manual. wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by c61746961 View Post

Output impedance wink.gif

I believe I listed that in the Specs in my first post.
nvm, was wrong.
Edited by EpicPie - 9/20/11 at 1:40pm
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