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HRT Music Streamer II vs ODAC for powered speakers

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello, first post here.

 

I recently purchased a pair of Paradigm's Shift A2 active speakers to use with my PC and now I'm in the market for a USB DAC to go with them. What I don't need is a headphone amp because I only rarely use my Sennheiser HD 280pro's and I don't want to spend any extra money on them.

 

I've narrowed it down to the HRT Music Streamer II or the ODAC via JDSLabs, unless someone can convince me otherwise. I was considering just getting a UCA202 because it's only $30 dollars but I spent $560 on these speakers and I want to hear their full potential.

 

I like solid build quality and transparent sound reproduction (although I'm not opposed to a little musicality).

 

Can anyone tell me the strengths and weaknesses of these two devices compared to each other?

 

Thanks!

 

 

EDIT: I should have said I am using a laptop, so I can't install a sound card.


Edited by HobGadling - 10/2/12 at 8:24pm
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HobGadling View Post

I recently purchased a pair of Paradigm's Shift A2 active speakers to use with my PC and now I'm in the market for a USB DAC to go with them. What I don't need is a headphone amp because I only rarely use my Sennheiser HD 280pro's and I don't want to spend any extra money on them.

I've narrowed it down to the HRT Music Streamer II or the ODAC via JDSLabs, unless someone can convince me otherwise. I was considering just getting a UCA202 because it's only $30 dollars but I spent $560 on these speakers and I want to hear their full potential.

I like solid build quality and transparent sound reproduction (although I'm not opposed to a little musicality).

Can anyone tell me the strengths and weaknesses of these two devices compared to each other?

How about getting a used Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used, off amazon or eBay),

Comes with the CS4398 DAC chip, half the price of those external DACs

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. I should have said that I have a laptop, so sound cards are not an option unfortunately.

post #4 of 11

The ODAC is a nice dac, the hrt is not bad either. Which one is cheaper?

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

The ODAC is a nice dac, the hrt is not bad either. Which one is cheaper?


They are the same price- $150.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HobGadling View Post


They are the same price- $150.

 

Ok, I use the ODAC.

Comparison here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/611778/brief-odac-impressions/45#post_8434889

post #7 of 11

I picked up one of these and was very pleased with the sound, clean and clear. It was much better than the on board sound from my HTPC. The on board sound had to much bass and sounded muffled in comparison. $52 shipped it took about 3 weeks to get to California.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hifimediy-Sabre-USB-DAC-ES9023-Tenor-TE7022-96khz-24bit-96-24-/140847495065?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20cb2a3799

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Does anyone know if the ODAC has the same kind of power isolation from the computer that the MSII has?

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HobGadling View Post

Does anyone know if the ODAC has the same kind of power isolation from the computer that the MSII has?

 

If you mean ground isolation, then only the MSII has it. You can buy a separate isolator for the ODAC for a few tens of $ if it turns out you need one.

post #10 of 11

You may be interested in looking into our DACport LX. Here is what one reviewer said :

 

"Compared to my favorite $300 USB DAC, the HRT Music Streamer II+, the DACport LX has a slightly different sound signature: the LX is cleaner sounding, blacker background, and separation of instruments being clearer, while the HRT has a more enveloping analog sound, two inches wider but less deep on the soundstage, though being 10% more grainy sounding. The HRT Music Streamer II+ is warmer and like ten percent darker, with more bass body, though less detail on the bass. The DACport LX lets an ounce more top treble out, resulting in an airier yet a tad more sibilant sound, and an extra bit of micro details extraction. Indeed a very close fight there, but put it simply, the HRT gives you a warmer and more analog sound, while the DACport a cleaner and clearer sound. Still confused on which is better? Well, the DACport is better looking." (http://www.headfonia.com/cheaper-better-the-centrance-dacport-lx/)

 

 

-Kenny

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksef10 View Post

You may be interested in looking into our DACport LX. Here is what one reviewer said :

 

"Compared to my favorite $300 USB DAC, the HRT Music Streamer II+, the DACport LX has a slightly different sound signature: the LX is cleaner sounding, blacker background, and separation of instruments being clearer, while the HRT has a more enveloping analog sound, two inches wider but less deep on the soundstage, though being 10% more grainy sounding. The HRT Music Streamer II+ is warmer and like ten percent darker, with more bass body, though less detail on the bass. The DACport LX lets an ounce more top treble out, resulting in an airier yet a tad more sibilant sound, and an extra bit of micro details extraction. Indeed a very close fight there, but put it simply, the HRT gives you a warmer and more analog sound, while the DACport a cleaner and clearer sound. Still confused on which is better? Well, the DACport is better looking." (http://www.headfonia.com/cheaper-better-the-centrance-dacport-lx/)

 

 

-Kenny


Thanks, that looks like a great DAC but it is a bit out of my price range unfortunately.

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