Anyone care to compare these two DACs? I've been looking to get a dedicated DAC for my system because the one in my ef2a sucks. So is the dragonfly just more expensive because it's smaller or because it's better overall? Thanks.
HRT Music streamer II vs audioquest dragonfly
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I don't own either DAC, but some of the cost could be related to (like you mentioned) the form factor. Also, the Dragonfly is a combination headphone amp AND DAC whereas the HRT is a DAC only. Seeing that you already have a headphone amp in your EF2A, I'm not sure how much benefit you would get from having that extra headphone amp functionality in the Dragonfly unless you were planning to use it on the go while leaving the EF2A at home? Also consider the that if using the Dragonfly in conjunction with your EF2A you would need a mini 1/8" to stereo RCA cable, not a stereo RCA to stereo RCA like with the HRT. I have seen many positive reviews of both devices on this site- you may want to post your question in the Dragonfly owner's thread, and a brief search shows one user who considered the Dragonfly superior to the big brother MS2+ .
Good luck with your search!
I own both the DragonFly and the HRT MSII. I did a quick comparison on the weekend (I needed a distraction from my certification studies), and the DragonFly is cleaner then the MSII. Although the MSII seems to have a bit more bass.
I will need to sit down sometime soon to make a full comparison and post back into this thread incase anybody is curious about either DAC.
Had a good 45 minutes of comparing the DragonFly and the HRT MSII tonight. These DACs are fed from iTunes - Audirvana Plus - DAC - Little Dot MkIII - Sennheiser HD650.
FIrstly, the MSII is a good DAC. However, to my ears, the DragonFly is more resolving. I pulls a bit more detail then the MSII. The best way I can describe it is that when going from the MSII to the DragonFly, it is like some clouds moving away to reveal a sunny day. The soundstage is also slightly wider with the DragonFly.
The DragonFly is a little harsh compared to the MSII. The MSII is a little more laid back then the DragonFly, and the DF is more energetic, but gets a bit rough around the edges when the material gets complex. Like "Despair" from Dark Knight Rises soundtrack.
I thought I'd also pull out the Rega DAC from my main system to have a listen. And wow, yes, it is about 4 to 5 times the cost more, but it just does a lot more things right compared to the DragonFly and the MSII.
Time to save up for a better DAC for my headphone setup. Although, I think the MSII and the DragonFly are pretty good for their cost.