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HRT MicroStreamer vs. Meridian Explorer... help me choose ?

Poll Results: HRT (189$) or Meridian (299$)

 
  • 72% (24)
    HRT MicroStreamer
  • 27% (9)
    Meridian Explorer
33 Total Votes  
post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

well, "WhatHiFi" says that the HRT is better.

what do you guys think ?

post #2 of 24

I'm interested in this question as well.  They're both async USB with headphone out and line out.  The Meridian handles 24/192 with their driver while the HRT is plug and play but only 24/96.  According to HRT the Microstreamer has no caps on the headphone out and has a nice low 0.5ohm output impedance.  From the pictures of the Explorer it looks to have output caps and I have no idea regarding the output impedance.  I guess it's too early for comparative reviews?

 

I am leaning towards the HRT as it is supposed to work with my Android phone.  I am hoping I can stream my flac files from my music server and have a small nice quality portable setup without the laptop.  Power requirements over USB is much higher for the Explorer so I am guessing it won't work for my phone.

post #3 of 24

Meridian because, it's better, play HR so future proof, plus it has the meridian signature sound which anyone on the planet loves as soon as they hear it, and also because it is a more established brand which you can trust they know what they're doing.

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Meridian requires the special USB thingy to sound good.. but then the price is ~500$

and i also has the need of something which'll work with my android phone..

i think i have the conclusion...)

post #5 of 24

I'd love to read a comparison from someone who had both of these.  At the moment information on the HRT is hard to come by.  The Meridan thread is very active and populated by people who love the product.  I read similar hype for the Dragonfly but it didn't play well with either of my computers so I returned mine.

post #6 of 24

What headphones are you using? If they are sensitive (16-50 ohms, IEMs etc), I think you should forget about the Meridian completely. Due to the high output impedance it simply isn´t suited for most portable headphones. The HRT product seems more balanced as in both DAC and amp sections are good, while the Explorer seems to be primarily a DAC with a poor headphone amp section bolted on.

post #7 of 24

Meridian is not a well designed product. It is a portable product yet the extremely high output impedance does not work well with portable headphones or earphones. Go with HRT

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

Meridian is not a well designed product. It is a portable product yet the extremely high output impedance does not work well with portable headphones or earphones. Go with HRT

 

Actually the Meridian is designed very well, for a dac.

 

The problem is the headphone high impedance amp. That part, not so much.

post #9 of 24
Can anyone tell me if the HRT is able to drive the AKG K701's sufficiently (62 ohms)
post #10 of 24
Has anyone managed to connect the microstreamer to an iPad? Will the camera connection kit work?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlsan View Post

The problem is the headphone high impedance amp. That part, not so much.

That too was addressed in a running manufacturing change.

I used a cheap Chinese camera connection kit knockoff that supposedly allows you override the power limit of the dock connector. I was able to plug my Explorer in, it powered up, and drove my headphones, too. When I unplugged the kit, it broke. So, all I know is that's it possible, which is all I was looking to find out.

As to the OPs question, the Explorer adds a few things over the HRT. Besides the added sampling rate capabilities, the line-out is both analog and digital, it uses the well regarded XMOS chip for asynchronous USB, and has a much better aesthetic design and build quality IMO. The HRT is $100 cheaper and has a lower output impedance. Pick which matters more to you.
post #12 of 24

Let´s not forget the new output impedance is still 5, which is not good for IEM users although it´s not a complete disaster (for IEM users) like previously. The usual 16 ohm BA drivers with a wildly swinging impedance curve will still cause issues, but for higher impedance dynamics it´s better now. Both are now interesting products, but my vote for IEM usage still easily goes to HRT as long as one is careful with the volume control. The Explorer indeed has some very interesting technology in the DAC section that the HRT lacks though.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

Meridian because, it's better, play HR so future proof, plus it has the meridian signature sound which anyone on the planet loves as soon as they hear it, and also because it is a more established brand which you can trust they know what they're doing.

 

Hey, as long as you're willing to keep the discussion rational and balanced .....  

 

OP, hopefully you've been around fanboys long enough to totally ignore such one-sided 'recommendations'. The mere inference that HRT dont know what they are doing is laughable. I'd like to hear them both - that's the only way to know which one is right for you.

post #14 of 24
I had both. I prefered the Explorer with both my b&w 805 speaker based system and with my PSB M4U 2 headphones, in active and passive modes. I don't know if i have the first or second revison of the Explorer, but I got it directly from Meridian just before they announced the 2. Revision.

I wanted to keep the microStreamer and use it at work, but had issues clicks and pops with my work machine.
post #15 of 24

On 7-9-2013 HRT will post new firmware for the microStreamer on the Support page of the HRT website that addresses compatibility with iPads.  Using either the Apple Camera Connection Kit or the HRT HMA-1, the microStreamer is compatible with iPads generation 1, 2 and 3.  Using either the Apple Lightning USB adapter or the coming HRT HMA-2, the microStreamer is compatible with iPad generation 4 and the iPad mini.

 

Should you have any questions, you can always email support@hirestech.com

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