Thanks! I'll be sure to post a link when it's up. It's waiting on edits at the moment...
Edits completed. Should be up next Friday on Macworld and TechHive. I'll post a link here when I have one. Hope you enjoy!
I use the D1 for a DAC, but rarely ever for the headphone amp. It was originally purchased because it offered an optical input, but now I use the USB input with my LG G2 phone and Samsung Chromebook. I'm very interested in the HRT MircroStreamer, but I have an iStreamer that I used with my iPod and iPad, and it clicks and pops. I keep reading about others with this same problem with HRT products. The claim with my iStreamer was that this issue had something to do with fragmentation of the memory. I can say that the popping and clicking occurred with my 8GB iPod quite frequently, but rarely with my iPad. I only used streaming music services on either device. (Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody)
Also, the few times I did try the headphone amp with the D1, it was usually powered by a 2.1 amp USB charger that charges an iPad (3rd Gen), while I was using the optical input. This allowed the full potential of the D1's amp to shine. If you are connecting the D1 with a laptop or other device using the USB port, the amp will most likely be fed a MUCH smaller current, which could impact the performance. For me, using my LG G2 with an OTG USB cable, the D1 sounded inferior to when I use the optical input from my PC, and power the D1 with the iPad wall charger. Despite having no method to volume match and quickly compare, the difference appeared to be very noticeable to me, and I am a huge supporter of double blind testing and generally consider myself to be a skeptic when it comes to DACs, burn-in, etc.
Signing in, as I'm in the market for a portable DAC/headphone amp for my Macbook Pro.
I'm also curious about the GEEK OUT of Light Harmonics (the same guys of the Da Vinci DAC), but I don't see many discussions about it.
I really like the Meridian Explorer for the excellent reviews on sound quality it received and because it's really good looking and light!
The review's finally out! Hope you guys find it interesting.
Thanks again for your interest :-)
Great review! It is not often to read one that compares so many products. It seems the D3 has a similar sonic signature to the D1. I have only heard the D1 and the HRT. I prefer the Microstreamer as I think it has a more balanced sound but if one were looking to add a little bit of heft the audio engine would be a good choice.
I am assuming the Dragonfly is V1 that is currently going to $99 or was it the v2 in the review?
I look forward to your review too!
that is a GREAT list!
mirrors my collection! Minus the DACmagic XS...
My personal favorite between the DACport, D1, D3, Dragonfly, Explorer, and HRT microStreamer actually comes down to a close match for me:
I think the D3, especially w/ my 325i's - has more overall dynamic punch than the microStreamer (and I'm a huge fan - having reviewed it
first out the gate at Positive Feedback, startin the thread here) - but the HRT microStreamer, to my ears, beats out the D3 in its emotive
presentation of the music, and especially dimensionality (not to mention micro and macro-dynamics).
and I still dig the Dragonfly (easiest and smallest to carry - like the D3 - which should have a cover for the USB end I think)
and the Explorer - but the Explorer sounds like a few Wilson Audio Loudspeakers used to sound to me: They're like terrific Hi-fi, but,
because they're almost too perfect, can sound a bit soulless at times...
is that makes any sense
I wanna get LOST in the music, and forget about the gear
Trust your own ears too - we're ALL guides, even those of us who write about this stuff for a living.
Everybody has an opinion and they all count.
Hey Mike I have read you review on the microstreamer and I wanted to ask about how you felt if you could have one of the 6 mentioned. Which would it be? I am up in the air with the Microstreamer for 170, the audioengine d3(which I think would sound good with the DT990s and the soundMagic HP100 because of its analog feel to them like some have mentioned) the Musicstreamer II for 85$ ( used but good condition), and the dragonfly 1.2 for 120 (used but good condition), I have heard the DF might be a too bright and harsh up top because of the brighness that already exists with the DT990 pros and the HP100s. Like you I want to get lost into the music and yet I like also being able to hear that deep detail.
Also wanted to ask if you think the ODAC feels soulless because of how transparent it is? because that is also another option. And as far as not needing an am I do have a few portable amps and one is pretty enjoyable for a sub 100$ amp. I also intend on getting a budget tube amp like the Bravo audio ones for my desktop, but I do not mind have the microstreamer where I can use it with my phone and on the road. I could reallly use some help right now if you are willing I would appreciate it. I am newer to this interest. I wanted to hear your thoughts on the Stoner Accoustic models UD110 and the upcoming UD 120