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HRT Music Streamer HD Driver Installation Problems on Windows 7

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Just received my new Music Streamer HD, and I'm having trouble getting it to work properly with my Windows 7 laptop.  The laptop has both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, and I also have a powered USB 2.0 hub connected to one of its docking station's USB ports.


With the DAC's 2.0/1.0 switch set to "2.0," the driver will not install successfully upon plugging the unit into the laptop.  I've tried all USB ports, uninstalling/reinstalling several times each.  The issue is repeatable on both another Windows XP and another Windows Vista laptop.  Of course, without a successful driver installation, I can't see the Music Streamer as an audio playback device option.


When setting the Music Streamer to "1.0," the driver installation appears to be successful (but, I assume it's a USB 1.0 driver?).  At this point, I can see the device for setting it as the default playback device.  However, when playing a regular CD from the laptop, something is terribly wrong.  Not only does it seem to be playing in mono (vs. stereo), but it's as though some channels are missing (some instruments are not present).  It's like playing the master on a 16-track with a few of the channels cut way down.  Very weird.  Playing the same CD straight out of the phone jack sounds fantastic (normal) compared to this, and it's killing my plan for ultimately running this through my new MAD Ear+ HD headphone amp.  It doesn't matter what player I use (WMP, Foobar, etc.).


Any ideas?



post #2 of 6

Windows does not support USB 2.0 Audio and HRT doesn't make a driver for it, therefore you have to use USB 1.0

With the lastest firmware the HRT Streamer HD can support 24/96 with USB 1.0.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I was aware of the 24/96 (max) support on Windows but missed the part about no USB 2.0 support.  Makes sense and answers my driver installation question.  I guess I'm still puzzled as to why, even when running with USB 1.0, it sounds like crap.  I might try it with a MacBook to see if there's any difference.  My understanding is that the Mac can support 24/192 (I'm guessing USB 2.0 as well?).

post #4 of 6

Yes USB 2.0 is for Mac and supports 24/192

I used my Streamer HD with windows and it sounded pretty good, not worse than running from a mac actually.

Maybe the USB power from your computer is bad quality and causes the DAC to sound bad, it is a common issue with USB powered DAC.

post #5 of 6

I am having a similar problem.  I just traded in my HRT MSII for the HD, and I was under the impression from another thread that HRT has actually fixed this problem.  The MSII sounded WAY better than the HD 1.0 as far as I remember, after spending the last three months with the MSII.  I don't really care about 96K vs 192K, since it might only affect 1% of my potential purchases, and I don't own 192/24.  


The sound is tinny and thin, which is nothing like any of the reviews.  I also have to turn my volume way up on my Magni amp, and I had to turn the volume way up on my receiver at home to get a good sound.  


This is definitely not what I payed a lot of money for.  


Hopefully HRT will get back to me before I return this in frustration.


EDIT #1:

Okay, something weird happened, after about a half an hour of testing this morning. With my Magni amp set at about 11 o'clock, and a weak sound coming through, all of a sudden a a huge boom shocked my ears, and I was worried something was blown, including either the Magni or my Dt990 Pros.  This was followed by silence, and the computer stopped recognizing the DAC altogether.  


I restarted my computer, and unplugged the USB chord from the DAC itself, then I was able to put it in ASIO output through Foobar2000 and it restarted.  


Now, weirdly, everything it's much louder, smoother, and actually kind of nice sounding, and I'm listening to Johnny Cash's "Ain't no Grave" record at just under 9 o'clock on the Magni and everything is clear and spaced out.  


Okay, I'm still concerned about the driver, but I'm thinking the DAC does sound better than it did for the first two hours of its life.  Maybe in another 100 it will sound even better?


EDIT #2: Now listening to "The Proud Bassoon" from Linn Records in 96/24 flac, and thinking the sound is quite nice indeed, though still lacking just a bit of the richness I expected.  I have to turn the amp up to about 10 o'clock because this 24 bit recording is quite dynamic and non-fatiguing at a louder volume than most contemporary pop music.


Perhaps I will invest in a cheap externally powered USB hub just to see if a DC current might give it a tiny bit more meat.

Edited by jdpark - 4/3/14 at 1:36am
post #6 of 6

I got a response back from Kevin at HRT, and he showed me how to get the driver software, and all is going great.  Apparently, you need to register your product after you buy it, and then follow instructions on how to get the driver software installed.  He told me that they usually send an email soon after you register with all of this information anyways. 


So, contrary to reviews on the HRT HD, it is definitely NOT a Mac only product.  In any case, let's be honest, not that much music is really available in 192/24 anyway that doesn't also have a 96/24 version that's pretty darn close.  I'm still looking into the question of how different the two are, and will hold off on that one.  


As others have noted Kevin indicated when I asked him that a "self-powered USB 2.0 hub can be helpful in some instances," but since I followed the instructions to optimize my USB ports on http://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/pc-optimization-guide-for-windows-7/, my computer is going way faster and all the power seems to be there that I need.  (Be careful though, as some of the changes listed on that page may not be necessary, and some may dramatically affect the computer, such as for instance, the option to disable all start-up programs, which I reversed afterwards.  That said, I am a computer retard and figured it out.)

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