HRT HeadStreamer USB DAC/AMP
Sep 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

khaos974

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Some useless verbiage:

The HRT HeadStreamer is the latest product in the growing line of single mission high performance USB DAC from HRT.

The new HeadStreamer is the ideal product for those who listens to music through a computer via headphones and would like to significantly improve the sound quality of their music when compared with the analogue output from the computer.

The HeadStreamer's compact size and light weight also make it extremely portable, so for the first time music lovers can enjoy extremely high quality music playback on the road, in a plane, or anywhere else they take their computers.

Like the HRT Music Streamers, the HeadStreamer uses asynchronous transfer protocol to provide jitter free operation at 24bit/96kHz resolution and is bus powered.

The difference between the Music Streamers and the new Headstraeamer is the on-board analogue attenuator and headphone amplifier, in place of the line level outputs.

A picture:


And what's relevant, the specs:
Asynchronous USB
24 bit / 96 kHz capability
Sample Rate / Mute LED Indicators
High Performance Headphone Amplifier
Digitally Controlled Analog Attentuator (under host control)
HRT 1/2 meter USB cable and black velvet carry pouch
61mm x 25mm x 76mm
89g
 
Oct 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM Post #2 of 21

diegoeffio

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Any new infos on this product? like price and of course SQ?
I've been looking for alternatives for the audio-gd NFB-12 (dac/amp combos) since it received some bad reviews, like that one on Headfonia...
maybe the audinst hud-mx1 is the better deal?
 
Oct 18, 2011 at 9:20 PM Post #3 of 21

sling5s

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I would love if the istreamer had a built in amp kind of like fostex hp-p1 but smaller and cheaper.
 
Nov 24, 2011 at 10:54 PM Post #5 of 21

bulmanxxi

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Preliminary impressions (no burn in - just a couple of hours out the box) Sounds good - more spacious, clear and resolving than the Fiio E10 (E10 is slightly warmer, muddier and narrower sounding).  The lack of volume knob is a bit cumbersome/tricky but it does have volume control through the PC/MAC system volume.  Upside to this is that there is no channel imbalance.  Not sure if it is the same but the DAC section is quite on par with the HRT Streamer II (isolation stage has been removed but it's hardly audible - listening environment is less than ideal quiet).  Has enough juice for Grado's and IEMs. Have not tested it with harder to drive headphones yet.  Size is about the same thickness diameter as the HRT Music Streamer II but less than half long with slightly wider than the body face plates.  Better than uDac-2 as well.  No longer have the Dacport for a direct comparison but at less than half the price it is quite good to say the least.
 
Dec 4, 2011 at 3:46 AM Post #6 of 21

ineedmorebase

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Quote:
Preliminary impressions (no burn in - just a couple of hours out the box) Sounds good - more spacious, clear and resolving than the Fiio E10 (E10 is slightly warmer, muddier and narrower sounding).  The lack of volume knob is a bit cumbersome/tricky but it does have volume control through the PC/MAC system volume.  Upside to this is that there is no channel imbalance.  Not sure if it is the same but the DAC section is quite on par with the HRT Streamer II (isolation stage has been removed but it's hardly audible - listening environment is less than ideal quiet).  Has enough juice for Grado's and IEMs. Have not tested it with harder to drive headphones yet.  Size is about the same thickness diameter as the HRT Music Streamer II but less than half long with slightly wider than the body face plates.  Better than uDac-2 as well.  No longer have the Dacport for a direct comparison but at less than half the price it is quite good to say the least.


How does the bass performance compare to the E10 (with bass boost)? It probably isint "fuller" sounding bass wise right? Oh and would it work well for 250 ohm DT990pro?
 
 
Dec 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM Post #9 of 21

ineedmorebase

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How does the bass performance compare to the E10 (with bass boost)? It probably isint "fuller" sounding bass wise right? Oh and would it work well with HFI 580??
 
Dec 28, 2011 at 1:23 AM Post #11 of 21

Bummrounde

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I sent a query to HRT about using the Headstreamer to drive DT990 600 Ohm.  This is the response.  Perhaps this would be useful to others interested in this item.  The price is really aggressive, and this is async USB dac for $139, lowest price I am aware of for this feature.  I just threw $179 at an Audioengine D1, otherwise... love to see a 3-way shootout between iBasso D7, HRT Headstreamer and Audioengine D1.  All relatively new USB DAC/AMP products in the $140-$180 range.
 
Quote:
Hello Russ,
 
[size=x-small]Thank you for your email. There is absolutely no difficulty driving high impedance headphones, rather their limitation in any given configuration is their lack of voltage sensitivity, they are otherwise the easiest load to drive imaginable. [/size]
 
[size=x-small]What high impedance loads require is greater voltage swing to overcome their low sensitivity. In the case of the HeadStreamer it has a very low output impedance (under 1 Ohm) so it has the ability to drive difficult (low impedance) loads, the peak voltage swing is 1.4 VRMS. The voltage sensitivity of the DT00s is 96 db/mW with an impedance of 600 Ohms. [/size]
[size=10pt]  [/size]
[size=10pt] With 1.4 VRMS / 600 Ohm = 1.4^2 / 600 = 1.97/600 = .0033 Watts or 3.3 mW[/size]
[size=10pt]  [/size]
[size=10pt] 3.3mW / 1mW = 3.3 [/size]
[size=10pt]  [/size]
[size=10pt] 3.3 log = .5185 * 10 = 5.185 dB[/size]
[size=10pt]  [/size]
[size=10pt] 96dB + 5.185dB = 101 dB peak SPL.[/size]
[size=10pt]  [/size]
[size=10pt] This is a below my usual recommended 125 dB peak.  [/size]
[size=10pt] Kevin Halverson[/size]
[size=10pt] CTO[/size]
[size=10pt] High Resolution Technologies, LLC[/size]

 
 
 
 
Dec 28, 2011 at 2:01 AM Post #12 of 21

khaos974

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125 dB peaks
eek.gif

Assuming 15 dB peaks compared to the average level of track (very dynamic pop, average for classical), that puts the average listening level at 110 dB, which is excessively loud.
 
FYI, for a lot of people on HF, 70 dB average is considered normal to moderately loud, and 80 dB is considered loud. Even considering peaks 30 dB above the average level (which would be very near to the max dynamic range on found on CDs), the volume needed for the peaks would only be 110 dB..
 
Now, it's also true that the 101 dB achievable by the HeadStreamer on the DT 880 600 ohms isn't enough
 
Dec 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM Post #13 of 21

Bummrounde

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Quote:
125 dB peaks
eek.gif

Assuming 15 dB peaks compared to the average level of track (very dynamic pop, average for classical), that puts the average listening level at 110 dB, which is excessively loud.
 
FYI, for a lot of people on HF, 70 dB average is considered normal to moderately loud, and 80 dB is considered loud. Even considering peaks 30 dB above the average level (which would be very near to the max dynamic range on found on CDs), the volume needed for the peaks would only be 110 dB..
 
Now, it's also true that the 101 dB achievable by the HeadStreamer on the DT 880 600 ohms isn't enough



Those all sound pretty high.  I'm woefully unprepared to discuss the science of sound, but using OSHA acceptable guidelines, it would seem to me that 101 dB is incredibly loud.  Is the implication here that the 990s won't sound right until over 101 dB?!  I plugged them into my e9 and the treble cuts at my ear like a lightsaber, I can't imagine cranking the dial until my ears bleed would be a good fix.
 
 
Dec 29, 2011 at 8:32 PM Post #15 of 21

Head Injury

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Quote:
Those all sound pretty high.  I'm woefully unprepared to discuss the science of sound, but using OSHA acceptable guidelines, it would seem to me that 101 dB is incredibly loud.  Is the implication here that the 990s won't sound right until over 101 dB?!  I plugged them into my e9 and the treble cuts at my ear like a lightsaber, I can't imagine cranking the dial until my ears bleed would be a good fix.


101 dB is loud, but remember that those are the peaks. That would be an average volume around 80-90 dB for dynamic tracks, which is loud but safe for fairly extended listening sessions. I use 110 dB as a standard for determine whether or not a headphone will be driven well in all situations, but most people won't need anywhere near that and 100 dB peaks will be enough.
 
125 dB is just ridiculous, though. To reach 125 dB, an AKG K1000 would need 125 W of power and 123 Vrms! The DT880/600 in question would need an astounding 22 Vrms, over 5 times what it needs to reach a more reasonable 110 dB.
 

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