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Sonic Satori - HRT Levels the Field with the MicroStreamer

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mikemercer, Jan 23, 2013.
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  1. mikemercer
    I don't want to waste your time reading more spontaneous prose from yours truly, so lemme say when I got the microStreamer from HRT just prior to release (YES - I worked for them, I lay it out for ALL to see in my review & many know that here) I was so enthralled by its sonic wonderment, combined w/ my Audeze LCD3's I stayed up all night the first night listening.  NO drugs...  The music was my drug.
    PLS check out my review in Positive Feedback HERE
    I took some chances with this review.  I've never been one to stick to traditional reviewing styles or stay within mere technical confines (know they are important, don't think I don't).  I try to engage the reader in my experience w/ the product.  Sorry for those that get offended by that statement re: technical reviewing - I do that sometimes as well - but as a great engineer I just heard from on the review said (far better than I could): 
    It really read as a heart felt real life journey.  A good review in my opinion, one that is worth the ink (real or electronic), should tell a story about he experience of the listener and this one did.  The last thing I want to read is some speculation (nearly always wrong) about why this resistor or that IC sounds like this or that.  Unless someone is a very seasoned engineer, jumping to these sorts of 'conclusions' is really nothing more than unfounded speculation.  Reviews of something like an audio component should tell the story of what they heard and if they enjoyed the experience, not what someone else might or might not hear and most certainly not why a green screw sounds better than a blue one.  
    I wish I expressed it that way!!  
    Anyway, really hope some of you dig this piece.
    I poured my soul into it - and while we all interpret differently, I'm honored to be a part of the personal audio revolution you guys have been building!!!!
    Yours in Sound,
    PS: I'm finally building my 1st Sonic Satori Personal Audio Lab - for reviewing!!
    Like my two room reference systems... (Beats are for my iPhone)

  2. glrtrgi
    I want you to know that I just ordered the Microstreamer, based both on your review and my experience with Muse products in the past. I wanted to ask you whether you had the opportunity to try the streamer out with an Android based smartphone, as that is what I am going to do, as well as hook it up to my Windows computer. I enjoy your writing, and you probably don't remember this  but I had the pleasure of auditioning some NOLA boxer speakers with you one evening in West L.A. Anyway, I'm excited to hear this piece and I'm hopeful that it shows some versatility by connecting with my computer, smartphone and tablet as needed.
    We'll see (and hear). Thanks again for letting us know about this product.
  3. AJHeadfi
    So this is that new! Seems very affordable. I wonder if a smartphone output to USB can power it?
    Edit: I think you have enough gear there Mike and thanks for sharing your music in the review.
  4. mikemercer
    my whole response got lost (wasn't signed-in, f__)
    Hey Gregg!!
    Of Course I remember that listening sesh!  The Boxers went on to become really adored by my peers at TAS and Stereophile!!
    I was proud to have the honor of covering those first!!  I said I MUST have them after RMAF 2009!!  LOL.  The Marchisotos (designers family) are so cool.
    Thanks for the kind words!
    PLS PM me w/ your email- do you attend any LAOCAS meetings?
    Remember - the HRT microStreamer is advertised as a solution for your PC (though I think there maybe a mobile version someday)) - NOT smartphones, but...
    I got another letter from a reader who's also getting one and he asked me about smartphone compatibility.
    I wrote to Kevin Halverson (CTO, HRT) and here was his response, shared with his permission:
    Hello Michael,
    The microStreamer is not compatible with an iPad without adding a self powered USB hub as its power requirements exceed what an iPad can support.  A microStreamer can be used with an applicable Android platform if used with an OTG host mode cable.
    Hope this answer the question(s).
  5. mikemercer
    looks like you're in luck on the smartphone end!
    and thanX!  I love writing music reviews.  I had alot of fun writing the one I did on Nosaj Thing's Home in
    Positive Feedback this month
  6. juntom10
    Hmmm this is a very interesting product. Small footprint, also can work with android devices...(looking at my galaxy note 2) :D
  7. breadvan
    Thanks Mike, just got the microStreamer, love it!
  8. cedou97yon
    Hi Breadvan,
    I was hoping to find someone who did use this with a smartphone to give me some advice, i have read one of your post on the " android and usb dac" thread.
    I'm interested in this microstreamer.
    can you tell me more about the effect on your phone battery when you use it?
    Do you use an Y usb cable with another battery? Which one?
    Is there a real enhencement compare to your note II 's Dac ?even without the add of an external battery?
    And what headphone do you use it with?
    I would like to use it with an xperia Z maybe when i'll get it.

  9. breadvan

    Hi there, I use it so far for short trips only, like between home and office and vice versa, so cannot give you a too definitive answer, but it seems the microStreamer doesn’t drain the battery too badly, I would haphazardly guess may be 10% more than the phone on standby and playing tunes on its own, which is reasonable consider you are adding one more bus powered device loading one the battery, however, I need to use it more to have a better idea. I just use a generic y-cable you can get very easily on eBay for powering external hard drive etc., the only drawback is they are usually at least a foot long, quite unwieldy. Enhancement? Yes for sure even without an external battery, a fuller and wider soundstage, firmer bass, better and smother texture, much better driving harder to drive headphones even my old etymotic 6. I’m using UE900 now. Cheers.
  10. cedou97yon
    ok,thanks for the news,very usefull.

  11. glrtrgi
    In using the Microstreamer with your Android phone, are you using any specific software to play your music files? Also, what format of files e.g. WAV, mp3, FLAC, etc. is your smartphone able to play with the Microstreamer?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.
  12. breadvan

    I use Neutron. I suppose any player would do, my files are 98% FLAC, with some Apple Lossless. My Note II (N7105) works flawlessly with microStreamer, stock OS.
  13. glrtrgi
    My understanding is that one of the difficulties with getting good sound quality from an android phone is the difficulty in outputting WAC/FLAC files from the phone through the mini-USB jack. You are saying that this Neutron software does this on the Android OS? And are you using an OTG cable from the phone to the microstreamer's USB cable? I have tried to hook up my Razor MAXX phone directly to the microstreamer via the USB cable that came with the microstreamer, but I was unable to output any music files. I tried using an app called DeadBeef and one called My Music.
  14. dookie182
    hello Mike,
    I've been reading your review a couple of times the last 24h and was wondering about the microstreamer and ADS combo you are advising. Did you like the Dac job done with the microstreamer better than the dac part of the ADS. And so, on what criteria? I've had the dacmin cx for a year  and am now getting the all ADS bundle. I like the technicality of the cx dac , but kind of feels it misses a part of magic. Maybe your words will be better than mine.
    best regards
  15. breadvan

    Strange, no problem whatsoever playing flac files through Neutron and the micro USB on Note II to Mini USB on the Microstreamer.
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