HRT Music Streamer

EasyBigFella -- Wed, 03/17/2010 - 19:35

My Music Streamer arrived today, and it took me just a few moments of listening to realize what a special device this thing is.  I am using very modest PC speakers- Cambridge Soundworks Microworks II- and it seems as though I am listening to them for the first time.  Resolution, open midrange, tight, full and articulate bass, detailed and smooth treble, soundstage width... the Music Streamer gets all of the basics down perfectly and is immensely enjoyable to listen to.  It seems almost a joke that Music Direct can sell this thing for $99.  And, not for too much longer- the Music Streamer II is going for $149.  I recommend you snatch one up before they're discontinued.  This is the best $99 I've spent on anything audio.

Steven Stone -- Thu, 03/18/2010 - 09:03

 The new MSII will do 96/24 - well worth the extra $50.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

EasyBigFella -- Thu, 03/18/2010 - 13:55

I just like "$99".  It has a nice ring to it.

Rowland (not verified) -- Mon, 03/22/2010 - 21:28

Steven, have you had an opportunity to hear the Music Streamer Pro or the soon-to-be-released" Music Streamer HD yet? I am thinking of the Pro, at least, for it's balanced output in order to drive my balanced headphone amplifier, an SPL Phonitor. I believe the Pro retails for approx. $499 and the HD version in the $800 - $900 range and I'm wondering if the HD version would be worth the wait.

Mr Plus -- Tue, 03/23/2010 - 05:30

I've been using the Pro for a little while, but the HD is still in its final testing phase. With one reservation, the pro is absolutely remarkable, capable of taking on DACs costing a lot, lot more.

The reservation is that it seems to draw a lot of juice, and the USB architecture inside some computers appear not up to the task. If your first reaction upon hearing the Streamer Pro is 'meh' or that it's not as good as the Streamer Plus (for example), give the Streamer Pro its own powered USB hub and a dramatic transformation takes place.

Alan Sircom
Editor, Hi-Fi Plus Magazine
London, England
editor [at] hifiplus [dot] com

Stein Arne Nistad (not verified) -- Wed, 04/07/2010 - 06:20

I suppose adding a power supply using an powered USB HUB a) reduces the noise from the PC power supply b) is adding more power to the DAC. I believe both a) and b) is improving the sound.

Steven Stone -- Thu, 09/09/2010 - 13:54

Except for a brief demo at CES I have not heard or seen the HD version.

And your prices are right. That eight to nine hundred dollar price-point is halfway between an entry-level Music Streamer and a Wyred4Sound DAC 2.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

Rowland (not verified) -- Tue, 03/23/2010 - 06:14

Thanks Alan.  The Pro it is then.  Thank you too for the "heads-up" regarding the USB draw.  It's great to know of any issues up-front.

Harold Albert (not verified) -- Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:53

I've been using the original Streamer+ for 5 months now and I've never enjoyed digital more.  A modest set-up with flac fiiles sent through an Asus netbook via Foobar2000, I almost enjoy it as much as my vinyl.  With it being so convenient, I nearly listen to the digital as much as the analog. 
The obvious question, of course, is the new Steamer II series worth exploring?  With all of my flac files being 44/16, would any of the new Streamers make that much of a difference?  Needless to say I look forward to some reviews of the new HRT dacs.
Harold Albert
Bangkok, Thailand

Stein Arne Nistad (not verified) -- Wed, 04/07/2010 - 06:21

I suppose adding a power supply using an powered USB HUB a) reduces the noise from the PC power supply b) is adding more power to the DAC. I believe both a) and b) is improving the sound.

Big B -- Sat, 09/25/2010 - 05:18

I have Music streamer 2+. Since this is my first dac I don't have alot to compare it to. Having said that said that sound change was worth the money spent. Thr only problem I find is it often doesn't make that handshake and I have to reboot to get that hand shake.

zead -- Sun, 11/06/2011 - 05:23

 
 Steven and Allan , how does the WFS2 sound in comparison to the wadia 151 mini and your thoughts on them as investment alternatives for computer audio

Mr Plus -- Mon, 11/07/2011 - 04:06

Unfortunately, I've not had experience of either the WFS2 or the Wadia 151... yet. I'm hoping to address this issue in 2012.

Alan Sircom
Editor, Hi-Fi Plus Magazine
London, England
editor [at] hifiplus [dot] com

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