in , ,

HRT microStreamer DAC review (6Moons)

  • This month and last I spent considerable time applying HRT’s microStreamer to various scenarios. Thanks to a mid-2013 firmware upgrade the microStreamer can now tap the digital stream from an iPad via a CCK/host mode adaptor; HRT can sell you their own-branded version. One review session translated an iPad into a ‘virtual Squeezebox’. Furthermore, the mini HRT also plays ball with iPhones – not an officially supported feature.

    The microStreamer has a smart, brainy and crisp sound that mates well with warmer, more humid setups. On the headphone side think Mr Speakers Mad Dog. Yes, it drives them just nicely. Getting a sound this good for $200 would have been inconceivable a couple of years ago.


    At US$189 the HRT used plough a field all of it own; direct price-point competition used to be pretty much zero. Sprouting in the last few months have been dongle DACs from Audioquest (Drangonfly 1.2), iFi Audio (Nano iDSD) and Audioengine (D3), all of which sell for under the $200 mark.

    Still, if you want a feisty performer that is guaranteed to run with iDevices, the HRT is your guy.

    Read my full review over at 6Moons.

    Further information: HRT

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    One Comment

    1. Thanks for your coverage of this mini-digi-marvel, so versatile and sonically outstanding. The microStreamer follows a long line of well-received, compact HRT USB DACs. Experienced designer Kevin Halverson sure knows what he’s doing. I use three of the little buggers: one for serious in-ear-phone listening (driving AudioFly AF-78 in-ear monitors, attached to Linux Mint laptop with Pulse Audio and Xnoise), one for custom PC workstation monitoring/audio production (Xubuntu, Pulse Audio, driving modded Fostex T50RP phones) and another in my main audio rig (recycled Xubuntu laptop, Pulse Audio, Xnoise). Sonics improve hugely with premium, separate current and data carrier USB cable and premium headphone cable or signal interconnect. This tiny DAC has displaced several fancy, costly, hyped-up DACs in my home. In the evolution of redbook digital audio, this is truly a landmark product!

    iFi’s battery-powered Nano iDSD DAC/headphone-amp

    KIH #2: Removing the room