HRT Streamer+

I recently read the glowing review about the High Resolution Technologies Streamer+ done by 6moons in Sept 2009. I can't help but question how a $299 dac can keep pace with, and in some cases outperform, highly respected units costing quite a bit more (Peachtree Audio Nova, Stello DA100 Signature, Aura Note Premier, April Music Ai500 ).

If I had a USB source, I'd get one, but I'd have to put a lot of effort into rearranging my system to do that.

Can anyone offer first-hand comments or opinions on this unit?

Many thanks!
I heard the Streamer + at CES and quite frankly this is an amazing USB solution. The sound was very good even in a system set up in a hotel room. I'm not a big fan of USB, but between this solution and the M2Tech Hiface things are looking up for affordable USB audio with these entry price points. That being said if I were to go with a Music Streamer product I would consider either the Pro version, or HRT's next product offering that will be released this Spring, which will still be under $1000. The Pro version offers better parts, and allows for 24/96. The chip is the Burr Brown PCM-1704, which is well regarded. You could do a lot worse with USB.

Now if you really want to hear what USB can do and still leverage your own DAC, then the Sonicweld Diverter is IMO an excellent solution. I was able to borrow one from the distributor at CES and take it home to hear in my system. Quite honestly, it did not make me miss my CEC transport. Add to this I did not do anything special but rip a few CDs to my MacBook and run the music through iTunes. A couple of people were listening with me and were equally amazed.
Thanks Clio. I appreciate your input. It does seem like price points are dropping and performance is increasing. We seem to be entering a new age for digital. There are so many new devices and innovations out there. It's hard to keep up.
Pretty much the reason I still haven't gotten in to computer audio. It's all still a moving target. Prices will continue to drop as more manufacturers realize the potential market for affordable USB audio. At CES, I listened to Mike Hobson present to a group of prospective European dealers and the entire talk focused on capturing a market of consumers that no one else seemed to be going after. I can't say I fault that marketing strategy. Given a choice between an iPod or iPod docking station and the Music Streamer, I'd take the Music Streamer anytime. It offers convenience, multiple price points, and is well designed.
I own the cheaper HRT Music Streamer. I coupled it with a 40.00 Kimber usb cable and a 50.00 MIT AVT interconnect. For 190.00 total cost, the sound is amazing. Granted, it isn't as good as my 2600.00 cd player, but using iTunes and files ripped in the Apple lossless format, the sound is surprisingly close (pace, rythem and timing) and I can access over 2000 songs from my HP Laptop in a matter of seconds.

When I just want to read and have some background music, this is my choice. Every time I hear it, I am blown away with the quality of sound for so little money.
I'd love to hear from Streamer+ owners. How is this device performing in your system? I've seen a couple in the classifieds, so I know they're out there.
I just bought the HRT Music Streamer II (since the II+ is not out yet) for the fun of it. Honestly, I wanted to see what all the hype is about using a Mac Mini as a music server with iTunes (w/Apple Lossless). Well, for the price, it's a pretty amazing little DAC for $150.

What I mean by that is while it's definitely not going to "destroy" any $1k+ CD players on the market today, the combination is very enjoyable. I'm utterly amazed to tell you the truth on what $150 can get you for sound quality.

I will say one additional thing about the setup. Using just my MacBook with the MS II plugged into definitely beat out my high-end $2k music server system. Enough so, that I'm going to be selling it and then I'm going out and buying a Mac Mini. Not only does it have better sound, but Apple's iTunes Remote App for the iPod Touch is just a better interface for locating music faster (I have 1200 CDs and the music server is just pathetically slow for searching through them.)

Will I be keeping the MS II? Nope, it's going back. Now that I realize what a $150 gets me, I'm going to be setting my sights a bit higher.

In the end, I'm very pleased I bought it and tried it out. It's very good product, and I wanted something cheap that sounds really good - this would be at the top of my list.

Also, the MS II can now do 24/96.
I am new to this so please bare with me. Has anyone compared the Music Streamer+ or II+ or V-DAC with USB connections vs. connecting the computer's optical output to the optical input of a high-end processor? I have a Mac Pro running iTune and AIF non-compressed music files. I connected the computer's optic out to a Krell HTS7.1 pre/pro's optic input and listened to it in two channel stereo mode via Krell KAV 3250 amps and Sonus Faber Ellipsa speakers. Sounds good but far from a CD player. Would the Streamer/V-DAC with USB connection outperform the optical connection as in my system or other less high-end processors? Thanks for your help. Ron
Racerx90 would you comment in a little more detail about the sound - why are you returning it or saying it won't beat a cd player over $1000. It is lacking in refinement? Detail? Deep bass? Air?

To quickly summarize my opinion on it without trying to be overly negative (and honestly, I thought it was a really great product for $150 - there's no question if I was shopping in that price range I'd be impressed), I found it to be a little too "dry" for my taste.

I felt it just really failed to capture a lot of the music's essence that makes music so enjoyable to listen to. When I listen to music, I really like the feeling of being able to forget about what's good or bad with it and just focus on how good the music sounds.

In other words, it sounded too much like a digital recording without all the life of the original recording coming through. Maybe it's because I'm a tube guy, but it failed to impress me in that respect. While it was an improvement on my existing setup, it wasn't good enough to keep it. In the end I'm glad I auditioned it since it made me realize how much I really didn't like my existing office system and motivated me to sell everything and start over again (literally).

In case you're wondering what I settled on.. I finally ended up with an Audio-GD DAC-19DF (which is only a bit more price-wise, but it's in a completely different league in terms of performance.) Not to mention that the combination pairs really well with my Cary Audio SLI-80 and Sennheiser HD650 Headphones.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose. I'm sure you'll enjoy the Music Streamer series if you decided to buy one.