My beautiful new Emotiva XDA-2 was delivered by UPS on Thursday ..... perfectly packed in a double shipping carton with fitted styrofoam inserts, arrived in pristine condition. I "burned it in" for thirty six hours, then sat down and started listening. My initial impressions ..... Holy Crap ! This thing sounds amazing !
Compared to my Music Streamer II, which I have truly enjoyed and still recommend as a wonderfully musical USB DAC, this Emotiva XDA-2 throws a wider and deeper soundstage, offers greater dynamic range, seems more "crystal clear" without any upper end harshness, and offers a fuller top to bottom coherent presentation. When comparing, I can only rely on music through my MacBook Pro, since the HRT is USB only. Streaming tunes through MOG.com and listening to downloads from HD Tracks, I am very happy with the improvement that I am hearing in the sound of music. The Emotiva is definitely a big jump in quality over the HRT unit.
Now, the extra stuff that I can use with the Emotiva is fantastic. 75 ohm coaxial digital cable from my Rotel RCD-1072 to the XDA-2 ...... My CD's are sounding better. Optical cable from my DVD player to the XDA-2 ..... My DVD's are sounding better. The XDA-2's remote is a pleasure to use, and I am enjoying my "digital hours" in my listening room more than ever before.
Bravo the folks at Emotiva ! This XDA-2 is a marvelous product and an incredible bargain at the current $249 price. Are there better DAC's out there ? Absolutely ! Is there a better overall value out there ? I doubt it.