Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HRT MicroStreamer Review

The HRT MicroStreamer arrives hot on the heels of Audioquest's amazing Dragonfly USB DAC.  

The MicroStreamer has a USB mini-B input and two 1/8" output jacks. One is for headphones, the other line-level output is for connection to an audio system via (most likely) a 1/8" stereo mini to RCA cable. Each output is marked with icons. Sample-rate indicator lights are located on the side of the chassis. The one piece aluminum housing is simple, sturdy, and functional. 

It has asynchronous USB transfer, is capable of handling high resolution audio formats up to 24 bit 96 kHz, and has an analog gain stage that is digitally controlled.

From the moment I plugged the MicroStreamer in to my main audio system and began to listen, I was simply amazed at how good something so small could sound. The industry has really come a long way in producing superior sound in convenient packages, and at reasonable prices. The HRT MicroStreamer is the current pinnacle of this progress in my opinion.

There was really nothing missing tonally from the musical presentation of the MicroStreamer. Bass was low, tight, and tuneful. Mids were rich, layered and pleasant, Highs were extended and smooth when the source was. Soundstaging was pretty unbelievable with good recordings. The MicroStreamer painted a 3D portrait of the recording that was also very musical.  What impressed me most, was the dynamic drive and punch this little device had. It totally caught me off guard.

All in all I highly recommend the MicroStreamer for a desktop audio system, pack it in your laptop bag with a pair of good headphones for listening on the road, or use it as the foundation for an entry level audio system.


  • Something this small shouldn't sound this good. Musical, 3 dimensional, with good low end kick and top end extension.
  • Can play back on your audio system or through your headphones
  • Price: $198. It raises the bar for high performance USB DACs.


  • Does not work with iDevices
  • Requires a USB a to Mini B cable

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