HiFiMan HM-101 Portable USB Sound Card
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- USB DAC
- Texas Instrument PCM2702 16-bit, 48 kHz chipset
- High-quality headphone stage
- Line-out jack for powered speakers
- USB-powered (no AC or batteries needed)
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Top Customer Reviews
So why the 3 stars? well the headphone jack is noisy, whatever amp they used they should have spent a couple extra cents. Luckily the line out port is quiet and the DAC has a nice sound that I find pleasing, and is plenty loud on my headphones. I havent quite put my finger on it yet but there seems to be some coloration in the tunes...maybe I'm just getting old and ears are giving out.
All in all it's a keeper and a pretty good deal for the price, it really will work well for what I need it for. It sounds fantastic paired with my laptop and pushing tunes through my Rotel to my second fav speakers, and makes the headphones I have sound a little better. But in this price bracket there are USB cards with digital outputs plus the headphone jack, so your $20 buds sound better and you could offload the signal to a better DAC if you wanted. So I guess just pick what you need, it sounds great with all the headphones I have and even hooked up to a pretty nice rig for stereo, if you need a digital out or if your cans are hard to drive you might want to look elsewhere So it might deserve another star for sounding pretty good but you decide I guess. I'm not bashing it by any means.
Connected to my laptop and into a 110 watt/channel amp into floor standing speakers (Pioneer Elite Bi-amped into Dali Ikon II) with volume high enough to rock a large living room, the HM -101 is excellent. Yes, much better than just connecting to the stock soundcard in either my laptop or my desktop PC playing just average music downloaded from the net. I hear a much wider soundstage using the HM-101 along with better, more defined midrange separating the midrange away from the bass. While a little light on the bass, the HM-101 produces a cleaner sound than the stock soundcards (Desktop or laptop) alone.
Unfortunately the HM-101 is sensitive to interference from cell phones, and computers (incl my HP laptop).Read more ›
Some of the vibrant audio must be attributed to the fact there is a headphone amplifier, I told myself. I have a Fiio Headphone amp, so I plugged it in and did some A/B testing vs. the HiFiMan, and whatever they have inside the Hifiman box is now my preferred listening method. I am anxious to pair the Hifiman up with some nice powered speakers to see how much of this difference disappears in full room audio vs. headphones.
One thing that kept me from giving the product 5 stars is the slight bit of interference you hear during silence at beginning, during, or at the end of a particular track. This may be attributable to interference from the computer. I am going to use a longer length adapter cord to separate the little box from the computer a farther distance. With or without this distortion, I am sold on the Hifiman, and it being my first step into the world of DACS, etc. I feel it won't be long until I sink money into a more substantial product.
My testing was with iTunes format files downloaded directly and tracks ripped from CDs using iTunes, both at 256kbps. Other reviews talk of the user playing lossless files, and filetypes that are foreign to me. I'm just an average Joe who enjoys good sounding audio, and know enough to spot the differences. Black Eyed Peas, Shania Twain, Pink Floyd, and George Clinton tracks were exclusively used for testing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good cost effective DAC. However ensure you use a usb cable with at least one ferrite core isolator, it is definitely susceptible to ground noise. Works well with win 7 through 10. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sean G.
I couldn't get it work or I didn't notice any audio difference with the use of it.Published 14 months ago by Laura
The hissing, the popping, crackling noises made me return it.Published 18 months ago by Floyd Cerati
While this sound card will function as an additional device I was hopping it would eliminate some signal noise. Sadly This was just as loud as the cheap PC speak out. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Michael O'Rourke
I have a PC connected to my stereo receiver and use it to stream Spotify Premium. When I connect the HM-101 using its line out, the sound improvement is amazing. Read morePublished 19 months ago by martylane
An extraordinary product for the money. Lively sound, simple operation, excellent Windows compatibility. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lee Herman
It Sounds Worlds better than onboard audio don't get me wrong but all the time i hear crackling and LOUD popping in my headphones, particularly the left driver. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Andrew
great deal. don't know if it's a placebo effect or not, but it seems to clean up the sound quite a bit. makes me want to spend the $150+ on a better model...Published on July 12, 2014 by vortexass