If you listen to music on headphones via a computer, iPad, Surface tablet or a Samsung Galaxy S ll or lll phone and want better sound quality then HRT's HeadStreamer Mobile is the perfect solution. Technically, HeadStreamer Mobile is a USB-connected and powered dedicated headphone amplifier/sound card designed to seamlessly interface with PC, Linux, and Macintosh computers, iPads (1, 2 & 3), Microsoft Surface tablet and the Samsung Galaxy S ll and lll phones. It directly decodes the digital music data stream from the computer, tablet or phone's hard drive into analog music for headphone listening.
Like other HRT products, set up and operation is super-easy: just use the included USB cable to hook the USB input of the HeadStreamer Mobile into any available USB port on the host computer*. The HeadStreamer Mobile automatically performs an "electronic handshake" with the source device and tells it that the HeadStreamer Mobile is here, that it is to get all audio signals sent to it instead of the Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) that is built into the computer, tablet or phone... And that's it, the HeadStreamer Mobile, is in charge of all data-transfer timing instructions. Then just plug your headphones into the 1/8" analog output jack on HeadStreamer Mobile. Now you are ready to stream some music, either directly by playing a disc through the computers optical drive, or read as a digital file from your computer, tablet or phone's hard drive. You will literally never need a stand-alone CD player again to enjoy all the music in your CD collection in high quality sound through headphones. If you happen to have other higher-resolution files (up to 24bit/96k) stored on your HD, you can also play them in their full native resolution (no up-sampling).
The HeadStreamer Mobile provides full support for playback applications such as iTunes and Windows Media Player, as well as numerous others, allowing a direct, great-sounding connection between your computer, tablet or phone and your headphones. You can also listen to streaming Internet radio stations or music subscription services through the HeadStreamer Mobile in much better sound quality than from your source device's built-in DAC.
Utilizing a minimalistic but extremely high-performance circuit that includes strong power isolation from the host device, HRT's proprietary asynchronous data transfer for lowest possible jitter, and a digitally controlled analog volume attenuator (the master digital volume slider on the host device causes the analog circuit inside the HeadStreamer Mobile to adjust the volume up or down), the HeadStreamer Mobile allows a level of sonic performance that until now has been unobtainable in its price range. Although best suited to powering low impedance, high-sensitivity 'phones, the HeadStreamer Mobile, which is equipped with a 1/8" stereo mini-jack for its output, is able to drive higher impedance, less sensitive models as well, with the only compromise being a reasonable limit to ultimate volume level, not sonic performance. If used with a male 1/8" stereo plug-to-RCA adapter cable, HeadStreamer Mobile is also capable to act as a single-input, (analog) volume-controllable, line stage preamplifier that connects directly from a computer, tablet or phone to your personal entertainment system or powered speakers.
Given an uncompressed, CD-quality 16/44.1k file, the HeadStreamer Mobile will allow your source device to sound like a very good CD player is connected directly to your headphones or stereo. If you have other higher-resolution files up to a max of 24/96k, the HeadStreamer Mobile will reveal them in all of their sonic splendor, as well.
Utilizing native Audio Class 1.0 drivers (present in all modern PC, Mac, and Linux computers, iPad and Surface tablets, Samsung Galaxy S ll & lll phones) there are no extra drivers or software to install. Simply connect it to your source device via the included USB cable*, confirm that the HeadStreamer Mobile is the chosen device in the source device's preferences area, and you are ready to go. LED indicators show the current sample rate (32k, 44k1, 48k, 88k2 & 96k), as well as the state of the HeadStreamer Mobile's mute circuit; you will always know at a glance your system's operating mode.
As firmware improvements become available, HRT's UpStream utility allows the HeadStreamer Mobile to be updated right from a computer's desktop in a matter of seconds.
* Use with iPad (1, 2 & 3) requires HMA-1 adaptor (included). Use with Samsung Galaxy S ll & lll phones requires Host Mode cable (included).