High Resolution Technologies (HRT), has introduced iStreamer. It boasts a higher quality DAC. MacNN stopped by HRT’s booth at Macworld Expo and listened to a demo with the new setup. Users simply attach iStreamer to iOS device via USB and connect other end to a preamps or other gear via RCA.
The iStreamer supports 16-bit samples at data rates of up to 48k, effectively matching CD quality. Unfortunately the device does not support 24-bit/96k content, but that is a limitation of Apple’s hardware rather than HRT’s DAC.
For $200, the iStreamer actually seems like a bargain compared to many other high-end DACs on the market. Nonetheless, it is a niche item that cannot be fully enjoyed without other quality gear. At the very least, the device should be used with a decent pair of cans and a headphone amp. It will become even more significant if Apple ever manages to push record companies to release lossless tracks on iTunes, but that is a separate issue entirely.