The HRT iStreamer-Alternating Current (AC) is a product that makes the music coming out of your iPad, iPhone, or iPod sound dramatically better when connected to a music entertainment system in either a home/office setting or in a vehicle. The iStreamer AC is not designed to be used with PC or Mac computers like the other HRT Music Streamers. Rather, it is a high performance external sound card/audio interface that has been specifically designed to exclusively interface with modern iDevices such as the iPod Touch® (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gen), iPod Classic®, iPod Nano® (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th gen), iPhone 4®, iPhone 3GS®, iPhone 3G®, iPhone®, iPhone5®, iPad®, iPad (3G)®, iPad 2®, the New (2012) iPad®, and the iPad Mini®. The iStreamer AC redirects the digital music stream from the iDevice to itself, bypassing the iDevice’s own internal Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) and uses its own DAC instead, taking over the job of decoding the digital bits into analog music, allowing a far higher level of sonic performance than if listening directly from an iDevice.
The iStreamer AC uses a (provided) 5VDC power supply to connect to an AC outlet in your home or office**, and is very easy to operate. Simply connect one end of the supplied RCA cables (or any set that you prefer to use) to the two RCA jacks on the iStreamer AC, then connect the other end of the RCA cables to any available analog input (except a PHONO input, which is for analog turntables only) on your integrated amplifier, preamp, receiver, power amplifier with attenuators, or powered speakers. Next, make sure that your iDevice is in “standby” mode (where the device is powered on, but has the black screen showing), and connect the included/proprietary (you must use the HRT-supplied cable, as the Apple stock synch cable has a different pin configuration and will not function correctly) synch cable from the iStreamer AC to your iDevice. Then, attach the cable from the (plugged-into-the-wall) power supply, and look for a brief flash of the amber lights on the iStreamer AC that indicates that it has successfully powered on, and finally, watch for the single blinking amber light that indicates that the iStreamer AC has successfully "paired" with your iDevice. Once you see this light blinking, you can go directly to iTunes and start playing music with up to CD-quality sound, depending on the quality and resolution of the song file being played*. Even the lowliest MP3 file sounds richer, bolder, and more dynamic compared to playing the same song directly from the iDevice, but CDs ripped at full 16/44.1k resolution sound fantastic.
The iStreamer AC provides full support for applications designed to run on an iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod®, as well as allowing you to listen to internet radio stations and streaming music services, as well as the audio content of on-line movie services such as Netflix and the like.
With its Apple-approved, ultra high performance circuitry, and "host mode" of operation that eliminates jitter in the digital interface, the iStreamer AC, combined with your iDevice, renders a CD player and a library of physical discs effectively obsolete. For the first time, without having to tether your iDevice to a "middleman"-style docking unit and separate Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), you can enjoy a level of sound quality in your home entertainment system or vehicle never before possible from a portable audio device. A great side benefit of using the iStreamer AC is that it actually charges your iDevice as it plays music, extending its playtime.
*iDevices are limited by Apple to play music files with a maximum resolution of 16bit/48k, so one cannot play any “Hi-Res” files (24bit/96k, etc.). Basically, if you can load it onto or play through your iDevice, the iStreamer AC will play any given stored or streaming file at its full native resolution up to a max of 16bit/48k.
** HRT makes two versions of the iStreamer: a “standard” AC version iStreamer AC that is equipped with a separate power supply appropriate to its area of distribution that is designed to draw power from the local AC mains; and the iStreamer 12V/Mobile which comes with a compact 12VDC-to-5VDC power supply that simply fits into your vehicle's or boat's cigarette lighter or spare 12VDC auxiliary outlet.
***It must be noted that the two versions of the HRT iStreamer are not identical, in that the iStreamer 12V comes with a shorter power cord and has different firmware than the AC models that allows for optimum charging of iDevices in a mobile environment. One can use an iStreamer 12V in a home/office environment with the purchase of an area-appropriate power supply, but the iStreamer-AC units will not function correctly in a 12V environment.
iStreamer's host mode eliminates jitter.
Line-Level analog output.
16 Bit operation.
Supports 32k, 44.1k & 48k sample rates.
Endplate LED lights identify sample rate.
External 2.1 Amp power supply included.
Custom sync cable included.
Designed and manufactured in Southern California.
Full Scale Output
2.25 Volts RMS
Frequency Response (20 Hz / 20 kHz)
Noise Floor (DC -> 30 kHz)
S/N Ratio (DC -> 30 kHz)
THD+N (1 kHz FS 44.1 kS/s)
32k, 44k1 or 48k
Host Mode (master)
up to 2.1 Amp
4.6" x 2.3" x .875"
Doug Soundman talks about iStreamer for home and car.
Bret at OneCall explains the iStreamer
Q) I have used several istreamers for installs and couldnt be happier. its and excellent product and works almost flawlessly. my question concerns the new ipad mini, have you addressed this with the new dock connector etc. yet or have any plans to do so?
A) In answer to your question, if used with the Apple supplied USB A to Lightning cable, all Lightning equipped iDevices, including the iPad mini are compatible with the iStreamer.
Pairing Instructions - Here are the proper steps to pairing.
1) The iDevice needs to have at least a 20% charge to be paired. If not, charge the iDevice to the minimum level before proceeding. (The iStreamer will then handle any additional charging requirements)
2) Connect the HRT supplied power supply to the mains and connect the HRT supplied USB A to USB mini B cable only to the power supply. Verify that the red LED on the power supply is illuminated.
3) Put the iDevice into standby (its display will be off) and make certain that it is not playing any audio in the background.
4) Using the HRT supplied sync cable (USB A to Apple 30 pin) connect the iDevice to the iStreamer. Never attempt to use a different sync cable. They may look alike, but internally, they are different and the HRT one is unique.
5) Connect the USB mini B end of the HRT cable to the iStreamer.
6) The three LEDs on the iStreamer will momentarily flash, this indicates that the iStreamer has booted up.
7) The pairing process will now begin. It can take several seconds to complete, don't attempt to use the iDevcie until completed. The pair (iDevice/iStreamer) will be ready when one of the three sample rate LEDs begins to slowly blink.
The device sets up in less than a minute, and noticeably improves the sound quality from my mid-price home audio system. I went from not really noticing the music played from my i-touch into my stereo, to actually wanting to sit and listen to the songs.
Christopher M Viscomi
I was completely blown away by the improvement in the sound on the home stereo... (read more)
I was completely blown away by the improvement in the sound on the home stereo. I also tried it in the truck and was surprised to find the system sounded better with the IStreamer. The sound I get from this DAC is the closest thing to a record I have ever heard from a digital device. I highly recommend this device to anyone who wants a quantum improvement in their IPOD music!
The difference in sound was immediately noticeable. The sound was more open and dynamic. There were details in certain tracks that I never heard before. Overall it is just a much richer, cleaner sound than before. I am very pleased.
Thanks for the quick reply. I am really enjoying the iStreamer... (read more)
Thanks for the quick reply. I am really enjoying the iStreamer. The only downside is that now I am greatly sensitized to all the poor quality DAC's in my life: the ipod, the DVD player, even my Onkyo receiver. After the convenience factor wore off with digital audio, I found myself disappointed by the poor sound. Ripping at higher bit rates didn't provide much improvement. I even noticed how good my old cassette recordings sounded compared to an iPod connected to a stereo.
Now that I have an iStreamer, I may have to upgrade other portions of my audio life with HRT gadgets. Life is too short to be bombarded with harsh digital sound.
Arthur Zatarain, Louisiana
I'm 25 and don't claim to be an audiophile. I'm not going to list my equipment and how much it cost because it doesn't matter... (read more)
I'm 25 and don't claim to be an audiophile. I'm not going to list my equipment and how much it cost because it doesn't matter. What does matter is how much I love this product. I never realized how much a DAC really matters but now I'm convinced it's the most important part of your set up. It brings out aac, mp3, and especially lossless files like you would not believe. When I first heard it was like looking through a dirty window for 3 years, cleaning it, and seeing everything better.
Crazy Tooth Man
The iStreamer has done wonders for my digital music collection. It's absolutely fabulous - fuller, richer, wider, deeper - you name it - marvellous addition to my system !!!!
I wrote you a few weeks back to give kudos to you for the Music Streamer II I was so enjoying , a few days back I bought an iStreamer... (read more)
I wrote you a few weeks back to give kudos to you for the Music Streamer II I was so enjoying , a few days back I bought an iStreamer.......How crazy is this ? For $350.00 I get TWO way cool sounding DAC's one for my macbook pro and one for my ipod. Recently my highly reviewed $2000.00 cd player went down and needs repair....I'm in no hurry ..more kudos !!!
Dean Singh, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
DAC... Don't be without it. Great product, works as advertised, easy to use interface, hooked it up to an extra audio outlet on my receiver and the ease of use paired with the great sound from my iPad makes me wonder why I waited so long.
James Carlton Rowe
I honestly wasn't expecting the improvement in clarity that I gained with this device, I'm blown away every time I listen to it.
I was a little skeptical that this device would provide CD quality sound, but it does! I'm completely amazed. I really can't tell the difference between a CD and my iPod. Also, amazingly easy to set-up and use.