Summary: the first couple of times I plugged in the HiFi Man HM 101 to my laptop I got a green light which made me think it was on and working but no sound came thru the headphones but I think that green light means it is loading the drivers, the third time last ditch effort the light came on blue now it was on and surprisingly a much improved sound was coming thru Sennheiser HD518's all of a sudden there was much more clarity and more weight to the bass, percussion bass drum the...
Summary: Got this to replace my Macbook Air's internal sound card to run my Audio Technica ATH-M50's and my creative gigaworks desktop speakers. For a Headphone amp there is a noticeable difference in sound reproduction while using the Hifi Man Express. Tighter Bass response, more a more realistic sound-stage. I didn't however notice much difference in my desk top speakers, using the DAC portion. But for the price its a steal.
Pros: The value of the Hifi Man express is very high for the price, noticeable upgrade from Macbook Air's Sound card.
Cons: Noticeable hum when no music is played, if next to a phone/computer hum is noticeable through music.
Summary: Hifiman HM-101 Portable Sound Card An inexpensive way to turn any USB capable computer into a hifi station.
So I received the HM101 and put it through some work.
Small, wow, comes with everything you need. It's so tiny. Key chain tiny. This is good. I like small when it comes to this because it's really portable. It comes with the USB cable and the unit itself. Nothing else needed.
Pros: Small, inexpensive, mobile, good design
Cons: Not constructed rigorously, some noise issues, bright
Summary: This was the first piece of audio gear that I ever owned when I was venturing outside of what I could get from local electronics stores. I wanted to see if this would provide any difference with my RE-0 earbuds and my friend's ATH-M50. I cannot speak for what I know now which is a lot more, but at that time I felt it was an improvement over generic computer audio.
Pros: Cheap, Portable, subtle warmth, good detail for the price