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HRT music streamer 2 bass response

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I have used the HRT Music Streamer for many years, mainly to play back recordings I have made. I have used it with at least two laptops before the one that I am currently using. I've never been particularly satisfied with the sound quality, but have generally blamed this on my recording skills or lack of them. Recently, I tried it with a new laptop and found two things-in general, the sound was much clearer but also that the bass somewhat overwhelming. The same (piano) recordings, burned to CD-R sound perfectly well balanced when played on a really high quality CD player (through the same amplifier and speakers).

Is it possible that built in software (driver in the laptop?) could be altering the sound quality? Or is the HRT Music Streamer designed to boost bass but this hasn't been apparent through other laptops? I find that piano recordings through the HRT now have a rumbling sound, which I think originates from the piano soundboard but which is not a problem when playing the same files on my CD player (which is not known for an underwhelming bass).

I’d suspect some DSP on the laptop. What OS?

Hello-thanks for your reply. I am using Windows 10.

I am assuming, probably wrongly, that the overall performance of the HRT Music Streamer 2 is now sounding better (bass problem notwithstanding) because my new laptop is able to provide a higher voltage through its USB? Also, I understand that a DAC just changes digital to analogue but that the output stage and implementation is the reason for many of the differences between the sound achieved with different DACs. In other words, the DAC section might produce a flat frequency response but this could be altered by components in the other parts of the DAC.

In other words-is the new laptop enabling the Music Streamer to function as intended (heavy bass and all) or is the laptop somehow causing the sound to become unbalanced. It is almost as if the bass has been boosted to make it sound better over tinny speakers.

I’d check the DAC’s Windows settings. Make sure that it’s not using any DSP.

Documentation and firmware:


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