In this little article I describe my experience running an iStreamer DAC from battery power instead of the AC-DC mains adapter. When I read about Headfonia's experience getting better sound using the $200 Kingrex Upower battery, I decided to try using a Mophie pack like Apple sells in their stores.
For those not familiar with the iStremer DAC, here are it's specifications. Alex
SPECS & PRICING
High Resolution Technologies iStreamer DAC Accessories: Power supply, power supply cable, Apple-compatible dock/USB cable, RCA interconnect cables DAC: 16-bit, with support for 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz data rates Digital Input: USB Transfer Protocol: Host Mode (master) Analog Output: Stereo analog audio (RCA jacks) Full Scale Output: 2.25V RMS Frequency Response: 20 Hz- 20 kHz, 0dB/-.4dB Noise Floor (DC -> 30 kHz): 28uV Signal/Noise Ratio: 98dB THD + Noise (1 kHz FS 44.1 kS/s): .002% Dimensions (H x W x D): .875” x 2.3” x 4.6” Weight: Not specified Price: $199.95
Well, does the gear sound better? Could not see that in the write-up.
It does sound different, that much I can tell. But whether it's better - I think so but that will take a long time to figure out because the change is unfamiliar sound-wise. It could be that the sound got a little cleaner, and it could also mean that it's now revealing more of the underlying imperfections of the low-cost DAC. I have another DAC on the way, so maybe it will help with the analysis. BTW, I've had several questions into the HRT guys, and they have someone who knows the tech answering every one of them.
I use an older RWA battery supply (regulated to 5 volts) to power an Squeezebox Touch and IMO the sound is smoother and the bass deeper/cleaner. Of course I could be wrong.
I don't think you are wrong in that. The background is queiter and so the recording seems more real and 3D. Also, the sound is smoother too like what you had heard. I played Elvis Presley's Hearbreak Hotel when I was using the 2 SI Class D amps for speakerfi biamp. I was using SLA 12V 45AH car battery and normal SMPS to compare.