W3 Premium Wireless Audio Adapter
Audioengine
$149 plus $89 each for additional receivers

audioengine w3 contents

Wireless audio anywhere and everywhere in your home, place of work, or studio, without compression or signal reduction. Strong and clear signals at up to 100 feet from sender to receiver. Effortless setup for up to three receiving sets of speakers. 30-day trial to audition the units. Reasonable price for reliable 16-bit digital audio.

Audioengine’s excellent W3 Premium Wireless Audio Adapter is a send/receive two-module system that uses proprietary wireless technology to play your music to any speaker with mini audio or RCA ports. The modules can be powered from either AC or USB sources, including iPhone power plugs and external USB-output batteries, plus many others. Audio quality is superior to Bluetooth.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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JitterBug USB Data & Power Noise Filter – Review
AudioQuest
$49 U.S.

JitterBug

The AudioQuest JitterBug looks exactly like a small USB flash drive (also called thumb drive), but unlike those drives, the JitterBug has a USB-A input on one end and a USB-A output on the other end. Therefore, you plug the JitterBug into a standard USB-A port on your computer, and then plug your DAC, or digital audio converter, into the JitterBug. If you’re using a portable device such as the Oppo HA-2 DAC/amp for cellphones, you plug the JitterBug into the DAC and then plug the cellphone into the JitterBug. In this portable example, the cellphone would require a short cable with a USB-A plug on one end and the cellphone’s particular USB plug on the other end. In the case of late-model Apple devices, it’s the Lightning plug.

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About Dale Thorn

Computer programmer, audio specialist, photographer.

Beep Dial Wi-Fi Streaming Music Player – User Report Review
$100 
Amazon U.S. link (limited availability as of publication)

Beep plus speaker

Beep Dial is shown lower center

Beep is a small Wi-Fi music player that connects to any speaker system and lets you cast music from your phone. That is the official description, humble and understated. In actual use, Beep Dial, a new company’s initial product, is the most innovative wireless audio iOS streaming invention in 2015, with the best dancing demo video. Beep Dials are assembled in San Francisco.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

Nighthawk Stereo Headphone
Company: Audioquest
$599 U.S.

Audioquest Nighthawk

YouTube review

Sources: iPhone6+ with Oppo HA-2/Beyer A200p DAC/amps, various computers using the HRT Microstreamer/Audioquest Dragonfly/FiiO E17k/FiiO E07k DAC/amps.

How to describe the sound of the Audioquest Nighthawk? The term liquid comes to mind, as a smoothness that’s like water on a plate. As I’ve been listening the past few days I thought “This is like listening to average solid-state amps for years, and then hearing a highly-regarded tube amp for the first time.” That’s an imperfect analogy, since I’m dealing with the complexities of sound, and audiophile sound at that.

There are aspects of audiophile sound that fall into a hierarchy of sorts – frequency response, balance, signature – those three terms describe the thing that’s most obvious to beginners and advanced users alike. There are theories and there are preferences. My personal take says that the Nighthawk is both warmer and softer (less harsh) than the classic hi-fi flagships from Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, to name some examples. But that’s also my impression of good tube sound, so the question then is “How much does the Nighthawk actually differ from those ‘flagship’ headphones?”

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About Dale Thorn

Computer programmer, audio specialist, photographer.

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D3 DAC-plus-Headphone-Amp – guest review by Dale Thorn
Company: Audioengine
Price: $189

Headphone_Dac_Amp_Audioengine_D3_02

Sources and gear: Dell PC with Win7-64 and Foobar2000; MacBook Pro Retina with OSX v10.8.5 and iTunes; Shure SRH-1540, B&W P7, and B&O H6 headphones; various music tracks in 96k/24-bit WAV format.

When the Audioengine D3 DAC arrived, I ran it for a few hours just to keep it honest, although I didn’t expect a significant change with a burn-in period. When I finally got around to listening later that evening, I thought the sound was as good as anything I’ve ever heard. In fact, having spent a great deal of time with the HRT Microstreamer and v-moda Verza recently, the first thing that I became aware of was an impression of analog-like sound.

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About John Nemerovski

John "Nemo" Nemerovski is MyMac's Reviews Editor. He is a private and small group personal technology tutor in Tucson, Arizona, USA, with an emphasis on iPad and iPhone training, plus basic computing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Nemo is an accomplished music instructor on keyboard and guitar, and an expert artisan bread baker. If you are interested in writing reviews or requesting a product review on MyMac, contact him: nemo [ a t ] mymac [ d o t ] c o m.

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iStreamer
Company: HRT

Price: $199.99

I must admit it, I am a big cynic. I have seen so many advertising and marketing claims about self-proclaimed great products that turn out to be just outright lies and misrepresentations, I have a hard time believing such pitches any more. So when HRT (High Resolution Technologies, Los Angeles, CA.) talked about their iStreamer at the last Macworld | iWorld conference, I just rolled my eyes in disbelief.

I connect my iPhone and iPodTouch to my rather high-end audio system all the time with a simple headphone jack to RCA stereo cable, and for the most part, it sounds fine. Yet, here was this company telling me that I was not getting the full experience of my music from my iOS device. Really? Just how so? So when I was given the chance to borrow an iStreamer unit and test it, I jumped at the chance. I was ready to prove them wrong.

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About Owen Rubin

Owen Rubin was one of the first people to program arcade video games for Atari a long time ago, and designed arcade video games for almost 15 years. He later joined Apple where he worked on both hardware and software projects, and was the key player on the MacLC, bootable CD, several pieces of Mac system software, as well as a contributor to many other CPU projects. He later worked for Pacific Bell to lead the design of services for the first commercial broadband system in the US, and then went on to be the lead researcher of broadband for Paul Allen's Interval Research. Since then, he has been an executive at a number of startups in security and semiconductors, and is currently the CTO of Edison Labs, a startup focusing on helping commercial clients write and develop mobile apps, especially for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

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