Thanks for the review!
I've tried numerous different sound card solutions throughout my two carPC's now, including a SB Audigy 2 NX, a SB X-Fi PCI, an M-Audio Firewire, the on board sound (two different motherboards), and one other I can't think of right now. So, I have some broad experience on what different sound solutions sound like.
Based on some threads here, I ordered a Bloat, from Hippo HiFi, with all the options, including the upgraded DAC, caps, etc..., as well as RCA outs. I got it yesterday, and while I was going to wait until I had some time, I decided to install it last night, since it is so easy.
Design: It has one USB in on one side, and two RCA outs (left and right) on the other side, so the install is very easy. It requires no drivers, (if you are using Win XP), as Windows automatically detects it as a USB DAC speaker. It is up and running in less than 5 minutes. The whole thing is slightly smaller than a deck of cards.
Sound Quality: Out of all the DACs I have used, this is the best. It is even better than the M-Audio Firewire, which is relatively high quality DAC. I'm sure some of the $1000+ DAC's are better, but for the price, this is great. The sound is fuller, more speration between the channels, overall just better quality. My MP3's, while not FLAC quality, are encoded at 320 kbps CBR, so they are about the best quality MP3's. They sound much, much better with the Bloat than anything else I have heard.
All in all, I would highly recommend this. The website is www.hippohifi.com which seems to be down right now as I type this, but it should be back up at some point.
Thanks for the review!
I assume it is running thorgh Windows K-Mixer, not sure, though. I don't plan on worrying about bit-perfect, since the MP3s I play are already compressed and not bit perfect (although they are 320 kbps CBR)
As a note, I wasn't even thinking about the review section, but maybe it would go better over there. Red, if you want to move it, fine by me, if not, fine as well. Either way it works.
I looked at their site, and nowhere do I see a mention of two RCA outs. Did you have to ask for this specifically? How did you order?Design: It has one USB in on one side, and two RCA outs (left and right) on the other side, so the install is very easy.
Yes, you just email via the contact page, and ask for the RCA's on the recent order (reference your order number) $10 extra charge, which he'll send you a bill for.