Want a quick, cheap way to improve the audio streaming out of your computer? There are plenty of options out there, most of them costly as hell. Fortunately, the Hifiman Express HM-101 isn’t one of them.
If you’re familiar with the Hifiman brand, you’ll know its reputation for audiophile quality hardware. Well, this isn’t one of those. Instead, the Express line is the consumer-grade cousin, combining affordable prices with hi-fi elements that’s “as cheap as those sold in Walmart,” but sounds “a lot better.”
The Hifiman Express HM-101 is a portable USB sound card that measures a compact 36 x 60.5 x 13.8 mm. Inside the unassuming shell hides a digital to audio converter and headphone amplifier that, according to some reviews, can make a serious dent in the quality of the music pumping out of your computer. There’s one input slot for a USB cable and a pair of output slots (one for headphones, another for speakers).
The best part? The Hifiman Express HM-101 costs just $39, making for an affordable addition that can drastically improve how you enjoy tunes while hooked up to a PC. While it’s no hi-fi gear, it’s still cheaper than an upgrade in headphones or speakers that won’t get your near audiophile quality either.