Opinions invited: USB audio coming of age?

Hi, and thanks for stopping here. Re the post below, we’d really, really like to know what you think. Have you got time to leave a comment? Thank you.

Neil McCauley / HFA editor in chief


Finally, we're seeing a healthy number of USB-specific audio cards on the market, and a fair few enterprising folks clock- and power-upgrading their USB output for connection to DACs. The latest SoTM, Aurender and Auralic are pitched much more squarely as USB specialists. And even Gigabyte has a range of motherboards with low-noise USB outputs specifically designed for this task.Which have you found the most effective?

For some time there's been a view that DAC manufacturers should release a matching PCIe card for dedicated USB output instead of just a driver, but you know how it is: no-one listens until the plagiarism kicks in five years later . . . but in the last ten years, USB has gone from a fringe connection method - something to be tacked on to a DAC to grant 'token' computer connectivity - to the pre-eminent protocol, carrying everything up to DSD128. Now it seems that attention is being focused (belatedly) on the forgotten partner in the source: the USB 'transport'


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