USB cables do they make a difference?


I have seen some audiophile usb cables and wonder has anyone tried different cables and noticed any difference. I am trying to wrap my head around how it can be different?


The whole cable thing is almost a quasi-religious dispute among the audiophile community. As far as I’m concerned, bits is bits. If you really want to get obsessive about it, you can find error-rate testers and test your cables. But IMHO more errors occur due to port and processing issues than cables. Not to mention the protocols are self-correcting, in any case.

Don’t buy the absolute cheapest ones, the physical construction can be bad. But no need to pay dozens or hundreds of bucks, either.

+1 :slight_smile:

go for this one … usb-cable/

very well made!

I’ve tried it several times and can recommend any good USB cable to buy. The differences are huge!
By the way, even with SPDIF cable, the differences are enormous!
There are also various tests to in journals to read it.
If you do not believe it, just listen to your ears and you’ll learn from them.

I have a Aqvox USB cable and am thrilled.


LOL! :laughing:

This is what I meant about “religious dispute”…

Yes the logs are actually self-correcting. But unfortunately only in the computer data transmission. If parts of the data transmission (eg printing) are missing, they can be retransmitted until such time as they are complete. The software interrupts the process if there are too many errors.

When transfer of streams it is not true.
If absent from a stream parts of the data stream, they are missing just. They can not be retransmitted. Therefore, it immediately leads to data loss and in our case in poorer audio quality.

Thank you very much

go for this one … usb-cable/

very well made!
Ok I have just ordered one of these, will let you know if I can notice any difference on my setup once it arrives.

What i really don’t understand, is that permanent laughing at other users believe and pointing to theoretical aspects by some posters. You can find them everywhere around the fores. Especially in hifi so many things are UNRESEARCHED. You can’t even calculate a loudspeaker for shure- no way! Because a lot of parameters aren’t faced!


What is really funny in this case, that those people who treat this topic as voodoo, don’t even make efforts to try it out! They just ‘know’.

Probably there are enough people with low hearing sensibility- for them, of course, it makes no sense to make big efforts in achieving top level hifi.


That makes this project so very interresting


Ok I have just ordered one of these, will let you know if I can notice any difference on my setup once it arrives.
Have had the cable for a little while now, and it is very well made. To my surprise I think the bass is deeper than with my previous cable. It takes a little time to swap between cables so I am unable to do a decent A to B test, but I am happy enough with it for now.

Ok, go for a ABX test, rigorously done and tell us.

A LOTS of ABX tests have been done over years on diffrents cables types (modulation, speakers, …) and no one was able to hear a difference. That’s why we know (and I tested…). And it is for analog cables, so for a digital cable, a bit is a bit.

Don’t under estimate placebo effect. Your brain can lead you to the most biggest illusion sometimes.

Yeah! :slight_smile: The first cable-sound thread on board :mrgreen:

After several hours of comprehensive listening test i’ve found out that feeding the I2S from the raspberry pi directly in
the ASRC on my DAC sounds definitively audible better than any USB cable i’ve heard before! :astonished:

Just kidding :wink:

everyone should buy what he likes,

i prefer spending the money on good parts and components…
the audio cables that i use hear on names like RG58… :wink:


Remember you’re using and trusting a £30 device to deliver your audio data. The fact you’re doing this suggests you have some idea about what is and isn’t important in experiencing high quality audio.

Look inside pieces of expensive hifi equipment (do a Google image search). They don’t have exotic wires, they have normal, well manufactured wires of the required gauge.

USB cables need not be regarded differently. If they’re used within specification and are not faulty they will not lose data.

Red book audio is using less than 1% of the capacity of USB2.

from my direct experience I know that not all USB cables are the same just because a lot of them are below the standard specs. any cable above the standard is quite useless because the devices will simply not use the “exceding power”. just use a standard compliant cable, it will be the right cable even for 3€. in very electromagnetical pollutioned environments a shielded or double shielded cable will be ok, it can cost 10€. a 750€ USB cable made with gold and diamonds is only a funny way to throw your money.

In my experience with cables, Analog cables make a huge difference. SPDIF is actually a 75 ohm coax broadcasting a digital single but in an analog circuit. Quality cables should be used in these areas. USB cables, I have found to be interesting. Yes, bits are bits, but I have found that the environment my system is in, has an effect on the USB cables. I am currently using an Ultraviolet USB cable, the single is RF isolated and less susceptible to RF noise.
Noise and Jitter are two big issues when it comes to digital cabling, bits might be bits, but getting them from point A to B without any degradation of that digital single is important. I honestly can’t hear the differences, between my cheap $2 cable and the $50 one, I’m using, other then when my iPhone and iPad are close, I get less anomalies in the sound quality.
What I find odd are those people who think that SATA2 disks and SATA3 disks change the sound quality. Many A/B testing can be subjected to placebo effects too. Then it is their hobby and I will not argue with them.
More over, music and music listening is 100% opinion, as is the audiophile mentality, and should be respected, to each their own. The end user must enjoy their rig. If they are hearing anomalies, that are making them unhappy and it disappears when the USB cable is changed, then changed it! Even if it is unmeasurable by any other standard.

I like this USB cable, for it isn’t exuberant in price, works well and does the job for me.
Ultraviolet Usb 2.0 A-B Flat Cable 1 Meter

All that stuff you mentioned is scientifically proven/provable bullshit, but as long as you are happy to spend money to “hear” the difference between different digital systems… fine.

However, info for everyone else who cares about money: anything matters more than cables. If you save 10 euro/dollars in cables and you use that money to put a piece of cloth on a wall or window of the listening room, that will have a much bigger (positive) impact on the sound thanks to lower reflections.
Really, buy the cheapest USB, SPDIF, power cables you find. The only ones that should be good (like 1 euro/dollar per metre) are the ones with audio analog signal (between DAC and ampli, if the two things are separated). These should be shielded.
Nothing else.

Have fun … #post15412

By the way: there is NO proof either that more than 48 kHz bring any improvement to perceived audio quality (however, from 16 to 24 bit the difference is proven), therefoew if your system has issues with 96k/24 audio, go down to 48k/24 and problem solved.

USB, SPDIF and analog cables do make a Huge difference. Materials, gauges of wire , impedance as well as capacitance are real issues. Connectors that oxidize making bad connections over time can slowly diminish sound quality. I don’t need my Masters degree in EE to understand this, for I have heard the differences as many others have too. The argument is parochial and not worthy of an audiophile.
Can you hear a difference, yes. In digital circuitry the effect is called Jitter, a distortion in square wave signaled that can add digital noise. Effects are like a bad CD, as an extreme, to loss in audio detail, on the lesser end. Someone might go to extremes in there choices of cables, in either direction.
If you are using a $98 DVD player that has a $1, 100ppm clock, it will not make a difference what cable you use, garbage in, garbage out. Most current DAC chips have error correction functions, but those have a higher tolerance on the operating clocks, and not the transport interconnects, like SPDIF, I2S and so on.
I use an Ultraviolet USB cable between my CuBox-i4pro to a CM6631a (unit I built). That connects to my customized DAC via a 75 ohm coax that I made from a silver based high frequency cable I had in my shop, overkill but readily available. The SQ is much better then I expected from my volumio appliance.

Look out, here comes Peter Belt and his “magic” ways…

Anyone got a Red X pen around? I’d like to make sure the 1s and 0s are aligned. :slight_smile:


If data can be so much affected by poor USB cables (and other digital cables), now explain me why the same cables are able to perfectly transmit data to external HDDs and the like.
If they corrupt the digital data as you say, data on HDDs should be corrupted too (I hope you recognize that audio data and other data are exactly the same during the transmission in the USB cable!).

Because either it is for all of the digital data, or for none of them.
Are you buying super expensive cables for your HDDs too?

AHA well said