New version available here: https://hifimediy.com/product/hifime-high-speed-usb-isolator-v2/
The High-Speed isolator provides galvanic isolation between the USB host and device and protects the device from power shocks and avoid ground loops that can be very troublesome in audio. Our original Hifimediy USB Isolator has been very popular since it was launched in 2013, but the drawback is that it doesn’t work with all newer USB devices. The new High-Speed Isolator works with many more devices and provides a long awaited solution to ground loop noises for users of sound cards like Focusrite, Steinberg and many more.
The new isolator also provides more power, 400mA to the connected device, vs 200mA from the other USB isolator. This isolator does not support USB SuperSpeed 5Gbps, however this mode is rarely if ever used by audio devices.
- Supports 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 USB ports
- Supports Low (1.5Mbps), Full (12Mbps) and Hi-speed (480Mbps) mode by automatic detection
- Supports audio and other devices including high resolution 384kHz and DSD DACs, USB midi devices, USB mixers, USB microphones
- Provides 400mA to the connected USB device (or 500mA if your computer’s USB port can supply <600mA to the isolator). 400mA is sufficient for most devices.
- No driver required, no settings to configure
- Self powered, no external power needed
- Signal isolation: 3000V
- Voltage isolation: 1000V
- Size: 55x35mm + cable 10cm
What is the difference from the cheaper USB isolator?
There are two main differences:
- The High-Speed isolator supports USB Hi-Speed 480Mbps mode, required by many audio devices.
- It can provide double the power to your device, 400mA vs 200mA.
Do I need the High-Speed isolator, or can I use the other cheaper one?
If you have a two channel DAC that supports not more than 96kHz/24bit then the cheaper Full-Speed isolator is likely to work if the DAC doesn’t require too much power. If it has mic preamp, phantom power or is a bigger type sound card then it might to require more than 200mA power and the High-Speed isolator with its higher power capability is required. See our isolator comparison guide
Will the High-Speed isolator work with my audio or other USB device?
It probably will.
Does it require a driver or special setting?
No. Similar to a USB hub, the isolator is “transparent” to the computer and doesn’t require any driver or configuration in settings.
Does it support USB 3.0 and 3.1?
Yes it works with USB 3.X ports. It will max out at 480Mbps, meaning if you connect a USB3.0 hard drive you will not get transfers at 5Gbps speeds. Audio devices doesn’t need more than 480Mbps, so it will be sufficient. Most devices that require USB galvanic isolation doesn’t require 5gbps.
Does it support asynchronous USB?
Yes it supports all USB types, the isolator doesn’t care, it just passed on the data to your computer.
Will it improve the sound quality from my DAC?
It depends. If you are experiencing noise problems, then it will probably remove or reduce those if they are caused by a ground loop. The noise could also be caused by other factors, like the microphone or preamp itself (some gear are noisy!), the isolator will not help with that. It can also clear up the sound from ground issues that is not so apparent, creating a clearer background in the audio. If your computer has a good quality USB DC supply then the isolator might not further improve the sound quality. You’re welcome to give it a try and send it back for a full refund if it doesn’t help with your unique situation. You can also contact us if in doubt.
Will it fix the noise I’m getting from my sound card/microphone/midi keyboard/other device?
It will fix noises that are caused by ground loops, often presented as whining, buzz or loud shh noises. As long as the problem is not caused by the microphones/preamps itself (some microphones are noisy!) then it’s very likely to fix the problem. You’re welcome to give it a try and send it back for a full refund if it doesn’t help with your unique situation.
If the connected device does not power up after sleep, or after reboot, or after standby (Windows)
Check and disable the USB port’s power saving.
1. Windows device manager > Universal serial bus controller > (the USB controller for the port you use) > right click and chose “properties” > “power management” tab > uncheck “authorize computer to turn of this device to save power
2. Also check and disable: Control panel > System > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > USB settings > USB selective suspend settings
If the connected device doesn’t power up
Try both to connect the device to the isolator before connecting it to the computer, and the other way
Mike R –
This thing worked perfectly to eliminate the ground loop hum coming from my 2019 iMac out to Audioquest Dragonfly and then into my main audio system. This thing TOTALLY eliminated all noise, and this was a difficult task given that my speakers are very efficient Belle Klipsch. This was SO worth the money.
Had this horrible crackling + high-pitched noise introduced by my LCD Display. I couldn’t get rid of it for YEARS! Until I got the High-Speed Isolator.
Nick was an absolute legend helping out with the solution and also the return/upgrade process from the regular isolator.
Currently working perfectly (no noise at all) with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 out of my HP All-In-One PC
I have a Line 6 Helix that would put an annoying ground buzz to my amp when the Helix was connected to the CPU. Tried the lower cost one but it didn’t let it connect to the program. I then tried this one and all of my ground buzz is gone. The band and I thank you HiFime. We Jam on!
Fixed my ground loop from pc -> jds odac lineout -> ad18 -> klipch rp600m
no more noise. The only problem is occasionally and when i plug another dac from the front it wont work again until i unplug&plug it back in
I bought a Focusrite 2i2 audio interface hoping to improve my computer audio set up only for my hopes to get destroyed by this annoying ground loop noise that got picked up through usb!(most likely because of a bad and old motherboard) I scrambled around for a solution and ended up here at Hifimediy and took the 90 dollar gamble to try to solve my issue. Boy am I glad I did because this thing really works. Thanks Hifimediy!
Florian Doidy –
Works perfectly with an Octa-Capture (Roland), multichannel USB2 soundcard. It just stopped 99,9% of electric noise I had because of the ground loop in my system. Thx.
Unfortunately it didnt work for my issue but their customer service is fantastic and i quickly received a full refund. I recommend at least giving it a try, you have nothing to lose
I’m very pleased. I wanted to get rid of the high frequency noise from the power supply. I managed to cut off that noise, but surprisingly, the sound quality jumped to a higher level. The bass went lower and the sound got deeper.
Before that I used a lot of ifi equipment that didn’t help anything: ifi iSilencer, ifi iDefender+iPower, ifi AC iPurifier and ifi Mercury.
I have only a small problem. This galvanic isolator is very sensitive to current interference. Sometimes when I turn on the light or turn on the oven it resets the USB connection to DAC and stops playing. I don’t know what to do about it yet.
Sometimes it goes to sleep. I use it with Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019.
I just received this item. Unfortunately for me, it does not even give power to my RME Babyface (original). Guess I am forever stuck with USB noise in my recordings until I get a new interface.
Rustin Jarrell –
Didn’t work at all. Does nothing to stop the noise.
i was having horrible cpu noises like the other reviewer! and this fixed it!!!!! i was going insane!!!!! this is the best!!!!! just plugged it in no fucking around it just works!!!! im sooo happy
I was able to hear all the noises in my studio monitors coming from my GPU/CPU. It was a terrible crackling even when i moved my mouse, not to mention how bad it was when producing music. Works 100% with a Focusrite 2i4. All the ground loop issues and whatever happens in my PC are gone. Finally clean signal.
Unfortunately, it does not support DSD512. If a new model is released, please support it. I am using SU-8 of S.M.S.L.
My new build suffered from terrible crackling/static/clicking noises that were driving me mad. No one seemed to have an answer, and none of the advice online worked.
Eventually found this device, plugged it in and the noises disappeared instantly! This proved that (in my case) the issue was some weird USB grounding problem.
Huge relief now this problem in solved and totally clean audio! Highly recommended.
FINALLY something that works with my Steinberg UR824. USB noise is gone, sound is clean.
Thibaud Van Vreckem –
Unfortunately not working with Arturia audiofuse
Not working with my Android base streamer (JF Digital MX-1),the signal will cut and mute randomly, never can hear a song completely, tried use on computer (Win10 PC) but can’t recognize
This is by far the least expensive 480Mbps isolator you can buy anywhere, so I picked up two of them.
Internal build quality is satisfactory – the SMD components are hand soldered.
If you will be toting it around then be sure to glue the cable strain relief to prevent rotation!
USB Midi noise is gone! –
I’m currently using this isolator on a Roland VT-3 (vocal processor) that previously had terrible usb noise in the output signal. After plugging it into this device, the audio is completely clean! If you are having problems with USB midi instruments and noise, then this is the device for you!
This was running on a raspberry pi (linux) and through a powered usb hub.
I’m probably gonna get another one so that i can run more of my gear on usb instead of midi din.
A. Henderson –
I acquired a Roland TR-09 earlier this year and was disappointed when I realized that I couldn’t rely on recording from the unit, due to a whiny/buzzing sound coming from the main output. A USB Isolator is what was needed. The problem now was the TR-09 needing min. of 400mA to power up. All USB isolators on the market were only capable of providing 2-300mA of power, which wasn’t enough. I then came across Hifime and their USB High Speed Isolator. Nick was very good and patient in replying to all my emails with questions on the unit and kept me up to date on the status of its release, since I had pre-ordered one.
The unit arrived yesterday and IT WORKS! The whining buzz of the outputs of my TR-09 are gone and it hasn’t affected operation of the unit either. It powers up and responds to midi CC messages over the USB, as if the isolator wasn’t even there.
If you have a bus powered audio device that is causing you grief due to ground loops, then this is the device for you.
I bought the full speed isolator which works perfectly when just playing back music but is too slow for multi track recording. I decided to buy this high speed isolator with a much higher transfer rate but it did not work at all with M Audio Fast Track Pro on a widows 10 computer. Windows flagged up a warning message:USB device not recognised. The last USB device connected to this computer malfunctioned and windows does not recognise it.
They asked me to send the unit back and they would send me a new unit – that was six weeks ago and they have stopped replying to my emails. So they have £70 of my money and I have nothing.
HIFIME REPLY: We are VERY sorry that you didn’t get any reply in time. We have refunded your payment in full now. (duplicate reviews merged).
Pescaru Lucian –
Noise through my sensitive headphones is gone. Before I could hear mouse and network, now it’s dead silent. Not to mention an increase in overall detail. A definitely must have!
Finally the buzzing has stopped! Before I would get an increasingly noisy buzz that correlated with the load on my system that slowly drove me insane. Now my audio is crystal clear again, thanks!
Bought two of these, both produce noise through the speakers 🙁
Solves the problem! I had a problem with a ground loop between the computer’s USB interface, an RME audio interface and a Lindell Audio Preamp/EQ. This little isolator completely solves the problem without any side effects that I can detect. I was a little worried that it would introduce more latency into the system, but HiFime assured me it wouldn’t and measurements with CEntrance Latency Test Utility confirm that. Highly recommended!
I just wanted to pass along that this device works great with my Line 6 Helix. I had a lot of white noise coming from my PC. Mouse movements and crazy computer glitches. I needed this one due to the 8 usb channels the helix can do. All is well…and quiet!! Thanks!!
YES!!!! I have silenced my GA Z97 MX Gaming mobo which spews out noise to my UR242 via the USB (with nothing else connected between them whatsoever to make a ground loop, this was a pure USB noise/ground loop problem) despite marketing around their DAC-UP USB ports. Mind you, just about every computer I’ve had since after dual G4 400 powermacs have been noisy, even my 08 Mac Pro lets out a little noise through the audio channels. If you can’t go optical, the Hifime High-Speed USB Isolator simply works. I can now grow my hair back. Any day now.
This works perfectly! My monitors have gone from unbearably noisy to dead quiet.
Using the Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1 – 192KHz 24bit. Tried with phantom power enabled as well, no problems so far.
Thanks for an excellent product!
I’ve just received this isolator, and connected to "filter" the usb output:
PC-usb XP – Jriver MC22 >> this isolator >> Musiland usb-spdif >> Sabre DAC (TP Bufallo II out transformers)
I’m running 16/192kbs Jriver upsampling from 16/44kbs
I can say the sound is greatly improved ! ! !
Thanks to Hifimedy
Frank Speet –
This was the one I was waiting for; I have a Steinberg UR44 that produces a bad hum when connected to a laptop and an amp with a 3-pin mains connector. Solved! Nick was kind enough to send me a beta model, thanks, great job. Recommended for any high-speed application.