edit: New High-Speed isolator available here: Hifime High-Speed USB Isolator ($79)
The Hifimediy USB isolator is used to prevent ground loop noises and increase sound quality. It works by creating a new ground for the USB device so that it doesn't have to share ground with your computer and other devices that you might have connected in your house. This will prevent ground loops (but not all noises you might experience as not all noises are caused by ground loops). It will also protect the USB device and host from electrical shocks or static electricity shocks. It can improve the quality of the DC voltage that powers the USB device. This can improve performance of sensitive equipment like audio converters.
This Isolator doesn't require an external power supply. It features an isolated, regulated DC-DC module which is powered from the USB host (computer) and can give out 200mA, sufficient for commonly used USB equipment (but not all - check your device's power requirement!). Power is filtered with a LC filter featuring quality Sanyo OSCON caps.
It features a professional grade isolation chip, ADUM4160 and with an optimal layout it features signal isolation capability of 5000V and voltage isolation of 1000V.
A low noise regulator is used to power ADUM4160 and low noise DC-DC converter gives a clean 5VDC power to the connected USB device.
USB Full Speed 12Mbps is sufficient for samples rates up to 96kHz/24bit. It will not work with DACs supporting 192kHz/24bit samples rates as this requires USB "High Speed" 480Mbps (the is currently no chips available supporting USB "High speed").
- Signal Isolation 5kV
- Voltage Isolation 1kV
- Built in 200mA power supply from USB bus (no external power supply required)
- Power supply LC filter
- Copper ground
- ADUM4160 Support USB "full speed" 12Mbit/s, but not "high speed" 480 Mbit/s. Support USB "Low speed" 1.5Mbit/s (internal switch needs to be set to L). See here for a hi-speed version
- Size: 55x35mm + cable 10cm
- Works with stereo DACs that supports sample rates up to 96kHz/24bit and that doesn't require too much power.
- Suports other USB devices that runs on USB Low or Full speed modes. High Speed mode 480Mbit/s is not supported!
- DOES NOT WORK WITH high resolution 384kHz or 192kHz DACs (they requires USB High speed mode) - even when you play only 44.1kHz files. New High-Speed isolator here: Hifime High-Speed USB Isolator
- DOES NOT WORK WITH multi channel DACs/soundcards. They will also require High speed mode.
- Supports Low speed devices (mouse, keyboards, some midi converter) through internal switch. You need to open the box and move both switches to the L position.
- Some computers will not wake up the isolator after sleep/standby, requires to disconnect and reconnect the isolator.
- Works with M-Audio MKII card
Will the USB Isolator get rid of my buzz noise?
Buzz noises are often ground loop problems, and this is exactly what the USB isolator will remove.
Will it work with my DAC?
It works with dac's that support up to 96kHz/24bit, it does not
work with 192/24 sample rates.
Also, some dac's requires more than 200mA power. This might be if they have a headphone amplifier, or a MCU that draws more power.
New High-Speed isolator available here: Hifime High-Speed USB Isolator
Do you offer warranty ?
Yes, we offer a 1 year warranty for all our products. We will ask you to pay shipping cost for sending the item back to China or USA (and UK for smaller items).
It doesn't work, do I need to install a driver?
The USB isolator is "transparent" for the computer, so there are no drivers to install. However, it doesn't work with all USB devices. Your device does probably either require too much power, or needs USB High speed mode (480Mbps).
Some further explanation:
- USB ports can supply up to 500mA of power, while the USB isolator will output max 200mA. Some devices will require more than 200mA and will not work with the USB isolator. If your sound card has mic preamps or other features that draws a lot of power, then it probably will not work if it gets all it's power from USB.
- If your DAC supports sample rates above 96kHz/24bit, then it will require USB High Speed (USB Audio class 2) and will not work with the isolator. Also, if you have a 96/24 sound card with 4, 8 or more channels, it will also require USB High speed mode.
Doesn't work with Focusrite sound cards (with mic input)
Works with many USB mics, confirmed working with Prophet 12 synthesizer. Works with most 96/24 stereo sound cards.