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You might not expect USB cables to sound different — but they do
During AudioQuest's recent visit, they showed us their line of USB cables. These cables definitely have a high-quality look and feel, but we wondered how noticeable any sonic improvements would be. The proof was in the listening. In a direct comparison to a free-in-the-box USB cable, the AQ cable delivered greater bass extension, along with more bass and mid-bass detail. The soundstage opened up and vocals sounded more natural.
A high-quality USB cable is a great way to connect your desktop or laptop computer to a high-end audio digital-to-analog converter. Playing high-res music files demands more of USB cables than routine tasks like printing text or scanning photos. For USB audio, as with all digital audio signals, it's critical to maintain accurate timing. This cable can reduce the timing errors or "jitter" that often makes digital music sound less clear and rich and three-dimensional.
Paying attention to every detail
AudioQuest Carbon is the USB cable for music addicts. It's carefully engineered, made with top-notch materials, and tested through hours and hours of listening. One way AQ improves the audio performance of its digital cables is by adding a thin layer of silver plating to the solid copper wires. When it comes to conducting signals, silver is the best-performing metal — better than either copper or gold. Carbon's silver-plated conductors are designed to reveal more high-frequency detail.
If you enjoy listening to digital music files on a high-end audio system, you'll be surprised at the difference AQ's USB cables can make.
- USB cable (Type A to Type B)
- for use with audio D/A converters, select computer speaker systems, external hard drives, and more
- exceeds USB 2.0 high-speed data transfer specification
- low-jitter design specifically for USB audio
- silver-plated solid copper conductors for superior sound quality (silver layer is 5% of total conductor)
- polyethylene insulation
- triple shielding (foil/mylar/braided copper) to reject interference
- gold-plated connectors resist corrosion
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
AudioQuest Carbon Reviews
Average Customer Review:
Clean and clear
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I paired this cable with a Sydney mini to mini interconnect for my Marantz DAC that I had bought a couple weeks earlier. The little bit that the Sydney did not clean up, this cable did. Beautiful, crisp, clean, and clear. Exactly as advertised. Just never would have thought how much a so called "good" cable would contribute to noise until you replace them with "great" cables. You really need to hear to believe, and I suggest you do so if your serious about your tunes. Next are a pair of Rocket 44's and all the noise will be a thing of the past. Thanks Audioquest and Crutchfield for helping me be a believer!
Pros: Clean. Clear. Beautiful.
good quality cable
Got this to connect my NAD M52 vault to M50 network player. It is a well made cable, good quality connectors. Not sure if it's all that much better than the NAD-supplied cable, but wanted to make sure that I had all bases covered, especially for hi-res files. AQ Carbon is a good fit for my systems, a bit pricey but not ridiculous.
Pros: quality connectors, sound is clear & crisp
What's in the box?
- 10' USB cable (with a USB type-B connector on one end and a USB type-A connector on other end)
USB Connectors: The Audioquest Carbon USB cable features gold-plated USB connectors for maximum signal transfer. The Audioquest Carbon USB cable has a USB type-A connector on one end and a USB type-B connector on the other end.
Silver-Plated LGC Conductors: The Audioquest Carbon USB cable uses solid 5% Silver-Plated LGC (Long-Grain Copper) conductors to eliminate inter-strand distortion and reduce jitter.
HD Polyethylene Insulation: The USB cable's solid HD Polyethylene insulation ensures critical signal-pair geometry.
Braided Cable: The USB cable also has a braided cable for added flexibility when routing the USB cable between your components.
USB 2.0: This cable exceeds USB 2.0 data rate specifications with greater than 1200 Mbps. It provides up to 20% more power delivery for maximum charging.