Pi4 DAC on USB3

Was wondering if it’s more advisable to use USB2 ports than USB3 on pi4. I understand that USB3 can be noisier.

What’s the source for this? That would be surprising as most of the newer pro audio interfaces are moving to USB3. Also USB audio in general is a digital frame protocol with checksumming. The only potential source of noise is improper grounding or very poor EMI control in the DAC. All of these things are handling with good layout design in the DAC.

I have read it puts out some modulation causing RF noise that has been shown to cause issues with WiFi in the 2.4 GHz band as it raises the noise floor. This could perhaps cause issues on sensitive equipment. I’ve tried it on my pi and tbh it sounded good. I was just seeing if anybody has had issues. Search for USB3 noise and you’ll find quite a lot about it.


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That’s just an engineering note to not locate a laptop’s WiFi antenna too close to the USB 3.0 connectors. Has absolutely nothing to do with audio interference.

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Well I switched my USB SSD which is USB3 and connected to USB3 port on my core to use the USB2 ports. My core is directly under my system in the rack. It sounds better and is much smoother in the top end. It was often quite harsh before which I put down to speakers and room. So I think I am sticking with USB2, could be bias but I don’t care it sounds better to me and made more of a change than ethernet cables have.

I just switched my Dragonfly Cobalt from USB3 to USB2. I can’t tell any difference. Maybe that because I’m using an ethernet connection.

I know it made no difference on my Pi when I did the same. Yet swapping over the SSD on my Roon core to USB2 which is very near my Naim system did. Perhaps my Naim or some of the cables near are more susceptible to RF USB3 is putting out. USB3 is supposed to be electrically quieter than USB3 but it’s definitely RF noisier.