Any audio improvement with USB cable?

I have attached a Samsung T7 SSD to the rear USB port of the Uniti Star and is connected via a USB cable that came supplied by Samsung. The cable is approx 1 foot (300mm) long. I store music on the SSD that I have ripped CD’s from the Unit Star (or from CD’s ripped on a computer).

I was wondering if I would have any noticeable improvement if I changed the USB one to one designed for audiophiles and if so which make would you recommend?

Normally USB cables could change the sound when a streamer is connected to a dac, even diferent cheap usb cables sound different, but connecting a T7 external SSD to a streamer is a different context,I do not know if it will take an advantage of a better cable in this case.

The cable btw is a USB 3.2 (Gen2, 10Gbps) with Type-C connector one end (attaches to SSD) and Type-A connector the other end (attaches to Naim Uniti Star rear USB port).

I would more upgrade with a better server instead, like Innuos Zen or Melco N100. Would be more effective than the usb cable to the SSD external storage.

In what way would it be more effective?

This type of direct USB connection would usually be a bit noisy and rather than a USB cable change, if possible I would suggest to use some buffer device in between - e.g. if you could connect the SSD to your router or similar if no other server (which would also power the SSD instead of the Star) and then use a decent cable of your choice to the Star?

For my part, I am in the “doesn’t matter, as long as the cable meets spec and functions properly” camp. An easy experiment to ease your mind would be to copy a selection of your music to a usb memory key and try that in comparison: if you can’t hear a difference using no cable, then you can’t hear the cable supplied with your T7. If you can, then there’s other stuff to consider and try…

2 Likes

I know it feels like falling down the rabbit hole - but the ‘noisiness’ will depend on a few things including to some extent the USB standard being adopted between your devices. USB 3 is preferable to earlier incarnations for lower out of band noise and better performance.

A reasonable quality USB 3 compatible cable with quality connectors would work well - but because of the effects of RF loading of connected leads - and USB leads like just all leads are not perfect transmission lines - the cable itself will present a different ‘load’ to the connected device - which in turn can be slightly audible in the connected device - and so different USB cables can ‘sound’ different - but a cheap cable could sound as good as an expensive one here… - it will be a case of trial and error here to suit your tastes - or get used to what you are using.

1 Like

Regarding the cable I am not sure, on dac I know it makes a diference, on the disc you could try.

Regarding noise IFi and Audioquest for example have accessories that eliminate the noise of the usb cable. I have here an Audioquest Carbon usb-c to usb-c for my portable dac’s, but I never use it, strangely I like more the cables the where in the box with the dac’s.

On the other side on my main system I have the Audioquest Diamond USB, and this one is very good.

But I still have doubts the diference a better USB cable will make on an external ssd.

Try if you can at a dealer place. Lots of people here are enjoying audiophile servers like Melco or Innuos.

I have stored the music as FLAC on the SSD now and am happy with the sound quality. At this stage I am looking for any small benefit (at a reasonable cost) in changing the USB cable only to one supplied by the audiophile companies (eg Audioquest or Chord for example).

1 Like