USB to SPDIF converters

Although it is changing slowly, the audio world is not very computer minded.
If audio gear has digital inputs, it is most of the time SPDIF/Toslink.
All PCs have USB but few (most  of the time the multimedia models) have SPDIF out.
If you want to connect a PC without SPDIF to audio gear with SPDIF input only, a USB to SPDIF converter is the solution.

 

The information below is as supplied by the manufacturer's website.

Anedio U2 US$390

Asynchronous USB to SPDIF converter.

USB class 2 compliant (24/192)

USB receiver by XMOS, Win driver by Thesycon.

Two independent low-jitter crystal oscillators.

Galvanically isolating using a high-speed transformer at the SPDIF output.

BNC connector.

Audiophilleo 1 $895.00

  • Asynchronous USB
  • 192Khz 24bit sample rate capable
  • Ultra low jitter SPDIF output (<15ps rms)
  • Direct connection to DAC without expensive cable (BNC)
  • Fixed Frequency Clocks
  • Windows, OSX, and Linux compatibility with Dual Driver capability
  • Regenerative power supply which isolates the S/PDIF output stage from USB power
  • Fully differential ECL galvanically isolated transformer-less output stage
  • Upgradeable firmware
  • Machined cast aluminum case for best shielding
  • Complete immunity to audio vibration even with the loudest playback
  • The included USB and SPDIF cables/connectors are tested for optimal performance. No need to buy additional cables - they won't improve your sound.

Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 $ 44.99 USD

  • Ultra-flexible audio interface connects your instruments, mixer, etc. with your computer for recording and playback
  • High-resolution 48 kHz converters for high-end audio quality
  • Works with your PC or Mac computer—no setup or drivers required. Free audio recording and editing software downloadable at www.behringer.com
  • Stereo Headphone output with dedicated Level control lets you monitor both input and output
  • Additional S/PDIF optical output for direct digital conversion
  • Powered via USB—no external power supply needed
  • High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life

Measurements by NwAvGuy

Bel Canto REFLink AU$ 1595

  • Asynchronous USB up to 24/192
  • USB driver for Win
  • Output:
    • Coaxial SPDIF on BNC 75Ω
    • Balanced AES on XLR 110Ω
    • LightLink ST Fiber
  • Proprietary 500MHz DSP Asynchronous USB Core
  • Dual Ultra-Low Phase-Noise Clocks
  • Two-stage galvanic isolation
  • Dedicated LNS (Low Noise Supply)

Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB $1895

  • Input: High Speed USB 2.0 asynchronous connection - type B receptacle
  • Supported operating systems: Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows (Alpha USB Windows driver)
  • USB audio class 2 compliant
  • Outputs: switch selectable, coaxial SPDIF - BNC, 75Ω or balanced AES type - XLR, 110Ω
  • Supported sampling rates: 44.1kHz to 192kHz
  • Supported word lengths: up to 24-bit

Great care was taken in the design of the Alpha USB to isolate the noisy computer/USB environment from the digital audio output. The USB receiver and processing are powered by the computer, while the output master clocks and line drivers are powered by a separate isolated linear power supply.
Two key factors combine to achieve the excellent audio performance of the Alpha USB - the unprecedented degree of electrical isolation between the USB input connection and the audio output and the very low noise/low jitter performance of the individually tested audio output master clocks.

Source: Berkeley Audio Design

 

Blue Circle Audio $189.00

A PVC pipe filled with silicon and some unknown parts.

We are not going to tell anyone what IC we use for the conversion and DAC because we want you to judge the USB Thingee by its sonic performance and not by the numbers and specs.

Bryston BUC-1 USB Converter $750

  • Native 24 bit resolution at sampling rates of up to 192 kHz
  • Asynchronous USB receiver
  • Controls master timing of the audio system
  • Outputs transformer coupled
  • Input sample rate indicators
  • Ultra low noise linear power regulation
Physical:
  • 2.25” H x 5.63” W x 8” D
  • 57.15mm H x 142.88mm W x 203.2mm D

 

Added 4/2014

Gustard U12 $169.99

XMOS-U8 chip, support 32BIT/500MIPS

Async USB

TheSycon driver for Win

Outputs: I2S, Coaxial (RCA), optical, AES/EBU

Added 5/2015

CIAudio Transient MKII Asynchronous USB Converter $699

Input: asynchronous 24/192 USB (Xmos), driver for Windows

 

Digital Outputs:

  • S/PDIF via 75 ohm BNC Connector (Galvanic Isolated)
  • I2S via Mini DIN Connector (Audio Alchemy/Perpetual Tech/Camelot)
  • Differential I2S via HDMI Connector (PS Audio/Wyred4Sound)

Sample Rates Supported: 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, 96k, 176.4k, 192k up to 24bits

Master Clock Jitter: < 1.0 psec

Analog Output Level: 2V RMS Maximum (Single-ended RCA)

Frequency Response: 0hz to 96kHz

THD + Noise: -89db @ -1dBFS

 

Dimensions: 4.45"W x 2.9"H (including feet) x 5.25" D

Warranty: 5 Year Parts & Labor

Douk Audio U2S US $37.95

 

VIA VT1727A

24 bit / 192 kHz capable converter.

Added 2016

Emperical Audio Off-Ramp 5 $1,299

 

USB receiver: M2Tech - proprietary drivers for Win and Mac

Dual clocks for 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz and 48/96/192kHz

 

Outputs:

  • Isolated S/PDIF coaxial – 75 ohm Canare BNC jack
  • AES/EBU – XLR male
  • I2S on RJ-45, Empirical Audio standard (5V, optional 3.3V) output impedance is 120 ohms
  • I2S on HDMI - LVDS format, pin compatible with PSAudio and Wired for Sound DACs.

Options

Firestone Audio RedKey €79,00

24/96 USB to SPDIF converter.

Probably adaptive mode.

Size: High 80.15mm x Width 20.4mm x Depth 18.1mm

 

Human Audio Tabla Pico US $579 / 380 (including 27% VAT)

USB to SPDIF converter using Hiface EVO drivers (bulk mode).

 

  • Resolution: up to 24 bit / 192 kHz
  • OS driver availability: for Windows & Mac OS X ( hiFace EVO compatibility )
  • Input: USB 2.0
  • Output: 75Ω BNC (optional RCA adapter from BNC)
  • Powering: Built-in rechargeable LiFePO4 battery with ~8 years lifetime without memory-effect
  • Charging: Fully automated from USB power when idle(stop & power off state)
  • Operation time (in "GREEN" battery mode) without charging: at least 12 hours of continuous playback
  • Seamless switching (with LED indication) between the clear battery ("GREEN") mode and battery charging during playback ("YELLOW") mode without any audible glitch. The battery is permanently connected to the circuit, only the charge control switch goes on and off when required. 
  • Charging time: max. 8 hours

The Pico on Head-Fi

John Kenny JKSPDIF MK3 320

Modified HiFace 24/192 asynchronous USB - SPDIF converter

  • it is completely off-grid, powered from 2 internal batteries (these will last about 24 hours between charges)
  • it is portable - no need for external power supply when listening to audio
  • the SPDIF output stage is now based on the Wolfson WM8804 chip
  • SPDIF signal is now within spec
  • it comes in an aluminium enclosure
  • it now uses a USB type B socket
  • internal battery charger - requires user supplied 9V or 12V DC supply

 

Lindemann

Lindemann USB-DDC 24/192 - € 249,-

 

  • Adaptive mode USB
  • The USB-DDC can be switched between USB Audio Class 1 (up to 24bit/96kHz) and USB Audio Class 2 (up to 24bit/192kHz). Comes with a Class 2 driver for Win.
  • Additional data processing circuit (with data buffering and clock-synchronization) to reduce jitter
  • The grounding system is completely electrically insulated in order to prevent interference from the PC from negatively affecting the hi-fi system.
  • USB powered.
  • low jitter clock (<50ps typical)

 

M2Tech hiFace $150.00

  • Input: asynchronous USB
  • Output: S/PDIF (RCA or BNC)
  • Sampling Frequency : 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4khZ, 192kHz
  • Resolution: 16 up to 24 bit
  • Dimensions: 10.2(d) x 2.2(h) x 2(w) cm
  • Power Supply: 5V DC from USB bus

FAQ about hiFace

 

M2Tech hiFace 2 US$ 185

The biggest news is probably that M2Tech decided not to use their proprietary drivers but to using the native mode USB audio drives of the operating system.
It is UAC1 and UAC2 compliant so will work out of the box with Win, OSX and Linux.
For > 96 kHz you need a driver on Win as Win is not UAC2 compliant.
The receiver is by XMOS and the driver by Thesycon.

 

  • Input 1 x USB A type male
  • Output 1 x RCA or BNC female
  • Input USB 2.0 Audio Format with aAsynchronous synchronazation
  • Output S/PDIF Stereo Digital Audio Format
  • Sampling Frequency: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4khZ, 192kHz
  • Resolution 16 up to 24 bit
  • Dimensions 10.2(d) x 2.2(h) x 2(w) cm
  • Power Supply 5V DC from USB bus
  • Weight 50gr approx.

M2Tech hiFace Evo $499.00

Asynchronous operation up to 192kHz is used in conjunction with proprietary drivers which allow for Kernel Streaming, Direct Sound and WASAPI operation.

Sampling frequencies (kHz): 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192
Resolution (bits): 16 to 32
Inputs: USB 2.0, supply, master clock
Outputs:
S/PDIF x2 (RCA & BNC)
AES/EBU (XLR)
optical Toslink™
optical ST
I2S (RJ-45)

Matrix Audio X-SPDIF $249.95

 

  • XMOS X-CORE 32BIT/500MIPS multi-core processing unit
  • USB Audio Class 2.0 (480 Mbit/s)
  • Asynchronous data transfer mode
  • Dual frequency ultra low jitter local clock
  • Sample rate support: 16-24Bit @ 44.1kHz/48kHz/88.2kHz/96kHz/176.4kHz/192kHz
  • COAX: 75 Ohms Gold Plated RCA Connector
  • AES/EBU: 110 Ohms Gold Plated XLR Connector
  • Drivers available for: Windows XP/ Windows Vista/ Windows 7/ Windows 8 - 8.1
  • Natively supported by: Apple Mac OSX & Most Linux Distro's
Added 2/2015

Musiland Monitor 01 USD $73.95

  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Maximum sampling rate: 24bit/192kHz
  • Digital output: Optical toslink, RCA and BNC coaxial
  • Digital S/N: 140dB (A-weighted)
  • Digital dynamic range: 140dB (A-weighted)
  • ASIO driver - support Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7

SOtM - dX-USB USD $429.99

Digital Audio Input

  • USB Audio class 1.0
  • 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz sampling rate
  • Max 24bit PCM audio data
  • Sampling rate auto detect and display
  • Bit-transparent operation

Digital audio output

  • Coaxial
  • Optical
  • I2S
  • AES/EBU(option)

Components

  • TUSB3200A for USB interface
  • AK4104ET for digital audio output
  • Ultra high speed RS422 driver for AES/EBU, Coaxial & I2S output
  • Flat chip audio grade resistor for PLL and power circuit
  • PPS film chip capacitor for PLL and power circuit OS-CON capacitor for power circuit
  • Ultra low jitter clock
  • Canare 75Ω impedance RCA bulkhead connector for coaxial output
  • Toshiba TOTX178A TOSLINK optical connector for optical output

The new dX-USB HD has

  • USB2.0 High Speed, USB Audio Class 2.0
  • 16/24Bit 44.1/48/88.2/96/176/192kHz
  • Asynchronous mode operation
  • USB class 2 drivers for Window

Styleaudio CARAT-T2 450,00 EUR

Digital Input : USB x 1 (USB input sampling : 24Bit/96Khz)

Digital Output : Optical x 1, Coaxial x 1, AES/EBU x 1

USB signal isolator : Analog Devices ADUM4160

USB power isolator : Analog Devices ADUM5000

Scientific Conversion’s Digital audio transformer for isolated 110ohm balanced and 750ohm unbalanced

Power : USB self power or external adapter

Reclocking circuit & TCXO 10ppm, WIMA, OSCON, 24K gold PCB

Main body size (WxHxD/mm) : 75 x 35 x 131