If you are looking for the best USB-cable and got to this page, I want to congratulate you, today you just got lucky!
This article is not the review-rating of USB-cables that you are used to on advertising pages. This is my story of finding the best sound among the leaders up to $300, who received the best reviews among buyers and the highest awards from well-known hi-fi publications! But I think the clear leader that you will learn about will beat and the leaders with a price of more than $300!
Surely you are now thinking and are very worried about the price of this leader, which I stopped at for my audio-system, because are used to seeing three-digit numbers in the price tag for a good sound... It's not like that at all! Exhale and hold on tight!
The USB-cable is the winner among five famous brands up to $300, costs $17 on Amazon! Guys, this is not a joke and not an erroneous test! Seriously! If you don't believe me, you as and me, can to make order on Amazon and test all! To confirm my past purchases, I added a screenshot proving the purchase of these cables, which were sent back in disgrace!
It all started with the fact that I purchased "Monoprice MM-5R" acoustics. This acoustics is not expensive, but it beat more expensive competitors like the "Triangle LN01A" ($850) and that's why I settled on it. Having made a small upgrade to dampen resonances, this acoustics quite satisfied me. By the way, before "Monoprice MM-5R" I tried "Dynaudio Xeo 2" ($1500) and sent it back... In general, I needed to transmit the signal as lossless as possible to the acoustics from the laptop, since the potential of acoustics was clearly not revealed through Bluetooth and it was clear that this acoustics was capable of more.
The first cable I purchased was "Monolith By Monoprice". The cable is very cheap ($12.29/1m/USB-A to USB-B), but some recommended it for sound and I decided to try it. At that moment, I didn't expect anything, but I was also just interested in the difference in sound between cable and Bluetooth.
"Monolith By Monoprice" turned out to be an ordinary cable, as well as cables worth $5-7. The sound is dirty and tedious, the bass is defective and in general, this is an ordinary cheap "shoelace" obviously intended not for audio, but for the printer.
In the end, I decided to try something more serious and ordered "AudioQuest Cinnamon" ($117.65/1.5m/Type-C to USB-B ). I have trusted AQ for a very long time and I have their power cables that have shown themselves very well. But "Cinnamon AQ" gave me something flat of sound and with a big dip in the center, although it had less noise. Of course I tried to warm up the cable, but after about 80 hours, nothing radically changed and i sent it back.
The next candidate was the Japanese "Oyaide NEO d + class A". "NEO d + Class A" is almost twice cheaper than "Cinnamon AQ" ($80.25/1m), but it turned out to be twice as good. And yet, also cropped basses, dirt in the sound and he didn't give me anything good. Also, as a result, after warming up for about 80 hours, the "shoelace" went back.
Then I decided to order from "Oyaide" their more expensive counterpart "Elec D" ($123.99/1m/USB-A to USB-B). I was impressed by this cable with its feed. He is very rhythmic and may even be overly aggressive in attack. The scene is deeper, there are more details compared to the previous leaders. But the sound with a reduced resolution, plays cheap, the bass also turned out to be cut and warming up did not help.
In general, upset, I sent back "Elec D" and ordered "DH Labs Mirage USB" ($240/1m/Type-C to USB-B) on the official website. Who does not know, "DH Labs Mirage USB" is a very much praised by audiophiles "shoelace" and a winner in various tests. Yes, the "Mirage USB" from "DH Labs" turned out to be better than the previous ones, but the sound is very boring or sluggish. But I take into account the price of $240, also went back in disgrace.
After all the unsuccessful attempts to find a good sound and having lost a lot of time and effort, I decided to try to make my "shoelace" without power from the pieces of cables that I had lying in the box. But for this I needed connectors and I ordered a meter-long "Viborg" cable that doesn't even have a beautiful name or it's noname.
Of course, I did not disassemble the cable without first listening to it... And by connecting "usb-shoelace" "Viborg", I heard a lot more that I hadn't heard before with more expensive cables. The sound is not compressed by anything, expressive, more accurate and honest, the entire frequency spectrum impresses with its detail.
But without warming up, the cable is a little choked at medium frequencies and colors high frequencies, sand is felt a little, there is a dip in the middle beat, so there is not enough rhythm or sounds like a smooth or sluggish rhythm, the sound is a little tightened. But I feel that after the warm-up it should go away.
Despite this, even after the first switch-on, looking back, I want to say about the more expensive cables that they are just junk and for a lot of money. With this cable, almost everything is in place and now I can listen to music normally, especially since the sound does not tire...
And so, after seven hours, transparency, lightness, good tonal balance, deeper basses appeared in the sound. Three-dimensionality and the effect of presence began to appear - the feeling that the sound is in front of you and you can touch it with your hands. The timbres are perfectly audible... Almost limitless stage, space!.. I listen to "Enya - May It Be" I am captured by emotions and I just fly away from the transfer of the atmosphere. In the composition "Anette Askvik - Liberty" from the second minute in the background now I hear very quietly playing of instruments. The composition "Enya - Only Time" now has a scene... And there are a lot of such improvements... Without a final warm-up, Viborg Noname went far from the competition! I'm just in shock...
Wait, but "Viborg" has a higher-class cable "Viborg UC01"!...
From the first inclusion of "Viborg UC01", there is almost no effect of feeling the need to warm up. There is only a light veil, a slight incompleteness and a slight hum reminds that the cable is new and it needs to be warmed up.
In comparison with all competitors, the sound is more dense and open, the high frequencies are cleaner, it seems a little louder and sounds more richly there was a slight feeling that cotton wool was removed from the ears. The bass has reached lower frequencies which makes the room resonate more, he also more detailed and its fundamental nature is sometimes striking.
In general, "Viborg UC01" plays very neutrally, as if there is no cable in the system. The musical picture is more holistic. The effects are better manifested, what is more involved to music. And the recordings of Flora Martínez seemed to be liberated and her emotional voice playing began to be clearly traced. As a result, I deleted about 50% of the song from my playlist, as the low quality of the recording became audible.
After 30 hours of warming up, the effect of presence began to manifest, but also a strong coloring or blurring at medium and high frequencies, which scared me at first. At the same time, the low frequencies began to play so deeply that a poorly pressed high-frequency speaker was found in the left speaker which created noise at certain bass notes and volume levels. I distinctly began to hear the sound of the rubber suspensions of the speakers and I had to order a "Vovox" to soften the suspensions. The channel separation has become so good that I noticed the wrong positioning of the speakers on the desk.
As a result, earlier I listened to music by 60-70%, became on 30-40% as it became so well audible that I began to hear how the sound tracks were shown. On the composition "Keith Don't Go", the guitar became more clearly audible and the transmission of the strings became more accurate. On "Claire Laffut - Mojo" from the 37th second it turns out there are percussions, and I haven't heard them before. There was an enticing musical and emotional sound, which became especially noticeable on "Allan Taylor - Colour to the moon", previously this composition sounded flat, but now I want to cry. "Sophie Zelmani - How It Feels" acquire a chest vibration effect.
As you can see from the above, we are not talking at all about the difference in tone balance, comfortable sound or the detail and transparency of high frequencies, and so on. "Viborg UC01" gave a completely different sound level, which I estimate like initial Hi-End, which is so far from the more expensive eminent competitors. Although according to classical such indicators, "Viborg UC01" at least does not lag behind. Moreover, all this can be heard when listening to computer acoustics for only $350.
But I also found a few disadvantages for me. It looks like "Viborg UC01" steals the rhythm and speed a bit. The scene is wider but less pronounced in depth and "Viborg UC01" cannot build a full 3D scene, therefore the effect of presence is weakly expressed.
And so guys, the issue of selecting a usb cable is almost closed for me, because I have become even more serious about taking Chinese audio cable manufacturers and I hope to find something better, albeit more expensive. Unfortunately, well-known brands advertised in various Hi-Fi publications have lost their relevance for me. And take a closer look at the last photo, as you can see, I also have Vyborg power cables, and they certainly turned out to be better than famous brands, and I am very pleased. But we will talk about these cables in a separate article.