|SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review|
|Home Theater Accessories Acoustics, EQ & Room Tuning|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Monday, 28 September 2015|
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Unquestionably, the most common transmission lines for computer audio today are USB and local area networks via wired Ethernet (with WiFi approaching in the distance). Both are generally hospitable environments for audio, but they are not perfect. There is gobs of information on various computer audio forums about the issues that could affect USB and Ethernet, but in a nutshell it is sensitivities to both environmental and internally produced electrical noise which can cause problems.
Those with their finger to the pulse will undoubtedly have noted the recent proliferation of USB enhancement products. Products from Audioquest, Schiit Audio, UpTone Audio, sBooster, iFi, and others have gotten plenty of press and user feedback online. The same applies for the number of interesting-looking Ethernet tweaks appearing, including “audiophile grade” LAN cables, filters, isolators, and switches.
SOtM, out of South Korea and represented here in the US by Simple Design, has their own solutions. I have been highly impressed by their products in the past. Let’s start SOtM’s USB enhancement solution:
Priced at $350, the ultimate goal of this product category is to deliver a USB with the highest integrity to the DAC by stopping source-derived noise, jitter, and other anomalies. Essentially, the USB signal is re-clocked and “refreshed”, so to speak.
All of these products have a USB input and output, and generally come with a wal-wart power supply. The tX-USBhub has several unique features. It has two USB outputs, for feeding two DACS, and can be powered via the optional SOtM battery power supply for optimal performance. It also allows you to turn off the 5V power coming out of the hubs if your DAC does not require it.
The tX-USBhub is very nicely built and features a clear polycarbonate case so the internal components are visible. Holding it in one’s hand inspires confidence that it was built to last. When in operation, a bright green LED is lit to let you the device is active.