Author Topic: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?  (Read 946 times)

Lars

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Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« on: February 20, 2021, 11:52:54 am »
Can anyone point me to a "audio standard 2.0" device ? The very cheap devices usually implement "audio standard 1.0" but I need "audio standard 2.0" in order to test. Hopefully, I can find something that is not overly expensive.

Here is how you can find out about what you have:
1) get lsusb.exe. This tool allows you to list the complete descriptor contents of a USB device
2) run "lsusb.exe". It will list all attached devices with their vendorid:productid. You will have to guess what is what by attaching and detaching USB devices.
3) run "lsusb.exe -v -d vendorid:productid where "vendorid" and "productid" are the numbers from step 2.Pipe the tool output into a file.
4) in that file, search for something like this:
      AudioControl Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                 9
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      1 (HEADER)
        bcdADC               1.00
        wTotalLength           38
        bInCollection           1
        baInterfaceNr( 0)       1

If "bcdADC" says 1.00 then you have an audio standard 1.0 device. If it says 2.00, then you have an audio standard 2.0 device.

The problem is that if I search in Amazon or elsewhere, they never give that level of detail in their stupid product descriptions.



Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 12:34:57 am »
Can anyone point me to a "audio standard 2.0" device ? The very cheap devices usually implement "audio standard 1.0" but I need "audio standard 2.0" in order to test. Hopefully, I can find something that is not overly expensive.

Here is how you can find out about what you have:
1) get lsusb.exe. This tool allows you to list the complete descriptor contents of a USB device
2) run "lsusb.exe". It will list all attached devices with their vendorid:productid. You will have to guess what is what by attaching and detaching USB devices.
3) run "lsusb.exe -v -d vendorid:productid where "vendorid" and "productid" are the numbers from step 2.Pipe the tool output into a file.
4) in that file, search for something like this:
      AudioControl Interface Descriptor:
        bLength                 9
        bDescriptorType        36
        bDescriptorSubtype      1 (HEADER)
        bcdADC               1.00
        wTotalLength           38
        bInCollection           1
        baInterfaceNr( 0)       1

If "bcdADC" says 1.00 then you have an audio standard 1.0 device. If it says 2.00, then you have an audio standard 2.0 device.

The problem is that if I search in Amazon or elsewhere, they never give that level of detail in their stupid product descriptions.

Anything that advertises Linux compatibility? The Linux kernel has not had usba1 compiled in as standard for at the least 6 years although some distributions like Ubuntu do supply kernels with usba1 enabled. As I am still on Firewire mostly I cannot help you as the only USB devices that I am certain of have usba2 are Micromega MyDAC and Arcam rPAC, both have switchable class compatibility but are relatively expensive, although the rPAC is frequently going cheap on eBay these days because it switches back to usba1 on every restart, which means incompatibility with modern Linux and Windows if you do not, or are not aware of how to switch it back.

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 09:20:35 am »
Also come to think of it, anything with class compliance and support for frequency rates above 96k is bound to be class 2 compatible.

Lars

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 10:12:00 am »
yes, seems that anything beyond 96 kHz is audio class 2 but that is not mandatory. In theory, a manufacturer can take a much advanced audio chip and glue it to USB audio 1 (I have seen devices that can do 96 kHz, use an advanced new Realtek sound chip and have golden USB A plugs but are seemingly still USB audio 1 devices).
And also anything that offers "DSD" which did not exist when audio class 1 was invented. So I went for "DSD". It is not absolutely mandatory that a USB audio class 2 supports DSD, but it seemingly makes the difference (why else would you produce a USB audio 2 device ?).

It's strange that Linux will not accept audio class 1 devices (at least not as a default). Everything that is simple and still about 90% of all USB audio devices offered are audio class 1 devices.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 10:14:26 am by Lars »

Dave Yeo

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 10:39:04 am »
It's strange that Linux will not accept audio class 1 devices (at least not as a default). Everything that is simple and still about 90% of all USB audio devices offered are audio class 1 devices.

The Linux kernel is monophilic, every device driver lives in the kernel. They can be dynamically loaded as well. It really depends on the choices the person/group compiling the kernel chooses. Lots of dists are based on Ubuntu, which seems to compile most everything in. Ubuntu is based on Debian, so perhaps Debian compiles everything in. Examples are HPFS and JFS support. Ubuntu derivatives support them out of the box. Other Linuxes, not so much.
So really it depends on the distribution. The kernel supports both.

Lars

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 11:13:22 am »
Yes, I understand that Linux does have USB audio 1 support (either statically linked into the kernel or as a dynamically loaded driver, the latter being what OS/2 does).

I was just surprised that this does not come as a default. There are millions of users, including Linux users, that do not care and do not need to care what driver is used for what. But USB audio 1 is still dominant. It is much too early to drop USB audio1 support and you don't want the enduser to find out about it. For me, that is just a lousy user experience. And one of the reasons why I always was too lazy to move from Windows to Linux.

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 01:37:45 pm »
It's strange that Linux will not accept audio class 1 devices (at least not as a default). Everything that is simple and still about 90% of all USB audio devices offered are audio class 1 devices.

The Linux kernel is monophilic, every device driver lives in the kernel. They can be dynamically loaded as well. It really depends on the choices the person/group compiling the kernel chooses. Lots of dists are based on Ubuntu, which seems to compile most everything in. Ubuntu is based on Debian, so perhaps Debian compiles everything in. Examples are HPFS and JFS support. Ubuntu derivatives support them out of the box. Other Linuxes, not so much.
So really it depends on the distribution. The kernel supports both.

Not 100% sure on its accuracy since I deleted my last Linux partition a decade ago after using it since v0.1, but I have had numerous complaints about usba1 audio devices not working in Debian that work fine in Ubuntu (I ran a Linux audio site in the 90's, and still get emails 20 years later). I am personally more annoyed about Windows 10 support sine it means millions of headsets are no longer working.

DSD enabled devices mostly use an XMOS front end (Although ESS has recently released their own frontend for testing), while they mostly default to usba1, they should switch to usba2 if they get AudioClassRequests_2 according to my understanding of the XMOS docs

https://www.xmos.ai/download/sw_usb_audio:-sw_usb_audio-[design-guide](6.16.1alpha1).pdf

Lars

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 08:30:53 pm »
I don't get this about Win10 support. Are you saying that they won't work on Win10 either?
All the USB audio 1 devices I have do work under Win10. But I have not tested headphones as I don't have a USB headphone.

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Anyone know a cheap USB audio standard 2.0 device (playback) ?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2021, 02:50:07 pm »
I don't get this about Win10 support. Are you saying that they won't work on Win10 either?
All the USB audio 1 devices I have do work under Win10. But I have not tested headphones as I don't have a USB headphone.

Windows 10 recently dropped class1 (1998) support on Win10 devices, none of my early USB DAC's work on Win10 since late fall last year, some others are 1.1 compliant and seem to work, some are supposedly 1.1 but do not work or work only partially (Phillips CODEC's only work if volume is 100%), some are class one compliant and are no longer seen as class compliant devices but have drivers supplied on the windows distribution (CMedia et al) and work, but others like Roland/EDIROL/Boss units no longer work in class compliant mode but work in "driver mode", if you manage to install older drivers that is. Others like Focusrite Saffire 6 USB 1.1 only work with Windows using the ASIO drivers which is a world of pain for those that do not know what ASIO is and how to route it to the system.

Note that there were 2 versions of the Saffire 6, a USB1.1 and USB 2 version, the latter still works, but both are only about a decade old, Ploytec only started shipping their asynchronous USB 2 development package in 2011, it was all USB 1 up until then. CMedia also has the bad habit of supplying different chips with a very similar or sometimes even the same name, some early CMedia USB audio chips no longer work with either the Win class drivers or CMedia drivers, even though the CMedia drivers supposedly work with that part number, turns out that they recycled the part number for a later and different USB CODEC.

I am not necessarily unhappy about this development, I have been buying weird old USB audio products for peanuts off eBay in the last couple of months. USB powered digital amplifiers and old hi-fi DAC's with programmable DAC chips and isolation transformers on the audio output, so on, so forth.