External hard drive: powered or unpowered?

I’m using a NUC-ROCK server over network to DSJ dac and looking for a storage external solution.
It is not connected directly to DSJ and different floor level…
What would be from a sound quality point: External hard drive: powered or unpowered ?
Powered one I assume will be faster but also could be electrical noisier. Any idea? What you guy’s are using?

Either one will work equally well as far as the music playback goes. I have a 1 tb Samsung Evo SSD internal and a 2 tb WD passport USB external connected to my Nucleus+.


When I had the PSA BII installed in the DSD I had (2) T5 Samsung 2TB each external USB w/ 1TB Samsung PRO SSD internal for 5TB storage on the N+. Going Matrix, I swapped N+ 1TB PRO SSD w/ 4TB Samsung EVO SSD internal. Then one port USB to Matrix and removed both T5 USB SSDs. Since I just got my new i9 laptop w/ just 1TB SSD, I use the 2TB USB external SSD for my 30 Tacx cycling DVDs and Blu-ray videos. I ride in the Alps and Pyrenees daily in my cycling studio and the T5 ext USB SSD is plenty fast and nicely stores the 1TB of videos. Also, very portable from office to cycling studio without any spinning noise. Of course I have my BT boom box working some Nickleback w/ Qobuz cycling playlist cranking while cycling.

I use just SSDs for any storage these days and triple back up my library w/ 8TB, 4TB HDDs and of course the N+. Good thing cause my MSI (POS) laptop died after 2 years use a month ago…

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For my desktop I use a two drive RAID SSD (internal drives powered) in a Nexstar MX box. One drive is strictly for backing up the other SSD drive.

For each of my Bryston BDP-1 players (two) I use laptop external hard drives which are powered via USB cable from the Bryston media players. The attached laptop drives are for listening to MPD from the internal Bryston firmware. I also have a powered NAS available (powered) if needed.

I’m with Baldy. I don’t think either type sounds any better than the other.

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FWIW All but one of the external USB drives with external power I ever had have died and all of the USB powered USB drives I’ve ever had are still going strong. I’ve even got two sets of three USB drives as two Microsoft Storage Spaces (two way mirrors) which are always running (about 4 years now). I just keep shuffling in bigger drives over time. As soon as the 5T Western Digital drives are commonly available I’ll go down to just three or four drives instead of six. It’s nice to be able to have my complete music library on a few drives when I’m visiting PS Audio, other people’s houses, etc.

Thanks Ted.
Others are against usb powered portable drives because are draining power which could affect NUC internals and sound quality. I was thinking WD 5TB usb powered.
Probably higher storage, draining more power, could affect indeed.

I use an external powered 48W USB 3.0 hub (https://plugable.com/products/usb3-hub10c2/) That has plenty of power for USB 3.0 USB powered drives and offloads the computer’s power supply from dealing with the drives.