USB cable from external SSD dock to NUC

In my audio system I’ve got an external SSD dock connected to my audio-dedicated NUC via a USB C to C cable. Does anyone think that cable is as important for optimum audio quality as say the USB cable that connects our computers and Matrix X-SPDIF’s? Not that there are many what would be considered ‘audiophile’ USB C to C cables out there but Wireworld and Audioquest both do make them.

Hi Rob,

Apologies if this is off topic, but please read this before you invest in a cable! My NUC is a Roon Nucleus+ I have tried both internal and USB connected SSD as music stores (no USB C invloved) and somehow sound stage and dynamics were inferior when compared to having a networked SSD server. I always found this intriguing and I kept going back and forth only to confirm that storing music on a standalone server is better whether using an audiophile LAN switch or not. Eventually, I realisd that power draw affects sound quality.

Enjoy your music

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For me- any properly spec’ed cable should do- when reading data. If you have software like JRiver- for peace of mind, you can configure JRiver to load the entire file into memory then start playing afterwards. For usb-c cable, buy the one that is spec for 10gbps (for best throughput).

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Thanks but I’m one of the few that could care less about streaming music from online sources so I prefer to keep my audio system off any kind of network entirely.

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I’m currently using a Wireworld Chroma which was literally the only ‘name’ USB C to C available when I bought it. They’ve since added a ‘Starlight’ model That has a small amount of silver plating and now AQ has 4 models. The AQ Carbon has 5% silver plating but it looks like all of the AQ’s are just USB 2.0 whereas the Wireworld’s are USB 3.1. I think I’ll stick with the Chroma.


It certainly would be simple enough to test. Do you or anyone close to you have a high end cable to test it with? My fear is the better cable will sound better.

Hi Rob

I have an Apple branded USB C to C and an Audioquest Cinnamon - there is no audible difference on my set up which is using USB C from a MacBook Air running Roon and Audirvana to an Astell and Kern KANN alpha and Focal Celestee headphones with balanced cable. I am curious tho if the Wireworld is an improvement but I dont have access to one to try it out.

Well as far as I know the only ‘high-end’ USB C to C cable would be the AQ Diamond and you can’t find it online, plus it’s around $900 being solid silver conductors . AQ also makes a Forest (.5% silver plated), Cinnamon (1.25% plated) and Carbon (5% plated) but they all say ‘semi-solid conductors’ whatever tf that means, and they are all USB 2.0. WireWorld makes just two, the un-plated Chroma and the ‘silver-clad’ Starlight which doesn’t indicate how much silver is used, and both of those are USB 3.1. Potential throughput shouldn’t even come in to play just transferring audio files (one would think anyway) so I’m not sure if the USB 3.1 vs 2.0 means anything.
Both the AQ Carbon and WW Starlight are about the same price between $140-$170 so I may give one of them a try. So ‘silver-clad, solid conductor’ USB 3.1 cable or ‘5% silver plated, semi-solid conductor’ USB 2.0 cable?

I’d be curious too. If there was a difference you’d certainly think you could hear it through $1K headphones.

I believe GhentAudio makes a step up version of an A to C as well. I have an A to Micro USB cable from them. I’d have to but a Micro USB to C adapter on to test it and I’m not thinking I’ll go there.
Nope, I just checked, they don’t make it yet. Whew.

The other night I was in an exquisite room listening to an album when the system owner told me he had a vinyl record demagnetizer. I shuddered and he offered to demonstrate it. He took the album we were listening to off, set it on the Demagnetizer and put it back on the turntable. We all gasped at the difference we heard and it was a tough crowd. These days almost nothing surprises me except how expensive these tricks cost. (Record Demagnetizer, $3000)


That record demagnetizer is going to haunt you until you have your own at home!

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BTW I noticed that my DAP is the USB 2.0 spec even tho its a USB C cable so upgrading to a 3.1 cable wouldn’t do anything for me. I am still curious tho if the Wireworld cables sound better but cant find any data or testing so far - let me know if you do give them a try

Actually I just ordered a WireWorld Starlight 3.1 cable today. I’ll let you know what I find.

This is an old thread, but did you find out if there’s any sonic difference from an upgraded USB-c cable at all? Apparently I need one for a SSD drive.

I didn’t do any A/B’ing. I just went with the ‘better’ cable. I really can’t say if there was an improvement. I’m not sure there really should be though. The cable is just transferring data to the computer. It’s not even an audio stream at that point I don’t think?

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I was hoping you didn’t hear an obvious improvement! I think I’ll just get a Belkin cable then. At least it is well built. Thanks!