USB cables that work, or don't, with DS

Can someone help me understand USB cable standards, which seem ambiguous in their naming of standards and shape of the plugs and sockets?

I want to buy a Male A to Male B USB cable to interconnect an Innuos ZENmini MK3 streamer/server to the DS DAC. The Innuos site describes the USB requirements in two statements. Under “connectivity”: USB 3.0. Under “audio outputs”: USB Audio 2.0 supporting USB Audio Class 2. PSA describes itself as a “USB 2.0 audio device”.

The source of my confusion relates to the shape of the Male B end of the cable, which looks like it need be type 2.0 on the DS DAC, not 3.0 as Innuos describes under “connectivity”. The Male A end looks the same for 2.0 and 3.0 standards (but are they really?). What’s up with that?

To complicate further, ultimately I will likely want to connect the Innuos unit to an AirLens with the same cable. Any idea whether the socket on the AirLens will accept a 2.0 Male B plug, or a 3.0 one?

An alternative approach might be to interconnect the Innuos and DS DAC (later AirLens) via an audio quality RJ45 cable.

Any suggestions?

The thing that helps is that USB 3.0 supports USB 2.0. If you have a USB 2.0 device, then it can be connected with USB 2.0 or USB 3.0. USB 3.0 cables will work between USB 2.0 devices.

The thing that is confusing is that there’s a USB Audio 3.0 which uses USB 2.0 for its connection. USB Audio xxx is different in general than USB xxx.

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Only on the A-Male connected equipment. The B-Male connector is different on USB 3.0 from the B-Male connector for USB 2.0.


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You are correct, I misspoke.

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Thanks @tedsmith and @mountwashnh1 !

Am I correct the current DS DAC USB input receives a USB 2.0 connector?

Will the DS Mk.II accept as a connector USB 2.0, 3.0, both, or not decided yet?

Will the AirLens accept as a connector USB 2.0, 3.0, both, or not decided yet?

Might I want to consider interconnecting these devices using a high quality RJ45 cable instead of a USB cable?

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The DS and DS Mk II use a USB 2.0 connector, that’s plenty of bandwidth for audio and doesn’t require people upgrade to USB 3.0.

If you are asking about using a non-USB cable to connect two USB devices, don’t. Impedances, lengths, wire gage, being out of spec can cause very flaky behavior (working some days and not others, being sensitive to which drivers you are using on your PC…)

Someone else will have to answer about AirLens

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DS DAC does not have a jack for RJ45 cable.

Good point! I was thinking of the transport. Duh.

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