Light Harmonic Lightspeed USB Cable

June 8, 2013


The Story

Larry Ho, Founder & President of Light Harmonic, is a self-described tube-lover and vinylphile, which may seem odd since he’s the founder of our all-digital company. You may be surprised, therefore, to find out that before he founded Light Harmonic, he worked as the Executive Vice President of a leading USB integrated circut company. He and his team of over 150 elecronic engineers contributed vital work to the USB 2.0 Audio Class Standard, and developed USB DSP software drivers for partners like Dolby, DTS, and Sennheiser.

While designing the highest speed USB DAC on the market (Da Vinci DAC), Larry found that the USB cable was one of the weakest links in many computer-based front-ends. By isolating the USB power, re-clocking the signal, and buffering it with our patent-pending 3 layer buffer, Larry minimized the cable’s effect. Even so, bit-perfection of the digital signal and original precise timing was often lost by the USB cable. How to fix it? Engineer a better cable.

The Difference

We tested dozens of “high-end” USB cables and found that many can’t achieve the 480Mbps bandwidth requirement of the USB 2.0 high speed standard! Even worse, signal integrity is often damaged by the noise in the power leg of the cable.

Lightspeed USB uses a unique topology, which we call Ultra-high Speed Differential Pair (or USDP). USDP gives Lightspeed 20 times the bandwidth of USB 2.0 high speed, which ensures optimal signal clocking. In fact, Lightspeed’s astounding 10 Gigabits per second bandwidth is twice as fast as USB 3.0! Additionally, its 2-in-1 architecture physically separates the signal leg from the five volt power leg, preventing source-generated noise from disturbing the digital signal. The result: a bit-perfect USB cable.

What’s Missing?

Audiophiles often believe “if it’s bigger, it’s better.” Some “audiophile-grade” USB cables add layers of mesh, webbing and dielectric that improve a cable’s looks, but degrade performance. Lightspeed follows a different, minimalist path, with performance the only goal. No fluff, no thick skin, no massive connectors (which never fit, anyway). Instead of glitz, we’ve focused on performance.

Lightspeed is an open-wheel racer, those other USB cables are freight-trains. Lightspeed USB is light, flexible, and a serious over-achiever, outperforming the competition, and exceeding all future standards. In real-world listening rooms, it’s easy to install and performs beautifully. You WILL hear the difference— even if you think all USB cables are the same.

Source: Light Harmonic