The USB interface is extremely useful. It is a universal interface, which means that all types of data can be sent over this bus. Audio is implemented in the protocol, for example. PCM is standard, DSD can be done. In any case, via DoP. But we have already written a lot about that. Now we go into the playback optimization. And yes: we end up with noise filtering again… It is and remains a thingy! We look at and listen to the new Audioquest Jitterbug FMJ.
If you want a bit of decent sound from your laptop, PC or perhaps ROON core, there is no escaping a way to filter the noise out of the usb port. There are motherboard manufacturers – think Gigabyte – that have built in a special “audio mode”, which first of all resets the usb port to USB 2.0 mode and in the process also addresses the power lines. Either they disconnect them completely, or additional filtering is done.
In short: not only audio nerds hear it; the ‘problem’ is also recognized by motherboard manufacturers.
Not surprisingly, then, a bucket load of accessories appeared on the market a few years ago – about six years, we estimate. Audioquest was one of the first manufacturers. And with deserved success; the Audioquest Jitterbug just works.
In the pictures above you can see the new FMJ and the older ‘normal’ jitterbug.
Full Metal Jacket
The main difference between the old and new FMJ is that the new one has a more robust metal jacket. The circuit itself has not changed much. And that is not necessary: the old one did its job nicely, but yes: the eye wants something too. Besides, metal may be able to keep out EMI and RFI more efficiently. And in these times of countless networks, that is no luxury.
By the way, there is something you should know. The Jitterbugs of course work with all dacs and PCs (and perhaps other usb-compliant devices). So also the Dragonfly RED and Black. But the Audioquest Cobalt already has a built-in Jitterbug, so you have to be a bit careful with too much serial filtering. Parallel goes a little better in that case.