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Topping HS01: Useful device or snake oil?

vco1

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I recently came across the Topping HS01 "USB 2.0 High Speed Audio Isolator". There's hardly any (objective) information available on this device. According to Topping is should eliminate or at least minimize ground loop noises on USB connections.

Is this useful, and if so, in which situations? Or should this be ignored?
 

solderdude

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I recently came across the Topping HS01 "USB 2.0 High Speed Audio Isolator". There's hardly any (objective) information available on this device. According to Topping is should eliminate or at least minimize ground loop noises on USB connections.

Is this useful, and if so, in which situations? Or should this be ignored?

It might be useful when you hear strange (not intended) sounds from your USB DAC (through speakers/headphones) otherwise there is no need for it.
 

AML

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I started (oddly, this didn't happen before. Not sure why it started) having issues going from my PC with a 3090, to my topping D90se. Whenever I start playing games I get buzzing from what must be ground loop issues. Since Im using a topping dac and amp (A90) I thought I might as well try this out and see if it works. iFi has a similar product but it costs more. Ill report back once I get it.
 

Matias

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MrEWhite

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After testing with the D90se/SA1/A90, and running some GPU intensive games, I can confirm it works at removing unwanted ground loop noises. all the buzzing and crackling is gone.

Im sure there are some cheaper options out there, but I like topping and it works!
If I use my ADI-2 DAC FS with an amp over RCA, I get buzzing if I do anything intensive on my computer. I'll go ahead and pick one of these up then!
 
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roderickvd

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The HS01 comes with a short USB-A to USB-B cable in the box, to be put between the source and the HS01. The USB 2.0 Specification requires DC resistance between plug shell and plug shell to be no more than 0.6Ω so I whipped out my basic DMM.

Ironically, this cable is unshielded or at least doesn't have both ends connected: it measures infinite resistance. Doing so accepting noise in what otherwise could have been a fine, end-to-end shielded USB cable connection.

Thinking this might be a poor man's way to break ("lift") ground, I measured the DC resistance between the USB-A and USB-B receptacles on the HS01 itself. These have their screens unconnected (good) so unless I'm missing something else, this noncompliant cable seems to be counter to what the HS01 sets out to do.
 

AML

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I actually replaced the included USB cable with a better one. But yeah, they could have made it like the iFi one and had it plug directly into the USB port.

There is one other option, and that would be the much more expensive U90 USB Bridge from Topping.
 

tvih

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I actually replaced the included USB cable with a better one. But yeah, they could have made it like the iFi one and had it plug directly into the USB port.
Personally not a fan of "big" protruding devices on my computer's USB ports, and even less so when they have cables extending even further them for more torque. I guess it could have an integrated cable to plug it in to make it non-protruding, but then if it wasn't up to par you'd be outta luck, while at least now you can change it if there's a problem.
 

roderickvd

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Speaking of which, why should the HS01 be connected with the shorter end to the source instead of the DAC? I would say keep it closest to the DAC to minimize any noise interfering down the line.
 

AML

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Speaking of which, why should the HS01 be connected with the shorter end to the source instead of the DAC? I would say keep it closest to the DAC to minimize any noise interfering down the line.
I was using a 2m USB cable, now im using 2X1m, with the HS01 in the middle away from both the PC and DAC. On another note, I noticed it gets warm to the touch, so probably best to keep it in a ventilated area.
 

roderickvd

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Reporting back after less than three months of ownership: the HS-01 is failing. It is suffering from what seems to be a broken connection internally, which causes regular dropouts, unless the input connector is mechanically forced in a specific direction. Kind of like a faulty cable, although in this case that's ruled out: substituting cables give the same results, and the same cable connected directly works fine.

Were there not more reports of poor reliability with TOPPING products? If so then add this one to the list.
 

drchen

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How Topping HS01 compared to iFi iDefender+? Are they the same mechanism?
 
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When I added the HS01 to the following chain computer (Soundsource)>E30>Yamaha s-501>LS50 I am able to turn the volume almost completely to the max setting with no noise. Without the HS01 by the time I get to 60% on the volume knob without it, the hum is very much present and very audible. I cannot speak to measurements but there is an audible difference there. My unit gets to 40C and have had no drop outs for the short time I have used it.
 
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