USB DAC cable over 15ft - Solutions?

Hi All,

I'm writing to ask for recommendations on the best way to connect my DAC to PC via USB using something a bit longer than the 15 feet max standard for USB. For now, I’d prefer to stay corded.

For years I’ve been using a 15 foot USB cable with some limited success but now definitely need to change. Due to shifts in configuration, a 15 foot cord has become too short. Also, I had experienced some intermittent issues with drop outs (and recently some static-like noise). Lastly, the manual to my DAC states “USB cables over six feet may not be reliable” – underscoring the likelihood that the dropouts were due to the length and I need a better solution for my situation.

In summary, I’d like to find a cable solution that:

1. Can accommodate USB 2.0 for connection,
2. Can go to about 25 feet or so in length,
3. Is a quality and durable component that could serve the long term,
4. Is being used successfully by audio/hi fi enthusiasts who are happy with the sound,
5. Though not required, may have, as a bonus, something that could help isolate electrical noise, and
6. Has a price not much more than $100 but lower than $200 if at all possible.​

I’ve been considering the following:

1. Monoprice SlimRun USB-A to USB-A Female 3.0 Extension Cable - Fiber Optic, Black, 32.8ft
b. Pros – simple and to the point, lifetime warranty. Cons - A bit pricey at $199, wire seems thin, and can’t see many reviews for using it for this purpose by audio enthusiasts.
c. Please note, the similar cable by Corning appears no longer available and I read about some quality issues so I’m not enthusiastic about looking for a used one.​
2. Monoprice Blackbird USB 2.0 2-Port Extender Over Cat5e/6 - 50m /164ft
b. Pros – price at $99 works for me and could isolate any electrical noise. Cons – no warranty info, other similar devices with good reviews cost much more (Icron), and can’t see many reviews for this purpose by audio enthusiasts.​
3. 4-Port USB 2.0 Extender - may be the best quality that is still less than $200, but have yet to see any audio folks talk about experiences with it.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?


Just use a longer Ethernet cable from the router if possible 

then the best one at the streamer.

Have you considered getting a dedicated streamer instead of using a PC? You could then put a Wi-Fi extender or Mesh node close to your system and run an Ethernet cable from that to the streamer and a much shorter USB cable to your DAC. No long cable runs and it’d probably sound a lot better too — lots of people here do it this way. Just a different way to go FWIW.

@soix , thanks for the "nudge". I say nudge as I have certainly thought of a streamer and certainly believe I will eventually go that route for other areas of my home. Some reasons I haven’t gone that route for my main system include my preference in the control and viewing size from my laptop/keyboard/monitor. It would also require buying another component plus a tablet (phone is way too small for this purpose for me) as well as a cable.

At this point it still seems more complicated, more $, and less appealing than my current computer keyboard and monitor setup - all to simply solve for a cable issue.

Use something like this at one end:


Thanks, @mike_in_nc .  This looks like what I'd need if I used an optical cable (or similar) with two male A ends?  I think I still need to solve for the cable itself.

Corning Optical USB. I use a 10m version, the shortest one. 😊

@kr4 yes that was my first thought! Unfortunately, Corning no longer seems to make or sell these and, as I indicated in my original post, I’m reluctant to try a used one, even if I can find one, as I’ve read some reviews discussing lack of reliability.

The closest thing currently available that I’ve seen is the Monoprice SlimRun USB-A to USB-A Female 3.0 Extension Cable - Fiber Optic, Black, 32.8ft which I posted above as a possible option. But I haven’t seen any reviews for this application, the specs state that info goes only one way, and the wire looks mighty thin....