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?


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....

I'm with the streamer camp.  Time to cut that cable!  Plus, get your PC out of the chain.  You'll be glad you did.  Even a Raspberry Pi 4 with a little free audio OS would be better than the PC.  I just sent one a friend to solve the same issue you're having, and he's very happy.  I'm tricking out a more sophisticated rig for him now.


At the very least you can fit one out to use just as a renderer, and send the music over the internet from your PC, or you can create a full-fledged server/streamer for not much money.