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192 kHz USB sound cards

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Subject: 192 kHz USB sound cards
From: "Douglas Gillespie" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 10:41:46 -0000

Hi all,


Has anyone tested, or seen a believable spec for a USB sound card that will sample at 192kHz and will actually pass through data up to at least 80 kHz ? Many sound cards have a low pass filter at around 20kHz even though they sample at 192, which is a bit pointless.


If anyone is interested, I’ve been using RME Fireface 800 and 400 cards a lot recently. These generally a very good frequency response to at least 90kHz. Unfortunately, my current application really requires me to use USB not firewire.


People may also be interested to know that the clocks in the RME cards aren’t great and they seem to sample about 0.5% slower than you ask them to (either the clocks run slow, or the Firewire interface is losing samples, I’m not sure). The consequences are that over an hour you can lose several seconds of recording, which is important if you’re trying to accurately time events based on a file start time and the number of samples in a file.





Douglas Gillespie
Sea Mammal Research Unit,
Gatty Marine Laboratory,
University of St. Andrews,
Fife, KY16 8LB

The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland : No SC013532


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