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February 24, 2012 / ironbabycribsreviews

Which Audio Interface? USB vs Firewire

Before everything else, let’s not forget that I’m talking mainly from a home recording studio user perspective. If you have everything else except the audio interface then you face a real dilemma.

USB Audio Interface vs Firewire Audio Interface

What is the difference between USB and Firewire? We observe all these peripherals out there when we face a purchasing decision. In the end, it boils down to the device you own and what it supports. Most devices these days feature only USB 2.0 ports (that are compatible with USB 1.0). If you have a Mac, the Firewire port is there but if you own a PC the firewire could be missing. I own an i3 ACER and there is no Firewire port on it. Again, the choice depends on your device.

In terms of speed, USB 2.0 tops 480 mbps in theory, but it was proven that the speed is lower. Firewire features a sustained transfer rate of 400 mbps (FW800 is 800 mbs) and it’s always the same. But when it comes to Audio Interfaces, we talk about the latency. Almost every audio engineer agrees that for audio recording, a Firewire audio interface is better than an USB audio interface.

Check a $400 studio setup

info: Latency is the time it takes digital audio data to go through your audio interface’s software driver. There are two types of latency: playback/output latency and recording/input latency. Many argue that latency has way more to do with your audio recording system, your peripherals and hard disk access speed.

motu-ultralite-mk-3-hybrid

MOTU UltraLite-MK3 Hybrid is an Audio Interface that features FireWire and USB2 ports.

features:

  • flexible 10 input/14 bus mixer
  • on-board DSP effects: reverb with sends/returns, EQ & compression on every input & output
  • 10 inputs / 14 outputs – no channel sharing in UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid
  • mic , S/PDIF I/O, headphone out & main outs
  • two forms of compression
  • samples rates up to 192 kHz

Check Yamaha Audiogram6 USB audio interface

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