Customer Review

62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problem when used with USB audio, July 15, 2012
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This review is from: AmazonBasics 4-Port USB 2.0 Ultra-Mini Hub (Personal Computers)
This hub seems to have a problem when an USB audio device is connected through it. If there's any electrical power line interruption (fridge starting), it causes a drop in the audio. For all other uses, it worked fine.

Honestly, many hubs seem to have this issue, including the Pluggable and CablesToGo ones. The Belkin and the one built into my Dell LCD monitor do not seem to have this problem. (I've bought a lot of hubs looking for a good one! I knew they exist bec my Dell LCD's built-in worked but I needed one for a different PC.)

It must be a matter of one chip set vs another but I do not know which chipset is in which hubs.

And yes, I do have some decent power filters / voltage regulators, but they don't respond quickly enough to short drops in voltage. (Online UPS would work fine but those things are noisy!!!)
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 9, 2013 1:40:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2013 1:41:09 PM PST
CH says:
Have you found any others that are good with USB audio devices that you can recommend?
The most popular Belkin one is unfortunately limit 1.

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 2:14:14 PM PST
Some hubs, like the AmazonBasics 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub with Power Adapter 5V/4A (search keyword = B00DQFGJR4), have a circuit-breaker that trips when the voltage spikes, as "surge protection". In contrast, a drop in voltage is called a "brownout".

However, no "consumer" USB hub can replace the power that is temporarily reduced when a large electric motor starts to draw power from the same distribution circuit. The hubs that you perceive as "not having this issue" are simply drawing power from a circuit that is not affected by the temporary "brownout" caused when the electric motor starts.

For example, I plug the AC power adapter for the USB 2.0 hub into a power strip, which draws power via an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit. The UPS has a 2 -3 ms. response time, which is quick enough to protect the computer system (and any other devices connected to the UPS) from surges and brownouts. It will supply power temporarily if it is necessary to do so. However, UPS units contain heavy batteries, since they supply power for a limited time after the external power source drops to nil. So they are not especially "portable".

Posted on Jan 22, 2014 10:17:38 PM PST
J D. says:
Have you ever considered that it could be your house & your electricity provision or internal home distribution causing these problems? If the refrigerator is affecting your computer, then it sounds like a problem specific to your situation, since most people do not encounter these issues or have their own individual quirky situations. You should use your products outside your home (i.e. cafe, library, etc.) & you'll be able to comment more objectively...I will not read any replies. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 3:15:20 AM PST
RKL says:
Yes. I have the entire subsystem on a furman conditioner, but I had also tried an online ups at the time (noisy beasts!). I have since resolved these issues, so I have more insight. Fundamentally usb audio seems very sensitive to anything that can create timing issues- both hardware and software. I am now on all usb3 gear up to just before the DAC (which is usb2).

Posted on Apr 29, 2014 2:56:24 PM PDT
Amodeus1971 says:
I have a Cyber Power backup system with USP and I am also running a 900w power supply on a system that only draws at very max 700w and don't ever have issues like this. Maybe you should look into a larger power supply and also make sure your UPS wattage is at least the same and should be more than your power supply. I have a 900w max UPS.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2014 5:11:09 PM PDT
Most pro level USB audio devices are USB2 and do _not_ work on USB3 regardless of their claims of backwards compatibility. This is a pretty well known phenomenon in the audio industry. If you have a usb2 dac, I suggest getting a usb2 hub or search and search and search until (maybe) you find one that works... This has given me so much grief in the past...

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 5:46:36 PM PDT
Jared says:
I've been a DJ & Producer for... well a long time. I never trust a USB hub with audio. Always run audio devices off of a direct cable. Sometimes they work for a little while but if you have too much / power data you will get drops.

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 7:58:46 AM PST
A. Devitt says:
thanks RKL, I have the same problem with the Sabre hub 2.0 highly rated here on Amazon, audio not working in 2014, bought it in 2013, sometimes it works and others dont. Hope the Belking works, because sometimes the UBS 3.0 interferes with my logitec mouse.

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 2:55:03 PM PDT
This somewhat *IS* an issue with the AmazonBasics hub assuming the power supply is connected. I fear Amazon has used a marginal no-name Chinese power adapter and it probably doesn't deal well with brief power fluctuations. Larger capacitors in the power adapter and/or the hub itself, would go a long way towards solving this problem. But larger capacitors might add twenty cents to the manufacturing cost. And many Chinese "no-name" products have every last cent shaved out of them.

I strongly suspect a lot of Amazon Basics products are ODM products--aka Original Design Manufacture. That means Amazon didn't design the product, they just had their name put on an existing design--often marginal no-name Chinese designs that didn't find success elsewhere. Amazon might conduct some basic testing but that's about it. They probably never bothered to verify what happens if the power briefly dips.

I'm curious if the AC adapter even has a UL logo on it? If not, it's almost certainly a no-name marginal Chinese design. And even if it passes UL requirements, that doesn't mean it was designed to handle voltage dips.

I suspect a name brand hub, from say D-Link, Belkin, etc, would work just fine even when your fridge starts.
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