Video is great 'n' all but isn't this supposed to be about reliable audio in a club or studio environment??

Its strange how there are a fair number manufacturers of tried and tested professional grade audio equipment still opt to use audio streaming over a USB connection instead of firewire. But then again why shouldn't they since the equipment they use it in is proven to reliably work within professional settings. Take Allen & Heath, Vestax, Native Instruments and Denon for example. Some very well known and reputable makers of pro grade DJ and studio equipment. Despite all the technical talk of how much more efficient and CPU over head offloading firewire apparently is for handling reasonably high bandwidth data streaming they still opt to use the USB 2.0 standard in their top end digital audio club mixers and audio interfaces that are capable of streaming multiple high quality ASIO channels. Now they wouldn't actually use it if it wasn't useable or reliable. That fact pretty much stands for itself.

All in all from what I can gather it doesn't necessarily require something like firewire to reliably stream multichannel low latency ASIO of 20 mono(10 stereo) audio channels over USB 2.0 at 96KHz studio grade audio quality when looking at something like the Allen & Heath Xone 3D and 4D.


There's something very wrong indeed....

I was one of those people trained into the school of thought that firewire was far superior for low latency ASIO streaming and I used to believe it as it was technically true. But over the years there's been more and more evidence from general research and from actual hands on experience that it just wasn't the case as far as pro grade DJ and consumer grade pro application audio interfaces were concerned even on paper.

For example, why is it that when running a digital audio device using a supposedly technically better firewire connection that it still suffers from audio drop outs and audio discrepancies at potentially higher latencies if in fact it is just streaming digital audio and midi signals only? What else is it streaming over the firewire connection other then pure audio and midi signal data for it to require significantly more processing and memory resources to also potentially screw up like it sometimes does?

It kind of goes against the notion that the Firewire control chip is supposed to offload the processing overhead from the main processor for vastly better performance then USB 2.0.

There must be something else other then digital audio and midi signal data that's being streamed over the firewire connection for it to be such a resource hog given that its possible to do it over USB without issue for many other types of professional grade DJ and studio equipment.

Even on my particular firewire audio interface/device, if I want to stream audio at 96Khz I have to drop down from 4 stereo channels to 2 stereo channels just to make it work at that audio sample rate. Remember the Allen & Heath can do 10 stereo channels at 96KHz per channel over a standard USB 2.0 connection.

So next time someone shoves it down your throat that firewire is the best way to go for reliable low latency ASIO streaming as if they actually know what they're talking about you might want to consider the examples of Allen & Heath, Vestax, Native Instruments and Denon. I've a feeling the reliability and lower latencies are more to do with the how a particular manufacturer implements it and the components they use. Meaning that if you buy a cheap USB audio interfaces you'll still probably get underwhelming performance at higher latency timings as far as audio streaming capability is concerned.


Yeah, but generally they haven't really started using them in this kind of gear yet...

Obviously you now have FireWire S1600 and FireWire S3200 @ 1.6 Gbit/s or 3.2 Gbit/s respectively vs USB 3.0 @ 5.0 Gbit/s (4 Gbit/s raw throughput) however as far as I'm aware it hasn't even begun to roll out for general use on most types of digital audio equipment quite just yet