UPS dropped off one of Audioquests’ usb bugs yesterday, and today, I am listening for the first time. I currently use a multipurpose machine for audio – no dedicated music server here – so am interested in simple, inexpensive solutions pointed at improving computer audio quality. On the software side, I use Fidelizer Pro, Tidal and Roon for playback.
Here’s what my digital audio chain looks like: a Windows 10 machine out to Schiit Audios Wyrd to the Gungnir multibit (Gmb) dac. Amplification is provided by my Bottlehead SEX headphone amp, powering the lovely Audioquest Nighthawks.
I installed the Jitterbug inline – coming out of the Wyrd to the Gmb.
Before I picked up the Gmb, I was using the Parasound zdac, connected directly to my Windows machine. But I had a YFS data only reference usb cable connecting them, which lowered the noise floor considerably. The sound was relaxed and dimensional. The hard and flat sound typical of digital audio became something more like music.
Because I could not use the YFS cable with the Schiit gear, I picked up the Wyrd. Honestly, I didn’t want to add another component to the chain, but it’s relatively inexpensive and effective at reducing the noise generated by computers. That said, I felt I’d lost some of the natural, relaxed feel of the old setup.
Adding the Jitterbug to the chain gets me back to that experience. In combination with the Wyrd, the Jitterbug lowers the noise floor some. Music is more dimensional, relaxed and natural.
Whatever your stance on digital audio, I think we all agree that less noise makes for a more enjoyable experience. I’ve found that the Jitterbug provides a subtle, but material, improvement to sound quality.