Wireless USB

Looks like Gefen is taking orders on a new wireless USB 2.0 extender with 60 foot max. range.


Perhaps this one will work better than Belkin's offering.
Did you read this:

"Note: The Wireless USB Extender does not support isochronous USB"

I believe it will not work with typical USB audio converters.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Others on the horizon:

Steve: does this mean you wouldn't be able to hook one of these devices to an Offramp Turbo 2 - or a USB DAC?
"Note: The Wireless USB Extender does not support isochronous USB"

I believe it will not work with typical USB audio converters.

Sorry about the false alarm. That is a bummer.
Pardales - that is correct, I dont believe it will work with an Off-Ramp or USB DAC.

I think this UWB stuff just wont work. Need to stick with Wi-Fi.

Steve N.
Not sure if this is available yet, but Icron offers wireless isochronous USB over 802.11 a/b/g/n.


WiRanger Powered by ExtremeUSB

Support for all USB transfer types - Control, Bulk, Interrupt and Isochronous
A better link on the Icron WiRanger product:

Icron WiRanger will be available 1st week of April. MSRP $395.
So, in theory, this Icron device will work on an Offramp Turbo 2 or a USB DAC?
I think so. I'd be curious to hear from Audioengr. Audioengr?
If the Icron device supports Isochronous, it should work. I hope the B/W is sufficient for 24/96. Since it is based on 802.11G and not ultrawideband, I think it should work fine. Kind of spendy though....

It's interesting that the "cablefree" thing has changed from ultrawideband to 802.11g.

I read the white-paper and it makes sense. Essentially, what happens is instead of the device acknowledging the transaction, the software sends a bogus "NACK" or non-acknowledgment and then later after the host retries again, the actual ACK is received wirelessly and sent to the host. So, it's a deferral of the ACK, knowing that the host will do a retry. It may cause the host to send the data multiple times though, until it finally gets an ACK, which could reduce bandwidth or cause dropouts. I guess it depends on how much buffering they put in the hub devices. As long as the buffers dont empty, then it should work without hiccoughs. Seems to me that isochronous does not do retries though. I'm no expert on USB though. Interestingly, they only show the protocol in the read direction. The spec sheet also says max bandwidth TBD.

I will give them a call. I think I'll have to buy and try this one.

Steve N.
That sounds promising. I placed a pre-order as well. Anticipated release is 1st week of April, but they may release early.

It's interesting that the "cablefree" thing has changed from ultrawideband to 802.11g.

It appears that they are starting with 802.11g, and will eventually move into other standards. Not sure whether all of these will work for what we want to do, or whether they will keep isochronous communication for all of these formats (from the first link above):

Wireless Standards Supported:
UWB, 802.11b/g/a/n, 900Mhz, 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz proprietary solutions
I've pre-ordered one. I am thinking about putting one inside my new Formula One DAC. After talking with the rep, I believe it will work fine. Working with Icron to determine FCC requirements for OEM boards.
Now that's cool, Steve! Could this be mounted in the Spoiler too, or any USB DAC for that matter? Do you think this will work with one of your Offramps then?
One thing about the Geffen device that seems a big advantage over the Icron is that all you need is a dongle that attaches to your computer to talk to the hub unit. This is an advantage because if you have a laptop you can move around with it much easier because all you have attached is a dongle. The Icron device is larger and appears to connect to the computer via a USB cable. That's fine if you have a desktop and don't plan to move around but if you have a laptop and want to move around that means you have to carry the unit with its USB cable with you. Am I correct in how I am looking a this?

Exciting, neverthess.
I believe Icron has a dongle too. See picture in this link:


From the link:

The WiRanger Cable Free USB 2.0 Hub is a four-port hub and dongle set that will enable immediate high-speed wireless connectivity with maximum reach extending beyond 30m.
The dongle is only an idea at this point, perhaps for an OEM. They have no design plans for this.

Pardales - Yes, it will work with my Off-Ramps, but the clock in it will undoubtedly need to be replaced with a Superclock4. I expect it to be too jittery stock. My hope is that the same clock used in the Off-Ramp can also drive the WiRanger. If not, then I believe that a Pace-Car still may be necessary to get really low jitter.

For other USB DAC's the WiRanger can also be used, but I believe the clock will need to be upgraded first to reduce jitter. Using it stock may be worse-sounding than wired USB. I guess we will find out in about 1 month.

If the Geffen device is based on Ultrawideband, then it will probably not work.
It appears that the Icron does not support 16/44.1 yet.
Email I received today from Icron about the Wiranger:

You had previously expressed interest in operating an Icron WiRanger set with USB audio. I am not sure if you ended up getting a WiRanger yet or not, but we have released a WiRanger firmware update that provides support for USB audio devices.

If you have any questions about getting a unit with the correct firmware or about updating your existing unit, you are welcome to contact me. Once you get a WiRanger set with the new firmware, feel free to let me know how well it works as we are always interested in customer feedback from actual customer installations.

Best Regards,
I enabled Icron to do the testing and development of the new firware for audio streaming. I have the first prototype and have tested the Wi-Ranger and it does work with streaming audio and at 24/96. However, there are two issues:

1) it adds significant audible jitter

2) if you step between the two antennas, you lose signal and your DAC makes very loud hiss etc...

I am looking at the units to mods them to solve #1. It may require a Pace-Car reclocker to reduce this jitter, but may be solved with improved clock and other mods.

#2 is up to Icron to address. I have notified them of these two issues.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio