The Alpha USB has a USB Audio 2.0 Standard input and switch selected digital audio output signal type, either coaxial SPDIF using a BNC connector or balanced AES using an XLR connector. Sampling rates up to 192 kHz and word lengths up to 24 bits are supported.
Great care was taken in the design of the Alpha USB to isolate the noisy computer/USB environment from the digital audio output. The USB receiver and processing are powered by the computer, while the output master clocks and line drivers are powered by a separate isolated linear power supply. There is no DC connection and also a high degree of capacitive and inductive isolation between the USB input and the digital audio output.
Two key factors combine to achieve the excellent audio performance of the Alpha USB; the unprecedented degree of electrical isolation between the USB input connection and the digital audio output and the very low noise/low jitter performance of the individually tested audio output master clocks.
The Alpha USB is designed to work with Apple Macintosh and Windows PC computers and Linux-based music servers. For Linux, the operating system must be ALSA 1.0.23 or above. It must also have the ability to select the output device. Apple computers using Snow Leopard or later operating systems also interface directly with the Alpha USB. It is not necessary to install a USB Audio 2.0 Standard driver for those operating systems.
PC’s using Microsoft Windows 10 release 1703 and above do not require installation of the Alpha USB Windows driver and the driver provided with Windows should be used. Only Microsoft Windows PC’s using Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and earlier versions of 10 requires the Alpha USB Windows driver which is available on the Downloads page.