Why Am I Seeing Audio Dropouts on My USB Device?

There is a known acquisition issue related to USB audio interfaces on computers that match the following configuration:

  • USB 3.0
  • Motherboard with an Intel Chipset
  • Windows 7

While playing audio through a USB audio interface, the output will sometimes pause for a very brief amount of time, e.g. 70 ms. Exactly when the output will pause is unknown and the amount of time the output is paused varies. This glitch in the recorded time waveform may corrupt your measurements and give false failures depending on its duration relative to the averaging time.

Listen strongly encourages users to avoid purchasing new computers with this configuration. If you have a computer matching this configuration you can follow one of the following remedies:

  • If you have a desktop with an available PCI Express slot, install a 3rd party USB 3.0 PCI Express controller card. Use the USB ports on this 3rd party card to connect your audio interface to your computer. 
  • Upgrade to Windows 10.


This issue is caused by Intel USB 3.0 drivers, even when the audio interface is connected to a USB 2.0 port. Using a 3rd party USB card will install it's own drivers, and Windows 10 will use Microsoft drivers. 

Listen has validated two expansion cards:

Mailiya Express Controller Adapter Connector B01G85LFEK

Syba 2 USB 3.0 Port PCI Card D720201


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