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I believe I have an issue with a ground loop. I'm looking at some USB Isolators. I found this,

Would this eliminate ground loop? I have both my both two outputs going to my mixer from my USB DAC and also from headphone out?

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  • I might try some free and easy possible solutions first. Try different outlets/circuits... putting different devices on different/same circuits, etc...
    – JoshP
    Oct 29, 2012 at 17:29
  • They're all on the same circuit, no joy. =( Oct 29, 2012 at 17:30
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    Actually, you want your audio devices to be on the same circuit. It is when they are on different circuits and the grounds float relative to each other that you run into problems. Oct 30, 2012 at 19:14
  • I don't think this question is off topic, but you would probably get better answers over on electronics.stackexchange.com. Oct 30, 2012 at 19:15
  • Evan - from your description on the other question, it does not sound like you have a ground loop issue. You would be hearing quite low frequency noise (50 or 60Hz depending on mains supply)
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 31, 2012 at 9:44

2 Answers 2

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That device is built around the ADuM4160. I have used that device to isolate USB and it works great, however I have never used it for audio applications. It should break a ground loop, assuming that is the problem that you are hearing.

Note that the ADuM4160 max speed is 12 Mbps. Some USB devices expect to be able to function at 480 MBps, but an audio interface should be fine with the slower speed.

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I prefer not creating ground loop, rather than filtering it on a single connection. The nature of ground loop is very simple: your setup has to have only one ground wire (remember that every data cable has that wire) to each device attached and only one exit to the ground. Imagine a star built from ground wires where each beam has to be represented by a single ground wire. In short, from all devices attached together ONLY ONE has to be grounded to the wall socket. All the other should not be grounded to the wall sockets, because they already grounded by the data cable to that "central" device.

I hope, this will help you and save some money)

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  • I just wanted to point out that this is impossible and represents a misunderstanding of a ground loop. If you have a computer with ground and a mixer with ground, there will be a ground loop. If the they're plugged into the same outlet, and go out the same connection, and hit ground at the same time: there is still a ground loop. It's less of a ground loop, because because the potential between ground terminates at the outlet but until you get to the outlet you're going to have a different potential to ground. A cable 3 feet longer will change the potential to ground, and it's a loop. Apr 23, 2023 at 19:11
  • The only way you can eliminate a ground loop is to have only one grounded device in the loop. Anything else just mitigates the effects by reducing the difference in potential, so for example one interface's current won't be incentivized to route through the mixer to ground. Apr 23, 2023 at 19:14

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