Firewire Vs. Usb – Which is Better For Audio Recording?

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Firewire Vs. USB, an ongoing question (at least in the

last few years when Firewire and USB came on the market). In this post we’re about to talk about the


differences between

both of them so that you will know the

facts and can decide which is a better hardware

to work with for you.

Firewire Vs. USB Data Transfer Rate

The important

difference that is worth

knowing between USB and Firewire is the transfer speed of the

data. USB 2.0 transfers data at

around 480 mbps where Firewire

800 transmits data at, well, 800 mbps.

As you can see, Firewire 800 transfers

information at nearly double the speed of USB 2.0. This proves to be

useful when you want to transfer huge

volumes of data in real time without

issues like with digital audio recording.

Asynchronous Vs. Isochronous

While USB is predominantly

asynchronous, Firewire has an isochronous mode, or in

other words it can claim a

certain dedicated amount

of bandwidth which surrounding devices

cannot touch. The stream of data is

then able to flow freely so that you don’t get affected by any

collisions of data or glitches like is possible when using USB’s asynchronous mode where

that endless stream of

information is able to be inhibited by

different devices to use that exact same

pipeline, resulting in issues like

pops on your recordings when recording as some of the audio

gets lost.

Note that it’s not a given that this

will come about through USB, but the odds

are a lot more likely due to the design.

Firewire Vs. USB Cost

Keeping in mind the

preceding two points, Firewire

generally will cost you a bit more and is taken more seriously than USB 2.0

when it comes to recording. It is more

pricey both for firewire cables vs. USB cables and for

installing a Firewire port on your PC vs. a USB

port. As Firewire is used for

very unique reasons which

the typical individual has little need

for like video or audio tracking,

very few computers

come with Firewire ports already


As a substitute you either have to special

order your computer with a Firewire port already

installed, or you can order a converter card to

help it become

working with Firewire which is what I


Ultimately the choice of going with Firewire

Vs. USB is yours to make, but now you are

acquainted with the major

differences seperating both. You can try purchasing a USB

matching recording equipment from a web-

based site with a decent return policy

like Musician’s Friend or purchase one in store at a

Guitar Center, then try it out and if you experience

any pops or problems then you

are able to just return it and swap it out for a Firewire system.

To see what specific recording

system that I use

myself in

vs-usb-which-is-better-for-audio-recording/”>Firewire vs. USB


respectively, click on the web link in this



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