I was highly impressed with the Pure 2 HDMI cable they sent me a few weeks ago. My first impressions of the Alpha USB sample I have are that it’s 10 meters long, requires power at one end and has a unique white finish on the connectors. I see FIBBR doesn’t want to leave out the PC audio guys with this USB cable. Let’s jump right into the review!
Here is a quick recap of the brand FIBBR, in case you missed my last review on FIBBR cables. “FIBBR is a joint venture between the world’s largest fiber optic cable factory, Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Joint Stock Limited Company (also known as ‘YOFC’), and Asia’s most powerful chip company, VIA Technologies. FIBBR has dedicated its time to active optical cable (AOC) R&D and production. With copper reaching its physical limits in terms of distance and bandwidth, FIBBR cable is the smart choice for integrators. AOCs by FIBBR offer reliably high bandwidth, extremely low signal attenuation, and high resistance to external electromagnetic interference; all necessary features that assure the best signal-to-noise ratio. FIBBR’s proprietary BendRobust™ technology is an industry first, that allows the cable to be bent 180° for easy management of difficult placements.” (Note that grammar was corrected in this quote by the writer)
Fiber Side (PC):
Diameter of Cable:
Fiber Bend Radius:
Not yet announced
When the Alpha USB arrived, I was surprised to see how thin it was. On the USB-B end, the cable is regular copper for about 8 inches. I’m not a huge fan of this look, but I understand why it’s needed. FIBBR claims 5Gbps bandwidth over USB 3.0, which is about ten times that of USB 2.0. Just like the Pure 2, FIBBR claims to use the highest-quality glass fiber, sourced from YOFC and it features “BendRobust” technology that allows the cable to bend up to 180°. While the cable itself is thin, FIBBR is claiming a tensile performance of 60N (Newtons). One unusual thing I found while hooking up this cable is that it requires a micro USB power connection on the USB-B end with a 5V/2A power requirement but it did not include a USB cable or power brick. You have to provide your own, not a huge deal to me, but something to be aware of in case you’re somewhere where these may not be easily accessible. I was also not given pricing for this cable at the time of writing.
Hooking up this cable is simple, you plug the USB-A end into your PC or digital source. Then you plug the USB-B end into your DAC. I’ve noticed that longer runs of copper USB cables produced a weaker, compressed sound or even signal loss. Switching over to a fiber optic cable like the Alpha fixes all of that. I found the audio to be crisp and full, with nothing lacking in the sound quality. I even got a chance to compare it against an AudioQuest Cinnamon 2M ($80 for a 0.75-meter cable), and I could not tell the difference between it and the Alpha. So, I can have my PC on the other side of the room from my DAC and still have amazing audio. FIBBR makes it possible.
The Alpha is a well built and solidly thin cable, I just wish the power cable and brick were included. I really liked the matte white finish on the connectors, it’s very unique and looks modern. Just like the Pure2, this cable is clean and features a smooth jacket, with the first word I could think of would be “quality” when I felt the solid matte metal connectors. Like the Pure 2, the Alpha also has the “BendRobust” technology and I can’t believe how effortlessly this cable can bend up to 180 degrees. Being able to run USB this far is quite useful and I really like this cable, the attention to detail is fantastic. Keep your eyes on FIBBR, they are making leaps and bounds in the cable world.