I recently reviewed the AudioQuest JitterBug, easily the best bang-for-buck upgrade available for your computer / USB audio setup, but I realised that I left one very important detail out. The JitterBug is not just something for those with super-high-end setups seeking that last incremental step. No, the JitterBug will be equally as impactful on a basic, lower cost USB system like a portable USB DAC (Cozoy Astrapi / Aegis, FiiO X5, etc.)
To test this, I have been using the JitterBug in my portable work setup which consists of the Cozoy Aegis, a generic USB cable, FiiO E12DIY amplifier and a range of earphones depending on my work for the day. This setup is normally quite prone to background noise from the computer. The Aegis doesn’t do much to minimise / filter this noise out despite being an epically good portable DAC so the addition of the JitterBug makes a very noticeable difference by providing all of the benefits I discussed in the full review (better sense of space and depth to the sound) as well as noticeably removing noise from the setup.
So, just to clarify, if you were interested in the JitterBug, but thought “it’s not for me, my gear isn’t good enough for it to help”, please think again. What’s brilliant about the JitterBug is that it will noticeably improve both basic setups and high-end setups. I want to say that it will have more impact on lower priced setups, but I am still so impressed by what the JitterBug did for my home setup that I’m not sure if it’s really true. What I can say for sure is that the JitterBug appears to bring noticeable and significant improvements to any USB audio setup no matter the level.