How to tell if I've got usb 2.0 or 1.1?

My PC is 1.5 years old, with windows vista and a motherboard which I believe is the MSI P6N SLI Platinum.
The guys at studio-central (in particular tweak) are keen to stress the importance between usb 1.1 and 2.0
How do I tell which one I have? Ive checked the hardware manager on the usb items, but cant seem to find anything there.
Can I assume that a PC this comparably new has 2.0 ?

Further, tweak asserts that if a soundcard manufacturer doesnt explicitly state what version the usb interface has, you must assume it’s a 1.1
When browsing the user manual of the edirol ua-25 ex, I cant find the usb version mentioned anywhere on those 64 pages.
Does that mean it’s a usb 1.1 device?


if it is that new it shoudl be usb2.0 but to be sure
read the manual , visit the pc logo website , visit the mobo website.

ouch. my ua25ex box just says usb. i had thought it was a usb2.0
now i have to dig to find out. it did claim 24bitx96ksamples and other specs that makes me think it should be 2.0 in spite of their generic usb labelling.

yes, normally if they dont say 2.0 you get the older usb speed.

yes, you definitely want the 2.0 until you can get 3.0 real soon now.
avoid usb1.1 for things like audio

now a year or so ago someone bought the maker of that box - came out with sort of a new model in some ways - so if yours is older it may be different usb. i am not sure if they made the box better or just made it cheaper.
cakewalk, roland, edirol, etc., not sure who owns who or who makes/sells what.

be aware there is one labelled cakewalk (newer w/2.0???)
and one labelled edirol (older 1.1??) both have subtitle that says by roland.

this is on the cakewalk seller site
*USB 2.0 Compatible. Works as a USB 1.1 device without changing the specifications and performance. now what the heck is “compatible”? i want one that is totally in conformance with a spec.

from mfgr forums:
it is a mystery (title of thread)
Is Edirol UA-25EX USB 2.0 ?
8 posts - 4 authors - Last post: Feb 27, 2008
In fact they only mention that it is an USB interface. But on some eStore, the UA-25EX is advertised as a USB 2.0 audio interface. … -

try these links or google for specs

The UA-25EX is a feature packed, professional-level, ruggedly made 2x2 … Works as a USB 1.1 device without changing the specifications and performance. …

not sure if they mean it is usb1 or if it works on usb1 as well as 2

Edirol UA25EX from
Specifications Number of Audio Record/Playback Channels … Read all Edirol UA25EX USB 2.0 Stereo Audio Interface reviews… 10 out of 10 …

I’ve got vista too, I suspect the “USB2 Enhanced” references in device manager mean usb 2.0 …
Device Manager.png

beyond me - it may be a usb1 device that can run on usb2 pc
it may be a usb2 device that can run on usb1. the manufacturer won’t say. vendors claim it is usb2. but they have been known to lie.
why do you really care?
either it runs on your pc or it doesnt.
your pc apparently has usb2 from that screen shot.

EMU0404 is very similar to the UAex25 and that device’s box does say that it is usb2 — if you need usb2 guaranteed try to return your ex25 and get the 0404 else trade it in and get the other one.

The MSI P6N SLI Platinum has USB 2.0 ports (subject to the correct drivers being installed).
The Edirol ua-25 EX is USB 1.1, which is sufficient as the maximum data throughput of the Edirol is 4.6 MB/s and USB 1.1 has a full-bandwidth rate of more than double that amount.

@trebor thanks for the screen dump, unfortunately my own device manager usb-tree differs from yours and doesnt hint at 2.0 like yours do.

@whomper why do I care? because most people seem to rave about “get 2.0, ignore 1.1” when I ask around.
Im being told I will get more latency with 1.1 and that it wont be future proof.
(BTW, concerning latency, is there any big difference if the PC is USB 2.0 and the soundcard is 1.1 vs if both sides are 1.1 ??)

@Steve Where did you get that data throughput on the edirol from? Not from the user manual I assume?

The nickname tweak’s statemant that if nothing is said about usb version, then 1.1 must be assumed, seems to be a valid one.
After checking around, manufacturers seem to be very to keen to gloss over the fact when the usb connection is not 2.0 As I mentioned earlier Edirol doesnt give any hint whatsoever
in the very neat 64p manual of the usb version. Neither is there any hint of bus bit rate in the data section in the end. The only supplier I have found to be candid about this
is focusrite, who says 1.1 over and over in the manual, and even has it printed on the real panel directly beneath the usb socket, in case anyone would have missed it.

About the very few of the major suppliers of simple 2-channel interfaces who sports 2.0 today seems to be emu and tascam. All the other players seem to think that for 2-channel using
an 2.0 interface is not cost effective and overkill, just as steve seem to be hinting at.

BTW, saw some poster on studio-central state that 1.1 was ok for 2 channels, as long as you dont do overdubbing when you record your tracks, someone who’d like to comment on that?

Sorry if I sound picky, but the thought of buying a soundcard, bringing it home and then not having it working as planned, as seem to have happened to quite a few folks, just scares me half to death.
I simply cant afford to buy another one, just because the first one I bought didn’t want to cooperate with my PC.

It’s possible that you don’t have the necessary USB 2.0 drivers installed. Check that you have all the latest drivers for your motherboard - you should be able to get them from the MSI web site. USB 2.0 connections will (usually?) default to USB 1.1 if the correct drivers are not present.

I’m not certain about this but as an educated guess it is probably better to have the computer waiting for the sound card than for the sound card to be waiting for the computer. USB 2 on the computer will certainly be no slower than USB 1.1 even with a USB 1.1 device attached - it may be a bit quicker as it should be in a ready state whenever the device needs it. With USB 1.1 on the computer there is possibly a greater chance of a data bottleneck occuring. I’ve used USB 1.1 audio devices on a USB 2.0 computer port with no problems. I’ve not used a USB 1.1 audio device on a computer with USB 1.1, so that’s the bit I’m unsure about.

No - it’s not in the manual - or the “data manual” - or on the Roland web site. There are a lot of things that suggest that it is 1.1 as you have indicated, but the clincher was that I found the same question on another forum and someone had taken the cover off and looked at the chip to resolve the question for once and for all.

It’s probably understandable that Roland have been so cagey about it - everyone is so concerned with “specifications” these days that they overshadow whether or not the thing works. Everyone wants more megapixels on their camera and more kHz sampling rate on their sound card and more Gigabytes for their web space, regardless of what the picture/sound/hosting quality is like.

The limitation of USB 1.1 is that you can’t get full-duplex audio greater than 48kHz stereo sampling rate - at least, not reliably.
I think that the UCA-202 which I use is USB 1.1 (it doesn’t appear to say otherwise, and Behringer are always very keen to shout about specifications) and it works fine for recording and playback at 48kHz. The Edirol UA-25EX is capable of recording at 96kHz (which is arguably over-kill), but it cannot be used in full-duplex at 96kHz.

That is perfectly understandable. Can you get anyone to “demo” one for you? There seems to be a shortage of genuine reviews for these devices on the internet, but if you have a good hunt around you may find some.

i believe the original edirol one was 1.1
but what about the new cakewalk model after the company bought out the original maker ?
vendors are claiming that that one is usb2 are they lying ?
that has happened before!
it is strange the vendors site are still silent.

pull the cover and see the chip! i love that!!
now if someone would verify the new version.

what they say about usb is generally true.
i say wait for usb3. almost as fast as the speed of light, faster than the speed of sound with 64 polyphonic midi instruments mixing with your 16 choir mikes and 32 f/x doing real time processing.

i say if it works who cares. for many people who try to do a LOT it may not work. for most recording it works fine. if you are trying to play midi and mix it with your own playing it may not do the job.

look at the emu0404 very similar but usb2.0
but if i did it again i would get something bigger (more mike inputs)

latency can be lot more than the usb depending what you want to do and the box you are using.

now cooperating with your pc is another story that is way beyond usb issues.

do you have the ex25 yet ? what problems are you having with it?
i mean besides not having any vista drivers for it ?

if not then go to kellys computer and music and use their table to compare all the devices. check out zzounds for specs and review.
google the device names and see what problems pop up.

thanks for quick feedback steve, I’ll definitely check up on the motherboard drivers.

whomper, I havent bought any hardware yet, thus I have no real complains about ua-25 in real life, other than unclear specs.
I would have had an ua-25 today, if my credit card hadn’t bounced, but it did, so no buy was made at that point.
So I continue drifting around more or less like a paranoid, favoring a new brand or model almost every day :slight_smile:.

For the moment Im contemplating a focusrite saffire 24 DSP, which would break the bank, but also probably solve all head aches about bus speed and future extensibility issues. My local dealer promotes focusrite and he offers me a full refund if I cant get it to work to my satisfaction (as long as I dont install the bundle software that comes with it.) As an added plus, just saw a user review on this model, who couldnt get the firewire working while toshiba-powered, but when switching to either TI or VIA it worked, and VIA is what I have so I guess there’s a good chance it would work nicely for me.

Ive thought about tascam us-122 mk2, but is hesitant when I read the big user review discontent with the previous models, and I still fancy the ua-25 which I think look great visually, not mentioning the hefty and very neat-looking 64p user manual accompanying it. Dont know how much it is worth, but I cant help thinking the appearance of the user manual is an interesting quality marker. If the maual is sloppy, why should the hardware be any better? :slight_smile:

there are a lot of choices
first figure out what you really need now and future

be careful - most devices won’t work without the bundled software
how can you tell if it works without installing all of it ???
be sure whatever you get works on your opsys. many do not have the drivers for vista or 7. or they don’t have correct drivers yet.

i am not sure i would judge any by the manual
programmers hardwarehackers and writers
plus management goes into the final box for you to see
do you judge audacity by its documentation?

i would judge them by the reviews
there are lots of places to find out about such devices

alternative strategy - buy just enough for now (but enough) at the lowest cost – with the intent to upgrade much later if you need to do more (think lexicon lambda for example)

i have a UA25ex and an EMU 0404 each has some parts better than the other (and i have multiple pcs which is partly why two boxes).

I considered lexicon lamba (cheaper and better imho) but saw too many bad reviews (which may be all FUD to confuse buyers) so went with the others for now.

No I dont judge audacity by its documentation, but when its freewhare its slightly different, isnt it? A good manual with nice layout and thick section about troubleshooting, FAQ, and how to install on various platforms, dont you like that too? At least for me it really adds to the user satisfaction when buying new stuff, cant help it.
But the saffire 24 has got good (professional) reviews as well.
But you have a good point about compatibility with the bundled software. I have looked but not found any reference to what kind of drivers are included in the package for windows, and maybe its just a bad feeling but somehow I suspect that a little bit more up-market box like this, will only contain asio support. If that is so, I guess I will have to compile my own audacity executive to have it working (or get it from some one else), and I dont know how easy it is on a windows machine and whether it can be made with gcc or some other proper freeware. Or alternatively, get a commercial audio recorder :frowning:

Standard installations of Audacity 1.3 now include a help file. It is also available on line here:

There are still a few gaps in the documentation, but overall it is pretty comprehensive. Additional documentation can be found using the links at the top of this page (Find quick answers in our Tips, Tutorials and Documentation!). Experienced users that have time and are willing to help fill in the gaps are always welcome (see the index page of the on-line manual for details of how to get involved).

Most sound cards are supplied with Windows drivers in addition to ASIO drivers, so hopefully if you get this device you will not have to build Audacity yourself. Some ASIO sound cards have pretty poor Windows drivers, but they are usually sufficient to at least play (and usually record mono/stereo) correctly. Building Audacity with ASIO support on Windows is not an easy task unless you already have experience of programming/compiling on Windows. If you want to have a go, you will find instructions here:

If you have problems recording with this device in Audacity, there are other free (but not open source) audio recorders that do support ASIO out of the box, such as Wavosaur
Once you have the raw material recorded you would be able to use whichever program you prefer for editing and processing.

of course i like that
but that does not make the box good or bad
nor mean it will work/fail on a given pc/application

i have had big fat user manuals that were worthless due to the mistakes in them

my satisfaction comes from using a device that works
not thinking about using it and reading about it

if i were going upscale on the hardware i would to that with the software even more so. that said, whatever box you get should be able to record (assuming it claims compatibility with your system) and save a wav file. use audacity to edit and tweak that if you dont want to buy sonar producer or nuendo.

Ive had a closer look in the manuals for the focusrite 6 usb and pro 24 models and unfortunately it is as I suspected. The pro 24 has only asio support whereas the cheaper 6 usb model has both asio + wdm support for windows platforms. Thus the pro 24 cant play with audacity unless I can produce an asio-compiled executive. I’ve done a lot of compiling in my heydays but never on windows. I’m willing to have a go at it (with the risk of having to pester innocent people on this forum) or perhaps trying to beg for copies from other guys I’ve seen on the forum who have already succeeded in doing this.

@whomper, my satisfaction comes from understanding the functional structure and possibly the underlying philosophy of the device, something I cannot do without a well written and explanatory manual. I also find the on-line manuals very handy when comparing different brands, what they can do and what they cant, since the retailers very rarely can answer detailed technical questions, and since it enables you to pose sharper questions to the retailer.

I asked the focusrite tech support about the windows drivers and got the answer that the pro 24 supports both ASIO and WDM (whereas the manual says only ASIO) but if WDM is used only 2 channels in & out is supported, compared to 16 in & 8 out it has with full functionality. I find it a bit odd that the manual doesnt contain such vital information, for a product that was introduced just half a year ago. Its a bit on the expensive side, but its loaded with interesting features.