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All terrain USB audio with the PS Audio LANRover

  • Your Asus, your HP, your Acer, your Macbook, your iMac, your Mac Mini – hook ‘em up to your DAC via USB and they play music just fine.

    Where’s the beef? Ones and zeroes spill but often in bursts. So too does electrical noise. Your DAC is sensitive to both. The result is often an unshakable sense of audible anaemia. Music is shorn of its all-important engagement factor. In other words, USB audio isn’t perfect.

    Mitigating electrical noise infection and USB data timing anomalies is the USB regenerator, a box that sits between PC/Mac and DAC, re-clocks the USB data stream, cauterises the computer’s 5V power feed before slipstreaming in its own supply.

    In the past 12 months, we’ve seen USB generators served up by Schiit Audio, UpTone Audio, iFi Micro and Wyred 4 Sound (among others).


    They all make a difference to sound quality but each is slightly different in its hookup method: the Schiit Wyrd demands a USB cable either side whilst the UpTone Regen (effectively) connects directly to the DAC’s USB port; the Wyred 4 Sound Remedy splits that difference with a flylead.

    But look over yonder toward Colorado! Here comes PS Audio with the LANRover, a USB regenerator does Different with a capital D.

    The LANRover electrically isolates the DAC from its host computer using a rather clever two-box transmitter/receiver rig. Connecting the two is Ethernet which has galvanic isolation baked into its design.

    It works like this: the computer’s USB output feeds into the LANRover’s transmitter box, which regenerates the incoming USB datastream before handing off the freshly-tidied ones and zeroes to the LANRover’s receiver box (which is connected to the DAC’s USB input).

    The 5V power supply spilling from the host computer does not pass between the two PS Audio boxes and therefore does not reach the DAC. Instead, the LANRover receiver gets its 5V from a supplied wall wart.

    Watch PS Audio CEO Paul McGowan talk about the LANRover’s inception:

    As well as USB data regeneration and electrical isolation between DAC and PC/Mac, the LANRover offers the potential to separate DAC and computer by up to 100 meters – that’s 95 meters longer than USB’s recommended maximum cable length.

    The LANRover’s data tubing will happily accommodate PCM up to 352kHz and 2xDSD.

    Pricing clocks in at US$599. Beta testing begins in July and if all goes well, the first units will ship to dealers in August.

    Further information: PS Audio





    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram


    1. Awesome, looks to be the one to get. I was about to buy the Wyred one but I think I’ll wait.

      • Why not try both for yourself? The W4S has a list price of US$249 but is $179 right now. You could buy the Recovery, live with it for a bit, then get the PSA down the line and if you like the PSA more, flick the W4S for not much less than you paid.

      • Because not every buyer is down with Roon, UPnP or network streaming in general. Some listeners like to keep it simple with tunes stored on a laptop.

        • But I would think at $599 price point, it is catering more toward audiophiles than your average man (or woman) on the street who has a couple of GBs worth of music on a local drive, no?

          Where is this beta program you speak of? I guess it’s private?

    2. Hi john,

      Here’s a question that’s been on my mind about these boxes for some time now and I haven’t found the answer by reading the reviews on them so I’ve finally decided to ask. Maybe someone can give me an answer on this.

      Fact? These boxes get the exact same ‘messed up’ signal input at does a DAC if they are both connected to say, a Mac mini via the same cable.

      Fact? These boxes all cost between $200.- and $700.- so their manufacturing cost would be less than $50.- to $100.-

      Fact? Any self respecting DAC manufacturer should be capable of implementing a similar approach to the ‘messed up’ signal into their DAC as the manufacturers of the boxes, before sending that signal on to the rest of the DAC, therefore rendering these boxes ‘unnessecary’.

      So, would it be safe to say that these boxes would only have a positive impact on lesser quality DACs?

      I’m sorry if the answer is in the video. I’m not in a position to watch that with my current internet connection. I’m very interested in your reply.



      • As you have suggested, the degree of impact by these things will vary with the quality of the DAC’s own USB input. And experience tells me that whilst the higher end units are not immune to the charms of USB reclockers, larger returns are more clearly felt as we move closer to the entry-level. Marketing departments love to quote the timing accuracy of their clocks but if all that was required a single buffer stage and a re-clocked output into the DAC chip, we’d be done a long time ago. Real life says otherwise. As for the whys and wherefores, that’s for engineers to explain:

    3. Interesting that it maxes out at DSDx2
      I wonder if that’s the limits of the reclocking circuitry.

    4. My understanding is that the LAN Rover is a Galvanic Isolator. Both the Regen and the Recovery do something different. In terms of other USB devices another product is the Intona High Speed USB Isolator. I own a Recovery and an Intona and I have had in my system a Regen as a comparison against the other two. The Intona also is a Galvanic Isolator and is a single box as distinct for the two with the LAN Rover.
      With either the Regen and or the Recovery there is a small amount of SQ degradation. The system without either of them is better whereas with the Intona only there is a perceptible improvement. I do not know how the LAN Rover compares to the Intona. It will be interesting to hear.

      • If it were true that adding a Regen or Recovery would lead to SQ degradation, no one would use them. In my system the Regen, fed by the Uptone LPS has a significant positive effect on SQ. I don’t doubt that the addition of galvanic isolation creates even a bigger difference but that is another discussion.

        • Sander
          In my system with either the Recovery or the Regen there was a small degradation in the HF compared to the system without either of them. More importantly the system with the Intona was superior. Maybe some people like the difference of either the Regen or the Recovery. Besides myself three other people agreed with the result. Both the Regen and Recovery were powered by quality LPSs. My system is relatively high quality and is notable for the resulting fine detail.
          There has been comment on other Forums in respect of the enhanced performance of the Intona compared to the Recovery and or Regen. Based upon my experience it would not surprise me to hear that the galvanic aspect of the LANRover will exceed the Regen and or the Recovery.

        • Sander,
          The Recovery had a very negative impact on my system when it was between my PC/Roon/HQP source when sending DSD512 to the T+A DAC.
          There was a dynamic range compression that was like a filter. I could only put it down to the much higher bit-rate of DSD512 which wasn’t being handled well by the Recovery circuitry. A number of comments on CA forums also suggests that having a clean cable when doing DSD512 is preferable at this stage.

    5. +1 for the mRendu which seems to be theost complete one of this category so far.

    6. With all of the buzz around the amazing sound of HQ Player upsampling to DSD512, it’s a bummer thats PS Audio won’t jump in and build the Lanrover (and their DACs) to go higher than DSD128.

    7. Would be interesting to see a comparison with the similar method used by other Ethernet transport protocols such as Dante / Focusrite Rednet / AES67. The LANRover still uses USB at the DAC end, whereas those can avoid it altogether and use SPDIF/AES.

    8. IMHO, in order to be an all rounder I would have prefered an Optical LAN access vs Electrical if not an SFP.In Telecom industry, LAN access ports are available as SFP (Small form-factor pluggable ports ). Then you change your outputs as per your needs: RJ45 electrical, Short Haul (500m) or Long Haul (10Km) fiber SFP lasers. Optical fibers (vs Toslink ones) are cheap and imune to RF(vs RJ45 cables).
      The technical information provided in their site is still poor:
      – no user manual available,
      – no specifications regarding LAN type port 10/100/1000 Mbps ?
      – no latency delay with 100m ( honestly not expected in E.C world and probably around 10ms depending on buffer sizes).

      I see more advantages in long distance between units. But not everybody has the chance to live in big mansions or deport audio to gardens….
      Interesting anyway.

    9. Hi John,
      I know they say the first USB connection cable quality will not matter, only the USB connection to the DAC. For the direct connect method, I am wondering if ethernet cabling will matter similar to the improvements you heard with the Audioquest ethernet cabling. I suppose using the wifi method with an ethernet bridge will not matter. Interesting prospect and the pricing is not that far up from the LessLoss Firewall USB modules which I recently tried.

    THE HOST – a more affordable media server from CLONES Audio

    ‘Portable’ vinyl with the KORG DS-DAC-10R & AudioGate