Wyrd USB Decrapifier - Reviews
Pros: A sonic improvement over a direct PC connection
Cons: Very mild effect in some usage scenarios
Many audiophiles out there don’t believe that digital signals can be better or worse. Zeros are zeros and ones are ones is their philosophy. Such people would argue that USB regenerators are just a hoax, a snake oil meant to trick us into emptying our pockets. But I was curious to test that myself and I bought this unit during the last call for $49 + $33 shipping to my country... So it's not produced anymore, but there are plenty to be found on a second-hand market if you wish.

So Schiit Wyrd is a USB regenerator and recklocker, that made me create a new category of reviews I’ve decided to name “Snake oil”.

BUILD AND FEATURES
Looking from the outside, Wyrd follows the well known Schiit design. It’s a small box covered with a curved brushed aluminum plate. That means it stacks perfectly with any Modi, Magni, etc. On the back, we have just one USB input, one USB output, a power plug, and a power switch.

Regarding functions, this device has only one. It is supposed to take a digital stream of data coming from your PC, digital streamer, etc. Wyrd than recreates that digital stream from scratch, using its own power supply and internal clock. Supposedly much cleaner signal is now sent to your DAC which should have less trouble dealing with noise, jitter, and other unwanted stuff. Finally, that is supposed to translate into better and cleaner sound coming from our DAC and eventually speakers or headphones.

I was eager to test these claims and find out does this device really brings any audible difference to my system.

Schiit Wyrd 02.jpg

TESTING WITH PC
The first part of the test was conducted with my Win 10 laptop. It’s just a working machine with few free audio tweaks like Fidelizer and Minority Clean. So after hooking Wyrd into its place, the system looked like this:

  • Acer laptop with Win 10
  • Schiit Wyrd
  • Burson Playmate DAC
  • Cyrus 8vs2 Integrated amp
  • KEF LS50 speakers
Going through many songs, doing both longer listening sessions and quick AB switching (Wyrd in/Wyrd out), I could definitely confirm that there is a sonic difference when using this device. The one that was easiest to discern is in the bass region. Bassline became a bit cleaner and with less bloom than before, so bass notes sounded both more focused and more present. Other than that, I could notice some small clarity improvement in both midrange and the higher end of the frequency spectrum. When I say small I mean they’re easily noticeable when doing AB but not that big and important to wow you in any way. When Wyrd is removed I don’t really miss its influence on those upper register, but I do miss that bass firmness a bit.

And that’s basically it, I didn’t really notice any changes in spaciousness, soundstage width or depth. I can’t claim those don’t exist or can’t be heard with better systems and/or ears than mine.

FURTHER TESTING
I then switched from PC to Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with Pi MusicBox. This is a combo that sounds cleaner and more spacious than my laptop to begin with. I attached Wyrd, listened for some time and couldn’t really detect it’s influence. I removed it then, listened to the music some more and again couldn’t detect any sonic differences. This was very odd as Pi 3 is not famous for its USB output quality, but it is what it is and I’m just reporting my experience. To me, Schiit Wyrd didn’t influence Pi’s USB output in any meaningful way.

I then asked my friend and my better half to help me with some ABX testing. With Pi 3 they couldn’t detect any differences either. Going back to PC as a source, they could both detect the difference when Wyrd is being used.

The last part of the test included me swapping a few different DACs as well as using headphones instead of my room setup. The outcome was basically the same. Wyrd always improved PC’s output a little bit, but Pi 3’s not so much.

Schiit Wyrd 00.jpg

WHO IS IT FOR?
Matter of price and value is another thing I have to address. I’ll go through a few scenarios in which I can or can’t justify such a purchase.

1) If there is a way to improve any of your core components for a similar amount of money. Let’s say going from a really great $100 DAC like Schiit Modi 3 to a great $250 one like Topping D50s – you would get much more significant sonic improvement than buying this small device. The same goes for amps, headphones, speakers… If 100 bucks can buy you a better core component – buying Wyrd is simply not smart and justified move.

2) If your core components are already of such price that adding 100 bucks buys you nothing better. In this case we’re ready to talk about peripherals. In my experience, spending a similar amount on a good set of interconnects or speaker cables, power filters, vibration absorbers for your devices, etc. – yielded more significant sound improvement. For example – placing a set of good interconnect cables which retail price roughly matches Wyrd’s, instead of my decent $20 cables – had a much greater positive sonic impact than Wyrd itself. That’s why, in case you haven’t sorted out cables and power sources first, I can’t justify spending a hundred bucks this way.

3) If all of your core components, and cables, and power filtering are taken care of but you still have a desire to further improve things. Then let’s say you have a hundred to spare, you look at your system costing several thousands of bucks, and you want to pour a little bit more into it. Then and only then I can see a reason for going with a device like this one. In that case, we are talking about measly few percents of your whole system cost – and the appropriately small, yet detectable, sonic effect. Only in such a scenario purchasing this device actually makes sense.

CONCLUSION

Spending a few weeks with the Wyrd I can certainly tell it’s not snake oil. In some scenarios, it really did bring sonic improvements. Given a choice to listen to the music from my PC with or without it – I’d always choose to use Wyrd. That said if there is a weak link anywhere in your system, your money will almost certainly be better spent tending to that first.

. . .

You can find all of my reviews at https://iiwireviews.com/

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Pros: Does as advertised. Solid build quality. Fixed my noisy USB ports.
Cons: Other solutions might exist for cheaper. No type-B USB cable included.
I occasionally want to use my Dragonfly Red DAC with my desktop computer. I've never had issues with the Dragonfly from my laptop ports or my phone's micro-USB port. However, when connected on any USB port of my desktop, I get a loud hizzing/buzzing noise that ruins the sound of the DAC.
 
So, I bought the Schiit Wyrd. It fixed the problem perfectly. Zero hissing/buzzing whatsoever. Clean, clear sound. 
 
I'm not going to tell you that it magically improves the sound of the DAC. Nor can I tell you whether or not other cheaper solutions might exist, such as a regular powered USB hub or the Audioquest Jitterbug. I didn't try any other solutions. 
 
I can say only that the Schiit Wyrd worked perfectly and solved my problem. 
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Pros: Inexpensive, passes through all forms of audio as they are, even very high res.
Cons: Requires use of its wall-wart and can't use USB bus power.
The world’s most expensive 1-port USB hub, Jason Stoddard joked about the Wyrd. The story was as its namesake: Jason and Mike put together a USB filter expecting it to have no effect on their already carefully considered DAC USB inputs and were surprised when the sound quality improved. With similar exclamation from others who tried the prototype, they put it in to production promising nothing.

 
I’ve spent a number of years mucking about with DAC inputs, using converters and power supplies ranging up into the 4-figure mark, so at $99 the Wyrd was a no-brainer. Jitter, having long been quite thoroughly dealt with in USB lead many to wonder what was causing the differences with various devices and cables and noise from the computer being sent over the USB lines was revealed to be the culprit.
 
The crown of the converters I've used has been the Audiophilleo 1 with optional Pure Power pack. I'd also bought a Vanix USB hub with its higher-quality USB power output, designed for their signal generators. That hub had done well with a Calyx 24/192 DAC, better I felt than the optional better PSU that Calyx offered, so I'm no stranger to these kinds of tweaks. I couldn't have imagined that anything would beat the Audiophilleo, but with a Chord Hugo as my main DAC for some time, I was surprised that it seemed to at least match it when hooked up. The Hugo's USB port is a bit sensitive to computer noise, the result being a touch of hardness to the treble when listening. That vanished using the Audiophilleo through the S/PDIF and, much to my delight, with the Wyrd through the high-res USB port.
 
Similar improvements were to be had with a Calyx M and FiiO X5II DAPs when they were used in DAC mode. When up-sampling to 384 kHz, USB transmission quality becomes critical and the Wyrd ensures glitch-free listening to USB DACs in those cases. I’ve also used it when I had trouble transferring music files to DAPs using Android File Transfer on my Mac, which would drop transfers far too readily if the transfer was interrupted in any way. That makes the much cheaper Wyrd vastly better value and more versatile than an S/PDIF converter. Funnily enough, when I was comparing a Soundaware D100PRO music server with the Audiophilleo AP1, I found that the Wyrd improved the AP1's performance, something I thought wouldn't be possible! Weird (or Wyrd) indeed!
 
For devices which already have, say, galvanic isolation on their USB inputs the Wyrd may have no benefit. I’ve heard it may even not work well with some devices. But for $99 it has proven to be a versatile and useful device that has solved even some problems I didn’t know I had.
sarang-i
sarang-i
Nice review.
Curious if chord mojo will get benefit from using it too.
In same way: PC -> Wyrd -> Mojo
Pros: Absolutely sounds better with it
Cons: Power supply draws 2 watt even when unit is off
I've done a lot of A-B comparing and the Schiit Wyrd absolutely improves my sound quality. Without it, the music sounds more distant, less expansive, less clear and also a bit softer volume. 
 
A bit of background; I'm running a good quality 10 foot Belkin AV USB able from my Mac to the Dac. The Mac has sorta weak USB as it is.
 
I was not really getting dropouts except on a rare occasion, but I would definitely hear some buzzing on certain tracks at times. 10 feet of USB cable can't be great.  
 
The Wyrd cleared all that up. I would say if you run USB, you need Wyrd. 
 
My only small complaint is that the power supply draws 2 watts of power when the Wyrd is off. That's not a whole lot of power, but I'm a stickler for vampire draws. 
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sarang-i
sarang-i
some information i want to see are in this review as well as usefully explained its pros and cons, thank you mediahound.
Pros: No doubt it works. Cheap. Built solid.
Cons: Needs a wall wart.
I am an amateur recording engineer that mainly uses a laptop pc on location with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20.
The bus power is no doubt as noisy as a baby with a full diaper that's up way past bedtime.
I use the same interface at home with monitors, etc. but I had a HUGE problem with the interface dropping out every 15 or so minutes with low latency settings in my ASIO driver selected.
Long story short, this goes in the middle with stock cables (or 3 dollar ones from the local PC guy) and all my problems disappear. Hours and days connected on end with no drop outs.
The only annoying thing would be the wall wart which is mainly a portability issue for me.
 
I now have two, one fixed at home and another in a padded camera bag which goes with the rest of my kit.
 
I won't say it makes my recordings sound better or anything, because I haven't done comparisons, but all I know is that it lets me do what I want.
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Pros: It does as advertised.
Cons: $120 ($99 @ schiit.com) is a lot to for one purpose.... but so worth it.
Let me preface this review by explaining the issue I was dealing with.
 
I have always experienced digital noise from, I'm assuming, my poorly grounded laptop. It didn't matter if I used the headphone jacks or my Alessis i02 Express for recording/DAC (poor man's recording/DAC that I totally recommend if you're in a pinch). The noise I'm talking about is not static but rather a dynamic sound that follows closely to what my laptop is doing, for instance, if my fans rev up, I will hear soft glitchy sounds, almost like running water, that speed up and slow down. So basically whenever my laptop does something (download, play a dvd, connect cell phone) there is an audible response over my headphones. That noise has always taken up headroom and it was quite noticeable when I would put in my Westone UM2 IEM's. I honestly didn't think there was a way to clean up the signal so I just lived with it. But then I started getting into Schiit gear....
 
I got a Valhalla 2 to drive my Beyerdynamic DT880s (600 ohm) more appropriately than my other setup, and the digital noise started driving me mad. So I did what anyone does now-a-days and googled it. That's when I stumbled across the Schiit Wyrd Decrapifier. I was hesitant at first because the reviews were a little mixed about its functionality, but I figured if it doesn't clear up the signal I'll just return it. I received the Wyrd (along with a Modi 2 Uber) from Amazon today. The device installed immediately on my Win7 laptop, and before I switched my setup to the Modi 2 I wanted to see if the Wyrd would clean up the signal on my Alessis i02. It did and it was FANTASTIC! I really couldn't believe my ears, it was like I've been on an airplane this whole time with a constant whirring and churning, but now silence. No noise, no nothing. I had the same results when I put in the Modi 2 in place of the Alessis i02. 
 
If you use USB in your audio setup, and you are experiencing some of the noise issues I talked about then I highly recommend this product. It's built like a metal brick right here in the USA, probably by Thor himself.... joke! But seriously this puts a new light on my listening experience and I just gotta say this Schiit rocks!
 
My first anything on head-fi.org, so forgive any of my errors.
Krutsch
Krutsch
If you have USB issues, you need to solve them by removing competing devices from the same bus (i.e. move your DAC cable to a port with nothing else internal using the same bus). Period. Using a Wyrd or an iFi USBPower will do nothing to solve these issues. And, if you aren't experiencing drop-outs/pops/clicks/screeching sounds... you don't need one of these. The Wyrd doesn't even isolate your USB connection from electrical noise (i.e. doesn't provide galvanic isolation). And, yes, I have a Wyrd and I also have an iUSBPower; they are both nothing-ball.
tyco
tyco
That is unfortunate that this was not a solution to your problem. I know for a fact that the Wyrd has an effect on my audio signal. I have done everything under the golden sun to eliminate the glitchy sound without making any purchases and nothing was successful. However, I did find the source of my problem and that was my PSU ( I have a 6 year old gaming laptop with a gigantic PSU ). If I unplug the PSU the noise disappears. I even took steps to remedy that, but since a PSU is absolutely necessary then, at the moment, the Wyrd is necessary. I don't think the Wyrd is a "fix-all" solution for USB noise, but for some it has helped. So I still recommend it. Perhaps I will give a galvanic isolator a shot, since I've read those have been known to work.
catspaw
catspaw
Thank Odin you clarified that thor was not the one who build it! :D.
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