With USB cables, there are two areas to worry about, hence handle. First is possible  interference between the 5V power and data lines as the digital representation of the audio signal. Second is EMI. Electromagnetic interference can be the result of equipment in the vicinity of the cable including the streaming source itself, be that a dedicated streamer or a computer. Under the hood, many dedicated streamers are nothing but computers with the same mother board, CPU, memory banks, power supplies and USB controllers. However, if the USB cable adheres to the USB spec, most interferences are dealt with. Proper shielding and twisting of the two data leads should be sufficient. From the USB controller at the send end of streamer or PC, the data transmission type is differential (the D-/D+ lines of the specification). By twisting the data leads, signal polarity is shifted 180°. At the receive end, the USB controller evaluates the signal difference. Any external interference to the signal works on both wires to get canceled. Something similar holds true for magnetic interference from nearby power cords. Twisting of the wires compensates for the effect. Again, that is fine for standard data transmission.

For audio purposes however, there is the timing error called jitter. Once you know what to listen for, jitter is easily recognized. For us jittery playback lacks depth, dynamics and impact. Jitter effects are also signal dependent. In big orchestral works, the virtual image gets limited in depth and width. When discussing jitter, many think it mostly impacts the higher frequencies. But jitter in fact affects the lower mid and bass frequencies more. This is easily explained since there are more samples involved in low-frequency digitizing than higher frequencies to suffer greater possible damage from jitter.

In short, there's room for improvement to lower jitter across this USB transmission protocol for fine audio. Audiocadabra from India are one of the aftermarket's USB cable providers. Since our review of their Optimus dual-header USB cable, they have worked on furthering their quality. When asked if we would like to review their now 3rd generation, we were eager to assess what had happened in the 4½-year interim. The full name of the cable is now Ultimus3 Plus Dual-Headed Solid Silver with a $100 price hike. That price difference is evident just by the looks. Where the initial cable was an unruly stiff contraption, the current version is an elaborately hand-braided much more flexible job.