This question is coming up to us quite a lot so let us try our best to explain in simple terms how USB works.
USB is a protocol that interfaces a HOST (think of it the brain) to a Device (think of it as an accessory).
You would connect a HOST to a Device. You can't connect a Device to a Device.
Now let's list some examples of accessory working in HOST and DEVICE modes.
- Phone/tablet able to support "HOST" mode
- Mouse, Keyboard accessories
- USB audio interface such as miniDSP.
As most of your already know, you can't connect a Mouse to a keyboard without a PC. Everybody agrees on this?
So down to the question we get asked a lot: "Can I connect a miniDSP xxx USB port directly to the USB port of my DAC?"
The answer is....... No. :-)
You can't connect a Mouse to Keyboard and you therefore can't connect a miniDSP (or any USB audio interface) to another USB audio interface as they are both "Devices". You need a USB HOST (E.g. a PC) to connect a USB device.(e.g. miniDSP)
Hoping all this makes sense. You can easily find more detailed explanation online on how USB host vs Device mode works.