Four new products: IQaudio is now Raspberry Pi

We’re delighted to round off 2020 by welcoming four of the most popular IQaudio products to the Raspberry Pi fold. DAC+, DAC Pro, DigiAMP+, and Codec Zero will all be available to buy via our network of Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers.

We’ve had a busy 2020 here at Raspberry Pi. From the High Quality Camera to 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 to Compute Module 4 and Raspberry Pi 400, this year’s products have been under development for several years, and bringing them to market required us to build new capabilities in the engineering team. Building capabilities, rather than money or engineer time, is the real rate-limiting step for introducing new Raspberry Pi products.

One market we’ve never explored is hi-fi audio; this is a world unto itself, with a very demanding customer base, and we’ve never felt we had the capabilities needed to offer something distinctive. Over time, third parties have stepped in with a variety of audio I/O devices, amplifiers, and other accessories.

IQaudio

Founded by Gordon and Sharon Garrity together with Andrew Rankin in 2015, IQaudio was one of the first companies to recognise the potential of Raspberry Pi as a platform for hi-fi audio. IQaudio products are widely used by hobbyists and businesses (in-store audio streaming being a particularly popular use case). So when the opportunity arose to acquire IQaudio’s brand and product line late last year, we jumped at it.

Today we’re relaunching four of the most popular IQaudio products, at new affordable price points, via our network of Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers.

IQaudio DAC+

Priced at just $20, DAC+ is our lowest-cost audio output HAT, supporting 24‑bit 192kHz high-resolution digital audio. It uses a Texas Instruments PCM5122 DAC to deliver stereo analogue audio to a pair of phono connectors, and also provides a dedicated headphone amplifier.

IQaudio DAC+ HAT

IQaudio DAC Pro

Priced at $25, DAC Pro is our highest-fidelity audio output HAT. It supports the same audio input formats and output connectors as DAC+, but uses a Texas Instruments PCM5242 DAC, providing an even higher signal-to-noise ratio.

IQaudio DAC Pro HAT

In combination with an optional daughter board (due for relaunch in the first quarter of 2021), DAC Pro can support balanced output from a pair of XLR connectors.

IQaudio DigiAMP+

Where DAC+ and DAC Pro are designed to be used with an external amplifier, DigiAMP+ integrates a Texas Instruments TAS5756M digital-input amplifier directly onto the HAT, allowing you to drive a pair of passive speakers at up to 35W per channel. Combined with a Raspberry Pi board, it’s a complete hi-fi that’s the size of a deck of cards.

IQaudio DigiAMP+ HAT

DigiAMP+ is priced at $30, and requires an external 12-21V 3A DC power supply, sold separately. XP Power’s VEC65US19, available here and here, is a suitable supply.

IQaudio Codec Zero

Codec Zero is a $20 audio I/O HAT, designed to fit within the Raspberry Pi Zero footprint. It is built around a Dialog Semiconductor DA7212 codec and supports a range of input and output devices, from the built-in MEMS microphone to external mono electret microphones and 1.2W, 8 ohm mono speakers.

IQaudio Codec Zero HAT

Unlike the other three products, which are in stock with our Approved Resellers now, Codec Zero will ship early in the New Year.

So there you have it. Four (nearly) new Raspberry Pi accessories, just in time for Christmas – hop over and buy yours now. This is the first time we’ve brought third-party products into our line-up like this; we’d like to thank the team at IQaudio for their help in making the transition.

59 comments
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Hi there,
I’ve build a BoomBox based on Raspberry Pi and the IQAudio DigiAmp+ – unfortunately it’s not finalized. But the way to go is clear. During realizing this project I’ve got really good support from Gordon. This pops up in my mind as I’m reading this news. Thanks again and best wishes to him.
Regards
Jochen

Reply to Jochen Paul

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What? No line-in or line-out options?

Reply to Mike

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Those RCA connectors are line level outputs.

Reply to Nick

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Gonna be interesting to see cases that incorporate this with passive cooling!
Any plans in pipeline for new TV hats or dongles?

Reply to Sball

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CooliPi?

Reply to CooliPi

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Great news! HQ audio is one of my main uses of RPi. Will be nice to have a small DAC HAT that integrates well with the Pi 400 GPIO position.

Reply to Idris

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Surely this will get invented eventually. ;) The GPIO pins of the Pi 400 pretty much scream out for it. I personally hope it comes a 3.5mm audio-in.

Reply to Esbeeb

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As would Optical Digital In. Can then connect most smart TVs to Pi AMP+ system and then just add speakers of your choice. Can almost feel (yet) another iQaudio project coming on….

Reply to Richard Pratt

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Awesome, HQ audio is one of my main uses of RPi

Reply to SaveIG

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Are the boards going to be branded with Pi logo, Or are they keeping the old design

Reply to Ray Allen

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This is great news. Where do we go for IQAudio support? The IQAudio website is nothing but a paragraph of boilerplate text and has been for some time.

Reply to Neil

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Question about the IQaudio DigiAMP+. Those 2 light-green plastic connectors, with 2 pins each, where speakers would presumably be connected… what is that connector type called? I don’t recognize it.

Reply to Esbeeb

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euroblock
AKA Phoenix, used in pro audio installations.

Reply to Idris

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I looked in this pdf: https://datasheets.raspberrypi.org/iqaudio/iqaudio-product-brief.pdf
…and it seems the male counterparts of these Phoenix female receptacles on the board are **also supplied**. The bare wires are held in the male connectors (also light green), each with a small built-in flathead-style screw. See page 12 of the pdf.

Reply to Esbeeb

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The ‘Pale Green connectors’ are terminals, 2 pole.
They accept bare wire terminations from either single core or stranded wire. It is common practice (professionally speaking) to crimp stranded wires of a cable core together with a ‘PIN Crimp. This prevents wayward bare strands of wire making a connection to something they should not touch, that may cause a short circuit.

Reply to Norman Pomfret

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Any chance of xlr inputs? They are bulky. But. That’s the stage standard.

Reply to Costaricaibfotech

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DAC Pro has an XLR option:
“In combination with an optional daughter board (due for relaunch in the first quarter of 2021), DAC Pro can support balanced output from a pair of XLR connectors.”

Reply to Nic

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“XLR inputs”
Like you would find on a stage box, hence “stage standards”. What isn’t clear from Costaricaibfotech’s post is whether these should be line level inputs or have mic preamps. A switchable mic/line XLR input would be great and would open up the raspberry pi to all kinds of professional sound/stage possibilities 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

Reply to Pete

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xlr inputs will often be connected to a molex or phoenix connector on a board internally, as the daughterboard positioning may not be ideal.

As long as you have balanced connections, a short harness with twisted cabling will allow you to position the xlr anywhere you choose

Reply to bob

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Pimoroni appear to have documentation:

https://shop.pimoroni.com/?q=iqaudio

Reply to MW

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Very nicely documented apart from the slightly frustrating spec listing for the DacAmp PSU that gives exact dimensions for the DC barrel plug but at no point states that it’s centre-pin positive. My board arrived this morning and I hoped for polarity to be shown on the screen-print but no joy. Following one of the links (CPC/Farnell) to the recommended PSU unearthed the information, and although it’s instinctively the correct way to power the board it would be good to update the docs to show it? As others have stated, easy to dig out an old laptop PSU for power with a new DC plug – if it’s correctly wired!

Reply to Phil

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Great for bridging older hifi systems with bluetooth. And maybe add some custom audio dsp in the pi (which closed solutions will not allow)

Reply to Sam

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Excuse my ignorance. I have used Raspberry Pi products. I understand the Audio-out RCA jacks on the DAC Pro, but where or how does the system ger Audio in, line level?
TIA

Reply to Clem

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There is no line in.

You’ll have to stream the music via WiFi or Ethernet. The quality is amazing on my old Pi3 together with a digiamp+ acting as a very reliable Roon end point.

Reply to Usman

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This is great news. Is there anywhere to get a case that these DACs fit in for RPi 4, RPi 3 and Pi zero, or plans to produce them? I’m planning a multiroom system and have some old and new RPi, so would want to use a combination of them. Everywhere seems to have sold out of the old cases and no sign of a case for RPi 4 anywhere.

Reply to JustynTime

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Very interesting news! I have five Pi devices recording audio at the moment. The IQaudio Codec Zero with the DA7212 is interesting. I see the Dialog Semi datasheet mentions 90 dB(A) SNR on input for the chip. Has anyone tried to measure this on the IQaudio board to see what this implementation achieves? With only 50 dB PSRR on mic_in above 2 kHz, I’d think some care would be needed on the board to get to 90 dB(A), as I believe the Pi’s +5V power isn’t usually so clean as all that.
The datasheet also mentions 4 analog microphone inputs, but I’m guessing that is not supported by this board https://www.dialog-semiconductor.com/sites/default/files/da7212_datasheet_3v4.pdf

Reply to JBeale

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Do you have any plans to do IQaudio cases? Still looking for one that will let me use a Pi DAC+ on a Pi 4B with passive cooling. Perhaps a Pi 4B case with a big lump of aluminium like the Pi 400 has inside it, with the DAC on top of that, then a plastic case round the whole thing with vent holes like the Pi 400?

Reply to andrum99

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We do big aluminium heatsink with HATs mounted on a side. Plastic bottom, for good WiFi signal. No venting holes, all heat is moved upwards. Google my name, don’t want this to look like commercial ad.

Reply to CooliPi

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Sort of a strange one for raspberry considering products and vendors already available.
If you want to give the wow factor than maybe something like this https://www.microchipdirect.com/product/ZL38063LDG1 that does 2/3 mic and can stack with a daughter board to do 4/6
Apparently has a Raspberry image and linux drivers and is something still with software we can not do on the Pi.

Reply to Stuart Naylor

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What a weird comment.

They have taken over a well established range of products, so nothing shiny and new.

Reply to MW

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There is nothing wierd that we have dacs aplenty for a long time now and what this will do to long time providers such as hi-fi berry.
Personally like on Pcs sound cards are relatively redundant due to what you can get via USB and even low end is of such a quality.

Rather than adopt something we already have a plethora of and exclude long term providers by now providing a raspberry brand why not provide something we solely miss such as advanced DSP beamforming and create a standard product for that.

Reply to Stuart Naylor

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Demand for HQ audio products on Pi. Very High. Demand for DSP to do beamforming calculations, 3.

I know which product I would prefer to sell.

Reply to James Hughes

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How do you gauge demand when you don’t offer one.
There are several Pi opensource Voice such as Rhasspy & Mycroft projects that keep Respeaker happy they do have demand for $70+ USB DSP Beamformers.
With raspberries economies of scale a product like https://www.microchipdirect.com/product/ZL38063LDG1 could supply much demand.

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The principle target is home m dia players. Connecting direct eliminates many of the problems of USB and the Raspberry Pi foundation is looking at devices that help the many rather than the few.

Reply to Paul Miilligan

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Maybe you should have a word with Dragonfly and let them know of these problems!
https://www.audioquest.com/dacs/dragonfly/

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Great product. Good news . I’ve had one of their early boards running in my loft for years playing all my MPS3 on loop. Connected to some bathroom speakers in the ceiling. The amp turns one when the lights do. So always have music when I shower or bath. Very good products that have lasted a long time.

Reply to Richard collins

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Awesome ! I own some product of Iqaudio and it’s been a while since their website is closed. I was afraid since today and it’s a very good new. The price drop on the DAC pro is impressive (the half of the previous price). It’s the cheapest solution with a such DAC ! It worth a try for enthusiasts and will bring very good sound quality for everyone.
Out of interest : did you approched Justboom and Hifiberry also ? Hifiberry seems on great shape but not so Justboom I’m afraid.

Reply to Laurent

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No harm in RPi organization rescue of a good product that would otherwise go extinct because developers could not continue, for whatever reason. I have not personally used this product, but have had excellent results from similar DACs from JustBoom and HifiBerry. Also good results into headphones from a $8 US Sabrent USB audio device. A 3B or 3B+ in a case with a 3.5″ LCD and a 5V battery pack makes a nice pocketable music player, also, I have discovered.

Reply to Stuart Andrew Jones

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In 2021 can we get 5.1 channel audio from Raspberry Pi + IQaudio

Reply to Manoj Jadav

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Okay now do something useful like an atsc tuner then we’ll start cooking.

Reply to Tom Sagan

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Looks like the DigiAmp+ PS is a garden variety 65w laptop brick. I probably have a dozen HP and Dell bricks in my junk box, hope one of the connectors will fit!

Reply to Terence

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Excellent news, reliability of supply has been an issue for 3rd party DACs and Raspberry Pi’s purchasing power and manufacturing keep the cost down to make the products even more attractive.

Reply to Paul Miilligan

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Interesting new cards!
Can these cards be stacked upon a TV-HAT, or used together in anyway?
Need the TV Hat for TV, but would love to have HIFI quality sound at same time.

Reply to Aardappeltaart

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Please, consider adding a built-in quality DAC in the next Pi revision.

Reply to Idris

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No line in? ..
Please consider it in the future …. For musicians a line in would be really useful … I love using my pi as a player but have often imagined using it as a stereo recorder .. My usage would be a Pi plugged in to the monitor out of my mixing desk recording with Audacity … I’m currently using a Tascam recorder but it has no wifi or Ethernet … .. Happy that audio is now included in the pi offerings … Thanks!

Reply to Pete

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This is brilliant news. Gordon’s audio solutions were always the best available, to have them available for $20 is pretty epic. I would have loved to see the old Pi-DAC Zero resurrected for $10 but you can’t win them all.

Reply to Phil Atkin

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Long time user of IQAudio’s PiDac+ since the Pi1. The PiDac+ is still going strong on a Pi4.
Was very unhappy when I saw the main IQAudio site down. Now faith is restored :-)
Gordon has always been active on hi-fi forums and email, helping customers and enthusiasts. Very happy for the news. Will very likely buy the upcoming 2021 board even more right now.

Reply to Roberto

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I don’t see any of these products being used in the ‘Projects’ section of the Raspberry Pi website with easy to follow instructions on there use. Lots of technical jargon in the blog post , are these for advanced users only ?. What are there uses ?, Industrial users only ?

Reply to Paul Salmon

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These are hardware extensions to give you better audio output on the Pi. If familiar with the PC world, it is the same idea as installing an extra Sound Blaster card into the computer for gaming purposes or an advanced home theatre setup, instead of relying on the basic Intel audio built into the motherboard. So yes, these products are for anyone who wants high fidelity audio. But like the POE hat, these audio hats are not really education-related like the Sense hat so may not make sense to be included in the projects page.

Reply to R Donald

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This HiFi stack needs a broadcast radio hat. Look at the AM/FM/RDS IQ/SDR radio chips from Silicon Laboratories (www.silabs.com). Some chips even cover all three MW/SW/FM bands!

Reply to David

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I have severe hearing loss at some higher frequencies and would find Pi & DAC useful for listening to radio, stories, music etc if I could find a good piece of hardware & software to adjust the gain in each frequency band to rebalance my hearing profile. Can the IQAudio products do this?

Reply to Richard Deane

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I’m using the Pro and AMP+ successfully with a 3B+ (I’d prefer a 3B for the power savings). I paired both HATs with the volumio software without difficulty. I used a spare DELL power supply for the AMP+ version.

Question: Is there a suitable POE accessory for the AMP+ (~20v and 3+A)? It would have to be a Type 4 POE for that power level. [Type 4 is 71W delivered.] I don’t think it would be a HAT form-factor, but any reasonable packaging would be fine for this use. But it would be a great quality sound solution for my Ethernet-wired house (CAT 6 or better).

Reply to Glenn Peterson

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I am sure this will get no comment, other than a wry smile from Roger T, but hopefully the words Logitech Media Server + PiCorePlayer will be floating around Raspbian OS software offices. No point in having the audio hardware (pi+iqaudio) without the audio software to go with it is there??!! – hopefully it will not be too long to wait for such software release and a return to the halcyon days of Slim Devices before Logitech dropped the ball in 2012 allowing Sonus to gain traction.
Another supporter for line level in (aka Wolfson audio card) and for vinyl lovers please add a line in hat for moving coil cartridge (perhaps a trip to Huntingdon for a chat with Cyrus Audio to bring out a moving coil/moving magnet hat to add to the iqaudio range) coupled with a rca version of the digi amp with an Alps pot for volume control – or am I getting too carried away with the idea of Raspberry Towers entering the world of hi-fi audio?

Reply to Turvillewoman

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so I am seriously interested in the XLR daughter board for the DACpro but I can see no way to subscribe to an update concerning this. Any idea, how to get on the information chain except for refreshing this site ?
On a side note for all those who ask for more features: there are several other competitors that engineer the pi-DAC-Hardware, dont want to rain in the parade but hifiberry already has digital I/O, phono in, etc, just look at their site. I am personally unfamiliar with other manufacturer than hifiberry products and the infineon merus 12070p developer board except for reading their data sheets.
I built a multiroom using snapcast, combining several different devices, it works and sounds fantastic, thanks to snapcast developer. Since then, I can laugh even louder about the incompability of the sonos device-versioning-logic.

Reply to Oliver

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Are you going to have the IQAudio pi DacZero? Looking for a decent DAC for a couple of my PiZero’s.

Reply to Shane

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I have the digiamp+, what is the best way to get a signal to drive a sub woofer?

Can I use the I2S signals and an I2S decoder for this by just piggybacking, or will I need some kind of repeater for these signals?

Reply to Gareth

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I’m using a RPi4 for a desktop but I don’t yet have a solution of my laptop’s mic audio and camera for zoom meetings. I wonder if the Codec zero mic on a Pi Zero with camera might be a solution (usb attached to the desktop)?

Reply to Morris Beavers

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Any chance you’ll reintroduce the IQAudio Pi-DAC Zero board? The Zero is a great little streamer!

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