Bonez6972
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:30 pm

On-Board HDMI Audio vs USB Audio vs Add-on DAC Card

Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:41 pm

Hey there, I currently have a RPI running Volumio that connects to my sound system via the RPI's HDMI connector. Is there significant advantages/quality upgrades for changing this connection to USB Audio Card type device or a DAC card?

blackshard83
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:31 am

Re: On-Board HDMI Audio vs USB Audio vs Add-on DAC Card

Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:05 am

It depends on the quality of your converter.
HDMI and USB are both digital representation of data, so there is no loss during transport of the signal: the quality of their DAC and the board circuitry is crucial for a good output.
An onboard hat with a DAC is exactly the same, it just uses the internal I2S bus to connect to the raspberry.

I am a bit skeptic about the quality HDMI DACs, but I admit I have never seen one in my life.

gkreidl
Posts: 6116
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: On-Board HDMI Audio vs USB Audio vs Add-on DAC Card

Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:02 pm

blackshard83 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:05 am
It depends on the quality of your converter.
HDMI and USB are both digital representation of data, so there is no loss during transport of the signal: the quality of their DAC and the board circuitry is crucial for a good output.
An onboard hat with a DAC is exactly the same, it just uses the internal I2S bus to connect to the raspberry.

I am a bit skeptic about the quality HDMI DACs, but I admit I have never seen one in my life.
The OP connects it to his sound system (via HDMI) so it depends on the quality of the DACs in the sound system.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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