piJam
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:47 am

PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:41 am

Hi,

I'm thinking of building music streamer outputting to my existing mini HiFi system via 3.5mm analog plug (HiFi has good speakers). While browsing about RPI discovered that analog out has bad quality. Did some more browsing and found about this:

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product ... o_detail_a

and also this:

http://www.hifiberry.com/

Which one you reckon would work better for stereo music analog output via 3.5mm plug? HifiBerry is more expensive, but neater solution as it sits on top of RPI, but can't find much info about it (looks like very new product).

I want to be able to stream music from my QNAP which has Logitech Media Server and also internet radios.

Thanks in advance.

FM81
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:33 pm

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:58 am

I assume HiFiBerry would be the better solution. But I'm not sure if today or only some months/years in future ...
I mean, how long would it take to have "a very good hardware-support" from raspbian-side for this?

At the moment I use a PCM270X-based solution (Behringer UCA202), and that works not bad for me. But may be, I'll think about, to switch ...

For streaming you can use MPD (music-player-deamon).
It can play internet-radio and you can also include your NAS (via NFS or SAMBA for example, depends on, what your NAS can)

Greetings, FM_81
A: What does the command 'cat /dev/urandom', can you tell me please?
B: Yeah, that's very simple: It feeds your cat with radioactive material!

ame
Posts: 3172
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:14 am

piJam wrote:I'm thinking of building music streamer outputting to my existing mini HiFi system via 3.5mm analog plug (HiFi has good speakers). While browsing about RPI discovered that analog out has bad quality.
You should try listening to audio from the built-in 3.5mm jack and make up your own mind about the quality. My Pi is a music and movie player and it sounds fine to me.

Of course, if you're an audiophile you could just try plugging a Monster cable into the audio socket. It will improve the sound immensely.

FM81
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:33 pm

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:40 am

Sorry, on the Pi's "analog out" the best cable of the world would not help, you don't have to be an audiophile to hear that.
(Just like it wouldn't help, if you implant a pacemaker into a mummy ...)

If you want to use an Non-HDMI-audio-solution (and only about analog-audio we're speaking here), than any USB-sound-card is the better solution. Or the HifiBerry, which uses an I2S-connection, if I'm right ...

MfG, FM_81
A: What does the command 'cat /dev/urandom', can you tell me please?
B: Yeah, that's very simple: It feeds your cat with radioactive material!

usul27
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:54 am

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:47 pm

HiFiBerry supports up to 192kHz/24bit, the PCM2704 only up to 48.1kHz. The specs (noise, distortion) of the HiFiBerry are also better then PCM2704 based cards. HiFiBerry uses an additional ultra-low-noise voltage regulator to provide a clean power supply for the analog part of the circuit.

HiFiBerry is supported in current Raspian-releases, you only have to update the kernel with "rpi-update" and enable the modules in /etc/modules

To stream music, Volumio (formerly known as RaspyFi) is a nice distribution. It also includes HiFiBerry support.

FM81
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:33 pm

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:44 pm

Seems to be a very, very nice part! Also fine, that all features are supported in current release!

If I could buy one WITHOUT HAVING PAYPAL IN ANY WAY INVOLVED I would not wait a minute and do ... :)

Greetings, FM_81
A: What does the command 'cat /dev/urandom', can you tell me please?
B: Yeah, that's very simple: It feeds your cat with radioactive material!

FM81
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:33 pm

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:20 pm

@ usul27: I've got your private message, but it seems, I can not answer, no plan why ...
All my private replys to your message stays in TAB "Outbox"!
Shouldn't they move to "Sent messages" IF THEY WAS SEND?
Very unsure if you've got them, assuming not?

Greetings & Sorry, FM_81
A: What does the command 'cat /dev/urandom', can you tell me please?
B: Yeah, that's very simple: It feeds your cat with radioactive material!

usul27
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:54 am

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:53 pm

Not sure, what was the problem with PM, but we got it :-)

piJam
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:47 am

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Thanks everyone. Which monster cable is the best? I think the longer must be better sound quality? /sarcasm

Looks like will be ordering HifiBerry soon.

sej7278
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:43 pm

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:06 pm

i saw the hifiberry today and wished i'd bought it instead of the pcm2704 which suffers quite badly from interference from usb traffic or wifi activity i guess - i get a pulsing noise all the time.

ame
Posts: 3172
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:55 pm

piJam wrote:Thanks everyone. Which monster cable is the best? I think the longer must be better sound quality? /sarcasm

Looks like will be ordering HifiBerry soon.
Have you listened to the audio from the built-in 3.5mm socket?

piJam
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:47 am

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:13 am

ame wrote:
piJam wrote:Thanks everyone. Which monster cable is the best? I think the longer must be better sound quality? /sarcasm

Looks like will be ordering HifiBerry soon.
Have you listened to the audio from the built-in 3.5mm socket?
I haven't yet. Of course no harm in trying it out. So you reckon it should be OK to plug it straight to my mini HiFi audio input?

ame
Posts: 3172
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:25 am

piJam wrote:
ame wrote:
piJam wrote:Thanks everyone. Which monster cable is the best? I think the longer must be better sound quality? /sarcasm

Looks like will be ordering HifiBerry soon.
Have you listened to the audio from the built-in 3.5mm socket?
I haven't yet. Of course no harm in trying it out. So you reckon it should be OK to plug it straight to my mini HiFi audio input?
Definitely. I have a pair of computer speakers plugged into mine. The amp is in the bass unit, but I replaced the tiny speakers with some bookshelf speakers. Sounds great.

If you don't try it you won't know if the sound is acceptable to you, plus you won't know if the new audio adapter sounds better.

FM81
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:33 pm

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:21 am

sej7278 wrote:i saw the hifiberry today and wished i'd bought it instead of the pcm2704 which suffers quite badly from interference from usb traffic or wifi activity i guess
I wished too!
sej7278 wrote:i get a pulsing noise all the time.
May be you have any kind of "ground-loop" in your hardware-setup. (Double connected ground-lines.) The USB from raspberry to PCM should be the one and only to your analog-audio-equipment!

MfG, FM_81
A: What does the command 'cat /dev/urandom', can you tell me please?
B: Yeah, that's very simple: It feeds your cat with radioactive material!

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Paul Webster
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Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:01 pm

If you are going to dedicate the RPi to this function then you could try Picoplayer - which can run as a client to you LMS and supports the analogue output and USB DAC.


There is also an interesting looking audio card coming soon (now late) from Wolfson.

Aquarius
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:32 am

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:10 pm

I'm digging this topic from the grave with a single new information:

For all of you who already have decent digital to analog capability (any audiophile looking at using the RPi already has a DAC, probably), Hifiberry has opened pre-orders for a digital out version of their board with one Optical (TOSLINK) out and one coaxial. Both can do 192kHz/24bit although using this for the optical out is not recommended. Using the RPi as a digital only source should improve things a lot, as long as you have a good DAC downstream.

I just ordered this one along with my first RPi
http://www.hifiberry.com/hbdigi

ame
Posts: 3172
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:20 pm

An audiophile would only buy a Pi if it cost $3500, not $35.

I am listening to mine now, from the 3.5mm jack into a cheap PC amp with a pair of bookshelf speakers I rescued from the trash. Sounds awesome.

Aquarius
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:32 am

Re: PCM2704 USB DAC or HiFiBerry?

Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:35 pm

ame wrote:An audiophile would only buy a Pi if it cost $3500, not $35.

I am listening to mine now, from the 3.5mm jack into a cheap PC amp with a pair of bookshelf speakers I rescued from the trash. Sounds awesome.
Hehe !
I guess I'm no true audiophile then. or else your prejudices are not totally valid :)
Although my gear did cost more than that first figure you gave, I am buying a RPi to be a real efficient and (I hope) good-sounding source to my DAC.
Cheers!

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