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Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:24 pm
by sej7278
Has anyone with a model B+ fed the analogue output to an amplifier and speakers?

Is it loud enough and not crackly? Do we still need a USB DAC like with the model B?

Just thinking of my internet radio project - if i got a B+ and could do away with the DAC I'd have less wires and free up a usb port that i could use for an irda remote or something.

Alternatively anyone compared the Banana Pi's sound output (i believe it already has irda)?

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:50 pm
by 0xFF
I suggest to use a I2S DAC.

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:56 pm
by DougieLawson
I'd suggest trying it without first since one of the advertised enhancements for the B+ was better and more stable analog audio.

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:56 pm
by Douglas6
I haven't found any major problems lately with the on-board audio output on either the B or the B+, for the most part. Things have much improved here from the early days. Quality is undoubtedly higher with a dedicated DAC, but for talk radio or podcasts or casual music listening, the on-board is fine to my ears (the chosen speakers will make a much bigger impact than the DAC, in my humble opinion.) Try it and see (hear) for yourself.

The fly in the ointment is PulseAudio, it doesn't play nice with the on-board ALSA sound driver.

On the other hand, with the extra USB ports on the B+, I didn't see much point NOT to use a cheap USB DAC, and avoid issues with the on-board sound driver.

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:47 pm
by sej7278
yeah the whole point is that i have three B's and don't want to buy a B+ unless the onboard sound is at least as good as the B with a USB DAC. the B without a DAC is useless i'd say.

i've already got two USB DAC's so don't want to buy an i2s one, plus i need access to my gpio pins so the wolfsam is no use to me.

i don't want to buy a B+ and use a USB DAC with it, i can already do that with my B (or beaglebone black) so it seems from the replies, my best bet is to stick with the B and a USB DAC.

anyone tried the banana's audio?

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:22 pm
by redhawk
USB functionality of the B+ is no different to the B so I don't see the point in your argument.
The Pi analogue audio isn't perfect but adequate for most situations such as movies or clips with speech.
If you're into high quality music playback then a USB audio DAC is a must whether you have a B or B+ (or just get a Wolfson card).

Richard S.

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:26 pm
by mahjongg
B+ analog sound has been improved, and will probably be improved further with new software, but if it is equal to a USB sound card is very subjective, as is the question if it is "good enough" for a certain task.

The wolfson card isn't the only player anymore now the B+ has made interfacing an audio codec simpler, here is another offering for hi-fi enthusiasts: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 00&t=84591

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:54 pm
by 0xFF
Some measurement for B+ audio quality here: http://www.crazy-audio.com/2014/07/soun ... erry-pi-b/

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:08 pm
by sej7278
redhawk wrote:USB functionality of the B+ is no different to the B so I don't see the point in your argument.
i don't understand that. i'm asking if the B+ really has better audio than the B via onboard not USB. i.e. is the B+'s onboard as good as the B with a DAC?

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:10 pm
by sej7278
0xFF wrote:Some measurement for B+ audio quality here: http://www.crazy-audio.com/2014/07/soun ... erry-pi-b/
thanks for that, answers my question - the B+'s improved audio still isn't good enough, so i'll stick with my B and a DAC

Re: Do we still need a USB DAC with the B+ ?

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:06 am
by mahjongg
this is a site for audiophiles, an average person might not come to the same conclusion. audio quality is ver subjective, and depends on what you expect from it, but that said a real hight end I2S audio codec will always give a better audio quality than a 1-bit PWM output, why even ask?