crocket
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[SOLVED] Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:04 am

I want to use Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with NetJack as an ethernet sound card. I might add OpenVPN and more to it later.

I tried to use the onboard sound jack on Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I gave up on it because it crackles frequently. The crackles were not acceptable. On the other hand, my desktop computer's onboard soundcard produces clean sound without crackles or noise.

Behringer UCA202 is a USB DAC. HiFiBerry DAC+ standard 3.5mm headphone jack version is an I2S HAT compatible with Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

I know HiFiBerry DAC+ will not disappoint me. I'm not sure if Behringer UCA202 will not have crackles or noises when it's connected to Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

One problem with HiFiBerry DAC+ is that it is not physically compatible with raspberry pi armor case which serves as a giant heatsink to prevent CPU thermal throttling. If Behringer UCA202 was at least as good as my desktop computer's onboard soundcard which produces clean sound, I could use it with raspberry pi armor case.
Last edited by crocket on Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

IanS
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:44 pm

I've used UCA202/222s (the only difference is the colour and the bundled WIndows software) in Pi music projects with no crackles. I have a bit of hiss, but given that I am running them in a very noisy (electronically) environment, I am pretty certain that is an outside influence. I have used them elsewhere without getting the hiss.

epoch1970
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:48 pm

crocket wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:04 am
I tried to use the onboard sound jack on Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I gave up on it because it crackles frequently.
Curious, recent versions of Raspbian should have "CD quality" audio on analog out since "audio_pwm_mode=2" became a standard setting in config.txt

Otherwise, and not speaking about the Berhinger device specifically, a USB link is more likely to cause issues than i2s.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:54 pm

epoch1970 wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:48 pm
crocket wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:04 am
I tried to use the onboard sound jack on Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I gave up on it because it crackles frequently.
Curious, recent versions of Raspbian should have "CD quality" audio on analog out since "audio_pwm_mode=2" became a standard setting in config.txt

Otherwise, and not speaking about the Berhinger device specifically, a USB link is more likely to cause issues than i2s.

The OP is running Gentoo !!
adieu

My other Computer is an Asus CS10 ChromeBit
https://www.asus.com/uk/Mini-PCs/Chromebit-CS10

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mahjongg
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:16 pm

Moved to gentoo.

crocket
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:40 pm

It's a bit frustrating when an issue that has nothing to do with gentoo is moved to gentoo.

Anyway, adding "audio_pwm_mode=2" to /boot/config.txt immediately improved audio quality. If Raspberry Pi onboard sound is as good as my desktop's onboard sound, I may not think about buying a DAC.

epoch1970
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:14 pm

crocket wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:40 pm
It's a bit frustrating when an issue that has nothing to do with gentoo is moved to gentoo.
Did you test under Raspbian or a specialized audio distro built for 3B+ to confirm the issue?
Audio rendering is sensitive to a lot of parameters, firmware, kernel, software...

I do not have a 3B+. But I can assure you the analog audio output is excellent on 3B. The built-in audio driver also has a mixer so it supports concurrent access by multiple applications.
A hardware mixer is something you might find in an USB device (not cheap ones) and that you will not find in i2s devices. With most of these you'd have to setup your own alsa software mixer, which is not only difficult, but also has its contraints wrt. audio formats.

I would suggest not dismissing the 3B's built-in audio before you've explored it thoroughly. It is very good.

EDIT: you posted while I was doing the same. Glad you found an improvement. I'm leaving the above for future doubters that might read this thread.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

crocket
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Re: Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:21 am

epoch1970 wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:14 pm
Did you test under Raspbian or a specialized audio distro built for 3B+ to confirm the issue?
Audio rendering is sensitive to a lot of parameters, firmware, kernel, software...

I do not have a 3B+. But I can assure you the analog audio output is excellent on 3B. The built-in audio driver also has a mixer so it supports concurrent access by multiple applications.
A hardware mixer is something you might find in an USB device (not cheap ones) and that you will not find in i2s devices. With most of these you'd have to setup your own alsa software mixer, which is not only difficult, but also has its contraints wrt. audio formats.

I would suggest not dismissing the 3B's built-in audio before you've explored it thoroughly. It is very good.

EDIT: you posted while I was doing the same. Glad you found an improvement. I'm leaving the above for future doubters that might read this thread.
I tested raspbian. I played an mp3 file on mpv with the following lines in /boot/config.txt.

Code: Select all

audio_pwm_mode=2
disable_audio_dither=1
pwm_sample_bits=16
Raspbian and Gentoo Linux produce sounds of the same quality with the preceding three lines in /boot/config.txt.
It was pretty good but slightly worse than my desktop computer's onboard sound.
I may want to buy an I2S DAC if I wanted a Raspberry Pi sound server.
Is it possible to improve the onboard audio quality even further?

crocket
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:38 pm

Re: [SOLVED] Behringer UCA202 or HiFiBerry DAC+?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:20 am

My decision

If I decide to upgrade my audio, I will buy HiFiBerry DAC+ Standard 3.5mm Headhone Jack version.

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