Dac for Raspberry PI2 with volume and other things

I would like to buy a PI2 and a DAC with I2S connection.
I have seen the other thread with dac list but there are so many!
I need a dac that:

  • has volume control supported by volumio
  • can put Raspberry as a i2s slave and use the dac master clock

I know for example that hifiberry DAC has master mode.

I am interested in Audiophonics I-sabre v3 but you can suggest me other dacs.

Thanks in advance for help,

I replaced my HRT MusicStreamer II+ USB DAC with an IQAudio PI-DAC+ I2S DAC for my Raspberry Pi B+ and the sound is stunning. The case is really cool too, and the company seems to have great tech support. The PI-DAC+ supports hardware volume control.

I can recommend the Hifiberry DAC+
I have used it for quite some time and tested it with various speakers.

I have not had the chance to test the popular QAudio PI-DAC+ yet.
From the spec sheet it looks like both use the same DAC chip.

Depending on your setup I would also look t the the Hifibery DAC+ Pro witch has some extra features like:

I am interested with I-Sabre as well but Ican recommend HiFi Shield i2s dac. It offers 3,5mm out and a Rca out.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

To my taste PCM51XX based DAC sounds like metal balls falling in Zinc bucket in a Canyon …

Have you guys never heard a real hifi product before ?

Take a look at Tjaekel work and Sabre based DAC (Especially ES9018S).

Just looked at the Dac from Tjaekel. Never heard of it before but always curious to try out different Dac.
But from the specs he also uses PCM5102.

Personally I am actually looking into getting an external Dac that can play DSD Natively but I worry about the usb port of the Pi.
I’m curious about the wifi-audio products but no place to test them in the country where I work :confused:

If you use XMOS or Amanero based USB dac you’ll get a very good results on PI.

Ifi products are good but overpriced to my taste (and they have a distastfull inclination to Bullshit marketing …).

Take a look at Audio-gd NFB-11 (one of the best affordable DSD DAC i know).

Thank you for the suggestion IRoN.
I did not know the Brand Audio-gd.
I’ll have a look into it and might buy one next time I go to hong-kong

Some Audio-Gd DAC also have a direct I2S in.

Take a look here :


I have a Raspberry Pi 2 with a DIGI+ card. All is running well except the modification of volume.
In “Menu/Playback/Volume Control Mixer/Mixer type” the default value is “Hardware” but don’t let me to change volume.
If I set the value to “Software” and reboot the MPD the volume can be changed but the quality is worse.

Could you tell me what I have missed ?


You haven’t missed anything, this is the correct behavior for the HiFiBerry Digi+ (I’m assuming that it is the HiFiBerry Digi+ you are referencing to when you say DIGI+ card). Since the Digi+ isn’t a DAC but a digital transport (from I2S to SPDIF) there is no hardware volume to change since the signal isn’t converted to analog. Instead you can use the software volume controller as you already has found out. I used my Digi+ on a RPi 2 that way when I ran Volumio 1.55 and I don’t find the quality to get worse.

They are other makers of I2S to SPDIF.

Only ESStech has managed to do a correct hardware volume control (on ES9018S for example) but it’s still far worse than analog :


But why the hell are you looking for volume control on a source ??? have you a volume control on your CD player ?

True, the volume control should be done by the preamplifier. The reason I have for using a software volume control is that my DAC, which also acts as the preamplifier feeding a power amplifier, doesn’t have a remote controlled analogue volume control and sometimes I’m a bit lazy and a couch potato :smiley:

I usually “solve” this by disabling the volume control in Volumio and “forget” that I’m a couch potato when I’m doing serious listening. For more casual listening I’m using AirPlay and the volume control on my iOS device.

Make sens :wink: