iFi iPower2 vs Allo Nirvana?

Or what’s the best option for quiet power supply for the Pi under $100?



What model DAC are you using? External DACs do not usually need a linear PSU.

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Oh it’s for the pi itself…

Just to clarify what DAC are you using?

Oh sabaj d5 (ess chip) i2s connection

You think the circuitry in the DAC suppresses noise brought into it by whatever?

A very good DAC. I would not bother with I2S. Use USB and a standard PSU for the Pi. What model Pi is it?

Buy I’m using a hat where the whole point is to circumvent usb. It sounds good as is but I’ve heard people go to an upgraded PSU and claim substantial gains in sq.

You didn’t mention the HAT :grinning: People say lots of things in the world of audio all the top DACs use USB. The RPi 2 had performance issues with USB but the 3B and 4B work OK.

However you have HAT that puts out S/PDIF or TOS link. The standard PSU should still be alright.

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I admit I do not have a sophisticated understanding of the subject matter, but I came across these comments on the hat’s forum…

The Pi2AES is well made unit but unless someone publishes some measurements I’m not convinced a 24V linear supply makes any difference.

Hi I have Nirvana and Ipower 1 (not two). I prefer Nirvana - much better sound quality over any other SMPS I’ve used and better than a budget linear. Ipower has caused me a load of problems not supplying enough power to drive RPi so have gone off iFi as a brand of PSU. Plus Nirvana you can see the level of investment inside the PSU - full of components. IFi just looks like a wallwart and can’t see inside which feels a bit snake oil.


In my opinion ALL RPIs DACs and transport benefit from upgraded PSUs. I’ve noticed a marked difference.

Does anyone know which setting to use on a pi with nirvana?

I got three dacs : two Allo Boss one connected with the ifi power supply and one with the Allo Shanti (power connected to Pi4 and Allo Boss). Both connected to Rotel amp. The Allo Shanti power connected dac sounds more detailed. No doubt about it.
The third Dac is the hifiberry Dac2HD connected to a Ifi power supply. I cannot judge this because it is situated in another room with another setup. Marantz amp. So each amp soundsdifferent.

I use my Pi4 (and Volumio) only for streaming to DLNA/UPnP clients using mini-DLNA and do not use the USB ports.

Do any of you have an ideaof whether an LPS or better quality SMPS makes any sense in that context? I believe that that better power supplies make at least marginal improvements in my USB-connected components but have been told that there is no advantage when a device is just used as a DLNA/UPnP server.

I’m in the camp that would say that you do not need a Linear PSU at all. In your case If the RPi4 is behaving as a server and just sending IP / Ethernet frames it makes even less sense.


Just take care to separate all power cables from data cables. I won’t say a good LPS won’t make a difference, but I am pretty sure you won’t hear it. As your moving in the digital domain, a crappy PSU or bad component reveals itself by stuttering or increased network activity. If this is not the case you pretty good to go.


Basically you are right, with digital audio it may be a little different.
I’m not an electronics engineer and I have no evidence to support it, but I think of it this way:
The false noise in the system can also be a “signal” and can lead to errors. That doesn’t seem to be insignificant with DACs, it’s common knowledge. Well-known DAC manufacturers pursue exactly this and invest more or less effort in the power supply. I also think that this is where the big differences can be found. They end up using the same chips, but they sound different.
I think digital audio is a stream. If data content is missing in the stream, it is simply missing and therefore details are missing, the quality is reduced before there are dropouts. It is not possible to repeat a reading process like with a computer and e.g. a Word file. The stream just keeps going, with less content.
You can also see that with video streams. The picture gets worse at first, details are missing before there are major dropouts.

As described, this is just my personal statement to me and I have no evidence.