Low volume with 3.5mm jack and external amp

Hello everyone,

I’ve got a rpi model B setup headless with Arch, connected via 3.5mm to my amplifier’s (Technics SU-VX800) aux connection. I ssh into it and use mocp or pianobar to provide streaming music.

It works passably, no hissing or other distortion, but I have to turn up the volume on a lot higher than I’d like (on the amp) in order to get decent sound. It just feels like it needs more ‘umph’.

Using pure Alsa, and mixer is set at 95%. I’m assuming I need a preamp or similiar between the rpi and the amp, but the question is what. Anyone using a similiar setup? Would an addon soundcard/DAC make any difference?

Thanks for any help.

You are better off using a DAC hat such as the Allo Boss V1.2 on your Pi.
The headphone socket sound is poor quality, and as you note the output level is inadequate to properly drive your amplifier.

if the RPi is model B (and not model B+) most of the HATs will not work, because the GPIO connector is different.

Audio output circuit on early models of RPi didn’t have any buffer, this could be the reason for the low volume. As already suggested, for proper output level it’s better to use an external I2S DAC, some of them are quite cheap and the audio quality is good enough for easy listening.

Hello everyone,

I’ve got a rpi model B setup headless with Arch, connected via 3.5mm to my amplifier’s (Technics SU-VX800) aux connection. I ssh into it and use mocp or pianobar to provide streaming music.

It works passably, no hissing or other distortion, but I have to turn up the volume on a lot higher than I’d like (on the amp) in order to get decent sound. It just feels like it needs more ‘umph’.
https://snaptube.cam/ 9apps
Using pure Alsa, and mixer is set at 95%. I’m assuming I need a preamp or similiar between the rpi and the amp, but the question is what. Anyone using a similiar setup? Would an addon soundcard/DAC make any difference?

Thanks for any help.

Very nice- I will use that, thanks.