Missing Bass/Detail on USB DAC = Pi Zero W Power issue? (Volumio, Allo Nirvana PSU, Hidizs S9 Pro USB DAC)

Hi everyone,

Got the Hidizs S9 Pro DAC. Sounds great if running off my laptop if into active monitors, but if on Raspberry Pi Zero W it is really lacking, especially the bass. Also lacking if I plug Bose QC35 II with power turned off, a bit better if turned on, but still sounds like it is struggling with sound detail.

Therefore, i’m assuming it’s a power issue on these devices, as I understand that the Hidizs is power hungry.Just FYI, I’m using the standard 3.5mm to RCA output on the RPI (I don’t have pro gear to use with the 2.5mm balanced output)

So questions

  1. Does anyone know if overclocking could be a solution for the RPI, and any tips for how best to do this?
  2. If not, would a powered USB hub be a solution for Pi Zero, if so, any recommendations for brand?
  3. Bose are apparently between 40 to 50 ohms depending if active or passive mode, so I wouldn’t think they would be hard to power. So makes me think of looking into headphone amps, or is that weird to have the Hidizs which is already a DAC Amp, plus another amp?!

I’ve considered just getting a full size Pi e.g. Pi 4, but curious to explore options with current gear.

Many Thanks in advance!

It’s possible. I do not see any specs for the total power requirement of the Hidiz S9 on the Hidiz web site but it is a usb c port which has a max power at 5 V of 15 W. I doubt if is anywhere near 15 W but it could be between 2.5 W and 5 W. The Pi Zero has a usb 2 OTG port. When I look on the web the max power for a usb 2.0 port is 2.5 W

If it is a genuine power issue maybe a powered usb hub will solve your problem.

Thanks kchap! Amazing, thanks for looking into this. I’m kind of new to this, so didn’t know that the port had a specific max power. Powered USB hub worth a try for sure! :raised_hands: