Raspberry 4: best i2s dac?

Hello everyone with a Raspberry 4 mod B with 8Gb ram, Volumio 3.251-2022-03-31 and the PeppyMeter screenSaver that dac i2s (internal and connected directly to the rasp) do you recommend?
Thanks bye

@paolo.p
Ciao Paolo,

I have the Orchard PecanPie DAC.
To my ears, a very good one.
If you want more info, feel free to contact me PM.

I have a cheap i2s dac and it sounds pretty great with my Pi2AES + volumio

Does volumio need special settings to recognize it? Thanks bye

Just in the settings you switch the i2s switch, and then choose the appropriate driver for you board.
https://volumio.github.io/docs/FAQs/Audio_Output.html

in fact, does the Sabaj dac exist in the volumio?

Oh no, none of them exist in volumio because you can’t connect an i2s dac to a pi. You need a hat to connect an i2s dac - the pi itself simply doesn’t have an i2s port.

So you use a hat and then you pick that hat in volumio.

Now here’s the thing - if the rest of your system (amp, speakers etc) doesn’t cost upwards of $2k - you will absolutely not get the benefit of i2s because it’s so subtle that only a reasonably revealing system will let you hear it.

So if I connect my sabaj dac via coax (as opposed to i2s) - there is absolutely no difference. And you can just connect it via USB and it’ll likely sound great.

Do you have a hat?

for raspberry 44 no, i am looking for a dac to support it and i don’t know what is better if i2s or hat or which brand / model

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I think the raspberry pi just has an i2s output.
i2s from a raspberry pi you can just use to i2s input from a dac, as long as the cables are not too long then that’s fine.

here is an example of how I directly connected my current ES9018 dac … a dac hat is therefore not necessary.
Here is an example.
https://bytesnbits.co.uk/raspberry-pi-i2s-sound-output/

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I have several dacs (philps TDA1543 NOS DAC hat, khadas tone1 usb dac and an ES9018 dac board) and personally I think ES 9018 sounds the best and it is directly connected to the i2s out raspberry pi to i2s in ES9018.

I also think that sound is personal, what one finds beautiful, the other finds crap.

hi i didn’t understand much, in the rasp you marked 4 pins (12 bck, 35 lrclk, 39 gnd, 40 data), in the dac you marked 5 pins (gnd, lrck … is lrclk on rasp?, data, bck, and mck not mentioned on rasp) … what am I missing?

this was more to illustrate mck or mclk (master clock) is not necessary and I have not connected it … by the way the raspberry pi does not have a master clock.

Just use USB from the RPi 4 to the DAC. Simple and sounds great (just put more investment into a good DAC)

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The Allo Boss series were brilliant, but now I’ve settled on the RME ADI-2 - absolutely superb!

R

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I listened to music with the Allo Boss 1.2 for a long time and was very satisfied.
A few weeks ago I bought the Allo BOSS2 and I am extremely excited and very happy that I have it. The upgrade was really worth it for me!
My power supply is the Allo Nirvana, it’s very good.
I have used many I2S DACs and I feel the Allo “BOSS2” is one of the best I2S DACs and I really recommend it!

Hello,

The RME ADI-2 looks indeed very good. Do you connect your PI with a hat with spdf output (like Allo Signature) ?

Hi Paul,

I just use a short USB cable.

Regards.

For less than 20 quid, the IQAudio Dac+ is a bargain with superb sound.
Picked one up last week and am well impressed.

Agreed

Also using the ADI 2 and most happy.
Normal USB cable from the pi is fine.
No messing around with expensive hats and optical cables and expensive power supplies/filters (unless the county you live doesn’t provide a good Power supply).

I’m still of the thinking that Digital is digital, but at least with a high/good quality DAC it is able to process the signal fine, no worries with jitter etc.

I don’t have any i2s equipments but it sounds like a fancy connector. I didn’t Think optical was capable of the highest resolution signals either.

Hi!

I have Topping D90SE with a Raspberry Pi4B 8Gb streamer.
An excellent experience with it.

Product info with I2S pinout:
https://www.topping.audio/productinfo/645180.html

Few reviews of this DAC - links below: