USB DAC with Raspberry and Volumio

Hello, hoping to have post in proper forum section this enquiry I kindly ask for your help for configuring an USB DAC, based on Raspberry, a hat-board DAC and Volumio.
I own a pair of active loudspeakers, Kef LS50 Wireless. In order to streamer music better, I am evaluating to connect via USB the DAC to the active speakers.
Someone could be so kind to list the components for making this DAC, please? Thank you in advance.



Unless you have a Raspberry Pi 4, I don’t think it’s a good idea to use a USB DAC. As far as I’m aware there are issues that reduce sound quality with earlier versions of Raspberry Pi.
Why wouldn’t you use your existing Raspberry Pi with DAC hat?
Just run the RCA connections from your DAC to the active loudspeaker inputs (surely they have either RCA or stereo 3.5mm (or both) line level inputs ).

I agree, if you use a Raspberry 4 there is no problem in using USB.
In any other case i would recommend a coax hat, like the Allo digione or the Justboom Digi Hat.
I use the Topping E30 with the DigiOne and the sound is superb.

Hello all!

I can’t decide which combo to get for better sound quality. Please help choosing the right combo. I have an linear power supply for the Topping E30.

  1. Raspberry Pi3 + Hifiberry Digi+ Pro + Topping E30


  1. Raspberry Pi4 + Topping E30
  1. None of the above.

The HiFiBerry can be a DAC, the one you’ve listed (with digital only output), which could run to an amp with an S/PDIF input.
Or you could get the HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro (with analog RCA line level outputs), which could run to any amp or active speakers with a line level input.

I don’t think it makes sense to use a R Pi Hat and then an outboard DAC to get analog output, when you could do that with the one DAC hat.

If you have to purchase a Raspberry i recommend number 2.
It is cheaper and in soundquality it makes no difference at all.

It sure makes sense: the HifiBerry DAC+ Pro is absolutely no match for the Topping E30.
And the DAC in your amplifier is in most cases hardly better than the HifiBerry.
I know, i tested all above set-ups.

Thanks for information. Talking of which, when I’v e been choosing a DAC under 1000 dollars, a friend of mine told me to read more about DACs adn choose the right one, especially for me. As authors of that article, I also think that Marantz HD-DAC1 is the greatest models there. It 's digital inputs like USB type A, Coaxial, USB type B, and Optical have noise isolation, etc.

I have a few combos:

RPi3’s with the folowing DAC’s: IQAudio PiDAC+, Allo Piano 2.1 + Kali Reclocker (dual mono setting), Hifiberry DAC+ Pro.

…but I wanna try a better DAC, say Topping E30 via Raspberry Pi. For this setup I’m thinking to buy the RPi4.

The Apple USB-C to analog dongle has received very good marks as DAC … ters.5541/

I tried one on a R4 but Volumio does not see it as it is classed as a HID. How would I get it to work?

The HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro is powered internally via the I2S bus. If using the e30 as suggested and overlooking the better specs of the e30, one always has the option to power the e30 by an external power supply. One can use Allo Shanti or Nirvana having 2 ports, one for powering the RPi and the second for e30. As result using a this particular HAT DAC board can never lead to the low noise levels which are achievable with the e30. Further more, you could use the other e30 inputs for connecting a CD player or other equipment, which is difficult with the DAC+ Pro. I am not saying DAC HATs are bad, but the choice depends on how the DAC will be used and what is the expected quality… I would really refrain recommending any of the options before getting this points qualified.

Hi vrobec, I’m intrigued at the option you mention of using a Topping E30 with an RPi. I was thinking of maybe with the Hifiberry digi+ HAT. Got curious if you had the chance to try something like that and if so how did it go.

Hi! Yes, I tried and the USB connection sounds better, then sold the HAT.

Hi. I am using Rpi4 + Volumio > USB Locus Nucleus cable > Waveleght Proton USB DAC > Hegel H200 > Phonar Credo 100 floorstaders. Very happy with the result. You can use HAT DAC (like HifiBerry, JustBoom, Allo Boss etc.) HAT is basically module you plug in and then enclose in 1 box, with Rpi4. HAT is least expensive version, but separate DAC is better. Check this, John is quite good in explaining things:

Literally very early days but I’ve just set up a rpi4 (4g) with my Quad Vena ii amp, USB direct to the amp’s DAC. Sounds great and simple set up (and cheaper).