For years I have been reading about all these standalone DACS/Streamers and how great they are and I always wondered how they compare to my Onkyo TX NR656 mid level receiver. Enter Volumio.
After a techy friend came over to my house and I shared with him High res music via Qobuz through the mConnect interface, he subsequently set me up with a Rasberry Pi/Dac hat combination and got me up and running on Volumio. I subsequently upgraded the power supply to remove the annoying lightning bolt, but more importantly also upgraded the DAC to the Audiophinices 9038 Dac which is reported to be one of the better Rasberry Pi Dacs.
So sound quality. Once I got it all set up and the sound synchronized, I did notice improvements with detail and perhaps even bass as compared to my Onkyo. The more you lisen the more new things you hear.
The other improvements I can speak to include the speed of the Pi and moving from song to song is fantastic, the WiFi, songs and album art load immediately. I also really like the Volumio user interface directly from web browser on MacBook although it really should let you sort albums by artist etc.
What I don’t like: While it is awesome the pi and Volumio allow for a HDMI out to TV (or computer) I don’t like the display at all. Why show interface display when we already have that on the interface, MacBook or iPhone? Why not do a better TV image that is modern and sleek? I prefer the old classic apple screen display with album art on left then all the metadata and also the quality settings. The Onkyo does that and also adds a watermark image of the album art covering the entire screen. See pic attached. Having said that take classic is preferable to the new contemporary view.