Raspberry streamer DAC options

Im bored so I have decided to build a Pi based streamer, probably using Spotify to begin with.
I’m quite happy with the Linux side of it and software set up but I know bang all about DACs

Are any of the DAC HATS any good?
The Hifiberry DSP DAC looks quite interesting but again I’m clueless as to whether these are any good? Or should I be considering a standalone DAC?

Hifiberry? I have one somewhere and I thought it sounded pretty good. It’s an easy solution as well. Alternatively you could use something like the Khadas tone board, which is meant to be great for £100 or so, or any USB DAC. If you’re using Spotify lossy then that will be the limit on quality rather than any of those DAC options.

I’ve gt a Spotify subscription, is that still lossy?

Yeah it’s ogg vorbis 320kbps I think. They are bringing out lossless soon I think.

I just had a look for my pi DAC and couldn’t find it. Want me to try harder? I don’t need it tbh

I’m open to changing service but figured I’d go with Spotify to start as I already use it.

If you find it that would be great but don’t go pulling the house apart…

I’ll give it 15 minutes tomorrow if I’m not too hung over…

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How would you say the Hifiberry DAC compares to a separate unit?

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I’ve got a HiFiBerry setup here somewhere too. I would compare the sound quality to that from a decent buget(ish) CD player from the likes of Marantz or Rega. It’ll be more than decent enough for Spotify.

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I use Qobuz 99% of the time, Spotify Premium 1 % of the time😂 → Running Volumio and Allo Kali (indian goddess of time😂) reclocker on top Really sorts things out.

Then it’s I2S straight into my DAC (DSP system).

I didn’t get on with a Hifiberry+
Got it somewhere, you are welcome to it.

Fun and games.

May I mumble banana to the dog patch?

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Sorry, most of that was gobbledegook to me.
What didn’t you like about the hifiberry?

Better sound was possible, and I2S is the best route in to the DAC

If you’re using a DSP system (Najda still?), then it makes no sense to use a DAC, you just need a suitable digital out. I2S is a much better standard than SPDIF as it includes a clock. An asynchronous receiver is much more common, and should be the same as I2S if they are well implemented, but with the Najda I don’t think you have that option.

But all of that is irrelevant if you just want a DAC with a Pi - the digital part should be essentially perfect as it becomes the sound card, so the data into the DAC has no timing issues. It can’t be improved upon. Obviously this doesn’t guarantee perfect sound forever - the clock, conversion and output stage of a DAC can all affect the sound. But the pi DACs are pretty good and great value for a small, easy solution.

This. I prefer my Aesthetix DAC to the PiDacs I have (and to the DAC in the Lumin streamer I use). I would be happy enough with the JustBoom or HiFiberry though if I wanted to really simplify things.

I’m not using a DSP system.
So essentially there’s no point in faff if I’m using a DAC HAT but if I were to use a separate DAC there is?

There’s never any point in faff! Just use a pi DAC or, if you want a more expensive and better solution, get an asynchronous DAC.

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When I refer to my DAC here I mean Najda!
Was trying to keep it simple😂
Yes I2S is the best in Najda case.

Allo DigiOne signature top hat is the one I’d go for in your case.

Decided I’ll go with a DAC HAT for now, if it gets enough use I’ll look at a digi out board and separate DAC.

Pi hut are doing 10% off HATs right now.

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