Another full digital class-D amplifier: SMSL Q5

This uses the STA350BW chip so will be a bit more powerful than the HifiMeDiy UD20. It’s also a fully built amp so no need for DIY skills to get it up and running. USB, toslink, s/pdif and analogue inputs. Looks quite nice for £70-80 :smiley: I have one on order and plan to connect a rasp pi b+ via USB… … 1323111719

YouTube review (not entirely accurate, but informative):

The SMSL Q5 finally arrived today. I connected it via USB to my Rasp Pi B (with hifiberry I2S dac still in place). I deactivated the I2S driver and rebooted the Pi, and it automatically selected the QAMP as audio playback device. It’s working perfectly with 16/44.1, 24/44.1 & 24/96 files (all I’ve tested so far). Initial impressions are that it soundly beats the hifiberry ES9023 I2S DAC, Music First TVC preamp & Audiobah TPA3116 amp. The thing that sticks out is the clarity in mids when things get busy (you can still hear the quiet brushed cymbal cleanly over the loud trumpet).

Interesting approach to send digital signal from the pi, and offload the DAC duty to other device. I bet it does sound good. I am still using headphone jack and evaluating the choices.


This is very interesting to me since I’ve looked at the SMSL Q5 for some time now and I’m currently trying to make up my mind how my streamer+amp setup should look like.

I’ve not thought about feeding a digital amp directly from the Pi. I have thought that I need at least a digital hat to get a reasonably clean signal from the Pi.

Can I ask some questions? How do you power your Pi?

Have you compared the Pi =>USB=> Q5 setup versus Pi+hifiberry =>coax=> Q5 setup?

Br, Zleepy