Cubox i2 SPDIF no sound

Hello all,

I have a Cubox i2 with SPDIF out which I cannot get to work. The port on the Cubox lights up but there is no sound from it when connected to a DAC. I have tested it with two different DAC’s but no luck. The USB port works fine.

Any hint welcome.


Assuming you have selected imxspdif out, have you tried a different optical cable?, they get damaged pretty easily. Can you get hdmi out? USB basically bypasses the cubox’s audio circuits so may not be of help when trying to resolve the issue. But I think HDMI and optical spdif are on the same circuit. Just plug the Cubox into an HDMI port on something that has speakers eg a TV.

The front light on the Cubox and the optical out carrier light are illuminated so long as you have a working distro.

yep, imxspdif is selected and I have used two different cables… but no luck.

It looks like you are doing a lot better with your i2 than many - see this thread. Apparently a new version of volumio for the whole cubox family which will address many of the issues is due soon. Other than that I would def try HDMI out if you can.

Hi, yes, most stuff works with the modded kernel fortunately. Thank’s for the pointers. I don’t have any HDMI devices, nor a screen :wink: so I can’t do any testing on that port, sorry.

You’re welcome.

This may not be your goal but the cubox’s audio circuits are (like most pc’s, macs and laptops) pretty basic. None of the Cubox range have hi res clocks, nor ossilators. The signal through the optical spdif out is limited to 16/48, and pretty poor; and HDMI 24/96. Optical spdif is probably the least good way of getting a signal to a dac. There might be software solutions in different (non volumio) kernels but they won’t address clocking or jitter very well.

Being as you are already bypassing the audio circuits through USB, if you get an asyncrenous hi-res USB to coax spdif converter, that will take care of the clocking up to 24/192 and your DAC will be fed a much more accurate signal. Leaving volumio/cubox to do the processing, file handling, playing and storage interface, which it does very well. Being stripped down to the audiophile essentials in tems of the rom; and noiseless, vibration free and small form factor.
My cubox and spdif converter are outputting flawlessly up to 24/192 and the sound quality is spectacular.

You can pick pretty good value converters up on eBay from China which volumio will support. Like this!

Hi, yep… but I would rather use the USB input of my DAC which is supposed to be very good (and expensive) :open_mouth:

Currently, I have a Airport Express 1st gen. but it down samples everything to 44.1kHz which is a PITA since the device itself could handle higher rates.

Would the use of the Cubox as a airport speaker to USB DAC prevent the downsampling ?

I hope so :slight_smile:

Greetings !

Okay I looked through your other posts and here are your issues (I think)

  1. Volumio (and windows etc) but not Mac need specific drivers to talk to your Yulong DAC. Either the audio device you plug into a USB port has the correct drivers on the computer and is recognised and works, or it doesn’t. On a PC or Mac it’s a case of downloadng the drivers that work. With volumio it’s not so easy.

  2. Airport express is limited to 16/44.1 this make it seamless with iTunes and iPads and Iphones. Running airplay from volumio might prevent the downsampling but you will probably need the a upnp controller from the iTunes store or bubble upnp from google play running on a network connected device if you want to stream succesfully over wireless or wired. Bearing in mind the factory locked restrictions on the airport. You should enable both upnp and airplay on volumio in this case.

Also read my sticky on network storage and ignore the comments from others that all 10/100 routers connected wired are capable of handling hi-res natively cos the airport express certainly can’t.

Actually, I can play to the USB port of the Yulong DAC from within the volume interface when it is set to play to “DAC” and it does sound very good.

It is even possible to route the sound to the Volumio airplay loudspeaker and from there to the cubox USB port and from there to the USB DAC but the sound is extremely compressed (as someone put it in another post, it sounds as if Mikey Mouse where singing :laughing: )

As I said, if I could route the audio stream through the volumio airplay speaker and from there to the USB DAC (without downsampling) that would be absolutely great.


Ah…I was getting confused by the ‘airplay speaker’ concept. My speakers are all hooked up to power amps and a pre-amp by cable. I’m sorry but my knowledge of apple products is limited, so I have no real idea how to resolve that part of your problem. You could ask Lag Na one of the mods. As he thinks the airport express only downsamples when streaming to ITunes. See this thread

UPDATE: concerning the problem I was having with the airport speaker (shairport) to USB DAC giving very compressed sound… Well, it is working now… I don’t know why to be honest. The only thing I did was put a better USB cable between the Cubox and the USB DAC, although I don’t think that made the difference. I also replaced the contents of the player_wrk.php file with this one … er_wrk.php. Oh, and one more thing. I set the Volume control mixer in Volumio to “Hardware” and rebooted the device. Now it is playing at 48kHz through my USB DAC and sounding great :wink: :smiley: