Inno maker DAC Pro Hat ES9038Q2M

The Innomaker DAC PRO HAT is based on the DAC chip ES9038Q2M. The ES9038Q2M handles up 32-bit/384kHz PCM, DSD256 and DSD512 data in master or slave timing modes. It use the critically acclaimed ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream II DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator and delivers a DNR of up to 129dB and THD+N of -120db, a performance level that will satisfy the most demanding audio enthusiasts.

On-board two low jitter oscillators(45.158M and 49.152M) to support ES9038Q2M master mode ,support more exact sample rate clocks of ES9038Q2M. Different from other DAC hat that forced user to use the IIS master clocks from Raspberry Pi which comes with a lot of jitter, just for save cost and design time.

On-board three Texas Instruments SoundPlus High-Fidelity Audio Operational Amplifier, afford 2.1vrms output. The best output level for most of device.

On-board a 3.5mm high-end headphone jack and two balanced out(X- ,X+) output, allow you free to play your music through Raspberry Pi to another terminals.

A lot of high-end music mobile phone, digital music players, digital music workstations were based on the ES9038Q2M chips and same designed. So we are very pleasure to take it to the Raspberry Pi player. No soldering, no additional cables. Just plug it in and do some simple configuration, You can get a same high-class music player, but only pay 1/100 to 1/1000 of the market price.

Driver set as: allo-katana-dac-audio


Amazon shop U.S:

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I’m just going to add this link here:

Tried it, and so far, it’s pretty good!


did anyone check it against the Audiophonics 9038 or Katana yet?

Any link where to buy in Europe ?

Edit: Found it myself…:



I haven’t tested any other 9038Q2M-based I2S dacs, but the link to Archimago’s review mentions them (the Katana, Audiophonics 9038, and the Khadas Tone 1), and finds similar performance.

Another user posted about having more measurements of these. It would be great if someone decides to do so - I don’t have any equipment to contribute that way.

I’ve played around with the roll-off filters (you can select which one you prefer) and settled on one I like. I’ve used the balanced out to a small, dual MA12070P class D amp; and the single ended out for headphones. In these cases, I’m very happy with it. And it seems you can use the SE out into an amp’s SE-in as well, though I’ve yet to try that.

As for purchasing, yes, Amazon.

Hi @innomaker,

thank you for informing about your product

Since I did not find it in the manual.
Which way do you recommend to go to cinch RCA on the amplifier?
Via HeadPhone Connector or the XLR outputs?

Cheap mini XLR to RCA adapter:

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This is a good question. In the link from Archimago, the reviewer used the headphone out to RCA (like on your first picture). I haven’t tried this connection yet, as I’m using the balanced out to balanced in. Hopefully @innomaker gets back to us soon!

Thank you for choosing innomaker.

Firstly, Usermanual pls refer to below link:

Regard to the Amplifier via RCA port. There are two ways

  1. Use the 3.5 headphoe to RCA cable. It may be the easiest way.
  2. Use the XLR to Rca cable. But you need to comfirm your XLR cable is matched the pins map of XLR connector on-board. Refer to the chapter 3.5 of our usermanual.

Any question, feel free to let me konw.

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Thank you for confirming these two options for RCA.
Both work for me as well. I now prefer the XLR to RCA route.
(if no amplifier with XLR input is available).

EDIT: since volumio 3.546 ‘innomaker DAC pro’ is selectable as I2S DAC

Thanks for the update, @judydudi . I also just saw it on the changelog and am updating as we speak.

I tested the SE / Headphone out to RCA last night. It works quite well, but will now have to compare the XLR (or TRRS) to RCA route as well. Why do you prefer it?

Why do i prefer it?
Gold plated XLR connector. separate signal ways. these sound like good arguments :grinning:
And Josh2000 wrote me, that, since the headphone amplifier is also in the signal path there, the additional amplifier naturally generates noise etc. that is not yet present at the symmetrical outputs. :man_shrugging:
In a short sound test I also had the impression that the XLR way sounds better. But maybe it was also due to different volumes… at the moment the device is playing for 24h…

Thanks for the hint. This removes the plop when Volumio starts. Makes me happy! Did not find this in the @innomaker documentation, also some description of the DSP Program and recommendation when to use.

Still “Allo Katana”?

Anyhow the DAC Pro is a amazing DAC given the price. For me it beats the Khadas Tone 1 board, which I use in a second setup. More punch, transparent bass and music plays outside the speakers.

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Hello all,

I wanted to update this post with a new finding.

The most current product listing on Amazon shows the DAC Pro hat has been upgraded with 220uF capacitors vs. the 100uF version shown at the opening of this post.

This is the new product picture, with red vs. original gold/yellow caps (as seen above):

@innomaker could you please tell us more about the update to the product? What is the voltage rating for the new 220uF caps, and why the change? Thanks!

I have just installed the current board in the appropriate PI4 case from innomaker. It looks very nice. The fan is not audible at 3.3 volts.

Find here a notice from innomaker because of the red capacitors instead the golden ones:

That looks great, including the cable!

Interesting as well that the GitHub quote says ES9039 DAC module rather than ES9038Q2M - maybe a future upgrade to the board?

If you still have the previous board with the yellow caps, please let me know if you hear (or measure) any differences between them.