Need help to choose a Volumio Plateform for my DAC


I’m new here, happy to join the community but I’m a little bit lost regarding the choice of the platform that would fit best to my Volumio project.

My DAC (PS Audio) has a TOSLINK optical input I do NOT want to use because it is limited to 24bits/96Khz and I have lot of music files in 24bits/192Khz.

I want only use the Volumio PC for mainly (the most important) a sound purpose with UPNP, DLNA renderer, Airplay and possibly streaming on Internet (spottily, qobuz, deeper would be cool).
A Samba mount point on my NAS can be used if the Volumio Web interface is great. I do not find any picture of this web interface on the website.

For me it is mandatory to have the best quality audio stream with a “bit perfect” end to end treatment on the Volumio PC.

The DAC has the following inputs (24bits/192Khz complaints), in preferred order:

  • Coax digital SPDIF (so electrical not optic)
  • HDMI with I2s support
  • USB (asynchronious)

Which Volumio Plateform do you recommend?
I would prefer to avoid to use a HiFace interface or equivalent if possible…

Thanks in advance for your help :slight_smile:

Hi Pat,

are you looking for a DAC or a platform with a digital output or both? You ask about a DAC, but then also ask “which volumio platform”.

If you’re just looking for a digital output, a Raspberry Pi and our HiFiBerry Digi
(will be available in February) will do the job. However at 192kHz/24bit, I recommend using an
electrical output instead of the optical.

This is what an optical output looks like at this rate: … nd-jitter/

And here is an electrical output with a good output transformer (right picture): … nsformers/

With an electrical output with transformers, you have a fully isolated connection to your DAC and
therefore all advantages of the optical connection without the problems.

That does not mean, that electrical connection sounds better or you can hear the difference.
This will depend on the DAC. With some DACs you might not notice any difference.


Hi Hifiberry,

I’ve modified my post to (try) to make it more clear (sorry for my english :slight_smile:

Yes I already have a DAC and I’m looking for the best platform.
Which one is the best to fit my requirements: Raspberry, CUBOX, UDOO, Beaggle ??

And yes, as my DAC does not support the 24bits/192Khz on Optical TOSLINK, I do not want to use it.

Your suggestion with the Hifiberry Digi sounds good. Is there any solution using the I2S over HDMI?
Is the USB reliable under Volumio on all platforms?

Howether, the Raspberry is less performant than a CUBOX or UDOO. May be it’s sufficient for my needs (no video) but would it be not preferable to use such plateformes?

How is the graphical web interface of Volumio? Could someone share some pictures of it?


PS: I’ve subscribed to your mailing list in order to be informed as soon as the Digi card is available :wink:

Fisrt, keep in mind that resolution above 44100 Hz are useless (, 192 / 24 is marketing only (or hearing illusion ^^), sorry about that… But I understand you have some music encoded in this (useless :wink: ) format and want to play it.

The Raspberry is perfectly capable of playing those track, I use one to play 1080p movies with DTS-HD tracks flawlessly. Of course the Pi doesn’t decode the DTS track, but transmit it to a capable amp.

As I have a A/V amp in my living room, I use the HDMI out of my Pi to play music, and let the DAC inside my amp do the job. But I’m not sure if the I2S protocol is used in this case, but it’s a digital track.

If you are looking for a more classical digital out, the HifiBerry is a good idea.

And I forget to give you a link to the interface : (it’s RaspyFi, but the interface is the same, with a different color scheme)

Thank you Elpy.

I’ve found a very interesting blog from S.C. Phillips ( … revisited/) which explain how to run a UPNP media renderer on a Rasberry Pi.

Regarding my needs, the Rasberry Pi is for the moment the most interesting platform for me (just a thought at this moment of my investigations). It’s also because the Hifiberry Digi Card is also coming soon with its SPDIF Coax connector and its galvanic isolation (with transformers). I’ve not seen any equivalent Hifiberry’s Digi Card available for CUBOX or UDOO (may be I’m wrong).

I only hope that gmrender-resurect can handle all file format sent by the excellent Minimserver (UPNP server) installed on my NAS. Howerver, Minimserver has the option to convert all files in Wave format before sending the network packets.

The other question is which Linux distribution is the best to install in my context: XBMC or Volumio? I would say the simple is the best and the Hifi philosophy behind Volumio is a good point for me. The micro PC will be mainly used to feed a DAC (for audio streams).

A last point for Elpy about the true or false hearing difference between a file in 16bits/44Khz and 24bits/192Khz. I prefer to not enter in such debate while this subject is very sensitive and we could talk a lot of hours about that :wink:

As soon as I’ll get a system up and running I’ll report my experience.

Howether if any of you have a feedback to share with a similar configuration, I’ll be pleased to read it :slight_smile:


I personnaly prefer a classic NAS mount since the performance is better, and you can stream heavy files flawlessly. Second point is that gapless isn’t handle with UPnP. And no gapless is a “No Go” for me (live album, mixed tracks like the Pink Floyd’s album “The Wall”, etc.)

It’s noraml there is nothing available for Cubox, since there’s a digital out already. But you’re right the Hifiberry’s Digi Card seams a really good card.

I tried both, and I let XBMC playing video, it’s really too heavy for a simple audio application. Whan looking at the CPU usage, xbmc is around 17-20% idle, and Volumio 1-5%.

Just tried to educate. Did you read the link I post ? 192 kHz can even be destructive for audible frequencies, compare to 44.1 kHz. All audio things have been explain, we are not talking about religon here.

See you soon :wink:



Yes a solution that handle gapless is important for me too but until now the only way to control the Volumio Player was to use the web interface and I wanted more something closed to BubbleUpnp on Android for example to drive a playlist…
I just discovered that you can control Volumio thanks to Android applications like Sound@Home for Volumio. It looks like a nice Control Point for Android.

Do you know other control point like this to drive remotely the local Volumio player?
Is there a page out there that list all players for Android and iOS able to manage remotely Volumio’s local player?

Yes interesting article and I must admit that I never been able to distinguish a difference on a same file encoded in both 24bits/96Khz and 24bits/192Khz. However on some recordings something is noticeable when I compared the CD quality against the 24bits Studio Master. The reason why I bought several albums in Studio Master and I want to continue to be able to read them with Volumio.
The fact is you can find out there other articles explaining with the same conviction and demonstrations that a Studio Master track is better than the same track in CD Quality…

Another point, and not the least, what make sense for me is that the whole process to deliver audio files is not exactly the same for each format. I heard from a sound engineer that a first ‘raw’ master (may be not the right word, sorry) is produced in high definition. Then to produce each file for each target format (Studio Master, CD, AAC, MP3) they don’t use the same filters in the production path. Some filters will introduce a light coloration, dynamic compression… to fit best targeted market. For example, the ‘headphone’ users market who are mostly consumers of low definition files. The same for CD quality that could be not just a downsizing of the bitrate of the ‘raw’ master file. They can add some treatments for a better rendering on most standard Hifi consumers. This depends in part on the analysis and may be even the taste of the sound engineer in charge at this stage. And the Studio Master could be the file the less modified compared to the ‘raw’ master file.
Thus for me its a good justification to buy a Studio Master file when it sounds better than the CD quality file. You can never know that in advance unfortunately :wink: but what I wanted to share is that (if the sound engineer did not lie to me) for some records you don’t buy the same music when you choose CD quality vs Studio Master…

For android, the best one (by far) is MPDroid
For iOS, MPod

Please provide me some link, I would really like to read some, with the same scientific approach.

If this is true, it’s a quite good reason ! My approach was for the exact same audio data.

Cheers !


Hi Pat,

I’m having the same question, I’d like to have a small device running volumio / runeaudio (or any linux distro to my liking) with mpd and be able to have audio up to 192 khz / 24bit out (bitperfect) over hdmi (or digital coax, no spdif since it is limited to 96khz like Pat already mentioned).
As I understand the broadcom chip in the raspberry pi is limited to 96khz be design as well so I guess that’ll be a nogo.
I don’t know about hifiberry (might be a nice solution, i’d love to give it a try, unfortunatle the RPi will no longer fit in the case… also I’m not really a soldering guy (more into software compiling DIY), will the bere a presoldered RPi with hifiberry attached to it available for sale?

Also the beagleboard black is having i2s on board, but after spending some time on their forum I can’t figure out if anyone has been able to get i2s working and get 192khz/24bit sampled to be transfered over hdmi to a DAC with supports the same clockspeeds…

Someone with more info on this? Or is there another small form factor device capable of transporting up to 192khz/24bit bitperfect streams over either hdmi or coax?