Rasberry Pi - Is An External DAC A Must Have?

Hi All,

Can someone tell me if Volumio and Rasberry Pi (RPi) Model B require an external USB DAC to operate?
Is it possble to get audio out of the audio jack directly on the RPi? I was not able to get audio from the jack on thr RPi on first try.

Discovered quickly that Volumio doesn’t like Internet Explorer. Firefox is fine.



Vince, no its not a must have… But is definetely suggested, since internal PI’s DAC just sounds terrible.
Mind that if you connect HDMI, this will be the default audio device… So, to obtain audio out from analog jack, don’t plug HDMI or USB DAC.

let me know!

That explains it ! Thanks so much! I have th HDMI plugged in to a monitor!

My friend is lending me his Teac UD 501 tonight! Looking forward to it.

Thanks again!!



I’m very interested in this Teac DAC too! Please would you shortly describe your experience with this device and how it works with raspberry pi
and Volumio? Especially important to me would be the information if it works fine with usb connection.



Will do.


Anyone tell me what ‘bind failed’ means? No network connectivity.


sudo /etc/init.d/mpd stop


sudo /etc/init.d/mpd restart

Any other ideas?


This a quick and dirty review of my setup and initial impressions. Wrote this up for a bunch of my friends not on this forum and for all of you here.

Got the Teac UD-501, Raspberry Pi (RPi) and Volumio music server software running tonight. It’s being controlled from an Android tablet with Chrome as the browser.

The RPi and UD501 connected straight away with the UD501 blinking “USB Ready”. In the Volumio software, set the audio output to “UD501”. It is actually listed as UD501! [Alex] said the chips were different in the Teacs, so the [BSD] kernel must be up to date. They lock on frequency quickly and automatically. Listened up to 176k. Don’t have 192k tracks.

The RPi is running wireless to the network upstairs, one floor up. The thumb drive holding the music library is connected to a powered USB hub. The UD501 is also connected to the hub. The wireless dongle is connected direct to the RPi. Seemed to work best connected direct.

The response timne when making a change in Volumio is instant. There is no pause button in Volumio, but there is a ‘wheel’ to move forward and backward in a track instantly. There is no volume in this mode. It’s controlled via preamp.

The sound is smooth, with little to no harshness, but a little soft. Nice bottom end, if the material has it. The mids need more body. I got accustomed to it quickly though. This was one of the few times I enjoyed Rush on a hi-fi system. Its just blast too listen to this combo!
Compared to the Naim CD5x CDP, the Naim is more present.
There’s more feeling of being there. Everything is just more rounded on RPi/Volumio. Not a bad quality, just different. The RPi/Volumio system is ultra convenient.

The web radio is very good. Tuned to a blues station and the read-out was 24-bit 44k, 128kbps. Jazz station was equally as good.

The RPi/Volumio combination is totally worth the effort of setup and troubleshooting! Great sound for little money!
Just get a good DAC like the UD-501.

Thanks to Tom for loaning me his UD501. Its a sweet piece of equipment!! Thanks to everyone for their help, tips and advice.

Next up is ripping a few DSD tracks!

Tested on system #2

RPi system board B version
Clam shell type case, black plastic
Volumio Ver. Beta 1.1
6.5" full range Voight pipe DIY design
Zen 9/First Watt F3 amp 15w
First Watt B1 buffer pre
Teac UD-501 DAC
6.5 mini sub 25w
Audio Quest F-14 speaker cable
Tripp-lite AVR and line filter.
Tenda wireless dongle
PNY sd-hc card 16Gb
TP-Link powered USB hub
Generic USB cable v2.0 (from printer)
DIY power cables


Hi vince!

Great description! Thanks for that!
So the Teac works with rpi’s usb out of the box- thats great.

BTW- I’m also into fullrange speakers. To me there is nothing compareable.


Thanks. I was told the UD-501 might not work because it has different firmware than other Teac DAC, but it’s not the case.
Volumio/RPi handles it just fine. In fact, it syncs up better than my Win based music server. I have to manually select frequencies.

I agree, FR speakers are fantastic. Cost vs. performance is terrific. Just had an audio friend hear them. He has a pair of Avante Garde speakers with Lamm amps. Said he was amazed by the inner detail. That’s saying something. My speakers are only $300 for the pair. They look it though. Need to put a finish on them. ;^)

Anyway…501/RPi/Volumio is a good combo.




The play button acts as pause button. [/OT]

Ah! Thanks! Maybe the symbol changes from > to II ? Didn’t notice.



If I don’t plug in the HDMI cable, the RPI won’t boot. If I unplug the HDMI after booting, I still don’t hear a sound on the jack output. Is there a way I can switch audio output’s once it’s loaded? Or any other suggestions?

raspberrypi.org/phpBB3//view … 28&t=11259

My understanding is the HDMI audio supersedes the audio out the 1/8" jack.
I don’t know if the RCA composite affects the 1/8" audio. Probably not. Haven’t tried the RCA video out.

Have you tried to power it up without any USB devices connected? Just use power cable to mini USB, SD card and Ethernet cable?
You might not have enough power to drive everything. What are you using for power? I’m using 5v, 1amp to power the RPi, but also a powered hub that does not power the RPi through its USB connection.

Check with a meter that you are getting the right voltage between TP1 and TP2.


Extra Info:

I had to use the HDMI to view the boot up process to find the Ethernet card’s (NIC) IP address.
Once obtaining the address, unplug HDMI, then used Firefox to control Volumio. Chrome works as well.

Use the restart/shutdown in Volumio’s System settings. Don’t unplug the power, that’s a hard boot and can potentially damage the OS.
When installing peripherals like wifi, usb drives, etc, always soft shutdown.

Here’s my RPi with HiFiBerry DAC. Not much to look at, but not too shabby either.

Anyone know if the HiFiBerry DAC requires break-in time?

By the way, There are no pops or clicks on hi-res tracks. I only have one record in 24bit-176Khz, so I haven’t tested 192Khz, but everything lower than 192. DSD was giving me a problem with pops and clicks, but haven’t tried it yet with HiFiberry DAC installed.
RPi With HiFiBerry.jpg

Hi vincetronic, looks very nice, I’ve seen a similar set up with a red case.
I searched for the case without any luck, any chance of a link to the one you used please?

Edit: found it, isn’t Google wonderful?
modmypi.com/multicomp-raspb … case-black


Hi Mick,

The case is from Microcenter.com, a computer store here in the US. I know I have seen them online, maybe ebay.
The RCA connector’s positive lugs are clipped so they don’t make contact with the RPi board.

modmypi.com/multicomp-raspb … case-black



Cheers, thanks for the info.


I realize this is a very old post.
I have a TEAC UD-301, so I guess that if it works with the UD-501 I should be able to play music with my DAC.
Do I understand correctly that the user attached the Teac 501 via usb?
Mine is not working that way, I’m obviously missing something.