USB Audio output to Klipsch Three

I recently purchased a Klipsch The Three II speaker and would like to connect my Raspberry Pi to it and use it as a web-enabled music server. My first attempt was to use Pi Musicbox with Mopidy, but I found it crashed a lot. I did, however, have USB Audio working with that configuration. I’ve switched over to Volumio and the stability and UI are much better. Unfortunately I no longer have access to USB Audio as an output. Is there a way to enable USB Audio for a speaker that supports digital input when I don’t have a separate DAC in between them?

Thanks in advance, the size of the community here is really great and has already solved a number of my setup questions.

Volumio Information

Volumio Version: v2.917
Hardware: Raspberry Pi 3b+
DAC: Klipsch the Three II includes digital input via USB

Can you see the USB available in playback options, audio output?
They shall be…

It does, sometimes! It actually identifies as a Klipsch device when I plug in the USB. It took me awhile to realize that because unless I’m sitting on the Playback Options screen, I can’t get that far. When I’m on the Playback Settings, after selecting it and saving the settings, everything disconnects. Sometimes it happens before the Klipsch device appears in the drop-down. I can’t reload the page, I can’t SSH into it, and it doesn’t show up on my Wireless Access Point anymore. Attempts to reboot Raspberry Pi leave it in the same state. It only runs successfully if I unplug the USB connection - changing the input on the Klipsch isn’t enough, it has to be a physical disconnection (reboot not necessary).

I’m not sure if it’s relevant, but I do have a USB thumb drive also inserted in my Raspberry Pi that is hosting my music library. I’ve tried with it unplugged, but the experience is the same if the USB Audio is connected.

Oh super strange! So as soon as you connect the USB of Klipsch, the system dies.
The only thing I can think of is an big power draw from the USB receiver of the Klipsch, which crashes the PI (it happened with another USB DAC to me in the past).
Do you have a powered USB hub ? If yes, can you try connecting it to the PI and then attach the Klipsch to it?

Interesting… I will clarify that when the Klipsch USB is plugged in, the power lights on the Raspberry Pi remain on, even though all connectivity appears to crash, the activity LED blinks too. Subsequently, removing the USB connection causes the connectivity to be restored (after some delay) without a reboot of the system. The Klipsch is also separately powered.

I’ll see if I can find a powered USB hub (I’m sure I have one) today and report back on that test later on.

I’m still working on that powered USB hub, BUT I think you’re on to something. I have a USB hub that can operate passively powered through USB or with an AC adapter. I haven’t found the AC Adapter for the hub yet. I did try it out as a passive USB hub. When the hub is plugged into the Raspberry Pi, the power light comes on (as expected). When I plug in the Klipsch, its connectivity light comes on, blinks a couple times, then all of the lights turn off. I think this is suggesting that your theory is correct. Once I find a power supply for this hub, I’ll close out the issue if it resolves as expected. Thanks for your help!

@volumio You nailed it. I didn’t find a power source for my USB hub, but I did discover I was using the wrong AC Adapter on my Raspberry Pi. I swapped it with a higher power one and now everything works great. Apologies for the false alarm!