Volumio: Raspberry pi - which hardware to choose

Hi All,

I have a Volumio Primo and I’m now thinking on building an additional box based on a Raspberry pi platform.

If money was no issue (within a Rapsberry pi price range) which would you choose and why (major ups and downs of it):

  • Raspberry pi itself
  • A good digital audio board if needed (with COAX and USB out) - low jitter one
  • Alternatively which audio card to choose (with analog and digital out) - So a DAC board with very good audio quality.
  • Optional: A touch screen of thoose to build a box with a screen in front (6-7" minimal). Which one and ideal resolution?

If there’s a topic about it please link it (I didn’t found it).


If money was no issue, I would let the bands/artists fly over and give me a private concert.


But that wouldn’t be on Raspberry pi price range world, unfortunately. :slight_smile:

I would then go for a rPi4-4GB. Connected with a Topping E30II or E50.
(or even a Odroid N2, which is my favorite one. Stable, fast and great measurements on the default integrated DAC.)

The screen is just esthetics, not a real game changer.

I think that a Pi5 will be the way to go. There are of course ups and downs and I do follow the Pi4 argument because of power needs, heat etc. But if you can cover these, you get more performance and a new USB implementation that is better.
Regarding to DACs, what is your budget and how fix are you with your hands and electronics knowledge?

I actually think that the RPi5 8 Gb is the best recommendation we can make to you. It boot faster than the RPi4, we will soon be able to use it with M.2 SSDs when Volumio is compatible and it has more RAM. As Volumio stores system information in RAM, the more the better…

As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t add a sound card. My RPI5 is connected directly to the DAC of my amplifier via a shielded USB A to USB B cable.

It works wonderfully this way, all for a very low price :slight_smile:



Does this have SPDIF digital audio output, or just USB (My Lyngdorf TDAi2200 does not have USB digital input).

The Odroid N2 does.


If I could get SPDIF digital audio output with very low jitter from the RPi wouldn’t make me in need to invest in DAC.

I have a Lyndorf TDAi2200 with SPFID digital input and it’s great in conjunction with it’s Room Correction Soft (Room Perfect).

In terms of USB DAC, preferebly with HDMI audio in also (has to be good quality) I would say <=500€-700€

It seems to me that your Lyndorf TDAi2200 has a USB B Audio input which is called “USB Module - USB Audio In”. So you don’t need a DAC, you can play your music and output directly from a USB A (or USB C) port on a computer to this USB B input of your amplifier. This system acts as a 100% digital sound card, therefore without loss of quality…

A Roline Gold USB 2.0 USB A to USB B brand cable costs +/- €17 (manufacturer’s ref. 11.88.8802-Gold).

Hi Phill,

That’s the 2170. Mine, although a great machine, is older and does not have USB audio:

Do you have a model compatible with the cards “Modular upgrades for TDAI” ?


If so, you may be able to find a used USB B module (USB audio input module)…

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Gonna check it out but I think not :slight_smile:

Otherwise there are USB DACs like Audioquest DragonFly Series.

Personally I use a Sharkoon USB DAC for my PC musical or gaming headphone, It works very well. With it, you can even choose by software to output on 3.5mm jack in analog or digital :slight_smile: And it’s not expensive.

You add a 3.5 jack to RCA cable and that’s it…


I would add that the big advantage of USB connections is that you are not dependent on proprietary drivers, you only use the free drivers integrated into GNU Linux. There is therefore very little risk of having breakdowns…

I use the Topping E50, it has both RCA and USB inputs. On the RPI4 I use the Allo DigiOne, the sound is fantastic. Far better than with a DAC hat.
I’m not sure if Volumio fixed the problem when the USB DAC is not available and the volume is set to 100%. That’s too dangerous for me and that’s why I use spdif over rca.
In addition, the Allo DigiOne with a good DAC really produces fantastic sound. The sound seems slightly better to me than via USB.
I’m not sure if Allo DigiOne is still made. (but the Allo DigiOne signature does)

My personal vote would be a Pi4(2gb works but 4gb works better)with an Allo Digione hat. You can go all out and get the full signature kit with a dual power supply from Allo for right at $500USD before shipping. Prices go down from there. The 4 is a known and stable platform with little fussiness in the install. I’d take that over the latest USB improvements especially when you don’t have USB available in this scenario.


Thanks. I’ve seen it and would be an idea. Just don’t understand very well the dirty side + clean side power supply…

I think that one is for the Pi (which also powers the digione) and the other just an aux power for the digiboard card?

Do you know about this?

Yeah, that’s pretty much the case. There is a jumper on the Digione Hat that let’s it be powered separately from the Pi. The Shanti power supply they sell has two different power supplies in it so one box for the whole thing. You can use any PS that will run the Pi. They state that there is good filtering on the board, the dual PS thing is to eek out that last smidge of performance.

Looks like Allo doesn’t currently have a stock of Pi boards on hand. Seems one would need to get the hat, case and PS from Allo and source their own Pi4 at the moment.

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The DigiOne Signature does not receive any power from RPI. That’s why DigiIne Sinatur has its own power connection for clean electricity.
The “dirty” power is intended for the RPI.

Ahh, ok. So I was confusing with DigiOne (not the signature one).