HiFiBerry or not

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HiFiBerry or not

Postby aram535 » 03 Mar 2018, 17:27

Hi,

I just found this site and it's great so far. I'm convinced to build my own Rasberry Pi player. The question I have is, with a simple LivingRoom setup is the HiFiBerry just a recommendation or a requirement?

TL;DR

My primary purpose is to play on network mp3/flac playlists from my NAS although internet radio/pandora/spotify would be nice. I have a simple Onkyo TX-NR646 setup which has multiple available composite audio plus a digital audio port if possible. The speakers are middle of the road speakers, nothing fancy and most of the time the listening will be done from other rooms so high fidelity is not required.

Thanks.
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby janui » 03 Mar 2018, 22:46

Hi aram535,

You could try it without a Hiifiberry or other DAC. You will then need a Raspberry Pi 3B, this is the only current model with an audio output connector. It will work and has a surprisingly good audio quality.
Once you have everything working you can then choose to buy an add-on soundcard. You will certainly be able to hear the sound quality difference.

You could also choose a low-cost route using a Raspberry Pi Zero with an add-on soundcard. The Zero has no audio out connector, no wired ethernet connector and only one USB port. This means you will need to buy several other parts to complete the setup and be a bit of a hobbyist to get it all working.

About the sound cards (HAT DAC's, USB DAC's, etc.). There are lots of different models to choose from, search the forum for 'DAC', most are mentioned. Almost all are very good quality for the price you pay. Cheap Chinese cards are generally not as good as those from named suppliers. In general, you get what you pay for.

See this post: post23832.html#p23832
And this one: raspberry-pi-zero-support-in-0-4-t3711-100.html#p23637

janui
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby hondagx35 » 04 Mar 2018, 02:32

Hi aram535,

I first would try to connect it via HDMI.
The analog audio from the Pi is crap.

Frank
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby aram535 » 04 Mar 2018, 08:43

Hi Janui,

Thanks for that ... I'm leaning towards the 3B as well as it's more useful in the long run I believe. I think I'm going to order the HiFIBerry DAC+ RCA Standard, seems like it has good reviews and the onboard audio not so much.

Frank - Sadly all of my HDMI ports are used but that would have been the easiest option as well. I can certainly use the front HDMI port as a test port but long term I'd need to move it to the connection to the back of the receiver... HiFIBerry does make a digital for S/PDIF if you guys believe the quality will dramatically improve over the RCA.

Thanks.
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby janui » 04 Mar 2018, 16:43

Hi aram535,
The hifiberry dac+ with 3.5mm jack will fit into most standard Raspberry Pi cases, you only need to drill a small hole to make it fit. Makes a small neat box.
You will need a special case if you use the RCA connector version. The end result will be larger and more expensive. Some people claim that they can hear a difference in sound quality, I can't.
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby LeighP » 12 Mar 2018, 22:59

I use the HifiBerry DAC+ 3.5mm in my setup and it does sound good - okay it's accepted that the onboard is ok but for the price of the DAC+, it's worth investing especially if listening on good hi-fi equipment.
Home: Custom cased Rpi3 running RuneAudio (of course!)
1Tb storage.
HifiBerry+ DAC.
Denon RCDM350DAB Hifi.

Workplace: Pi Zero W with RuneAudio.
pHAT DAC and 320Gb storage.
Sony HiFi.
Colleagues who don't appreciate my music!
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby bretta200 » 14 Mar 2018, 13:08

I was never impressed playing MP3 or Flac from a network hard drive to my home audio amplifier.
I tried Bluetooth dongles using iPad as a front end the sound was always, always disappointing. Even connecting my iPod direct to the amp it still didnt offer me the sound quality I was after.

Then, by chance browsing ebay I stumbled across a second hand RPI with a HiFiBerry and promptly ordered it.
As soon as I connected it and got it working - Boom ! within seconds my room was filled with the best digital audio I have ever managed to achieve. After trying all the major interfaces/players, free and paid-for, I settled on Rune Audio as the best interface (although I would like to be able to change the background like in Volumio)
I now have 3 different RPI projects running. If a genuine HiFiBerry is too expensive try a chinese audiophonics sabre - I picked one up for under £10 and its fine.
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Re: HiFiBerry or not

Postby aram535 » 17 Mar 2018, 01:23

Just to provide an update ... I did order the RPI, used the 3.5, and the sound was pretty good through my receiver. I switched to the HDMI as a temporary test and the sound was even better. I did end up ordering the HiFiBerry as an experiment and I am not disappointed -- although truth be told I cannot tell the difference between the HDMI and the RCA connection. Sadly as I posted earlier I have already maxed out my receiver's HDMI inputs. Very happy with Rune Audio so far... a couple of quirks and oddities but I'm sure it'll improve over time.
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