Audio DAC for Raspberry Pi: build your High-end Network Audio Player

May 17, 2017 | 12:00
Putting together a stand-alone digital audio player is remarkably easy using today's small single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi in combination with a specialized Linux distribution to match. 

What if you want high-end audio specifications?

One of the best and cheapest ways is to go DIY, as did Ton Giesberts at ElektorLabs. To meet audiophile requirements and expectations, he joined a Raspberry Pi, a high-end PCM 1794A DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) with excellent analog filters, a Volume Control Unit and a touch display.

 
Distortion ​THD+N
Sample frequency   48 kHz  96 kHz  192 kHz    
1 kHz B = 22 kHz  0,0008 %  0.0009 %   0.0013 %  
  B = 80 kHz  0,0028 %  0.0012 %  0.0014 % 
7 kHz B = 22 kHz  0,00095 %   0.0011 %  0.0013 % 
  B = 80 kHz   0,003 %  0.0014 %  0.0016 % 
Intermodulation distortion
50 Hz : 7 kHz = 4:1  0.0014 %  0.002 %  0.0036 % 
For software Ton used Volumio, a free Hi-Fi Digital Music player designed for the Pi for perfect playback and uncompromised audio quality. This combination can take your music files (MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC, ALAC, DSD and more) from USB, network storage, streaming services like Spotify, and act as a DLNA Player or Airplay receiver. Worry not about updates -- there is no need to reinstall anything when a new version arrives. This software also offers a clear multilanguage user interface and alarm & sleep functions.

 
 This meticulously engineered project will be published in the July & August 2017 edition of Elektor Magazine.
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