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Best digital audio source: raspberry Pi vs Android phone/iPhone/ipad

Kiwiyu

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Hi,

I just bought a DAC and headphone amplifier and now I need to decide on which digital audio source to use.

I have heard a lot of good words about how clean the output is from raspberry Pi with HAT with coaxial cable. So my question is how good it is compared with output from an Android phone/iPhone/iPad with USB. I also learned that on some DACs, coaxial input actually has more worse result than USB input. So how to justify this ?

I have a spared android phone and I can simply leave it there as a music streamer 24/7. Do I really need to build a raspberry PI to get the best result ?


Thank you
 

Berwhale

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Welcome to ASR!

These days, USB is the preferred connection, unless you have electrical issues such as a ground loop where you might want to switch to TosLink to optically isolate the source from the DAC.

For Android, you'll want a player that can bypass the Android audio stack and control the DAC directly. I use USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) myself, Neutron Player is another option.
 
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Kiwiyu

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Welcome to ASR!

These days, USB is the preferred connection, unless you have electrical issues such as a ground loop where you might want to switch to TosLink to optically isolate the source from the DAC.

For Android, you'll want a player that can bypass the Android audio stack and control the DAC directly. I use USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) myself, Neutron Player is another option.
Thanks a lot !!

Can I just connect my android phone to DAC by USB and stream tidal to DAC ? What is the difference between this and bypassing the android audio stack ?
 
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Kiwiyu

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Berwhale

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Kiwiyu

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Thx for another piece of info.

So I understand now that feeding from Android to DAC by USB will be resampled due to usb driver. Only solution is to use other media player, in which case I will be tied with this particular player and cannot use streaming service.
(So I guess resampling means not bit perfect ?)
So is there any ways which I can use stream service on android but also feed bit perfect digital signal to USB DAC ?

Or can raspberry Pi do this but perfect work by USB with streaming service ? Does the USB connection on raspberry pi also resample digital signal ?

Thank you
 

Berwhale

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(So I guess resampling means not bit perfect ?)
Yes. But I wouldn't be chasing after 'bit perfect' myself, there is *far* more benefit to be gained by EQing headphones and speakers to a target/preference curve. Once you EQ, it's no longer 'bit perfect' anyway.

Also, there is nothing wrong with resampling in itself, it's just the way that Android does it that's a bit poor (i.e. I resample all audio in Windows to 96k and apply parametric EQ with EqualizerAPO)

UAPP does support streaming from Tidal.
 

Jmudrick

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Yes. But I wouldn't be chasing after 'bit perfect' myself, there is *far* more benefit to be gained by EQing headphones and speakers to a target/preference curve. Once you EQ, it's no longer 'bit perfect' anyway.

Also, there is nothing wrong with resampling in itself, it's just the way that Android does it that's a bit poor (i.e. I resample all audio in Windows to 96k and apply parametric EQ with EqualizerAPO)

UAPP does support streaming from Tidal.
And Qobuz.
 

audio2design

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Welcome to ASR!

These days, USB is the preferred connection, unless you have electrical issues such as a ground loop where you might want to switch to TosLink to optically isolate the source from the DAC.

For Android, you'll want a player that can bypass the Android audio stack and control the DAC directly. I use USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) myself, Neutron Player is another option.

Its not unusual for the SPDIF to be electrically isolated as well using a signal transformer.

I think it was a Schitt DAC that measured worse on USB here on ASR, but normally that should not be the case. I don't remember, but may have been power related.
 

Berwhale

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I think it was a Schitt DAC that measured worse on USB here on ASR, but normally that should not be the case. I don't remember, but may have been power related.

IIRC, the USB implementation on the Schitt was basically broken.
 
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Kiwiyu

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Yes. But I wouldn't be chasing after 'bit perfect' myself, there is *far* more benefit to be gained by EQing headphones and speakers to a target/preference curve. Once you EQ, it's no longer 'bit perfect' anyway.

Also, there is nothing wrong with resampling in itself, it's just the way that Android does it that's a bit poor (i.e. I resample all audio in Windows to 96k and apply parametric EQ with EqualizerAPO)

UAPP does support streaming from Tidal.
If I use streaming app, like Tidal or Quboz ( not currently available in canada yet), how can I apply the EQ ? I do not see EQ as an option on Tidal IOS app or Amazon music.

Through Roon ?
 

Berwhale

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wkloppen

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Morning Gents,

I hope a not to old thread for some directives. I've been watching Hans Beekhuyzen a lot and wheter or not you are a fan doesn't matter. I've learned a lot and includes the stuff I found here on the forum as well:)....Having said that I'm running a RPI-4 with an IFI 5 volt low noise power supply feeding a SMSL Sanskrit 10-th edition V2 DAC over USB using Qobuz on Volumio. I refurbished an old Harmon Kardon PM 645 VXi driving the old Kef Reference Model 1's. I'm really pleased with the sound but I'm not an exprienced listener I'd say. I was wandering which upgrade I coud do considering this setup. The DAC has its own power supply albeit a simple phone charger. Is there any use to clean the USB signal with for instance an IFI purifier or is that snake-oil?
Appreciate any comments...thx

Willem
 

HarmonicTHD

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Morning Gents,

I hope a not to old thread for some directives. I've been watching Hans Beekhuyzen a lot and wheter or not you are a fan doesn't matter. I've learned a lot and includes the stuff I found here on the forum as well:)....Having said that I'm running a RPI-4 with an IFI 5 volt low noise power supply feeding a SMSL Sanskrit 10-th edition V2 DAC over USB using Qobuz on Volumio. I refurbished an old Harmon Kardon PM 645 VXi driving the old Kef Reference Model 1's. I'm really pleased with the sound but I'm not an exprienced listener I'd say. I was wandering which upgrade I coud do considering this setup. The DAC has its own power supply albeit a simple phone charger. Is there any use to clean the USB signal with for instance an IFI purifier or is that snake-oil?
Appreciate any comments...thx

Willem
Snake Oil. That’s why many here don’t appreciate Hans as many of the stuff he tells is factually simply wrong.

BTW. As a rough orientation. All electronics and cables together make up about 1% of sound quality. So if you want to improve invest in speakers, roomEQ or so. (Not saying your speakers are bad, just some perspective).
 

Berwhale

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You don't need to 'clean the USB signal', this is done in the digital domain by the USB hardware and software at each end of the connection.
 

wkloppen

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Thx for the quick reply. ..appreciate it
 

MarcosCh

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If you already have a pi running volumio you can add room correction and eq as @HarmonicTHD suggested if you are not yet doing it. For room correction you will have to buy a measuring mic. Umik-1 is a favourite here and costs 100-120 eur. ca. 80 used.
 

HarmonicTHD

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If you already have a pi running volumio you can add room correction and eq as @HarmonicTHD suggested if you are not yet doing it. For room correction you will have to buy a measuring mic. Umik-1 is a favourite here and costs 100-120 eur. ca. 80 used.
Very good point. In my office setup before I bought the KH80s, I once ran a Pi4 with Moode and EQ using REW and the UMIK1. Worked like a charm. So Volumio should do the same. Probably best bang for the buck in terms of audible and measurable improvements
 

wkloppen

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Ok..thx for the advice. I'm new to "roomEQ". Buyuing the mic is the easiest of course but what software do I install on the rpi4 running volumio. Ireckon its a seperate install next to volumio or something...and how do I configure it:)
 

Berwhale

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Ok..thx for the advice. I'm new to "roomEQ". Buyuing the mic is the easiest of course but what software do I install on the rpi4 running volumio. Ireckon its a seperate install next to volumio or something...and how do I configure it:)

I've tinkered with Volumio in the past, but I don't currently use it. It looks like the FusionDSP plug-in is what you need...


Manual: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nuSD2HDVBURy4Ll7L63HnFHBH28uMX3qwbws1qlOVOw/edit
 
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