• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Improve raspberry pi 4b usb output?

tonimccloud

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
24
Likes
11
Good afternoon,

at this moment, I'm running moode audio
player on a raspberry pi 3b (next week I'll have a raspberry pi 4b). Moode's ecosystem has everything that I need, and sound quality is fantastic (I use an external dac, Sony ta-zh1es, powering my Sony mdr-z1r headphones).

Are there any possibilities to "improve" raspberry usb output sound quality? Do you think sound would be better with, for example, an Ifi zen streamer?

Regards
 
Last edited:

Snoopy

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
1,615
Likes
1,190
It's just ones and zeros.. absolute waste of money. Goes in the same category as linear power supplies for a router :)
 

juliangst

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
944
Likes
952
Location
Germany
With busy gaming PCs you might hear some noise with USB DACs in some rare cases but that isn't a problem with the Raspberry Pi.
The signal and 'sound' itself cannot be further optimized because USB is asynchronous. All the clocking is done by the DAC
 

JonP

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
55
Likes
24
All the above.

About the only issues you might run into, USB wise, are not having a "good enough" power supply (most are), and having a crappy USB cable, that either drops too much voltage due to excessively thin wires, or having flakey connectors that might drop your DAC when slightly touched. There are some amazingly cheap USB cables out there. I'm currently having some "flakey, don't touch it" issues with a cable that had been pretty stable, been doing a lot of plugging and unplugging recently... so something has gone from good to bad in cable/connector land... and I'm having to figure that out.

The power one is more an issue if like me, your DAC is being powered thru the Pi USB plug, but can happen without. Greater load = more current = more voltage drop over the cable resistance.

Getting a cable that's rated for charging (but still has data lines, there are charging only cables that dont) should get you lower a a resistance wires that won't undervoltage your Pi.

I don't want to say all this to make you chase problems you don't have, just to mention whats out there. If your system is playing back fine, and you're not getting undervoltage events in your log.... you're fine.
 

IAtaman

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
2,229
Likes
3,726
All of the above. and :

One issue I had was that I had the SBC connected to a USB-A hub via a KVM switch that was connected to the DAC via a USB-C hub. That proved to be too much at times. I removed the USB-A hub, everything works like a charm now.
 

NiagaraPete

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
2,178
Likes
1,941
Location
Canada
No
 
Top Bottom