• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). 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!

My DAC has a VU meter. Your argument is invalid.


Active Member
Jun 19, 2020
BAQ, Colombia
I've been running Volumio for 2 years or so. I had a Behringer UA202 on-hand (I think it came with a guitar interface I own), so that's what I used for a DAC. I never was really wowed by the UA202. Sure it's wayy better than the analog out of a Raspberry Pi, but that's about all I can say. I think I have a decent one; out of curiosity I opened mine up and saw it has the Burr-Brown chip (mfr date 2011). Maybe it's just because the output voltage is kinda low, so it's a few dB down from my other sources. I dunno. Just kinda meh.

Anyway, I decided I wanted to spice things up a bit. Why not get a DAC with a VU meter? Well, how many of those are there, really? Not many! The only ones I could really find were intended for Pro Audio use. The Motu M4 seemed especially nice. But I couldn't really justify spending quite that much just for a VU meter. So I looked for used ADC/DACs on Reverb. I found a PreSonus Studio 24--of which the 24c seems to be the current revision. Anyway, it had a VU meter, and a few other features that might be handy down the road for other things. What the hell; for $70 I took a chance.

And wow! This is actually SO much more enjoyable. I can't quite articulate why a few LEDs has transformed the way I use Volumio. I guess it went from being "something hidden" in my rack to something that actually had signs of life. I rarely used Volumio in the past. But now I WANT to cue up my music on it!

In order to get the device to work properly I had to add a powered USB hub. The Raspberry Pi doesn't have enough juice on its own to power the thing--or rather, it would try, but keep dropping out. With the USB hub in the chain, it's been rock-solid.

Anyway, bottom line is this: every DAC should have a VU meter. We listeners deserve a little light show with our music!

View attachment 193379

I agree. I'm actually considering getting a Motu M2 and the meters are one of the reasons.
Top Bottom