• 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!

Pi in the sky? Can a Raspberry Pi do everything that I am hoping for? Remote Spotify streamer with EQ +/- FIR and what about a DAC?

johnp98

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
117
Likes
178
Hello all,

After looking around on numerous threads I have been lead down the rabbit hole of considering a Raspberry Pi for streaming music.

Current setup:
Laptop with Equalizer APO (with my room EQ profile) running Spotify (usually controlled via my phone) --> Amp --> Speakers / subs

Here are my goals:
1) Remote wifi ability to stream Spotify and control it with my phone.
2) Have EQ abilities - bonus points if the EQ is not a nightmare to change, as I have an EQ profile for my upstairs and downstairs systems
3) Potential bonus goal - have FIR abilities as I am playing around with DRC and filters with ~65536taps
4) Potential bonus goal - have the system use a Raspberry Pi as I also want to make it a full bitcoin node, as I think having a streamer and a full node would make it a pretty sick all in one device.

Here are my questions / areas of ignorance:
A) Any Raspberry Pi 4 would be ok right? Are there any 'audiophile considerations' that need to be made, or just the plane vanilla RPi4 would be ok?

B) People talk of moOde as a means of EQ for the RPi correct? Does this have parametric EQ abilities system wide / that would work with Spotify? Would this have FIR capabilities? I have heard of lots of DRC people talking about loading their filters into BruteFIR, does this work on a RPi system? Anyways, just looking for EQ advice.

C) The Raspberry Pi would only be the digital source and thus I would need an external DAC correct? Is it more economical to have a DAC included with the RPi or get an external DAC? If so, then I would just connect the RPi via USB correct? What would be the best bang for the buck DAC (With the focus on 'buck' as I don't need a perfect SINAD, just something that would be functionally transparent)?

D) Should I be considering other options? I have heard people discuss and recommend the ALLO BOSS2 which does seem phenomenal in terms of 'bang for the buck', but I am confused if there is a Raspberry Pi in the system that I could alter, or is it a closed system that I could not tamper with? As then my reservation would be that it would not have built in EQ capabilities correct? It also could not fill goal #4 correct?

I am hoping to do this project for as little money as possible, but it would be interesting to know the bear bones options and then the more lucrative approach.
Ok, well I am very excited to hear any suggestions!
Thanks!
 

abdo123

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
5,675
Likes
5,510
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Moode Audio has both PEQ and FIR filtering (even crossovers if you plug a multi-channel DAC via USB).

If cables and space are a concern get a DAC HAT like the Allo Boss 2 you mentioned, otherwise a USB regular DAC would be more flexible in the future.

I would not use the Pi4 to mine, it's not worth it and I haven't really experimented with it.
 
OP
J

johnp98

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
117
Likes
178
Moode Audio has both PEQ and FIR filtering (even crossovers if you plug a multi-channel DAC via USB).

If cables and space are a concern get a DAC HAT like the Allo Boss 2 you mentioned, otherwise a USB regular DAC would be more flexible in the future.

I would not use the Pi4 to mine, it's not worth it and I haven't really experimented with it.
Can the Allo Boss 2 support moode audio? Sorry I guess I should look more into that device.

Also sorry for my ignorance, but I don't know what a DAC HAT is. But yeah space and cables would not be a large concern.
 

GeorgeWalk

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
416
Likes
651
I am using the Pi4 right now running piCorePlayer. It works great for internet streaming, Spotify,.. I have also used, DAC Hats, Topping D10s, and D50s. I am using the D50s right now via USB. No problems.

A DAC Hat is a board that plugs directly on the RPi4 and has DAC on it.
 
OP
J

johnp98

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
117
Likes
178
I am using the Pi4 right now running piCorePlayer. It works great for internet streaming, Spotify,.. I have also used, DAC Hats, Topping D10s, and D50s. I am using the D50s right now via USB. No problems.

A DAC Hat is a board that plugs directly on the RPi4 and has DAC on it.
I see, thanks for the clarification. Are there 'go to' DAC Hats that people use? Or are they all pretty similar?
I guess I am just comparing the price of one of those vs a external DAC (having an external DAC might be more future proof if I think of other uses for the DAC and RPi)
 

FrantzM

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
2,985
Likes
4,644
Running the Beta version of Volumio. Volumio3, IIRC, so far impressive, I don’t know about fir, it does support autoEQ, appears on my Airlan list, Spotify connect, Qobuz and Tidal (for a fee),
So far, rock solid. A joy. I am pleased coupled with my JDS Atom Lab, I have an extraordinary high performance headphone system.
 
Last edited:

somebodyelse

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
2,664
Likes
2,007
piCorePlayer doesn't have the EQ easily available yet though - it's being worked on but last I looked it was still a manually intensive install without a pretty GUI. The Volumio3 beta has the FusionDSP plugin with broadly similar capabilities to Moode as both are using CamillaDSP under the skin. FusionDSP integrates the AutoEQ settings for a lot of headphones - I don't think there's a similar dataset for speakers yet. It's supposed to support Spotify and Spotify Connect but I've never tried it - perhaps check at https://community.volumio.org/ if nobody here can say first hand.

Any Pi4 should be fine -most of the audio distros still target earlier Pi models too, so don't need the extra memory on the more expensive Pi4 models.

Check the review index to see how the various hat DACs have done. Note that most of them were tested a while ago, and things like the D10s have moved the performance goalposts somewhat since then, but the hats still hold their own against many commercial streamers tested more recently. Bryston's BDP-Pi used a Pi and a HifiBerry hat DAC, and used to sell for $1300... Having said that I'd go for the flexibility of the external DAC if size isn't a primary consideration.
 
OP
J

johnp98

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
117
Likes
178
Any Pi4 should be fine -most of the audio distros still target earlier Pi models too, so don't need the extra memory on the more expensive Pi4 models.

Check the review index to see how the various hat DACs have done. Note that most of them were tested a while ago, and things like the D10s have moved the performance goalposts somewhat since then, but the hats still hold their own against many commercial streamers tested more recently. Bryston's BDP-Pi used a Pi and a HifiBerry hat DAC, and used to sell for $1300... Having said that I'd go for the flexibility of the external DAC if size isn't a primary consideration.
Perfect! Thanks for the info!
I will look up various DAC hats.
For external DACs it seems that the Topping D10 would be the 'best bang for the buck' given my goals correct?
 

MarcosCh

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
817
Likes
520
Moode and volumio can run even on a pi zero. For camilladsp though you need at least a zero 2w, for just parametric and graphic EQ a normal zero w with moode is enough
 

somebodyelse

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
2,664
Likes
2,007
Arguably the Apple USB dongle is still the best bang for the buck - pretty respectable performance for next to nothing. A number of people have used it with the Pi Zero W for a great low cost streamer. It's no D10s but is it good enough? Your call.

The original D10 is no longer in production AFAIK, and was superseded by the D10s which measured better. Whether you'd hear the difference in a controlled test is another matter. If you only need USB it's a good choice - the coax connector is an output not an input, which people sometimes don't realise. There are other DACs with different feature sets and broadly similar performance not far from that price too if you need other features. Again see the review index - I think SMSL, Loxjie, Schiit and maybe more have DACs in that ballpark. Price and availability may vary depending on your location, and having a local distributor may be worthwhile in case something goes wrong.
 

FrantzM

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
2,985
Likes
4,644
Presently using Volumio3. It does work with Spotify and Airplay for free. Seems that there is a subscription required for Qobuz and Tidalconnect. I no longer use these services having switched to Apple Music.. it can't thus, attest to how they are working with Volumio3. Spotify and Apple Music a work with Volumio 3 with no issues. I repeat not knowing how advanced the EQ is on Volumio, it does however provide AutoEQ where Oratorio (Or are they Crinnacle's?) EQ settings are automatically applied to your headphones choice. It is working for me with HifiMan 560 and HE-6 so ... EQ settings can be also entered manually in Volumio3.
I am no Linux-head. This was the simplest installation I have ever seen: you download the beta, burn it on a SD card , put it in the Raspberry Pi. Follow some simple instructions. And you have a streamer... Once it is on a WiFi network Spotify connect and Apple Airplay "sees" it. It connects to my NAS but I haven't been able to test it with a directly-attached HDD, the power supply I use is weak at 2 Amps only...barely enough for the Pi4.
I use the Khadas Tone Board , very well performing DAC that was at one point one of the best-tested in ASR , still remain among the best with the JDS Labs Atom for my headphone listening...and control it with my IOS phones or tablets... A relatively-low cost high performance stack if you ask me... Could even go lower if you use the Apple dongle :)

Peace
 
OP
J

johnp98

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
117
Likes
178
Arguably the Apple USB dongle is still the best bang for the buck - pretty respectable performance for next to nothing. A number of people have used it with the Pi Zero W for a great low cost streamer. It's no D10s but is it good enough? Your call.
Oooh, I never thought of that! Good idea, and might be a good entry point, so it would go: Raspberry Pi --> Apple USB dongle (as the DAC) --> Amp --> Speakers

I guess that would be a super cheap option and then I can think of getting a separate DAC in the future.
 
Last edited:

Timon VDB

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
64
Likes
87
Oooh, I never thought of that! Good idea, and might be a good entry point, so it would go: Raspberry Pi --> Apple USB dongle (as the DAC) --> Amp --> Speakers

I guess that would be a super cheap option and then I can think of getting a separate DAC in the future.
Disadvantage of that setup will be higher latency than you would get with hifiberry dac
 
Top Bottom