HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro

HiFiBerry has introduced new sound cards for the Raspberry Pi. Some people, such as the DAC_ Zero for the Raspberry Pi Zero, were not interesting to me. But the Digi + Pro is! The Digi + Pro is basically the same as the Digi + Transformer but now has separate clock oscillators for 44.1 and 48 kHz and the multiples thereof. They did this before with their DAC + Pro further improve jitter behavior. The Digi + Pro now also has one field where a BNC connector for SPDIF can be mounted. Certainly if you have a d / a-converter used with BNC inputs, this makes a cleaner 75Ω connection possible.

Go to a professional video store and buy a 75Ω BNC to BNC cable with the right length and you have a good, affordable solution. If you have something more to spend, then an audiophile cable can give further improvement they are harder to find. The BNC connector for the Digi + Pro must be separately be ordered at HiFiBerry and you have to solder it yourself. In use As with almost all Raspberry Pi sound cards, installing the Digi + Pro is very easy: you screw four spacers on the Pi, press the Digi + Pro on the GPIO connector and fix it with four nuts.

Then you have to choose which software you will use. HiFiBerry clearly runs for this on the competition because they have a HiFiBerry installation program for Windows and Mac – that you ask questions and then make suggestions for a program. If you make that choice, the program will automatically change the microUSB prepare the card for use with the correct HiFiBerry drivers. Ideal for those who do not have Linux or want to know other computer misery but want to use a Raspberry Pi with HiFIBerry card.

The HiFiBerry app is currently being updated and even the Roon Ready Endpoint software will become available through the app. Currently, if you want to use the: Pi as a Roon Ready Endpoint, you download an image from the HiFiBerry site and ‘bake’ it on a microSD card. For example with ApplePiBaker for Mac or Win32Diskimager for Windows.

After you put the microSD card in the card slot of the Pi, connect it to the network and you have connected the d / a-converter, you can start playing. I used the Digi + Pro on a Ri 3b with Volumio 2 and Roon Ready endpoint software. The technique As always you can skip the technique by going to the above time code. As with all Raspberry Pi sound cards, the audio signal comes via the GPIO connector in the form of an I²S signal. The advantage of I²S is that it has separate connections for the audio data and the clock signal.

If your DAC has an I²S input, you can see if you can connect it directly to the Raspberry Pi or or connect to and use the Digi + Pro. In all other cases you must use SPDIF and use the Digi + Pro the Wolfson WM8804B digital interface transceiver to convert from I²S to SPDIF. As stated, 2 clock oscillators are used to further reduce jitter Measurements indeed show lower figures but the problem with jitter measurements – at least the ones I know – is that there is little correlation between audibility and the bitter figures – unless they are really very bad.

Something similar applies to comparing of applied parts. The Wolfson chip used here can perform much worse when used on a bad prince design. A given DAC chip can sound very different on a poorly designed print.

Of course, if an old chip design is used, performance may be lower because More’s law tells us that the power of chips improves considerably over time. What you do influence is to add a prince connector to the Digi + Pro and directly connect a linear power supply to connect. You no longer need to connect power to the Pi. See my HiFi Berry Digi + Part 2 video for details.

Something that can make a difference – but not always – is a galvanic separation between devices. Just like the Digi + Transformer, the Digi + Pro an SPDIF output transformer that provides this separation. The sound How can a digital device have a sound? It is the DAC that makes the difference because it makes the sound. Wrong! The amount of jitter and the type of jitter, the contamination of the mass by a switching power supply or ground loops, an incorrect output impedance of the SPDIF signal, it all matters.

Even turning off the Pi when not used can temporarily degrade the sound every time you listen again. I used the Pi with Digi + Pro connected to the Chord Hugo in my set 1. There it was challenged by the SOtM sMS200, not exactly a fair fight because the SOtM costs more than € 500, excluding linear power.

That is 6 times more than a Raspberry Pi with Digi + Pro board and also without linear power supply. The SOtM uses asynchronous USB as output while the Pi with Digi + Pro board has isochronous SPDIF as output. Despite the Bits-his-Bits brigade, it appears that all of this is audible. In my set 2 the difference is clearly smaller. And in my set I have no more DAC with SPDIF inputs but I guess the difference there probably not to be heard. Finally The Digi + Pro costs € 40, only € 10 more than the Digi + Transformer. Although the difference in my case was very small, I can other – more jitter-sensitive DACs the difference is different. I would extra € 10 in car for security.

The print automatically configures as the OS and the player that support. And if not, there is always the HiFIBerry installer that easily installs the software. As with other SPDIF boards, the sound quality is good considering the price and the support is fantastic. But the enemy never sleeps and I expect new developments soon So if you want to stay up to date, subscribe to this channel or follow me up Twitteer, Facebook or Google+.

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Aatif riaz is a professional writer and SEO professional. He loves to write articles about health and technology.

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