Affordable Rasberry Pi DAC Hat Suggestions for old ceiling speakers- possible with volume control and fits in a case?

Hi all, just moved and the house has some built in ceiling speakers throughout the house and a 10+ year old Yamaha AV receiver, so not super high quality. I’m Setting up my first Rasberry Pi streamer with RopieeeXL for mostly Airplay but also some Roon for background music in addition to my main 2 ch. system, and I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions on a DAC Hat or a cheap USB DAC. Ideally the DAC would

  1. Have hardware volume control so I can bypass using the receiver,

  2. If it’s a hat would be able to fit in a case

  3. If it’s a hat would possibly share the power from the Rasberry Pi to minimize clutter.

If anyone’s had good experiences with affordable DACs like that or if I’m misinformed in some way please let me know!

Why would anyone use AirPlay with Roon?

I use one of these to power some patio speakers and happy enough with it, they also sell a matching case and PSU for it.

I doubt you’ll find an Amp Hat that can be powered from the Pi as they’ll all likely draw too much power.

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I use Airplay separately from Roon, mostly for Soundcloud/Mixcloud shows.


You could consider Hi Fi Berry’s amp hats to use with Ropieee.

They have a case for the Amp2 - which gives you a tiny endpoint you can connect direct to the ceiling speakers. It just needs a suitable laptop power supply.

I use a DAC2 HD with an AAMP60. In theory it is a better dac - but there isn’t an off the shelf case for the combination…

For a non critical zone I think it’s a very nice solution.

Link here with the PSU and case,

Although as Greg points out above you can just use a laptop power supply (as long as it meets the power requirements 80W min) and a generic ‘project case’ if you don’t want to ship from Switzerland and your local HiFiBerry stockist doesn’t have the PSU or case.

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When I bought mine - Hi Fi Berry used to sell a 60W Meanwell - if you are in the US you’ll probably be able to buy locally.

The model they supplied to me was a GS60A18-P1J (60W) which works well.

:rofl: I bought a house like that, with an old cassette deck and receiver driving the ceiling speakers. I junked that and put in a CCA driving a little class D amp. Total cost about $100. But not a great DAC. Today I’d probably use a Pi 4 (supposedly the supply chain there will be fixed by the second quarter of 2023) driving a Topping D10s instead of the CCA. Total cost about $200 (once Pi 4 prices go back down).