Allo Boss DAC review

I haven’t compared Allo Boss vs. HiFiBerry Dac+ PRO directly, but there have been other tests done on HiFiBerry Dac+ PRO - which is quite average product and not even on level of Audiophonics I-Sabre V3 DAC running of ES9023 or Kali + Piano combination, both giving substantially lesser quality than Boss.

So, if you would move from HiFiBerry Dac+ PRO to Allo Boss - you will have major quality improvement.

Another point, with triple separate power clean up done on Allo Boss, I don’t see any benefit from using linear PSU or battery based systems. It is as good as TI PCM5122 chip can perform. I doubt you can get anything audible benefit. I have tested other DACs like Audiophonics I-Sabre V3 DAC running of ES9023 and Allo Kali + Piano that have power clean up modules and compared their performance when running on 200$ linear PSU. There was no audible difference. Realistically these Raspberry Pi DACs with built in power cleaners are squeezing max they can from chips and audio tracks used, and there is no real incremental benefit of investing in any other special power supply.


Same excellent impression from the Boss DAC here. I now use it in my main rig. Tried to power the Pi with an Uptone lps1 and did not notice a difference. Will do some further tests but I doubt my first impressions will change.

This looks very interesting, can I clarify tow things. On the website it says

what does this actually mean?
Can I can add this to my allo sparky as well as a my Pi 2 and 3?

Does it accept DSD and up to what rates.

Sorry if these are silly questions I really am a bit of a N00b wrt these things.


Hat size basically it has the right dimensions for a HAT , but not compliant since it has no camera grove etc.

DSD only as DOP as its a i2s DAC

Boss is a master DAC will not work with Sparky, only with RPI (rpi accepts i2s as master or slave , sparky has only master…cannot have 2 masters on i2s)

Hi Johan@Allo,
I just read this review of your Boss DAC and got really interested in getting one, BUT if I get one I’m only interested in the upgraded version, like the one Janis tested above. I live in Sweden. How to make SURE to get this new one?
Kind regards,

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All mass production units come with right low pass filter (upgraded version like you called them). So no worries… we will never ship faulty units.

I read in an other thread that you’re going to make a case for RPI + Boss.

  • Will it be an open box (like for the vana player) or a closed box ?
  • Will it be made of acrylic or metal ? (please make a closed box in Aluminium :slight_smile: )
  • And last question : is there an ETA for this case ?
    Thanks a lot !

First acrylic box is coming soon (3 weeks max)… it will be closed but with vents and not very expensive

Second will be made in ALU closed…coming in 5 weeks more expensive I have just installed dietpi on the Boss, that just arrived yesterday. It works fine, but not with the 384, when I install that from Dietpi, the dac is not recognised in Roon. Any solutions for that?
It would be nice to use it beyond 192

Thanks for the quick answer, this is awesome news !

I can ask our team to look at it on Monday, but I suggest you ask the magician aka @Dan_Knight :slight_smile:

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Thanks Johan!
I can safely get it then.

I have another question regarding the Allo Boss. The PCM5122 DAC from TI used in Boss, TI states the following:

“Members of the PCM512x family integrate preset audio processing functions with programmable coefficients, allowing developers to change the characteristics of the interpolation filter, speaker EQ, dynamic range controls, and average volume control in their products.”

The “speaker EQ” I’m interested in, as it can give major improvements correcting the speakers EQ to the room. Could the Boss be programmed using a room correction program to measure the room acoustics and then input the EQ settings into the PCM5122?

I guess it´s not set up for that right now, but what can be done now, if any?

Kind regards,

Hi Henry,

I’ve replied to your post on our forums, please see below:

Thank you Dan. I hope that a solution can be found at some time.

Frankly speaking…its very difficult to program the DSP functions from TI ic… you need to download some software (and its hard to get TI people to reply) and then learn how to use it.

Thanks for the answer Johan. Maybe not the answer I wished for though. TI ought to learn from companies like Apple to make “developers kit” so that their hardware products can get even more useful. Tis is the big reason for their success!

Room EQ abilities that can be done but are ignored seems like waste of resources to me, right?

I guess, if no one asks nothing happens, but if you show interest into it, it could make a difference. I understand that companies like TI of course, like many companies, look to help their big customers first.

You have very competitive products today, fairly new to the RPi sector. What I really like is the way you listen to your customers - you have too much to win on doing that! Just see the feedback you got from Janis to correct your product, going from good to excellent. Then think if your products suddenly had room correction abilities - that would for sure beat the competition! - I agree with he comment from Jesper about your willingness to listen. But to understand the problems with the questions I asked you and Dan from DietPi: With the driver for the Boss, 352 and 384 kHz is red, DSD 64 is yellow and the rest is red in Roon. Although the Boss hardware-wise is ready for 384, and possibly also DSD 128 and 256, it is not possible because of software problems with TI. Is that the case? Or is it a problem with Linux in the current version?

The main problem is that DSP cycles in DAC ic are very limited…and to do room correction you need lots of processing power. So its not possible.

Besides why would you do that in DPS? You can use a software like BruteFir and do it directly on the CPU of RPI.

No problems with the TI, but 384Khz is no part of Rasbian. There was a guy (brilliant) CliveM that wrote the code , it was never accepted in rpi mainline (never submitted)…so most audio distribution took his patch and used it. However , every new version of Raspbian , makes it more and more difficult to use that patch. I think that 384Khz will completely disappear from RPI soon enough if Clive is not coming back.