Ethernet to l2s

What’s is the advantage of I2S (over USB?) and what DACs are there with this input?


Maybe you want to edit your post? Hard to understand what you are asking.

I have the Holo Audio Spring which has an HDMI l2s input. Apparently it sounds better than the USB input, to the extent that many people use and reccomend the Singxer SU-1 with the Spring. It does USB to l2s and sits between a microRendu and the Spring in many people’s systems.

I2s is the interface standard used between ICs within DACs. It can carry as many resolutions as USB including DSD 512. It’s not designed for cable runs, so is usually used with a very short cable length. There is also no defined pin-out for HDMI I2s so it can be necessary to set DIP switches to match the DAC.

Other DACs that have I2s inputs include Rockna, PSAudio and Audio-GD.

The 40 pin HAT connector on a Raspberry Pi outputs an I2s signal but I haven’t seen a HAT that outputs it with an HDMI cable. I reckon there would be a market for a Pi HAT that could do Ethernet to I2s audio with a really clean power supply and some noise suppression.

Also SJB have you seen this:

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I shifted the original post from another thread and intended to append my reply immediately under it, which would have made more sense. But I had to look some stuff up and listen to that video again :hugs:

Denafrips have some higher end models with I2S inputs too, but there are also some that internally have I2S interfaced externally via a USB interface.

unlike spdif, i2s doesnt have an inline clock that can suffer from jitter issues

but better than modern usb audio 2.0 stuff? that’s just silly.

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MSB came out with using I2S externally over LVDS back in the 90’s to overcome an issue that was real at the time. They needed to get the digital data from the CD transport to the DAC with lower jitter than the standard of the day SPDIF could offer. They started off using Cat 5 cable and RJ45 connectors. A decade later PS Audio caught on and decided to implement the same thing over HDMI. In the decade following this there’s been some serious technological advancements that no longer render this application necessary. The 2 pioneers MSB and PS Audio have both moved on to internal Ethernet renders as their flagship interface choices. The CD player has gone the way of the do do bird. External transports that decode I2S are no longer necessary because small USB and Ethernet ASIC’s, and FPGA’s can do a far superior job on compact internal boards in the DAC.

However there’s been a surgeance of Chinese DAC manufacturers who have finally caught up with what the leaders already dumped a few years back. The reason is so they can sell the end consumer more boxes. What they do is purposely compromise the internal USB interface, so there’s a noticeable improvement when used together with external boxes that decode the I2S from USB ASIC’s. This has fooled the average layman who isn’t up with the reality of the situation to think using external I2S is a superior way to do things.

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I2s is a type of output, similar to USB. HDMI cables are one type of cable configuration used for I2s. Some DACs accept this type of cable. PS Audio and Wyred4Sound DACs are two I have seen. I had a Sonos Connect rig modified to use I2s, and had a PS Audio PerfectWave Transport which used it as well.

The premise of I2s is supposed near jitter free signal accuracy. How that all plays out is a technical argument.

Yeah near jitter free if used in CMOS over a couple of CM’s of PCB traces as it was originally designed for.

Mike Kelly has posted about the possibility of adding an HDMI l2s output to a Pi2Design HAT.

Edit: Mike Davis below is correct, this doesn’t appear to be a discussion about an I2s output.

If I understood properly looks like he’s talking about adding an option I2S input to one of his DAC’s. Not make an I2S transport hat for the PI.