HifiBerry DAC+ Pro XLR to pre-amplifier or power amplifier?

I just installed a new HifiBerry DAC+ Pro XLR, I can see it on Roon. Can I know if I should connect the XLR to the pre-amplifier of home audio system or to a power amplifier? Thanks.

1 Like

I would recommend connecting to the pre-amplifier… this way you have access to a physical volume knob and/or physical remote control.

It is possible to connect to power amp directly but then you are limited to just using Roon’s digital control - while it can work, this can also be disastrous… there’s been cases where people have had full volume blasting, even when setting Roon volume control limits etc. This can be very bad for your speakers and your ears. Some might also comment on gain matching and signal to noise ratio but the potential for destruction of speakers and/or ear damage is probably highest priority.


Thanks, will do that.

1 Like

Hi Arthur_Lin,

I have an RPI with Hifiberry DAC+ Pro XLR going directly into two monoblock Hypex NC400 amplifiers (balanced.)

Using RopIeee or Dietpi and the Roon endpoint package, this works very nicely. It is the best SNR and SQ that you can have, because anything in between can only add distortion, not take it away from this most direct signal path.

It should be noted that you don’t need to use DSP Volume, because the Hifiberry has native digital volume (via ALSA).

As a testament to the amazingly low noise floor of the DAC+ Pro XLR, with the normal background noise of my (quiet) room, I can hear nothing on the speakers. The DAC+ Pro XLR and the Hypex amps are both extremely transparent and neutral, and highly dynamic with a nice wide soundstage. The setup scales directly with the quality of the music and recording.


Hi Chris,

Good to know it, maybe I can give it a try. Thanks for suggestion.

I think you need to try both. I used to to think the best pre-amp was no pre-amp, nothing to add distortion etc. However, the sound was too clinical and a tube pre-amp added warmth, improved bass without losing the detail.

There is no right or wrong answer and it comes to personal preference…

Some DACs have a physical volume knob or a physical RC that controls the DAC’s internal digital volume control…

This DAC has neither…

So be very careful with only using Roon for volume control - that’s my only point. As per my first reply, it definitely can work like @CRo has it working . But it can also be disastrous.