RPi4 or RPi3 for usb dac?

Help me choose the right model :slight_smile:
Want to use usb to my RME ADI-2 dac without any hat.
To my understanding RPi4 is noisier than RPi3. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Also iFi i power will really be an improvement over the CanaKit 2.5A ?

Go with RPi4 otherwise you would have drops with hi-res tracks. I am using mine with RME ADI-2 and it works flawlessly.


I borough yesterday an RPi3 B+ from a friend and have no drops at all streaming DSD and high res PCM from local storage and also play fine with Tidal. My question was more related to USB interface I wanna use with my dac. I mean if USB output from RPi4 is better implemented and sound better?
It’s a bit of metallic sound with RPi3 B+

I recall something about RPi3 having shared buses (or something similar) between USB and ethernet, which is obviously not optimal if both are used at the same time.

I have a few Pi3 and Pi4 endpoints. Pi3 shares the usb and ethernet bus. Pi3 usb can be noisy (pops and clicks) and the throughput is less. Pi4 has separate buses and also usb 3. I have been using a Pi4 as a HQPlayer endpoint running their naa for awhile now. Dead quiet.


RPi4 need 5V,3A or will work with 2.5A ps?
What power supply are you guys using?

I use a iFi iPower 5v 2.5A to my RPi4, which works good as long as you don’t have to long cable. But I would imagine if I used all USBs and HDMI it might not work.

You’re talking wifi or wired ethernet?

Any difference between RPi 4, 2gb or 4gb models apply as a Roon endpoint?

1gb is fine.

The Signalyst naa requires wired ethernet. I have used it with Ropieee on wifi and the usb was quiet.

If RPi3 is ok for you, do not waste money for RPi4…I think it would not improve the quality of sound. Only avoid possible drops due to bus sharing…

From a technical perspective It’s simple: use USB and go beyond 192k? Then take a Pi 4. If not then a 3 is enough. (and yeah, there are people that do DSD256 happily on a Pi 3).

But in general I think that the price difference between the Pi 3 and Pi 4 is very minimal so I would prefer the Pi 4.


Quite confused right now.Hans is against RPi4

I know :wink:

But I’m giving you an advise from hardware/software perspective, not from an audio one.

Going beyond 192k on a Pi 3 with USB is taking a risk. That’s all I’m saying.

??? It’s simple,What sound better to you for usb? RPi3 or RPi4?
Harry,thanks but I thought here we all chasing sound quality related to hardware platform.

We do. I’m just stating the technical limits. Without quality in mind.

So if you’re doing 192k max on USB you could argue that the sound quality of the Pi 3 is better.

If you go beyond 192k then the Pi 3 is simply a technical risk where you might end up with intermittent ticks.

Hans is also against using the onboard USB ports just a FYI. Not sure I buy what he is saying there. Just ordered a pi4 that was a lightning deal off Amazon. Will be a bit of overkill for Ropiee but price wasn’t much different so figured better to have a little headroom. Do you need/ use the fan with the pi4?

You don’t. In general the Pi 4 get’s a litte bit warmer than the Pi 3.

There are people that don’t feel comfortable with it’s running temperature and incorporate a fan. But it’s not a hard requirement.

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Thanks, the kit comes with a fan and heat sinks. I plan on using the heat sinks for sure but depending on noise I may skip the fan. Really looking forward to setting up Ropiee on it you have done some really great work!!

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