Squeezebox Touch vs Raspberry Pi

Does anyone have any experience with both the squeezebox Touch and Raspberry Pi as an endpoint? I already have an Squeezebox, and was wondering if there would by any sound quality difference in using an raspberry Pi as an endpoint instead of the squeezebox.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Yes I had a Squeezebox touch before it died last year and used it with Roon. I replaced it initially with a Pi and HifiBerry Digi +. I did not notice a huge difference between them myself . I know have 3 pi’s around my house I replaced my main listening zone to use Naim Atom earlier this year.

What are you wanting to compare?

  1. Squeezebox audio output vs. Raspberry Pi audio output via 3.5mm jack (sans DAC hat) [endpoint]
  2. Squeezebox audio output vs. Raspberry Pi audio output from a DAC hat [endpoint]
  3. Squeezebox digital output (USB) vs. Raspberry Pi digital output (USB) [transport]

I had the Squeezebox2 and the RPi plus DAC hat (IQAudiO Pi-DAC+) was definitely a marked improvement, but I suspect the Touch was more advanced than the SB2/3s.

Thank you for your reply.

It would be USB vs USB, I currently have a Chord Mojo. I know for example that there’s some limitations concerning the Squeezebox Touch with high resolution files, and lack of 5Gh, but would like to know if there’s some kind of noticeable improvement comparing both USB outputs.

Others will possibly have direct experience of using the Touch as a transport. However, my experience of the RPi using USB to drive my Chord 2Qute was disappointing–there were audible ticks and artefacts at times. So, I probably wouldn’t bother unless you are experiencing issues: Roon will deliver bit perfect to the Mojo so it can do its magic.

Not sure if you’ve seen or read about this: https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?94512-Announce-Enhanced-Digital-Output-app-USB-Dac-and-192k-Digital-Ouput.

If you do replace the Touch you need to decide between S/PDIF and USB as the routes are different: currently there are no USB hats for the RPi.

I had the original SB Touch before I switched. I would say I heard an improvement, but you know how it works with this hobby of ours :wink:

With the Pi you can use USB. Or add a HAT to it like Allo’s Digione to use something else then USB.

Forgive my ignorance, but I assume that a HAT is something to increase the quality of an output? But a lot of people use RPi with USB, so you’re saying that it’s not the ideal option?

I compared the SBT optical out with the USB from a Macbook and noticed that the audio quality from the Mac is better ( I will have to reconfigure the SBT to be able to use USB out, will compare later ) so I don’t know if it will be better to replace the SBT with something.

Oh yeah sorry.

A ‘HAT’ is a small hardware add-on that you can plug onto a Raspberry Pi.
You have a wide variety of these devices: from complete amplifiers to DACs but also just different outputs.

Allo’s Digione is just that: it provides coax and opt digital out.

Personally I think the Raspberry PI’s USB is fine. Not excellent, but fine. And better then the SB Touch, although I think that’s because of Roon’s technology and not so much the USB implementation.

So what I meant was: buy a Pi, use it with USB and if you want to try out something else then USB you buy such a HAT.

Hopes this clarifies it a bit.


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Only coax via 75ohm BNC or an RCA–no optical (considered too noisy.) :slightly_smiling_face: But a great transport: it’s what I use with my 2Qute.

Yeah you’re right. What was I thinking :blush:

Too much HAT’s lying around here :wink:

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Thanks guys, and what would be a better endpoint than the raspberry pi, within reason of course, don’t want to spend 1000€ to be marginally better to some…

Don’t want to sound lazy, but does anyone have a good updated guide for using raspberry pi as an endpoint?

No problem, I’ve noticed HAT being mentioned a lot in this forum but haven’t investigated yet, thanks for the clarification.
I’m actually planning to just use USB if it works properly, so no need of an HAT.

But you said that the USB is “fine”; so what would you consider an excellent USB.

I think the Raspberry Pi + Allo DigiOne will be hard to beat for value and quality. It’s a good match with the Chord Mojo … use an interconnect like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SPDIF-Digital-Audio-Video-Coaxial-Cable-RCA-to-RCA-Van-Damme-75ohm-Coax-Phono/171636349397.

For a USB transport you could look at the Allo Sparky USBridge or CuBox-i.

Hey Martin, just to let you know, I bought and tried the Raspberry Pi B, and I noticed audible ticks as well, but I had it connected to ethernet ( was still configuring wifi ), when I used it without ethernet I didn’t notice ticks anymore. I don’t know when you tried your RPi with the Chord if it was with ethernet or not.

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Useful information @Daniel_Morgado. Yes, I am using Ethernet. I’ll give Wi-fi a go on a spare RPi I was thinking of using with my Mojo.

I’m still using SB Touches on two secondary systems (dining room & kitchen) as both endpoint via ethernet and DAC. They always work and sound very good. The DAC in them may be showing its age, but they were very impressive products when initially released (and thank you, Roon, for supporting them).

I do believe you can improve on the SB Touch by using a better DAC. Whether you can do so at a reasonable price is a question left to the more experienced.

I used my Arcam dac with my SBT before I broke it sounded equal to the pi and HifiBerry that replaced it. You can get ticks using the pi usb and ethernet as they share the same bus. Use a hat with a pi it’s the best way to get good quality sq out of it.

I know have an Allo USBridge connected to the same DAC. It blows both SBT and Pi with HifiBerry out of the water.