Friday, 26 February 2016

Hifime UH1 DAC under Linux and Jack

The Hifime UH1 USB DAC and Headphone Amp combo has some great features like:
- reference-quality DAC chip: Texas Instruments PCM5102 (a flagship chip used in other >$1000 DAC's)
- Samples rates from 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 384kHz, and bit rates 16, 24 and 32.
- optional headphone amplifier (TPA6120, which I couldn't get much information about), as well as a direct line-out just from the DAC itself. This a great feature for someone who may have to drive high-impedance headphones, but stills wants the flexibility of using other neutral amplifiers.
- Asynchronous USB transfer with two TCXO as master clock
- under $200 USB, ships from Hong Kong (not from the USA-based HifimeDIY)

What's really nice is that Hifime explicitly mentions support for Linux (without drivers!), a major selling point for me as I don't want to play around with kernel patches, etc.

Using with GNU/Linux JACK, Pulseaudio, and ALSA.
The DAC shows up as HiFimeDIY SA9227 USB Audio. For most linux distributions, one will have to contend with Pulseaudio to get any sound out of the DAC. The easiet way is to use 'pavucontrol' (lightweight Pulseaudio GUI control) to explicitly change the 'Audio Interfaces'.

Unfortunately, Pulseaudio automatically down-samples audio. So, for bit perfect audio, one needs to use a music player with ALSA support. I use gmusicbrowser, which is highly customizable (reminiscent of my only Win7 program Foobar2000). Click on Main (menu) -> Settings->Audio (Tab)-> Output device: set to "Alsa"; Click "advanced options" and enter "hw:Audio" as the Alsa option. Viola! Enjoy audio at 192000Hz and 24bit!

- See more at:

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