Audio DAC SHIM very quiet, no controls to change


I recently bought the Audio DAC SHIM for my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ as I was unsatisfied with the low level of audio available through the built in 3.5mm jack.

I’ve installed the SHIM, and after some playing around I’m able to select it as my output device, but the volume level is still really low. I’ve tried adjusting it in the AlsaMixer but I can’t change the volume there and have the error message: “This sound device does not have any controls.”

Is there a way I can control the volume?

Thanks in advance,

Are you using amplified speakers? The signal out of that jack is only good for driving earbuds etc. It won’t drive speakers directly. Same deal for the audio jack on the Pi.

Yeah I’ve tried it through 2 different sets of powered speakers. I have to crank the gain right up to get a reasonable volume.

That’s a shame – I thought as a line out DAC it would have a higher output (line level) than the built in one on the Pi, which I figured was low impedance for headphones.

Is there definitely no way to change the volume?

It will be better “quality” sound than the built in line out. The signal level I would assume to be about the same. I would think there “should” be a way to adjust the level?
I’m a Linux noob if I’m honest so that’s not something I’m up to speed on.
Is the volume slider up full? If not try switching the output to HDMI, set full volume, then switch it back to the DAC.

Something that “may” be messing things up is the Pi Foundation just recently switched to pulseaudio.

Hey @alphanumeric did you manage to sort it out? I bought the same audio DAC but it doesn’t work for me with pulseaudio.

Hi @bachoo786, I didn’t manage to fix it in the end so returned the SHIM and bought a HiFiBerry Digi+ PRO instead. My amp has a decent DAC in it, so I just take a digital signal straight out of the HiFiBerry and let the amp convert it. If you need to keep it analog out though, I think HiFiBerry (and others) also make options for that which might work better that the SHIM.

1 Like

Mine is working, sort of kind of. It’s producing sound out of the speaker. I had some issues getting it working on my Itty Bitty Beat Box. If I remember correctly I ended up running the installer for the speaker pHat. It has the same DAC chip on it. Running that installer put all the software hooks and links etc in to get it to play the sounds from the Piano Hat and Drum Hat. That Pi is also running an older version of PiOS from before the Pulse Audio switch.
The LCD isn’t doing anything and the only button that does anything is the X button which I setup to do a shutdown via a config.txt dtoverlay.
The speaker pHat is no longer available so I had to make do with the Pirate Audio Speaker. I ran its installer but didn’t get any sound when pressing buttons on the hats.
Build an Itty Bitty Beat Box - Pimoroni Yarr-niversity

EDIT: I found my thread on what I did.
Pirate Audio needs better support. =( - Support - Pimoroni Buccaneers