Is phat dac necessary on raspberry pi 3?


#1

I’m new to this, so this may sound a little retarded. I got a phat dac, and have a raspberry pi 3 - I know the Pi 3 has audio as standard, I assumed the Phat Dac was an upgrade of some sort, is the Phat Dac needed or is the onboard sound the same quality?


#2

As far as I understand it, if you use the digital audio from the HDMI out, then the Pi’s audio is fine but the line level audio from the 3.5mm jack on the Pi’s circuit board is pretty awful. There’s an audible hiss on the Pi analogue audio out from the 3.5mm jack when it’s at maximum volume, and the audio quality gets progressively worse as you lower the volume in the control panel on the desktop.

The PhatDAC’s analog out is a lot better quality to my ears (I’ve got a couple, one used for RuneAudio, and one for a Lakka Retro arcade box), there’s no hissing and it sounds really good. You just have to enable it in the config, and mess with the Pi’s settings to tell it to use the PhatDAC instead of the inbuilt audio, which is easy to do in Raspbian, Runeaudio, Lakka, Kodi etc. even for someone like me.

Hope this helps, sorry if any of my info is not correct - it is to the best of my knowledge. :)


#3

I thought that might be the case, many thanks. Now here’s the real noob bit… how do I fit it to the raspberry PI? there’s no instructions anywhere, and I have a little touch screen attached to some of the inputs, I can solder and all that, but I’m a super beginner in all this and don’t want to wreck anything, its taken me days to get my wifi SSID password enabled - Linux virgin to boot. Any pointers or resource locations would be welcome! It looks to me like the phatdac board fits over the main pins bit, but then there’s no power & room for my screen - although there probably is and I’m just in a bit over my head for the time being…


#4

Tadah!

By the way - you might want to use http://pinout.xyz/ to check if there are likely to be any conflicts (pins being used on both boards for different things). If there are, you might be able to reassign the pins, but there’s a chance that you might not (I have a feeling that all the display pins and all the DAC pins are pretty set in stone) in which case a USB audio dongle is probably the best bet for you.