First steps

Unpack it

Your DAC comes in an antistatic bag.


If you ordered the RCA version, everything is already soldered.


If you ordered the DIY version, the output connectors are not soldered. You have to do it by yourself. Use enough solder for the RCA connectors. If you use 0.5mm solder (that’s what I recommend), you will need a lot of it. Don’t be stingy with it!

Identifiy and solder the P5 header on the Raspberry Pi

Soldering is not hard even if you don’t solder very often.


Check our our soldering guide for more details. Note that the small Nylon spacer is not part of the standard version. It has to be ordered separately from our Accessories page.

Plug it onto the Raspberry

If you ordered the configuration with the Nylon spacer, mount this spacer onto your Raspberry Pi first. Another option is using a long 3mm screw and some nuts. Make sure, that the HiFiBerry DAC does not touch the electrolytic capacitor on the Raspberry Pi.


Connect it to your audio equipment (receiver, amplifier, …)

Connect the HiFiBerry DAC output to a line-input of your amplifier or receiver.

Install the software

The easiest way is using the standard Raspbian distribution (or other distributions, that are based on it). You only have to update your system to the newest kernel. Login at your raspberry and use the following commands:

sudo rpi-update
sudo reboot

If you’re using Volumio (formerly known as RaspyFi),  you have to enable I2S DAC support on the settings page and reboot. In this software, the HiFiBerry DAC support is already included.

Configure the software

Most likely, the modules are not enabled yet on your system. Add the following lines to the file /etc/modules:


Reboot again now

Test it

Check, if the sound card is enabled with “aplay”:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: sndrpihifiberry [snd_rpi_hifiberry_dac], device 0: HifiBerry DAC HiFi pcm5102a-hifi-0 []
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

You can use aplay, to playback a WAV file. For other file formats (MP3, FLAC, …) I recommend to use mplayer.

Talk about it

We and your friends want to hear about your experiences with the HiFiBerry DAC. Send us picture of your setup by email, post it on Twitter @crazyaudio or post it to our Facebook page. Sharing your experiences will also help other HiFiBerry DAC users to find new ideas how to use the board.

Having problems?

Please post your question in our forum on

39 comments on “First steps
  1. tuxun says:

    Hi, can we mout it ABOVE the Pi? i’ve already soldered my P5 header but…

    • Daniel says:

      You can mount it from both sides. We only recommend mounting it on the bottom, if you need to access the P1 header to do other stuff with it.
      But if you already mounted it from the bottom, you can still use HiFiBerry. The RCA connectors and the female headers have to be mounted from the other side of the PCB in this case.

  2. Marko Han says:

    Install dont work!
    root@volumio:~# aplay -l
    **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
    card 0: sndrpipcm5102a [snd_rpi_pcm5102a], device 0: PCM5102A HiFi pcm5102a-hifi-0 []
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

    No Sound!
    No USB, No Webradio


    • Marko Han says:

      Fresh Install…. I got the Card:
      root@Raspyfi:~# aplay -l
      **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
      card 0: ALSA [bcm2835 ALSA], device 0: bcm2835 ALSA [bcm2835 ALSA]
      Subdevices: 8/8
      Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
      Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
      Subdevice #2: subdevice #2
      Subdevice #3: subdevice #3
      Subdevice #4: subdevice #4
      Subdevice #5: subdevice #5
      Subdevice #6: subdevice #6
      Subdevice #7: subdevice #7
      card 1: sndrpihifiberry [snd_rpi_hifiberry_dac], device 0: HifiBerry DAC HiFi pc m5102a-hifi-0 []
      Subdevices: 1/1
      Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

      But no Sound :-(
      Please Help.

      I use the webinterface –> USB 1 –> FLAC Files.


      • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

        disable the bcm2835 driver in /etc/modules . The onboard sound is still enabled and output will go to card 0 by default

    • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

      this is with volumio?

      • Marko Han says:

        Hi Daniel !
        I work with a Raspyfi 1.0 system.
        Thanks for the reply. I’ll try !

        regards Marko

        • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

          It seems, that rpi-update did not work with Raspify. I recommend upgrading to Volumio. You only have to enable I2S in the settings.

        • Marko Han says:

          It work.


          • Marko Han says:

            Hi Daniel!
            The rpi-update worked on a fresh Raspyfi Installation. The system is running with Raspyfi 1.0 and Hifiberry DAC.
            With Volumio I did not get. The Webinterface dont work with Volumio.


          • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

            You mean you could not connect to the Volumio web interface? Try to connect with the IP address http://ip-adress
            The URL for raspyfi was http://raspyfi with Volumio it is now http://volumio. However, it sometimes does not work using the name as several components on the LAN seems cache old data. In general I recommend Volumio, because it’s the successor of RaspyFi. I you still don’t get it running on Volumio, I recommend asking for support in the Volumio forum. The Volumio developer is very helpful!

  3. Marko Han says:

    I come into the web interface of Volumio. Unfortunately, there are problems with the graphical representation of the elements. I can not access my USB hard drive. Also, the web radio is not running. I stay in raspberry to volumio in a stable version is presented.

    greetings Marko

  4. Marko Han says:

    I meant of course that I stay with raspyfi to Volumio runs reliably.

  5. Olaf says:

    Assembled my DAC yesterday and it works fine. The sound of the Raspberry Pi is much better now.
    Thanks and a Merry Christmas,

  6. H.Visscher says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Received the Dac and it is working fine, however….
    I can’ t get it working with Xbmc. Output from the sound in Xbmc is over hdmi. The onboard sound is disabled.
    Installed MPD and Mplayer in the same installation as Xbmc.
    MPD sound is via the DAC. Mplayer is also playing via the DAC.
    What’s the solution to output the xbmc-sound on the DAC ??


    • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

      Dear Hans,

      ALSA sound card support (not only for the HiFiBerry DAC, but also external USB sound cards) for XBMC on the Raspberry is still in development. I know, RaspBMC is working on it, but I’m not sure, when the ALSA-enabled release will be available. I keep you updated.


      • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

        Update: Sam Nazarko has published the new Raspbmc distribution. I haven’t tested it yet, but it should support our DAC now.

  7. Paul says:

    Hi Hifi-Berry Team,

    Great idea + great product !


    On the board I see external 5Volt inputs.

    Can I attach my OWN External 5 / 3,3 Volt power supply ?

    I see as well a “filter” text / setting on the board. Which is the default filter for the DAC chip you have been setting up ?
    And can I change it – e.g. Lower steep filter ?

    Can I buy a bare board, since I have some PCM51xx chips laying around ?


    • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

      You can attach your own 5V power supply. It will power the DAC AND the Raspberry Pi
      The filter switch can change betweens a low-latency IIR filter and a higher-latency FIR filter. Both filters have about the same frequency response
      We don’t supply bare boards today, but we might look into this in the future.

  8. noxid8 says:

    I just got this working with SqueezePlug and SqueezeLite. I used the two steps above; “Install the software” and “Configure the software” I also remarked out the internal sound card (#snd-bcm2835). I then ran setup and installed SqueezeLite. For the sound card I choose “RPI_internal” and then modified the /etc/default/squeezelite file to point to the HiFiBerry DAC

    SLOPTIONS=”-n SqueezeLite -o sysdefault:CARD=sndrpihifiberry ”

    So far it’s working great.

    • noxid8 says:

      Just as I finished this I got notification that SqueezePlug has now added this as a native feature so no need to update or modify any files :)

  9. Michel says:

    I just finished too, but I’ve a not sympathetic message at reboot :

    [info] Loading kernel module snd_soc_bcm2708.
    FATAL : snd_soc_bcm2708 not found.
    [info] Loading kernel module snd_soc_bcm2708_i2s.
    [info] Loading kernel module snd_soc_hifiberry_dac.
    [ 26.252469] bcm2708-i2s bcm2708-i2s bcm2708-i2s.0: Missing dma channel for stream: 0
    [ 26.263956] bcm2708-i2s bcm2708-i2s bcm2708-i2s.0: ASoC: pcm constructor failed: -22
    [ 26.275183] snd-hifiberry-dac snd-hifiberry-dac.0: ASoC: can’t create pcm HifiBerry DAC HiFi :-22
    [ 26.288683] snd-hifiberry-dac snd-hifiberry-dac.0: ASoC: failed to instantiate card :-22
    [ 26.301508] snd-hifiberry-dac snd-hifiberry-dac.0: snd_soc_register_card () failed :-22
    [ 26.313999] snd-hifiberry-dac : probe of snd-hifiberry-dac.0 failed with error -22

    and with the command “aplay -1, I’ve this answer :
    aplay: device_list:252: aucune carte son n’a été trouvée ( no sound card found)

    Raspberry 512 V2, Wheezy-Raspbian 2014-01-07, MPD & MPC

    have-you an idea before I buy a new card.

    • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

      This is not a hardware, but a software problem. Looks like your using Raspbmc – am I right? If yes, this is a known bug, that will be fixed in the January release.

      P.S. Please ask support questions in our forum at

      • Michel says:

        I’m not on on RaspBmc but on Wheezy-Rasbian, last release, I just add Music Player Daemon and Music Player Command, MPD & MPC.

  10. Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

    Hi Michael,

    can you post the output of the test script in our forum?
    Can you also send us a picture of your board from the top and bottom? This might help us to find out if it is a hardware or software problem. If it is a hardware problem, we will replace your DAC. If it is a software problem, we will get this working together.

    Best regards

  11. PangChun Fu says:

    hi Daniel, I just recive the Hifiberry, then I solder the HiFiBerry DAC connectors and all things, and assembly them on raspberry Pi, I use the Volumio 1.1 and I2SON ,but they didn’t work……….
    volumio@volumio:~$ aplay -l
    aplay: device_list:252: no soundcards found…
    so…how can I fix it?

  12. DCartron says:

    In installed the hifiberry and it works perfectly _but_ impossible to control the volume!

    • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

      Hi, the DAC is only a DAC. It does not have a volume control. Volume needs to be controlled by an external pre-amplifier or the application.

      Best regards

      • Dcartron says:

        I tried to adjust volume with alsamixer (that tells me that this card has no control, but the default one has controls) and with mpc (mpd client) and noone worked!
        I don’t want tu use an external preamplifier to control the sound as it can’t be scripted. If i need to install some more application tell me which one please.

        • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

          Volumio can control the volume. You have to enable software volume control in the settings.

          • Dcartron says:

            But i already have a music player on my raspi, i don’t want to change.

          • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

            You have to configure your music palyer to use “software volume” control. As I’m not an expert, you should check with the MPD developers. Having a look in the manual page

            mixer_type “software” # hardware/software/disabled

            might do the trick.

          • Dcartron says:

            I don’t know why it is impossible to reply to the last message so i reply here.

            mixer_type “software” # hardware/software/disabled works for mpd, ok.

            But it is still impossible to have any sound with any other app, like vlc or xmbc. It is impossible to have a mixer that works, so please tell me what i must install/configure to make my hifiberry usable correctly. And i don’t want to use volumio.

          • Daniel (HiFiBerry team) says:

            The DAC does not have a mixer control. If the software does not have it’s own method to reduce the volume, you can’t do it.

            XBMC support for ALSA devices is in an early stage. It should be working in Raspbmc soon. I don’t know about VLC. We cannot support software from other developers. If you have any issues with additional software, please contact the developers of this software.

            For support questions, please use our forum at

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