10 years of HiFiBerry – how it all started

Today we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary. In 2012 the first Raspberry Pi was released. While users realized the potential of the platform for music playback, there were some major problems:

  1. The sound quality of the onboard sound was just terrible.
  2. The Pi didn’t have a way to add high quality DACs using the GPIO connector.
  3. The USB interface performance was seriously limited.

One thing changed in 2013: The Raspberry Pi designers slightly changed the design and added the so-called P5 header. This 8-pin header allowed us to create a sound card for this model. Our very first product was the HiFiBerry DAC and it looked like this:

It didn’t even had the connectors soldered. This was still very DIY. You didn’t just have to solder the RCA jacks on the female headers on this board, you even had to solder a 8-pin header directly onto the Raspberry Pi as this wasn’t assembled at the factory. At today’s standards, this would be one of our affordable “light” DACs. However, it is our most important product ever. It’s hard to say what would have happened without the success of this first product.

In the next weeks we’ll look into 10 years of HiFiBerry history. Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog! There will be an interesting retrospective on 10 years of HiFiBerry products. But not just this – you’ll also find some interesting offers on some of our products.

Next in the series: Our DACs

November 27, 2023

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