10 Years HiFiBerry – Our digital sound interfaces

When we created the DAC is 2013, we thought (and still think) that this is the best way to connect a sound interface to the Pi: directly connected to the Pi’s CPU. This not only offers the shortest path, but also allows to transmit sound data and clocking separately for the best signal quality. However, we realized that not everybody want’s to connect a DAC this way. Therefore, we created the HiFiBerry Digi: The first SPDIF sound interface available for the Raspberry Pi:

It already came in two variants: with and without galvanic output isolation using an output transformer. As with our other products we had to redesign the board in 2014 to be compatible with the new 40-pin GPIO interface. The Digi+ was born:

After introducing the dual-domain clock circuits with separate clock generators for 44.1 and 48kHz it was straightforward to introduce this also to the Digi+ to provide the best available clocks for all audio sample rates. The Digi+ Pro was born:

When we were starting with our DSP product line on 2017, we introduced the DAC+DSP. While the main goal was to create a DAC with an integrated DSP, we also added TOSLink inputs and outputs. This isn’t a straight DAC or Digi or DSP – it’s all in one:

While this isn’t a pure digital interface, using it for both as a digital input or output is still popular with DAC+DSP users. While some users really like this product, there are still users around who were looking for a “plain” digital interface with both electrical and optical outputs. This gave us the next step in the evolution of the Digi product line: the Digi2 Pro. We improved the Digi+ Pro design and added the option to connect our DSP add-on to the board. You can now decide if you just want to pass digital audio to your DAC without any modifications or use the DSP add-on to process the digital audio data, e.g. to run room equalisation filters.

December 8, 2023

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