Why your new Raspberry Pi B+ still needs a HiFiBerry sound card

raspberry_pi_b_plus_1-595x334With the new Raspberry Pi model B+, the audio circuit has been changed. According to the Raspberry Pi foundation, the sound quality is better now. Does it still need a sound card like our HiFiBerry for high quality music playback? The answer is easy: yes. Here are the reasons why:

  • Noise and distortions are still quite high. We’ve measured both on the new B+ board and an old model B. The figures aren’t better on the new board. At some frequencies even worse than on the old model. For detailed test results have a look here.
  • Audio is still being generated by a simple pulse-width modulation. This is one of the reasons why the sound quality is still suboptimal.
  • Hi-resolution sound formats with 96 or 192kHz sample rates are not supported by the onboard sound
  • There is still no S/PDIF output if you want to connect your external DAC.

Note that the existing HiFiBerry boards for the Rapsberry Pi do not work with the new board as the physical layout of the connectors has changed. We are working to bring our HiFiBerry products also to the new model B+. You can join our mailing list and we will inform you when they are ready.

Update February 2015: The Raspberry Pi 2 used the same audio circuit as the A+/B+ model, therefore also the new model needs an HiFiBerry sound card for high-quality sound.

July 22, 2014

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