How To: HiFi Network audio receiver for 50€


Let’s assume you have a nice set of speakers, but your amplifier doesn’t have any network features. In this article I’d like to show you how you can add network features such as Upnp/DLNA playback to an arbitrary amplifier, an analog input is the only requirement.
This will allow you to select music from your digital collection directly from your smartphone to play it back on your speakers in hifi quality.
The best thing about it: It will cost you only 50€!

This is what you will need:

Besides, you will also need a cinch cable, an Ethernet cable and eventually an HDMI cable (for configuration).

First, download OpenELEC.
Scroll down to “Raspberry Pi First-Generation single-core models” and select the file that says “[Stable] OpenELEC x.x.x (arm) Disk image”.

Next, copy the disk image onto the SD card: Extract the image with 7zip and use Win32DiskImager to copy the image onto the SD card.

Stack the HiFi DAC module onto the Raspberry PI, insert the SD card, plug-in the power supply and Ethernet cable and connect the HiFi DAC module to your amplifier with the cinch cable.
Now you can e.g. use the app BubbleUpnp on your smartphone to send media files to the raspberry. You should see the device in the list of Upnp/DLNA renderers.


If it doesn’t work out-of-the-box, then connect the Raspberry to your TV and go through the settings. You might need to select the HiFi DAC (I2S) in the sound settings to make it work.

Extension: If you don’t like to plug-in an Ethernet cable, you can also get a USB WiFi dongle (e.g. this one for 10€) to make your network receiver wireless.
Note that you will need to configure the WLAN adapter in order to use it.

Sidenode: You might wonder whether you really need the HiFi DAC module. Well, if you just want a working solution, then you don’t (just use a 3.5mm to cinch audio cable). I have tested this but was not satisfied with the audio quality. The integrated digital-to-analog converter in the Raspberry is simply not good enough in my opinion.


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