Get USB DAC and 24/192 Digital Output from your Squeezebox Touch!

"Triode", a very dedicated and generous SBT user and developer, has made his 3rd party app Enhanced Digital Output available for free. Here are the pertinent details:
The app should add support of the following to your Squeezebox Touch:

- External USB dacs using either USB audio class 1 or 2 protocols [USB 1 dacs normally state they support up to 96k sample rates, USB 2 dacs normally state up to 192k]
- Support of 176 and 192k playback via the standard digital output

That's big news for Squeezbox Touch users as well as for those potential owners who may have been sitting on the fence waiting for exactly this to happen. While I have not tried this, yet, you can read all about it here.

kavon yarrum's picture

This is a game changer. I don't use that phrase often.

The previous well known set of third party firmware enhancements were cool but were way more involved, killed the screen, and had a few downsides. But ALL credit to that gentleman. 

This instead, is a 3 minute applet install, and easily reversable without factory reset.

The purveyours of expensive audiophile streamers have been put on notice.

wowflutter's picture

I have a Squeezebox Touch running in to a Dacmagic via an optical connection.

The Dac was showing the correct sample rate of the files that I was streaming. The other day I noticed that everything was showing now at 44.1 on the dac.

I'm not sure what changed but I can't figure out how to get it back to playing my files at the native resolution.

Any help would be great


hotsoup's picture

Curious, what would be the advantage of going USB out instead of optical or coax? I'm currently using the SB Touch's coax digital out to a Peachtree DAC, networking to the touch over Wifi. I believe that already supports 24/96 (Wifi) and 24/192 (Wired) digital out? Feel like I'm missing something here with this news, unless the novelty is that people with USB only DAC's now have an option without buying a DAC with more inputs..?

[Edited: typos]

kavon yarrum's picture

Don't focus too much on the USB output part...

The real news is sample rates up to 192 now being able to be outputed from both the Tosklink and Coax outputs

Secondly, the ability to turn off the analog outputs, which improves sound quality. 

With a download,  few taps of the screen you are all set to go.

If  you do take adavantage of the USB option, it may or may not be an improvement,It will depend on your DAC. As a matter of fact, John Swensen, one of the original SBT tweakers has said the SPDIF implmentation on the Touch is excellent.

BTW, a suggestion. Optical to me clearly sounds better than coax when connecting the Touch via SPDIF. I have tried it on numerous DACs with the same result.

The reason? Probably because optical does not pass on any internal noise, which clearly the SBT produces, like any computer.

Hope this helps.


Clint Avila's picture

Just wanted to give a shout and say thanks for the heads up on using the optical output.  Just made the switch and it is hands down better!  That's a two fold improvement now.  I thought it sounded fantastic before.  Now it's just unreal.  I'm just amazed how fantastic this little device is.  Cheers!

acs's picture

I understand your confusion, it is a confusing topic.

First of all, the SQ Touch does not offer 24/192 without this add on.  That is a first for this device, as far as I know.

There are many reasons why someone would choose to use USB for digital audio over SPDIF.  In the ideal setup, there is USB built into the case with the DAC and the USB would output i2s to the DAC chip, completely bypassing SPDIF.  A well designed and implemented setup without the SPDIF stage could result in better jitter performance than using the SPDIF interface to transmit data to the DAC.

This also allows people to use asynchronous USB to SPDIF converters that use the USB 2.0 audio codec and do not need drivers (XMOS is a popular implementation with that capability).  I do not know if the Touch will have better or worse jitter from it's SPDIF outputs than if an outboard USB converter is used.  The SPDIF output on the Touch measures pretty well on it's own, but I think that some of the XMOS implementations have even better measurements.  And with USB, there is the possiblity of going directly from USB - i2s - DAC.


hotsoup's picture

Thanks for that explanation Aaron, I should have fact-checked myself before commenting. One site said any sampling greater than 96 was halfed (192 > back down to 96) even though the hardware is 192-capable.

I haven't quite jumped on the hi-rez train (yet?) so I guess I never looked at it hard. The USB out looks interesting though since my DAC should support it and frankly I'm just curious to see it work..

kavon yarrum's picture

Quick question for you:

If I understood you correctly, an opitimumly implemented USB DAC would output i2s to the DAC chip?. I assume that most if not all USB only DACs do this.

Am I correct to assume that many DACs with multiple digital inputs and a "tacked on" USB input basically just convert USB right back to SPDIF?

If that is the case how do you know if your DAC does not do USB/SPDIF conversion? Is there something in the specs that would be an identifier?

I have the Musical Fidelity V-DAC II and is USB 2.0 compliant and does work fine with the Triode applet. 

Thanks in advanec.

kavon yarrum's picture

I have to update my USB status..into the MF V-DAC II i am getting intermittent clicks which means I have to use a USB hub.

firedog55's picture

The computer audiophile page was correct. Without this new mod, you can't play files above 96k on the SBT. The software downsamples 176 to 88K and 192 to 96.

The touch was purprosely setup this way by Logitech, in spite of the fact that it's DAC chip is capable of handling the higher res files. Why? Issues of drivers and compatibility with DACs. Not all these issues have been resolved by the way, which is why this app in an unofficial "third party" app. Allowed by Logitech, but not supported or endorsed. In fact to download it to your SBT, you have to specifically agree to the "warning" about allowing third party apps.