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Has anyone done a sound quality comparison between Audiophile and Media Centre operating systems?

On a simple Pi-for-stereo that uses only the onboard sound card, will I get better sound if I use Volumio/RuneAudio? Do they use better drivers or output better sound without using an external digital-analogue-converter? Will I get the same sound if I use Rasbian or Openelec with media centre software (Kodi)?

I like the simplicity and responsiveness of Volumio, but I think my wife would prefer browsing more easily with album art and such.

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    Well, go for the wife-accepted solution. It's the only way ;) – Ghanima Feb 27 '16 at 17:25
  • Or get into the spirit of F.O.S.S. and get something that does what you want it to do and meet the demands of the significant other - just don't let them become a coding widow... – SlySven Feb 27 '16 at 20:26
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The verdict is in: Volumio does provide better sound even without an additional DAC. My wife even agrees, so Wohoo!

It was a subjective comparison, no charts or anything. We listened to a few tracks in Volumio and again in Openelec (Kodi). The difference was unquestionable. The difference was greater with lossless (flac) files than with high quality mp3 files. That surprised me; I assumed any difference would be linear.

I'm still interested if anyone has any insight or alternatives. If there's a way to enjoy higher sound with Kodi, then I'm all ears. (Pun intended!)

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