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I currently have a rpi that gets audio through wifi streaming to deliver through a DAC hat to an audio amp+speakers.

But the number of operations I have to do to stream audio through wifi (from a windows tablet) is too complicated and with time it crashes.

I want to simplify it, and this could be done by playing the audio through usb in the windows device, and connect that to the usb of the rpi so that it can understand the usb audio input.

Is this feasible?

(update for clarification) What I mean is whether the rpi can be configured to act as a "USB SPEAKER". In other words, that I can connect a Windows10 computer to the rpi through a USB cable (male-male) and that the W10 sees the rpi as a usb speaker, and that the rpi can take that audio and do whatever it wants, such as convert the signal with a DAC and deliver it to an amp+speakers. [W10_usb---USBcable---usb_rpi] (/update)

In other words, what I'd like to do is a rpi-based product like this one http://schiit.com/products which if I understand well, it can accept usb-audio input, transform to analogic, and deliver through RCA or whatever else.

Can it be done with the rpi?

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USB audio is standardized and for the most part those little adapters with the familiar "green stereo in, pink mic out" 3.5mm jacks that you can buy online or in stores for $10 will work (if you are not familiar with such things, searching "usb audio adapter" should fill in the picture; in the past these might have been more commonly referred to as "external soundcards", which they are). However, this is not necessarily a guarantee, so if you have something in mind, feel free to ask if someone can tell you how to confirm that -- note the major issue is operating system, since it drives the hardware. You do not mention this but I am assuming Raspbian or some other kind of GNU/Linux. I do not know what the Windows IoT situation is WRT USB audio drivers.

Such pluggable devices can get quite elaborate and expensive, right up to things costing hundreds (and perhaps thousands...) of dollars, some looking much like the Schiit box you linked to. However, the more elaborate they are the more likely they are to use non-standard/proprietary functionality and the more important it then is to check on the status of linux drivers for the device.


What I mean is whether the rpi can be configured to act as a "USB SPEAKER". In other words, that I can connect a Windows10 computer to the rpi through a USB cable (male-male) and that the W10 sees the rpi as a usb speaker [...]

No, that is not possible, except perhaps with the zero, because USB relationships are not symmetrical; they are master/slave and the pi ports (except on the zero) are, like most of those on normal computers, master only (I realize that is a duplicate, but you can click through or read both Q&As if you like), whereas a USB speaker is a slave device. You cannot effectively attach a slave to a slave or a master to a master.

In fact: Beware that it is possible to cause permanent physical damage to one or both computers by connecting them using a male-male cable in the manner you describe. There are special adapter cables that can be used, but they tend to be expensive and have spotty support on the pi, so probably not a route worth exploring.

  • Hi goldilocks and thanks for replying. From what you say however I understand that you talk about getting analogic audio from a device (W10) to the rpi through the usb. Then you're right, you need these "external soundcards". However what I'm asking is about getting digital audio from a device to the rpi through the usb. This is, connecting a usb cable from the W10 device to the rpi, and configure the W10 to see the rpi as a "usb speaker", and that the rpi takes that digital audio and do whatever it want (in this case, using a DAC to convert it to analogic audio) – gerardgerard May 29 '16 at 16:32
  • *I've extended the question to make this clearer – gerardgerard May 29 '16 at 16:37
  • I've updated the answer at the bottom. – goldilocks May 29 '16 at 16:41
  • Yes, now I was reading that this usb OTG characteristic is only available in the Pi Zero ... Thanks a lot, this is the correct answer to my question, and very fast. Thanks! – gerardgerard May 29 '16 at 16:50

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