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RPi-based music player has touchscreen and high-end DACs

Jul 6, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 2,558 views

Audiophonics has won Kickstarter funding for a “RaspTouch” audio player based on the Raspberry Pi 3, with ES9023 or ES9018K2M DACs and a touchscreen.

There are plenty of audio devices based on the Raspberry Pi, including wireless speakers such as Tubecore’s Duo and Axiom’s AxiomAir, as well as Pi 2 Design’s 503HTA Hybrid Tube Amp HAT add-on. Yet, the RaspTouch is the first commercially sold model we’ve seen with a built-in touchscreen. (You can find a number of DIY touchscreen music player projects using the Pi, however.) Built by French audio electronics firm Audiophonics, and based on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and official 7-inch Raspberry Pi touchscreen, the RaspTouch music system features ESS Saber digital to analog (DAC) converters.

RaspTouch, front and side views
(click images to enlarge)

The RaspTouch surpassed its $22,670 Kickstarter goal, and is available through July 22 starting at 89 Euros (about $100). However, this package only gives you a barebones aluminum chassis kit without a DAC or touchscreen.

A $373 package adds the 24-bit, 192KHz ESS Saber ES9023 DAC with Linear PSU, as well as the Official Raspberry Pi 3 7-inch LCD Capacitive Touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution. The $373 package also includes the Raspberry Pi 3, a 110-220VAC, 6V/3A power adapter, and a “momentary power” button. A $396 package replaces the DAC with an SPDIF output with Linear PSU and a power manager, and adds an SD card and HDMI real-panel extension.

RaspTouch interface
(click image to enlarge)

The package you really want is the $464 Complete Play ES9018K2M package, which moves up to the new, audiophile quality ESS Saber ES9018K2M DAC, and also adds a Linear regulated power management board. The ES9018K2M is a 32-bit, 384KHz DAC with 8-channel, 127dB (DNR) audio, plus a differential I/V converter and output buffer.

Internal views of RaspTouch, with left view showing DAC card
(click images to enlarge)

The RaspTouch, which measures 230 x 200 x 95mm and weighs 840 grams, is powered by the RPi 3’s 1.2GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A53 Broadcom SoC with 1GB RAM. Exposed Raspberry Pi 3 features include the microSD slot, Ethernet port, HDMI out, and four USB 2.0 ports. The RaspTouch also splits out a pair of RCA jacks. The device makes use of the RPi 3’s onboard WiFi, but there’s no mention of the Bluetooth radio.

Rear view of RaspTouch

The “open source” RaspTouch has been tested to support piCore Player, Kodi, and Raspbian, and one Kickstarter package ships with pre-configured Rune Audio. It supports a variety of audio formats, as well as X264 video, and offers stream compatibility with Airplay, DLNA, Chromecast, and Logitech Squeezebox. The device supports streaming media services such as Deezer, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

Further information

The RaspTouch is available on Kickstarter through July 22 starting at 89 Euros ($101), but you’ll likely want to opt for the 329-Euro ($373) package with the ES9023 DAC or the 409-Euro ($486) package with the higher end ES9018K2M DAC. All the packages are expected to ship in September, except for the SPDIF model, which ships in October. More information may be found at the RaspTouch KickStarter page and the RaspTouch page at Audiophonics.

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