SBC. Small board computer audiofolk will know Volumio as a free, open-source Linux OS that permits headless remote control of music playback on the host device. Think UPnP streaming from a direct USB-connected hard-drive or across the LAN, playback controlled via web browser or smartphone app. This most popular of SBC OSs also supports web radio and Airplay and for this Raspberry Pi user, Volumio’s UI puts most other UPnP apps in its rear-view mirror.
At the end of October, Volumio’s development team announced the availability of MyVolumio whose two paid subscription tiers – Virtuoso (€3/month) and Superstar (€7/month) – integrate Tidal and Qobuz support and offer possibilities for remote streaming.
Today, Volumio is announcing its first slab of streaming hardware.
Built around another type of SBC, the Asus Tinkerboard, the Primo is a plug n’ play WiFi/Ethernet network streamer running the Volumio OS. Inside the black box sits an ESS Sabre ES9028Q2M DAC for analogue output via gold-plated RCA connectors. Digital outputs come in the form of a quad of USB outputs – that purportedly offer a less electrically noisy/jittery output signal than the Raspberry Pi – and coaxial S/PDIF.
Hi-res audio freaks note: the Primo’s USB socketry offers support for DSD512 and PCM up to 32bit/384kHz, the coaxial PCM up to 24bit/192kHz. Sobriety knocks: over 90% of music released today tops out at CD quality 16bit/44.1kHz.
The Primo’s HDMI output sends the Volumio interface directly to any connected TV or monitor.
Don’t shilly-shally on this. The first 20 Primo units will begin shipping in December 2018 for €349, and come with a year’s worth of MyVolumio Superstar, after which the Primo will sell for €399.
Volumio is also offering free shipping for European customers.
Further information: Volumio