Pi firmware update offers improved audio quality

Hello. Just a quick note that there is a Pi firmware update that greatly improves analog audio quality (headphone jack). See this thread. As per those instructions, it is easy enough to install, though edit /dietpi/config.txt rather than /boot/config.txt.

Earlier I tested this using stock Raspbian on a Pi A+. Just tested with DietPi on A+. Works nicely.

Thanks to jdb and others for providing the firmware update.


Hi Ross,

Many thanks for posting this. I’am a bit of an audiophile, so i’ve created a ticket so I can test this: https://github.com/Fourdee/DietPi/issues/360.

If this is stable, we will roll out the new setting as default, for any audio applications in DietPi. I will also add this option to the HQ audio setting in dietpi-config to enable it.

The onboard sound on the RPi always had audible noise floor at low/middle volume, i’am hoping this removes that issue :smiley:

Hello. Yes, the firmware update addresses the noise floor issue. You’ll notice the difference right away. See the thread linked above for what various people (including me) found in audio quality testing.

I’m happy to test anything related to this.

Thanks ross,

I’ve set the ticket to v119 milestone. Basically means I’ll try to get it added to DietPi before we release our next update (v119).

As its considered “experimental”, have you, or anyone else experienced issues with instability? I’am yet to test it myself, hopefully take a look within a day or two.

Sounds like a different soundcard! Really impressed.

For v119, it will be available as a soundcard option:

Very cool that it will be available as an option in v119.

I didn’t do any reliability testing of the firmware using stock Raspbian. There was some testing (same thread) done by others. There were some reliability issues initially, but later versions of the firmware seemed to solve that.

I’ll do some testing with v119 when it comes out.


I just tested v119. Improved audio works as expected. I did have to follow the steps in the original thread i.e. rpi-update, /DietPi/config.txt, amixer. Right now I’m listening to Beethoven’s 9th (Berlin Philharmonic, 1963) on a Pi A+ and it’s exhilarating!

Quick note to say that this Pi firmware update is a nice combination with vlc’s volume boost and headphones. Although my Sony MDR-7506 headphones are fine, the Pi’s built-in audio jack is a bit quiet for some headphones. vlc’s volume boost does a surprisingly good job of compensating. I normally limit vlc volume to 100%, but recently tried with 120%. I was impressed. I briefly tried 150% but that was too loud for my ears.

For those that want details, here is the context. I made a simple music player box for people with dementia, specifically for my Dad, and published the plans online https://dqmusicbox.com/. Uses DietPit of course. I just changed those plans from basic $10 USB audio to instead use the Pi’s built-in audio jack and vlc volume boost. Specifically vlc-nox controlled via Python bindings. It’s working well. In about six hours of testing on an Pi A+, I’ve gotten great sound. I did get a few audio dropouts for a fraction of a second, perhaps once every two hours, but nothing of concern to me, and might not happen on a more powerful Pi. My son the musician with young ears did a blind comparison of USB audio and Pi built-in audio. He judged the USB audio to be a bit better, but not by much. I think I can hear a bit of distortion above 100%, but Beethoven’s 9th still sounds fantastic. I’m not by any means suggesting that this is an audiophile solution, but I’m pretty happy.

Nice project thanks for posting the link.