Which SBC? (for specific project)

I need to transfer one of the projects currently running on my RPi3 to a separate SBC. The project requires either a relatively high-quality 3.5mm audio output (e.g. on RPi3 I had to resort to USB audio card, because there was noticeable hissing through built-in 3.5mm jack) or a USB port for USB sound card, a separate USB port to power the speakers, Wi-Fi for daily time synchronization (and in case I’d like to run something else on this device); the router is located at noticeable distance, in different room.

My goal is to keep it as cheap as possible. I would strongly prefer built-in Wi-Fi, to avoid potential power problems, and since powered USB hub is definitely out of the question, both due to additional costs and space it will occupy. Cheap readily available plastic case would be nice, but lack of it ain’t a deal-breaker. Finally, I would prefer for the SBC to run DietPi, obviously. (=

Please provide me an advice. Which SBC should I get for my project?

Now, a couple of options I researched myself:

  1. RPi Zero / Zero W - extremely expensive when shipped to where I currently live, definitely out of the question

  2. Orange Pi Zero H2 512MB

  • $15 for SBC with case & add-on board
  • USB-powered
  • 3.5mm jack on add-on board
  • reportedly terrible onboard Wi-Fi
    ~ unknown onboard sound quality
  1. Orange Pi Zero H5
  • $25 for SBC with case & add-on board
  • USB-powered
  • 3.5mm jack on add-on board
    ~ unknown onboard sound quality
  1. CHIP- not available atm, does not run DietPi - but seem nice otherwise

I’ve two OPiZeros - I can’t comment on audio but the Wifi on the one I have running Armbian is fine - current uptime is 30+ days. The other I used DietPi on but it was more for experimentation so can’t comment on its WiFi reliability.

@johnvick thank you very much for your reply! You have the H2 version, right?

I found a few reasonably priced H5 sets in official Orange Pi store. So it’s either H2 for slightly less than $15, or H5 for about $25 - each with case and expansion board; I have already ordered a PSU, and will order a heatsink soon. Torn between those two at the moment.

Yes I have H2. You’ve looked on Aliexpress?


@johnvick yes, that’s where I’m about to order. Never bought on aliexpress, so they gave me an $4 coupon. Thank you once again for confirming Wi-Fi works fine on H2!

On side note, I’d love to buy Odroid HC1 and leave RPi3 as is - but ridiculously expensive shipping completely destroys this initiative. )’=

Received the Orange Pi Zero H2 512MB with case & add-on board, and transferred my project successfully. Onboard sound quality is decent for the job. The thing runs hot and I did not receive the heatsink yet, but otherwise all is fine and dandy. Thank you very much for your help, @johnvick!