Connect Via Chromecast?


Does the usb-c interface of the Tone Board require a computer to be used properly, or would it be possible to stream music through the Tone Board via a chromecast with a HDMI to usb-c cable?

I would need some kind of splitter to get power to the Tone Board, but could this work in principle?




I’m trying to improve the audio on a little HIFI system I have set up that can be driven via spotify connect as well as a local plex server. Currently I’m running analogue from the dac in a chromecast audio to the amplifier. This set up sounds pretty decent playing simple music but can become muddled when there’s a lot going on in the music.

I’d like to use the TB since by all accounts it performs in a league well beyond its price point. I have a couple spare 1st gen chromecasts laying around and I thought I could repurpose them but I’m not seeing a viable way to go from hdmi audio to usb-c or spdif in a way that preserves bitperfect audio.

Another alternative would be to use optical from the chromecast audio. Are optical interfaces like the HiFi digi+ compatible with the ToneBoard?



Hi @jakeying,

We haven’t attempted what you’re proposing before, which is to push HDMI data over a USB-C cable to the XMOS chip on the Tone Board. However, I highly doubt it would work. The USB-C cable is the physical interface between the Operating System’s driver and the XMOS on the Tone Board.

Without a driver, the data format would be incorrect, hence incompatible.

What the Tone Board is meant to do, is hardware decoding of audio data, stored within .mp3, .flac, .dsd, .dsf, .dff, and other high-quality audio files, into an analog signal for your ears to hear.

If you’re using the analog output from your HiFi system, then the audio-data-stream is already decoded, and there will be no audio performance gains by stuffing a Tone Board there. The muddling that you hear is because the DAC that your HiFi system is currently using, is not decoding the sound files properly.

In other words, you’ll need to stick the Tone Board somewhere after the computing system of your HiFi system.

Computer (HiFi System) ------ OS Driver ------> Digital Signal ------> Tone Board ------ Analog Signal ------> Speakers ------> Ears

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

See Also: How HDMI Works