Adding software volume control

This guide was created by Roman, one of our HiFiBerry users.

To add software volume control to HifiBerry DAC+ Lite board add following lines to /etc/asound.conf file.

pcm.hifiberry {
    type softvol
    slave.pcm "plughw:0" "Master"
    control.card 0

and optionally

pcm.!default {
    type             plug
    slave.pcm       "hifiberry"

Then use newly defined hifiberry output device:

speaker-test -D hifiberry -c 2

and see new ‘Master’ control in mixer:


Modify also configuration of your player to use hifiberry playback device. If you use mpd /etc/mpd.conf file should be modified in audio_output section:

audio_output {
        enabled         "yes"
        type            "alsa"
        name            "HiFiBerry DAC+ Lite"
        device          "hifiberry"
        auto_resample   "no"
        auto_channels   "no"
        auto_format     "no"
        dop             "no"

For more details see How to use softvol to control the master volume and A close look at ALSA.

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  • Avatar
    Chris Mullen

    Read the following in a forum by a real tech and trying to understand its negative effect on the Amp+ that requires software volume control.

    "I have not found any report of an external DAC that would do hardware volume control correctly according to the dB scale. So I guess software mixer volume control is the only option, even though you loose quality that way. I would love to stand corrected though."

    How does this effect Amp+ sound quality that requires software volume control.

  • Avatar

    Can we get something like this for the Digi+?

  • Avatar

    I add the first step into my pi. To add a new audio output in VLC do as follow:
    Login in Pi on Desktop
    Open VLC
    click on Werkzeuge/Tool
    click on Settings
    click on Audio
    Use as output modul ALSA...
    Use as Device hifiberry

    Now it works on my pi.