Convert from i2s to USB?

Does anyone know of a device to convert i2s (PS Audio spec) output to USB?

I can find devices that go from USB to i2s but haven’t found anything going the other way.

i2s to SPDIF (RCA or optical) would also work.


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I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of a device that does what you’re asking. That would be because on some technical and practical levels it’s probably among the worst options for achieving whatever it is you want to get done.

I2S to SPDIF is usually done by a single chip, inside a device. I don’t think I’ve heard of one built for doing that externally, because devices that output I2S usually have their own SPDIF options too.

What’s the scenario here?

I have both USB and i2s outputs on my streamer and would like to use both. Each one going to a different DAC for A/B testing

What are you comparing as A and B? DACs? Or streamer/DAC connection options?

2 different DACs and neither one has i2s input.

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I wonder if a Matrix works in both directions? It is normally USB in, i2s, AES, Spdif out. If it works in both directions that would be interesting.

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I was wondering the same thing but I no longer have one to try. Maybe I’ll send them a message and see.

I do have another good streamer I could use. I may just go that route and have 2 streamers in the system for a while. Hadn’t thought about that until now. :thinking:

No, a Matrix does not work in reverse.

Honestly I’d be surprised if the thing you’re looking for exists anywhere at all. From an engineering perspective it’s a badly compromised idea… like having a car where the fuel pump has to be powered by the driver’s legs turning a bicycle crank. It might technically be possible but there’s no way it’s going to be good.

You can’t really compare two USB-based DACs in an A/B setup. With most USB audio implementations the DAC is in control of the overall rate of playback using its local clock, and when the data arrives it gets reclocked to reduce jitter. The streamer can’t deal with two of them at once, calling for data at slightly different rates, unless one is willing and able to switch from asynchronous to isochronous mode and suffer the jittery consequences.

It’s different with I2S and SPDIF style connections where the clock in the streamer controls the overall rate and then you can have multiple DACs driven from that one source. But then you need either an amazingly good streamer and very good DACs, or DACs like the DS which is amazingly good at smoothing out incoming jitter.


Thanks for the input. I kind of figured that but it was worth a shot.

I did find some board level devices but not worth the effort.

I’ll just put my A Capella 3 back in service and then I can A/B between the Pink Faun And the AC3.

I was hoping to be able to just switch outputs on the PF thru Roon. I can do the same thing with the AC3 in the system but it wont be exactly apples to apples.

Close enough though. The AC3 is a very good streamer and is a single use device so it may be on par with the PF.

Thanks again