The company has a nice little historical explainer about the Logitech Media Server & Squeezebox. We got our first Squeezebox back in 2004 (I think) well before Logitech acquired Slim Devices.
DAC32 is essentially an embedded host for Squeezelite, the very same player that is bundled with PiCorePlayer for use on Raspberry Pi. DAC32 includes the host platform & digital-to-analogue conversion (DAC) in a tidy, integrated package. Connectivity is provided by onboard 2.4 GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Power is 5 vdc via a standard coaxial connector.
Part of the stated magic of DAC32 is support for high-resolution audio. According to PolyVection:
Supported Sample Rates
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 (automatic resampling to 96 kHz), 192 kHz (automatic resampling to 96 kHz) @ 16 or 24 bit
That may be of interest to some folks. Personally, I am not a believer in High-Resolution Audio, so it’s of little value to me.
That said, offered at 54 GBP (about $75 USD) DAC32 costs less than a Pi-based alternative. A Raspberry Pi4 + HiFiBerry DAC + Case + Micro SD card would cost well over $100 USD. And would not be quite so tidy.
The Pi has the advantage of both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. Also, both 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. The Pi-based solution is definitely more of a kit, with appeal to those who like to tinker.
In contrast, DAC32 is an appliance. A ready-to-go solution. It just works. Never needs to be updated.
The little DAC32 seems an affordable way to add streaming music to an old stereo, or a pair of inexpensive powered speakers. It’s worthy of consideration if we need to add a sixth zone or our household.
P.S. – There is a picture of a different version floating around online. That version adds a USB jack and an Ethernet jack. If it supported POE I would be very interesting to try it out myself.