We’re also a fan of the NanoSound DACs, so we were quite intrigued when we found out about a melding of the two into one product: NanoSound ONE (£59 / $80). On paper it’s a simple change – the board attached to the roof of the case that provides a fan and heatsink is replace with with one that provides a DAC and heatsink. Because of this, the ports on the rear are slightly changed, going from two HDMI ports and a 3.5mm jack to one micro HDMI port and two RCA jacks. This does mean you’re losing the active cooling. However, passive cooling of the heatsink (which is the entire case) is definitely good enough.
Installing a Raspberry Pi 4 is simple – you add the little breakout board that plugs into HDMI 0 and the 3.5mm jack on Raspberry Pi, and then connect the GPIO pins with the GPIO header on the top of the case. The breakout board is a bit of a snug fit, so don’t be worried if it looks like it’s not quite spaced out correctly. It is!
You have your choice of bottom part for the case. The standard piece just encloses the whole thing and provides an SD card port, while there’s also the M.2 SSD storage bay option which we reviewed last month. The whole process is very quick, and we were able to experience some excellent sounds from the DAC part in no time, which uses the same tech as the NanoSound DAC 2. You’re paying a little bit of a premium for the DAC and case together (only about $5), but you are getting a custom version of one of our favourite cases – so it’s definitely worth it.
A great case with great sound at a reasonable price. This could be the one for folks who need the best audio out of a media centre.