Skip to content

Playing Audio

The miniDSP Flex Eight has a range of input sources and output connections. This section provides an overview of the basics so you can quickly get started with playing audio.

Connecting sources

The diagram below shows the audio sources that can be connected to the miniDSP Flex Eight.

Connecting audio sources to the miniDSP Flex Eight

Connecting audio sources to the miniDSP Flex Eight

Connecting an amplifier and speakers

The diagram below illustrates a basic connection of a stereo amplifier and a pair of speakers to the miniDSP Flex Eight. Since the default settings of the Flex Eight route the input channels to output channels 1 and 2 with no crossovers active, you can make this connection for initial testing and listening.

Connecting a stereo amplifier and speakers to the miniDSP Flex Eight

Connecting a stereo amplifier and speakers to the miniDSP Flex Eight

Of course, more complex connections are possible using the additional outputs. In that case, the internal processing will need to be set up using the miniDSP Device Console. Refer to the Signal Flow and DSP Reference sections for details.

Warning

Ensure all equipment is powered off when making audio connections.

Warning

Before playing audio for the first time, turn the volume down using the front panel encoder. Increase it gradually after audio playback starts.

Bluetooth audio

The miniDSP Flex Eight includes the LDAC™ and aptX™ HD Bluetooth codecs for high-fidelity Bluetooth™ audio.

Info

LDAC is an audio coding technology developed by Sony that enables the transmission of High-Resolution (Hi-Res) Audio content, even over a Bluetooth connection. Unlike other Bluetooth compatible coding technologies such as SBC, it operates without any down-conversion of the Hi-Res Audio content[^3], and allows approximately three times more data[^4] than those other technologies to be transmitted over a Bluetooth wireless network with unprecedented sound quality, by means of efficient coding and optimized packetization.

LDAC is supported on recent Android devices. If your device does not support LDAC, you can still pair it with the miniDSP Flex Eight, but Bluetooth audio will use a lower bitrate codec.

aptX™ HD is designed to deliver high definition (HD) audio over Bluetooth, to help you get the very most from your music.

Pairing your mobile device with the miniDSP Flex Eight is essentially the same as pairing it with other Bluetooth audio devices such as headphones or your car.

To put the miniDSP Flex Eight into pairing mode:

  1. Press the encoder button on the miniDSP Flex Eight twice and rotate it until the display shows "Bluetooth."

  2. Press and hold the encoder and the display will change to "BTPairing." The miniDSP Flex Eight is now in pairing mode.

  3. Open the Bluetooth Settings on your mobile device to pair with the miniDSP Flex Eight. The exact appearance will vary depending on your specific device, but this series of screenshots illustrates a typical sequence:

Pair miniDSP Flex Eight over Bluetooth

  1. If your device supports LDAC, enable it by using the gear icon:

Enable Bluetooth LDAC

When Bluetooth audio is selected as the source, the usual front panel display will display the source (lower right corner) as one of:

BT(C)

The miniDSP Flex Eight is paired over Bluetooth.

BT(NC)

No Bluetooth device is paired.

BT(P)

The miniDSP Flex Eight is in pairing mode.

Once paired, the miniDSP Flex Eight will receive and play the audio stream from the paired device. If the Bluetooth input is not selected when you start audio playback, the miniDSP Flex Eight will automatically switch to the Bluetooth input source when audio is Bluetooth detected.

About USB Audio

The miniDSP Flex Eight accepts stereo PCM audio at sample rates of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192 kHz over USB. The same USB connector is used for playing USB Audio as well as for configuration.

To play USB Audio from a computer, use the supplied cable to connect the USB 2.0 (Type B) port of the miniDSP Flex Eight to a free USB port on your computer. Alternatively, connect a network streamer to the USB port. For an example using the Raspberry Pi, see this application note on our website:

macOS

The miniDSP Flex Eight is USB Audio compliant, so no drivers need to be installed to play audio on macOS. Open Audio MIDI Setup (in Applications->Utilities) and click on its name in the list on the left-hand side.

miniDSP Flex Eight in macOS Audio MIDI Setup

Set sample rate

Click on the selector next to Format to bring up the sample rate and bit depth selector. Sample rates up to 192 kHz can be selected:

miniDSP Flex Eight in macOS Audio MIDI Setup

Default audio device

To set the miniDSP Flex Eight as the default audio output device, right-click and select "Use this device for sound output":

Set miniDSP Flex Eight as default macOS output device

Note that individual audio playback apps may allow the miniDSP Flex Eight to be selected for audio output independently of the system default. They may also control sample rate automatically.

Windows 11

Note: to play USB audio from Windows, the miniDSP UAC2 driver package must be installed first.

Default audio device

To set the miniDSP Flex Eight as the default audio output device, open the Settings app and navigate to the System -> Sound page. Select the Flex Eight with the radio button:

Set miniDSP Flex Eight as default Windows 11 output device

Set sample rate

To change the bit depth and sample rate, click on the rightward angle symbol >. Click the selector next to Format to pop up the sample rate menu. Sample rates up to 192 kHz can be selected:

Set miniDSP Flex Eight sample rate in Windows 11

ASIO

If your audio application supports ASIO® audio drivers, we recommend selecting the miniDSP ASIO Driver in its settings. This typically allows the application to automatically change sample rate. For example, in JRiver Media Center:

Select miniDSP ASIO driver

miniDSP UAC2 control panel

The current settings of the miniDSP Flex Eight can be viewed by opening the miniDSP UAC2 Control Panel from the Windows Start menu (under the miniDSP Ltd folder). This control panel allows you to view current settings. In addition, it can be used to set buffer size, although we recommend that you leave this setting at the default. If you are having an issue with inadequate output volume over USB playback, check the Volume tab.

miniDSP UAC2 control panel

To see the installed version of the UAC2 driver, use the About tab:

miniDSP UAC2 control panel version

Back to top