I2S pinout and information:

The I2S connection is the most transparent way to connect digital audio equipment over short distances without intervention of interfaces like AES/EBU, SPDIF Coax, Toslink or USB. The I2S standard is optimized as an interconnection between Metrum Acoustics and Sonnet Digital Audio products. The I2S outputs of the Ambre and Hermes streamers are guaranteed to be fully compatible with I2S inputs on the Adagio, Pavane, Jade, Onyx, Amethyst, Pasithea and Morpheus when using the I2S input board and a shielded CAT5 (or higher) RJ45 network cable. All Metrum and Sonnet DACs are capable of playing sample rates up to 384kHz on the I2S input. Pasithea has a native I2S input, but an additional I2S module can be placed instead of the USB module as well.

* Please note that I2S is not a universally adopted standard and normally only used between audio chips on the inside of devices. Multiple forms of connectors and transfer protocols are in circulation and not all of them are compatible. Equipment from other manufacturers is compatible in cases where the connectors (RJ45), pinout, line impedance, transmission protocol and signal levels are similar. A breakout cable can help in some cases. If you have doubts about compatibility between our and third party devices you may consult us before ordering. Any damage to devices or equipment due to incompatability is not covered by warranty.

Below is the specification of pinout, voltage level, line impedance and transmission protocol for Metrum Acoustics and Sonnet Digital Audio equipment:

Metrum Acoustics & Sonnet Digital Audio I2S pinout specification

#Name   Function
1SDATASerial I2S data
3LRCLKWord Clock
5BCLKBit Clock
7MCLKMaster Clock (only used for MQA module)

Metrum Acoustics & Sonnet Digital Audio I2S voltage and impedance specification

Voltage level3.3 Volt (5 volt tolerant)
ImpedanceLoading of the data lines can be switched between 100 Ohms and 100 kOhms. With the jumpers in, the loading resistance is 100 Ohm. Without the jumpers, loading resistance is 100 kOhm. To effectively damp oscillations, a series resistance of 10 Ohms is present.
Transmission protocolSingle ended (not differential like with HDMI connectors)

Supported sample rates: 44.1 - 384 kHz.

As service to our customers, below is a list with known compatible devices. If your device is not in this list, please check the information of the other device with the information above before connecting I2S devices or consult us via email. We will add devices that are compatible.

List with known compatible devices:

Cocktail Audio X50 (Gen 2 and higher)

Antipodes K50 G3

M2Tech products with I2S output

List with compatible devices when a custom cable is used (in alphabetical order):

Aqua audio uses AQlink, so all devices that have this interface are compatible when using a custom cable:

Aqua LaScala MK2 Optologic DAC

Aqua La Diva CD transport

Aqua La Voce DAC

Denafrips Terminator

Denafrips Avatar

Denafrips Hermes Digital to Digital Converter

Jay’s Audio CDT3

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