Who is using I2S cables?

I've been reading / watching info and trying to learn about I2S. Several manufacturers offer I2S connections (Topping, Pro-Ject, Jay's, Denafrips, Singxer, Raspberry Pi?...). I2S has been used internally for years (mainly internal CD to DAC connections) but some components have I2S connections. So, I'm confused and curious. 

1. Are you using I2S cables? What has been your experience? 
2. What components are you using I2S to connect?
3. Are you using an HDMI cable or so-called bonafide I2S?
4. Where did you purchase your I2S cable(s)?


Late to the party here. I have the I squared 2 connections on my DAC and transport. I don't do hi-res at this point, only redbook CD and use a very high quality Voodoo coax cable. Woud an HDMI cable make any difference in this case? Thanks!

@donruydesilva It’s highly dependent on how your DAC inputs have been designed (which input sounds best) and if the i2S pin configuration on your DAC and transport can communicate with each other as there currently is no standard for this connection. I will say this — when I added a DDC and was able to take advantage of my DAC’s i2S input the improvement over USB was not small, and that was using just this cheap $6.50 6” HDMI cable from Monoprice (for i2S you want the shortest cable possible)…


Given the potential performance improvement it’s well worth looking into IME. The first step would be to get the i2S pin out configuration from your transport and see if your DAC can use it. If it does I’d say it’s definitely worth a try. Or for $6.50 for the above cable you can just roll the dice and see if it just happens to work. Either way it’s worth some effort. Hope this helps somewhat.

@donruydesilva - I had the same experience as @soix using my Denafrips Gaia and Terminator Plus DAC. Even a low cost HDMI cable was a nice improvement over AES and USB. 

Unfortunately, Denafrips's latest FPGA update for the Terminator Plus makes the i2s no longer compatible with the Gaia. I have a very early Gaia which does not have programmable i2s outputs, and for some reason, Denafrips chose to change the i2s format to be incompatible with the Gaia. I'm a bit peeved about this, but I do like the FPGA firmware update which they provided for free. 

I am currently rethinking my digital chain, so haven't invested in upgrading the Gaia yet. But I would second @soix's recommendation to get a cheap HDMI cable and give it a try.

@jaytor I have a TPlus currently connected to my streamer via usb.  I’m thinking about adding a DDC as well.  My understanding when using the Terminator II or Plus the Iris may be all you want since you will use the clock in the Terminator rather than the clock in the DDC.  Alvin made a YouTube video about it as well.  Have you looked into this?

@marco1 - yes, I agree. I am currently using the Gaia with AES3 which works well, but I think an Iris connected over i2s could still be an improvement. 

I am playing around with a DSP active crossover (dspNexus by Danville Signal) which would replace my T+, so I'm not going to invest in another DDC until I decide which direction I'm going to go.