Loud Orange PI Hat (discontinued)

What is it?

This is Loud Orange Pi Hat, that adds dual stereo audio capability to your Pi. It uses native I2S output of Orange Pi together with ubiquitous MAXIM Integrated MAX98357 DAC with class D amp.

Why did I build it

I want to bring modern hobbyist technologies to the world of classic speakers and amps gear. I build systems that keep that old-school ish look, but add online streaming and smart remote capabilities. I build this project as a possible core of such solution, where small but much capable box with Orange Pi in it drives large Pro-sized and Pro-sounded audio

Initially I created a line-level Hi-Fi version of the board. I use it myself with the off-the-shelf amp to sort of modernize pre-internet era audio gear with Spotify and the rest of the family.

It works great, but it lacks proper integration between music source and the amp. I even connected the amp via relay, but you cannot control input switch remotely etc.

At some point I came to idea of standalone device that would have amp on-board. In that setup amp would probably not be that sophisticated, but at least I can have as much control over it, as I need.

Why Loud Orange Pi Hat?

It is a simple yet powerful solution that adds audio capabilities to your Orange Pi based project. All you need to complete setup is a pair of speakers. Although not too powerful, it produces decent audio quality, which means it is suitable for high quality audio streaming.

Why Orange Pi?

It’s capable and reasonably priced, and great value for money. But most notably, Raspberry’s availability is nil at the moment of writing. Orange Pi is not a perfect alternative, not nearly as good support level as Big Pi. But in terms of audio quality it is no compromise, and that what matters most

Key features

  • Dual I2S MAX98357 DAC with built in D-Class amp
  • 3 W per channel on 4 Ohm load
  • Up to 92% efficiency
  • Dual screw-terminal output

How to use

Both software and hardware documentation can be found on project’s Github. You can follow project progress at Hackaday

Where to buy

You may support our work by ordering this product at Tindie