Orange PI Media Center

What is it?

The Orange Pi Home Media Center is a series of compact and neatly designed hardware projects that combine the power of the Orange Pi One board and the Hi-Fi DAC.

The HiFi version of the board uses the capabilities of the TI’s PCM5100 32-bit DAC with line-level output, while the Loud version is based on MAX98357A DAC with a D-class amplifier delivering 3-5W per channel.

This versatile media center provides a customizable and fully open-source solution for home entertainment.

With a minimalistic but functional design inspired by commercial audio gear, it offers a seamless user experience. It aimed to support VolumioMopidy, or any custom firmware you may come up with.

Why did I build it

Initially, I created a line-level Hi-Fi version of the board, followed by an Amped version. I use them myself with the off-the-shelf commercial 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 the music source and the amp. I even connected the amp via relay, but you cannot control the input switch remotely, etc.

At some point, I came to the idea of a standalone device that would either connect to a commercial amplifier or have an amp on board. To complete the picture I added an IR input, so I can add remote control to the setup as well as RGB LED for visual feedback

Why Orange Pi?

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

Key features (HiFi Orange Pi)

  • PCM5100A 32bit Stereo DAC
  • 2.1 VRMS Line level output
  • 100 dB typical noise level
  • Triple LP5907 3.3 V Ultra-Low-Noise LDO
  • 5V USB-C power adapter
  • Mechanical dimensions (WxHxD): 88mm x 38mm x 100mm

Key features (Loud Orange Pi)

  • Dual I2S MAX98357 DAC with built-in D-Class amp
  • 5W per channel on 4 Ohm load (3W on 8 Ohms)
  • Up to 92% efficiency
  • Dual screw-terminal speaker output
  • 5V 3A wall power adapter requirement
  • Mechanical dimensions (WxHxD): 128mm x 44mm x 100mm

Key features (Louder Orange Pi, WIP)

  •  TAS5805M 32bit Stereo DAC
  • 2x 22W at 20V input
  • 65W USB-C PD power adapter
  • Mechanical dimensions (WxHxD): 88mm x 38mm x 100mm

How to use

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

Orange Pi runs ArmbianVolumio and Mopidy and will serve any other idea you may come up with.

Where to buy

You may support our work by ordering this product at Tindie

Current designs

Legacy designs