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Pimoroni Pirate Audio: Turn a Raspberry Pi into an iPod replica with Spotify integration thanks to a high-quality amplifier, DAC and display

Pimoroni Pirate Audio: Turn a Raspberry Pi into an iPod replica with Spotify integration thanks to a high-quality amplifier, DAC and display. (Image source: Adafruit)
Pimoroni Pirate Audio: Turn a Raspberry Pi into an iPod replica with Spotify integration thanks to a high-quality amplifier, DAC and display. (Image source: Adafruit)
With the Pimoroni Pirate Audio, you can now transform a Raspberry Pi into a media player with Spotify integration. The Pirate Audio integrates a headphone amplifier, a DAC, a 3.5 mm jack, a 1.3-inch IPS colour display and four physical buttons.

Apple may have killed all but the iPod Touch of its iconic iPod range, but that does not mean that media players have died off completely. Sony still makes products like the NW-A45, for example, while there are plenty of lesser brands churning out MP3 players.

Alternatively, you could make your own. Now, you can even create one using a Raspberry Pi thanks to the Pirmoroni Pirate Audio. Sold as a headphone amp, the unit is an all-in-one solution that not only has a headphone amp and 3.5 mm jack but also a 1.3-inch display and a DAC. Specifically, the Pirate Audio incorporates the following:

  • PAM8908 headphone amplifier
  • Low-gain/high-gain switch (high-gain boosts to 12 dB)
  • PCM5100A DAC
  • 3.5 mm stereo jack
  • 1.3-inch colour IPS LCD - ST7789 driver (240 x 240 px) 
  • Four physical buttons

According to the manufacturer, the Pirate Audio can output amplified 24-bit/192 kHz digital audio via I2S. Its Texas Instruments PCM5100A DAC offers a dynamic range of up to 100 dB, which also applies to its signal-to-noise ratio. Meanwhile, the PAM8908 headphone amplifier delivers up to 25 mW per channel. The 65 x 30.5 x 9.5 mm board is compatible with all 40-pin header Raspberry Pi models, although its dimensions mirror those of the Model Zero.

The Pimoroni Pirate Audio costs US$24.95 on Adafruit. Pimoroni has developed software for the unit too, which you can find here. You will need to connect a battery expansion board and create a case for the device if you want to use it as a true media player, though.

(Image source: Adafruit)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Pimoroni Pirate Audio: Turn a Raspberry Pi into an iPod replica with Spotify integration thanks to a high-quality amplifier, DAC and display
Alex Alderson, 2020-02-26 (Update: 2020-02-26)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.