The currently announced new member of the Raspberry Pi family - the Raspberry Pi Zero provides only digital audio out via its HDMI connector. What are the options to add analog audio out to this model?

Answers should address both hardware issues and respective software aspects considering the integration in state-of-the-art software frameworks of the Linux kernel, such as ALSA. (E.g. PWM-based audio like with other Raspberry Pi models seem fairly simple in hardware terms and could be plugged to any GPIO pin; but how would this solution be seamlessly integrated into the systems device drivers and the API?)

  • AFIK it has roughly the same GPIO capabilities as the newer PI models, so you may be able to to plug a audio HAT in (their expensive though :/ )
    – Wilf
    Nov 29, 2015 at 19:21
  • Just had a thought though.... raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/38812/…
    – Wilf
    Nov 30, 2015 at 23:15
  • 1
    Find my answer over there ;)
    – Ghanima
    Nov 30, 2015 at 23:33
  • 1
    Worth a try :). May have found out where the pins that were used have gone though (I think..) learn.adafruit.com/introducing-the-raspberry-pi-zero/…
    – Wilf
    Nov 30, 2015 at 23:38
  • Yupp, that's the circuit of the former Pis! I was considering to put that up as answer. But now that you found it. Feel free to make a nice answer of it!
    – Ghanima
    Nov 30, 2015 at 23:41

3 Answers 3


Raspberry Pi Zero is very similar to Raspberry Pi A+ (and B+). The SoC is the same and pinout of the GPIO header is the same too.

All Raspberry Pi sound cards which work with A+ and B+ should work also with Zero without any hardware or software modifications.

I have a good experience with HiFiBerry DAC+ (on Pi 2 B) and here is a confirmation that this card works with Pi Zero: HiFiBerry DAC+ on a Pi Zero

  • PWM-based audio like the other Raspberry Pi models: Adafruit has a nice article that covers the electrical schematics based on the early RC filter of the original Raspberry Pi and the buffered, higher quality audio output of the B+ and Raspberry Pi 2. It also describes how to adjust the used pins in the device tree overlay to change to accesable pins on the Raspberry Pi Zero.

USB audio cards are always an option. This gives the added bonus of higher audio quality and the option for audio in. I have used one for quite some time with my Raspberry Pi 2.

  • 1
    They do work, but I think they do have a issue with high CPU usage
    – Wilf
    Nov 29, 2015 at 19:19

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