I'm trying to add a speaker to an RPi project, and from what I've read, the RPi's built-in headphone jack is nearly useless for driving even tiny headphone speakers.

What is a good audio amplifier to use to power a fairly small 8ohm 0.5W speaker from the RPi's headphone jack? Can it be something as simple as a mosfet switch, with the gate connected to the headphone jack's signal pin? Or do I need to use something more sophisticated like the circuit outlined here?

I don't have a lot of room in my project, so I can't use a generic off-the-shelf powered speaker. I can fabricate simple circuits myself, but I don't have a lot of resources or time to debug complex circuits, so I need something super simple.


1 Answer 1


Personally, being extremely lazy, if it's for a one-off project I'd just buy one. Adafruit do a few nice (cheap) little amplifier boards:

Adafruit Mono 2.5W Class D Audio Amplifier - PAM8302

Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier - MAX98306

  • 1
    5 for a £ at ebay.co.uk/itm/141663242851
    – joan
    Feb 13, 2016 at 23:51
  • I've had one or two bad experiences with cheap as chips class D audio boards in the past, but at that price those are certainly worth a punt.
    – goobering
    Feb 13, 2016 at 23:54

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