I've bought a Pimoroni PHAT DAC for my Raspberry pi zero and despite weeks of searching I can't find a definitive answer on whether I need to get an amp breakout board too like this guy http://frederickvandenbosch.be/?p=1447 (although he's using it to convert the signal to mono and I'd like to keep stereo) to build an Internet radio.

Do I need a https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/adafruit-stereo-3-7w-class-d-audio-amplifier or will the PHAT DAC be enough to power speakers soldered directly to the DAC?

1 Answer 1


The product description reads (among its other specs): Line out stereo jack. So it outputs Line Level signals which are supposed to transmit analog audio signals between components and not to drive speakers. Connecting passive speakers (no integrated amp) at their low impedance (4 to 8 Ω) is not recommended. Their load is significantly lower (almost a short circuit) than the impedance line out is supposed to drive (10 kΩ) which results in a very weak signal and even possible damage of the line out circuit.

Go for an audio amplifier.

  • Of course you can get Powered speakers that have a built-in amplifier - but beware of ones that have the option to be "switched-off" to connect the load of the un-amplified speakers direct to the, typically 3.5mm Stereo Jack Plug ended input lead...!
    – SlySven
    Nov 29, 2016 at 21:06

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