I have asked this question on raspberry pi forum but no response.

I am trying to make a web radio alarm with display and control using a sense hat. I got the radio working first on an old RPi A using mpc and the 3.5mm jack. When I added the sense hat the sound was dire so I got an HDMI to VGA with audio adapter and used PiZero. However the sound is still dire. Is there any way to get good sound from a PiZero with sense hat attached?

EDIT - following the advice below I scrapped the HDMI audio output and bought a pHAT DAC from pimoroni. This works really well and I would advise everyone to do something similar.

1 Answer 1


I haven't tested any audio options with the Pi Zero aside from the HDMI out (which worked fine for me, but I wasn't doing anything clever with the GPIO pins at the time). That said, your options with the Zero should be the same as with any other Pi. You should be able to use any compatible USB sound card, or a GPIO I2S DAC (the Sense HAT uses the I2C pins, ruling those out) such as the pHAT DAC.

I took a quick look at the pin usage of the Sense HAT and the pHAT DAC, and it looks to me like you should be fine to stack the hats up. Make sure your power supply is sufficient to run everything all at once.

  • Thanks @goobering I might have to go for the pHat DAC in that case. Sadly I think the assembly will then be too fat to fit inside my beautifully crafted oak case! Oh well.
    – paddyg
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 22:31

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