I would like to have a raspberry pi receive audio through a board of some type that accepts optical input.

I would like to then push that audio that is being received through the optical input to a Wifi network.

Is this possible with a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B?

If not, can someone recommend a microcontroller that may be able to do this?

Is anyone aware of a hat for the Raspberry Pi that will allow for optical input?

I have heard that the Wolfson Audio Card achieves this task? Am i correct? Is there a cheaper version of this?



You're not going to get the job done with the Wolfson card I'm afraid. It has a SPDIF digital in, and line and mic level 3.5mm jack analogue ins, but no toslink ins.

Wolfson audio card

The only device I could find with an even halfway verified toslink input is the Tinytoslink board. The product description claims (emphasis mine):

Hardware can also be modified to an optical input or S/PDIF in-/output with RCA plugs (no software for input tried yet)

There's a fairly lengthy raspberrypi.org forum post that includes some discussion on the specifics of turning the Tinytoslink into an input rather than an output. I'm not sure anyone in there actually posted a fully confirmed 'yes, I made this work as an input', so I'd suggest asking around there and confirming that it'll definitely work before purchasing.

If you're feeling adventurous with your budget you could experiment with el cheapo USB audio interfaces as discussed in this thread on the raspberrypi.org forums. I'm not entirely sure whether he got anywhere either, but the box is only about £8 on Ebay. Might be worth a punt.

If you can persuade the audio into the Pi there are a gazillion ways to stream it back out again - UV4l, ffmpeg, avconv, etc., etc., etc.

  • Thanks for the research and the good explanation. Two questions. 1. Is there another device similar to the raspberry pi that may do this better? 2. What is the difference between spdif in and toslink in? I thought they were the same thing. – hfrog713 Jan 20 '17 at 14:01
  • I'm afraid other devices are off-topic for the board - I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I'd be kinda surprised if there wasn't something a little more audio oriented out there. Strictly speaking you're right about S/PDIF, but toslink is the name commonly used to refer to the optical fibre and connectors used on audio gear. The alternative would be S/PDIF over copper coaxial cable with RCA connectors. – goobering Jan 20 '17 at 15:38
  • @goobering....Thanks for the help. Ok so ill admint, im a huge noob in all that is Audio Processing/Raspberry Pi. My objective is to take in audio (my thought was optical for now so that the TV can still use its speakers while playing audio through the optical cable) and stream it over WiFi so that my phone on the other end can grab the stream. Can someone provide me with a few buzzwords or terms i can google to get the ball rolling? – hfrog713 Jan 20 '17 at 18:26
  • I'd use something like avconv or UV4L. There's no shortage of examples for either. You're looking for something like '[package name] live stream audio'. – goobering Jan 21 '17 at 16:19

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