Adding quality audio to an electronic project is surprisingly difficult. Here is a shield for Arduinos that solves this problem. It can play up to 22KHz, 12bit uncompressed audio files of any length. It's low cost, available as an easy-to-make kit. It has an onboard DAC, filter and op-amp for high quality output. Audio files are read off of an SD/MMC card, which are available at nearly any store. Volume can be controlled with the onboard thumbwheel potentiometer.

Plug-and-Play Compatible Boards

The Wave Shield is tested and fully compatible with the following boards:
  • Arduino Uno (all revisions)
  • Arduino Duemilanove and Diecimila (ATmega328 chip recommended)
  • Adafruit Menta (removed from tin for component clearances)

Incompatible Boards

This shield does not work with the following:
  • Arduino Mega 1280, 2560, ADK
  • Arduino Leonardo
  • Arduino Due
This is a complex product with limited compatibility. Additional boards may be supported as the code evolves, but there is no established timeframe nor guarantee that specific boards will ever be included.

Pin Reference

The shield uses the following pins:
  • +5V
  • GND
For SD card:
  • Digital pins 10-13 (Card Select, MOSI, MISO, SCK, respectively)
For DAC (digital-to-analog converter):
  • Digital pins 2-5 (Chip select, clock, data, latch) — these pins may be changed by soldering wire jumpers to different pin locations than those shown in the build tutorial. Edit the file WavePinDefs.h to match.
This shield can usually be stacked with others (including those using SPI), provided that each has a unique Chip Select pin.

Untested Boards and Other Notes

  • Arduino NG or older: this might work, but would be a tight squeeze; the SD library is especially RAM-hungry.
If you have specific experience with this shield on the above boards or others, please use the Feedback & Corrections link at left. Thanks!

If experiencing trouble with a board listed as “compatible,” review the introduction for tips and visit the Adafruit Forums for assistance.

This guide was first published on Aug 14, 2013. It was last updated on Sep 19, 2013.

This page (Wave Shield) was last updated on Aug 12, 2013.

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