Wolfson audio card brings high definition audio to the Raspberry Pi

March 11, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
From distributor element 14, this card adds high quality audio playback, stereo recording and voice control inspiration for a “soundwave” of new Pi innovations

Raspberry Pi owners can now use new high quality audio capabilities as the inspiration for their latest Pi innovations thanks to the new Wolfson Audio Card, available exclusively from Farnell element14. The card brings both line-in, line-out headphone and headset support, on-board stereo microphones, and digital audio S/PDIF functionality onto the Raspberry Pi for the first time, opening up a wide range of possibilities such as using the device to create a voice controlled wireless home media network capable of running 24-bit “better than CD quality” music playback.

The Wolfson Audio Card has been developed by Wolfson Microelectronics, the audio specialist that has more than two billion chips designed-in to many of the world’s consumer devices, from high-end audiophile equipment brands such as Linn and Astell&Kern, through to popular mass market devices such as the Samsung GALAXY range of smartphones.

At the heart of the Wolfson Audio Card is the WM5102 chip, a highly-integrated Audio Hub which can be found in many smartphones, tablets and other portable audio devices today, and which enables high resolution audio playback such as that normally found on high-end audio equipment. The Audio Card also includes Wolfson’s WM8804 high performance consumer mode S/PDIF digital interface transceiver and dual WM7220 Wolfson digital MEMS microphones for high quality audio capture and record.

There are hundreds of applications based around four key features that can inspire developers to create and post their ideas on the recently launched Pi Projects resource page:


Play back High Definition audio files

Stereo line-in and line-out ports to connect to your hi-fi system for sound playback and recording on the Raspberry Pi


Build a VoIP conference phone for your Raspberry Pi using the Wolfson Audio Card

Connect a boom microphone and headset to make hands-free calls using VoIP telephony


Record High Definition audio using any of the microphones or line-in ports

Voice activation– onboard stereo digital microphones makes this the