I'm looking to purchase an Arduino for a little robot I'm going to make. The reason I've chosen Arduino is because it's much easier to use with servos and LEDs than a Raspberry Pi, but a nice little touch would be to have it play some sounds (voice recordings and mechanical SFX). I was just wondering (now I'm not after opinions here, but looking more at how each of the boards have been designed) what the best Arduino board for playing sound is, or if they are all pretty much the same in this regard.

(Note 'pins' was the best tag I could find for this post for lack of a 'sound' or 'speakers' one. If you want to edit it to something more appropriate please do)

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    (Sorry, I can't add this as a comment) If you're looking for a good audio processing chip then I would recommend you the VLSI VS1003 chip. It costs $2.30 (standalone) or $7 as a module (on eBay today) and it's able to play MP3 (even VBR), WMA, WAV (ADPCM) and even MIDI. Also it can record sound from mic or line in and encode it as ADPCM WAV. Supports streaming and has other powerful features, like filters and bass boost and is well documented (see the datasheet). You would need some data source for it, so either a st
    – P.W.
    Feb 26, 2016 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


If all you need is to play back lo-fi audio then any with PWM will do, which means that any Arduino will do. If you want hi-fi sound then you'll need a DAC, which means either choosing the Due or using a discrete DAC via SPI. If you need decoding of complex audio formats such as MP3 or Vorbis then you'll need either the Due for its power, or a separate audio playback shield that supports the formats you're interested in.

  • I believe Due had proper DAC's. It also has a fair bit more muscle to do some processing besides playing the sound.
    – jippie
    Jul 2, 2014 at 5:33
  • The Due has dual 12-bit DACs, and runs a 32-bit ARM core at 84MHz versus the 8-bit AVR core at 16MHz of most other Arduinos. Jul 2, 2014 at 5:34

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