I have some audio files in an SD card and I want to play them using Arduino, thus connect the SD card to the Arduino. Since the transfer of the data will be from the SD card (+3.3V) to the Arduino (+5.0V) and not vice versa, is a level shifter necessary?


2 Answers 2


You can't use SD card without level conversion from 5 V to 3.3 V. Clock and CS line are driven by the master, and the master must request over MOSI the data to read.

  • 1
    .... your answer should be yes, to match the rest of your answer
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 20:55

i have a cheap generic chinese off-brand sd Card module and it does not even work if i do connect vcc to 3v3 so i use it with 5v. and i do not bother to add a Level shifter on the bus lines. and writing text to a file on the sd Card does work like a charm this way. so i would say no you not neccesarily Need the Level shifter but feel free to add it anyway and see if it works this way too.

  • this is funny, do you have many microSD cards?
    – user2497
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 17:48
  • less than a handfull -- and they are still working...
    – der bender
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 22:12
  • but there may be different variants of sd Card modules out in the wild...
    – der bender
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 22:14

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