Elehobica's Raspberry Pi Pico-Powered Hi-Res Audio Player Sounds Like a Great Idea

Supporting up to 24-bit 192kHz playback, this portable music player includes a full graphical user interface — complete with cover art.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoMusic / HW101

Pseudonymous maker Elehobica has designed a portable music player for those who want high-resolution playback on low-cost hardware — turning a Raspberry Pi Pico into a battery-powered gadget supporting up to 24-bit 192kHz audio and with a graphical interface for file selection and playback control.

"Pico_WAV_Player is Hi-Res WAV player for Raspberry Pi Pico," Elehobica explains of the project, brought to our attention by Adafruit. "This project features playback up to Hi-Res WAV format, mono, stereo, 16-bit, 24-bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz."

The heart of the build is, of course, the Raspberry Pi Pico and its RP2040 dual-core microcontroller. To this, Elehobica has added a 0.96" LCD panel based on the Sitronix ST7735S controller and a Texas Instruments PCM5102 32-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to handle turning WAV files stored on a microSD card into audio output on a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The project goes beyond just playing back audio, though, implementing a graphical user interface that includes file and folder browsing, the ability to read track tags stored in WAV files' LIST chunks, and even to display cover art images stored in JPEG format. For portability, Elehobica has also designed a case that houses all hardware plus an optional battery for on-the-go operation.

This isn't Elehobica's first Raspberry Pi Pico-powered high-resolution audio experiment: late last month we covered another of the maker's projects which turned the low-cost development board into a device capable of recording an S/PDIF input to a WAV file on a microSD card — complete with automated track splitting, silence detection, and more.

Source code and documentation for the project is available on Elehobica's GitHub repository under the permissive BSD two-clause license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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