rhatswell
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:01 pm

Connecting an external speaker to Raspberry Pi B+

Tue May 12, 2015 10:15 pm

Hi, I was wondering if I could get some advice please. I'm completely new to Raspberry PI's so bear with me and forgive me if I'm asking a really simple question. I was wondering if it was possible to connect an external speaker to the Raspberry Pi B+? I have a speaker (which has great sound quality) and I wanted to use that for music and video playback. The speaker only has 1 output which is a 3.5mm jack - plugging that into the Raspberry Pi's doesn't seem to work. I recently purchased a mini portable speaker from Pi Hut as that seemed to be exactly what I was after but that doesn't seem to work either.

I am running OpenElec and using Kodi for my playback. Am I missing something completely obvious here or do I need to do some additional tweaking to get it work?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 14002
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Connecting an external speaker to Raspberry Pi B+

Tue May 12, 2015 11:17 pm

The audio output for the power has very little power. You need to use either an amplifier or powered speakers. I do the later an have no issues.

In addition, you have to tell the Pi where the audio should go. It can be either part of the HDMI signals (thus, you can run the audio through speakers in a TV or an HDMI monitor that has built in speakers) or through the combined audio and composite video jack. The easiest way to set this up if you are new to the Pi is do it through raspi-config.

From a command prompt, enter the command:
sudo raspi-config
Pick item "8 Advanced Options", then "A9 Audio".
At that point you can select among Auto, 3.5mm Jack, or HDMI.

drgeoff
Posts: 11380
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Connecting an external speaker to Raspberry Pi B+

Tue May 12, 2015 11:20 pm

Speakers have an input not an output.

The RPi's audio output is not strong enough to drive an unpowered speaker You need an amplifier or a speaker with an internal amplifier.
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ame
Posts: 3172
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Connecting an external speaker to Raspberry Pi B+

Wed May 13, 2015 12:06 am

OpenElec has a menu option in Settings to select where you'd like to send the audio. I suspect yours is set to HDMI, which is not the 3.5mm output. So, you need to change it to Analog.

ame
Posts: 3172
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Connecting an external speaker to Raspberry Pi B+

Wed May 13, 2015 12:08 am

Oh, and as others have said, you need powered speakers or an amplifier. The 3.5mm output is not strong enough to drive a speaker directly.

rhatswell
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:01 pm

Re: Connecting an external speaker to Raspberry Pi B+

Wed May 13, 2015 12:46 am

Thanks to everybody that replied. I didn't mention that the speaker I originally wanted to use had an amplifier built in and the portable speaker I bought is powered by USB.

However, after changing the setting in OpenElec from HDMI to Analogue, the sound is now coming through the speakers.

I'm very happy, and again, thanks for all the replies.

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