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Thread: Best cheap stereo headphone and line level dac?

  1. #1

    Best cheap stereo headphone and line level dac?

    I have been using the audio board but it is $22 in my country and I only need the stereo line and headphone out (not the SD card and flash memory).
    The pt8211 looked good but it looks like it is only meant for line level, is there a way to use headphones with the PT8211 - maybe using a headphone amp ic or something?
    Besides the pt8211, what other dac options are there?

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    You might want to look at this Adafruit product, which is I2S to headphones:


    I bought this board from Amazon in the USA, perhaps there are similar boards in your country. It doesn't say headphones in the ad, but it has the 3.5mm connector used for headphones. When I tested it, I believe I used speakers that are meant to plug into headphone sockets, but I don't remember. It may be I used amplifiers (the mono boards have amplifiers built-in, the stereo boards don't have amplifiers):


    If you go to ebay, I see a lot of vendors from China offering UDA1334A boards with the headphone output for $4, if you can afford to wait for delivery:


    Here is an example of code that uses these 3rd party boards (it removes the set up for the sgtl5000 in the Audio Shield):

  3. #3
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    I don't know if one should do that... lol
    I've just connected a cheap headset from an old smartphone to the PJRC PT8211 board.
    VERY very loud.
    I don't know any spec of the headset.

    Don't know if it can kill the PT8211, long term..

  4. #4
    Thanks for the reply. The UDA1334A boards look interesting, but they all seem to be at line level - just using headphone jacks. When looking into headphone amplifiers they seem to be expensive and involve op-amp circuits which are way beyond me
    The audio board is seeming like my best option right now to keep headphone output and line level out.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    I've just connected a cheap headset from an old smartphone to the PJRC PT8211 board.
    VERY very loud.
    Would using a trimmer pot to reduce the volume work perhaps?

  6. #6
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    Note, I'm not a audio expert, just somebody who plays at audio, so I can't tell you about the differences between the different outputs. My main thing is for costumes where I want portability. Usually I want mono over stereo.

    I've used simple amplifiers in the past such as:


    For things like costumes, I have moved to the mono speakers with amplifiers built-in (mostly for processesors with a DAC like the Teensy 3.2, 3.5, or 3.6):

  7. #7
    Here's my idea so far...
    Add a stereo potentiometer after the pt8211, this will increase the load of the headphones, and should maybe allow them to be driven by line level outputs meant for much larger loads?
    I'm still very much a beginner in electronics so if there is a better way to do this (or if this straight up doesn't work) please let me know

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