Picture of raspbAIRy - the RaspberryPi-based Airplay speaker
With the delivery of my second RaspberryPi I finally got the chance to start this long-planned project:

I wanted to replace my old bathroom radio with a  more contemporary device by building a network-enabled speaker. Because I'm a user of several iDevices, the idea of making the speaker AirPlay-compatible became the basis of my further work.
After some googling I discovered James Laird's amazing shairport client for Linux. The initial installation on the RasPi worked like a charm, so I decided to take the project one step further by making it wireless. With a little help from Google again and some twiddling I finally got it to work and started writing this Instructable.

Have fun reading how it all went down and maybe build your own version of the raspbAIRy.

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools
This Instructable is based on the metric system and originates from Germany, thus dimensions are in millimeters and line voltage is 220V. I got most of the parts at my local electronics retailer or already had them laying around. The RasPi was ordered online at Farnell, the speaker cloth was found on eBay and the MDF was bought and already cut in width at a local hardware store.
  • RaspberryPi
RaspberryPi Model B with SD Card
Supported USB WiFi Adapter, like my LogiLink Nano Adapter
220V AC to 5V DC power supply
  • Sound
3,5W Mono Amplifier, in my case a Kemo M031N
Broadband speaker
White LED, 5mm
5x 475Ω resistors
2x 20kΩ resistors
10kΩ rotary potentiometer with knob
Power switch
Dip switch
3,5 mm audio socket and cable
220V AC to 12V DC power supply
Cable with power plug
  • Case
250 x 250 mm speaker cloth
1500 x 200 x 5 mm Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)
600 x 200 mm artificial leather
Wood glue
  • Tools
Screwdriver and screws
Soldering iron and solder
Other typical workshop equipment
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thomasweenk5 months ago

Can this be combined with a bluetooth capability? For when you are outside

rommell.arma6 months ago


Is there a possibility that this can stream HD Videos from any android or IOS device??? I would love to do this.

Martv8 months ago


Do you need two power suplies? Or can you use a converter like this:


Martv Martv8 months ago

I mean, can you use one wallwart?

shubi_bayasaa10 months ago

thank you for this tutorial, what is R and L ?

zwuckl (author)  shubi_bayasaa8 months ago

Sorry for the late reply, R (right) and L (left) are the + voltage lines of the stereo audio signal.

Thank you for replying

ramanar8 months ago

I am sorry to say this inspite of detailed steps for building the project there is no information given regarding how to use the project /operate the project or what this airplay speaker is capable of like whether it produce any sound/ music? nothing clearly explained???

zwuckl (author)  ramanar8 months ago

Hey ramanar, I wasn't aware that this needed to be explicitly stated. This speaker provides Airplay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPlay) audio playback functionality. After booting you simply pair it with any given state-of-the-art Apple device for audio stream. Thus, the speaker is indeed capable of (re)producing the sound from your, let's say, iPhone or iPad.

erwan1 year ago

Something you may want to add: setting up your OS as read-only would allow you to safely turn it off quickly, without having to ssh and shutdown properly. Since you ensure there is never any write, there is no risk to shut it down during a write that leaves your SD card corrupted and your system unable to boot.

I followed this for Arch Linux, there are tutorials for Raspbian also if you search:


I'm sure some people actually turn it off brutally without configuring it as read-only, but doing that you never know when you'll corrupt your SD card!

zwuckl (author)  erwan8 months ago

Good thought. Thanks for the input :)

erwan1 year ago

I'm building that in an old radio I have laying around :)

How did you connect the 2 power blocs by cable, did you cut the pins that usually go to the wall outlet or something?

zwuckl (author)  erwan1 year ago

Exactly. I simply sawed off the basis of the case including the pins, cut the wires behind and soldered extension wires on.

Thomas H.1 year ago

Really cool project!

I have two Raspberry Pi's lying around (one is model A and the other B).

I bought the A by mistake and I think I can do something similar to your project with it, since it doesn't need the Ethernet port and only one USB port.

The main difference is that I want to make it compatible with android.

"Compatible with Android" doesn't mean much, the real question is the application you want to use. Some Android application actually support output to Airplay, like DS Audio that I'm using to stream from my Synology NAS.

Or, maybe you want to make a generic blutooth speaker:


i realized two similar project with both raspberrys Model A and Model B, both are working and the updated firmware makes the audio connector working good. usb is for the ethermax adapter. it is working fine.

tjames231 year ago

Hi, I really like this and plan on doing something similar but inside a vintage radio. Are you happy with the way it sounds? Is it loud enough? Thanks,

Banana Joe1 year ago

hi Zwuckl,

i have one question to the quality of the sound. i builded a similar Box like yours. and just was wondering if your speaker makes backgrund nioses or interferenes after power on the box.

Dinobe1 year ago

I absolutely love the idea and have been thinking about this as well for a while. Was thinking of switching from Squeezebox to Sonos, but I love this solution.

Quick question: how is the (audio) output from the RPI connected to the Kemo amp? Did you use the 3,5mm² socket from the RPI with a cable or did you connect some of the pin on the RPI? (if so, which ones?)

zwuckl (author)  Dinobe1 year ago

Hi Dinobe, sorry for the late reply. The amp is connected via a soldered on 3.5mm plug that fits the standard analog audio output of the Pi.

So no magical GPIO wiring involved here...

waters991 year ago
What was the diameter of the speaker used?
mbertei1 year ago
is compatible with ios7?

zwuckl (author)  mbertei1 year ago
Hi mbertei, sorry for the late reply.
I've not tested this setup under iOS 7, but I'm quite sure that if you keep the software update it should be supported by now. Alternatively, have a look at: https://github.com/abrasive/shairport
There are some comments on iOS 7.
TexyUK1 year ago
Any way of getting the iD3 tag information on the Pi, ie from the streaming audio?

zwuckl (author)  TexyUK1 year ago
Good thought. I'm not quite sure if there's shairport support for that. Since my built is headless I haven't really checked.
l19bal1 year ago
this looks so neat and professionally made!
amalething2 years ago
I too am really interested in a script to power on and off the amplifier. I've built a circuit with a relay by copying a tutorial over at OpenHomeAutomation (http://openhomeautomation.net/control-a-relay-from-anywhere-using-the-raspberry-pi/), but I've found no instructions on the internet on how the Pi can activate (and deactivate) the switch.
Obscuredude2 years ago
Hi - that is just what I have been looking to do for some time now. Have you managed to get it working?

PS - I currently use a separate device to detect the audio signal and switch a power relay - this works well but it would be great to be able to get rid of a box.

PPS - using Raspbian with Shairport
nickb8002 years ago
Beautiful build! I'm thinking about doing something similar, using the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi to control a relay which turns on (and off) the amplifier circuit, so that the amp turns on when you start streaming audio to the Pi, and off when you stop streaming
zwuckl (author)  nickb8002 years ago
Thanks! I like your idea a lot, as it would simplify the operating a lot. How would you check if there's something streaming? Do you periodically check mpc's status or is shairport itself capable of that?
louieaw2 years ago
Quick question. Trying to do a similar project. Is it necessary to have the two inputs (The RPi and Aux) on separate grounds? Why not just connect the two and have one SPDT switch?
zwuckl (author)  louieaw2 years ago
I guess you could use common ground for both inputs and then just integrate one summing circuit after the SPDT. I did it the "complicated" way because I had all those parts laying around and needed to fresh up my soldering skills ;)
Rick Pinman2 years ago
Hi !
Thanks for your job i'm very interested into make my own one !!
But i'm pretty interested about your future plans in particular for the bluetooth support.
When will you adapt your article about that change ?
zwuckl (author)  Rick Pinman2 years ago
Hey Rick. Thanks for your interest.
Unfortunately I haven't realized the bluetooth concept to date.
I just looked around this website after reading your comment and found two promising Instructables describing this idea:


If I get the time I will definitely add the bluetooth section soon...
fwonkas2 years ago
I'm basing a project on your work here and I noticed an error. In step three, where you're installing the shairport dependencies, you're missing a dash. Instead of "libio-socket inet6-perl", it should be "libio-socket-inet6-perl".

Thanks for the instructable; it's been very helpful!
zwuckl (author)  fwonkas2 years ago
I just corrected this :) Thanks for the input and good luck with your project!
R1672 years ago
Quite possibly cheaper than any other airplay speaker
danm_daniel2 years ago
legit, awesome project. I will definitely be making this when I have the time
faab2 years ago
A quick tip:
It's very easy to install a remote-desktop server.
By doing this you no longer need to plug in a screen and keyboard but you can configure your speaker remotely from your lap- or desktop.

code #sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

just install a remote desktop client on your desktop to log in on your RaspbAIRy
Windows comes standard with a client.
I use remmina on Ubuntu. works like a charm
zwuckl (author)  faab2 years ago
Great idea, thank you :)
Since the speaker is only configured via command line I chose SSH from my remote Mac. SSH-support comes naturally with Raspbian and even works when you don't know your RaspPi's IP address, simply by connecting to "raspberrypi.local".
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