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SparkFun Audio Codec Breakout - WM8960 (Qwiic)

by Sparkfun

The SparkFun WM8960 Audio Codec Breakout is a low-power, high-quality stereo codec with 1W Stereo Class D speaker drivers and headphone drivers.

The WM8960 acts as a stereo audio ADC and DAC and communicates using I2S, a standard audio data protocol (not to be confused with I2C). This audio codec is chock full of features some of which include advanced on-chip digital signal processing for automatic level control (ALC) for the line or microphone input, programmable gain amplifier (PGA), pop and click suppression, and its ability to configure I2S settings and analog audio path through software via I2C.

The 6x flexible analog input pins allow for a variety of sound source signal types to be routed internally to the ADC inputs. These signal types include line level and microphone level (balanced, and un-balanced) sources. This allows you to accept audio from the sound card on your computer, headphone output of your smartphone, electret microphones, MEMs microphone, etc. The flexible analog signal routing includes PGAs and multiple boost stages so that it can accept a wide range of audio signal levels.

Its efficient class-D driver also means low heat and long battery life when driving 8Ω speakers at up to 1W per channel for portable audio applications. As an alternative output, users can also use the audio codec to drive 16Ω headphones at up to 40mW for portable audio applications.

Audio feeling a bit... empty? Turn on the 3D enhancement to artificially increase the separation between the left and right channels. In other words, you will feel as if the room is full of sound coming from all directions during playback. SparkFun have written an extensive Arduino Library that allows you to easily control all of the audio codec's features from simple volume control to 3D-enhanced audio playback.

The board breaks out the WM8960 pins along the edge of the PCB with 0.1"-spaced pins to connect to a breadboard. Utilizing the handy Qwiic system saves you from manually wiring the I2C port when configuring the audio codec's settings. A power LED (PWR) is included on the board to indicate when power is applied to the audio CODEC through 3.3V. It can be disabled by cutting the LED jumper on the bottom side. To power the analog (AVDD) and speaker driver (SPKVDD), you will need to include power on the VIN pin. The built-in XC6222 3.3V/700mA voltage regulator regulates the voltage down for the analog circuit. Jumpers for the analog circuit (i..e. AVDD-ISO) and speaker drivers (VIN/SPKVDD) are included for users that want to power each with a separate power supply.

This board is great for projects that require you to encode or decode audio signals. Add the SparkFun Audio Codec Breakout WM8960 to your next portable digital player or immersive VR game.

The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.

Get started with the WM8960 Audio Codec Breakout Guide


  • DAC SNR 98dB (‘A’ weighted), THD -84dB at 48kHz, 3.3V
  • ADC SNR 94dB (‘A’ weighted), THD -82dB at 48kHz, 3.3V
  • Pop and click suppression
  • 3D Enhancement
  • Stereo Class D Speaker Driver
    • <0.1% THD with 1W per channel into 8Ω BTL speakers
    • 70dB PSRR @217Hz
    • 87% efficiency (1W output)
    • Flexible internal switching clock
  • On-chip Headphone Driver
    • 40mW output power into 16Ω at 3.3V
    • Capless mode support
    • THD -75dB at 20mW, SNR 90dB with 16Ω load
  • Microphone Interface
    • Pseudo differential for high noise immunity
    • Integrated low noise MICBIAS
    • Programmable ALC / Limiter and Noise Gate
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Low Supply Voltages
    • Analogue
      • 2.7V to 3.6V (Speaker supply up to 5.5V)
      • Typically 3.3V (via 3.3V Voltage Regulator)
    • Digital core and I/O
      • 1.71V to 3.6V
      • Typically 3.3V (via Qwiic or 3.3V PTH)
  • On-chip PLL provides flexible clocking scheme
  • Sample rates (kHz): 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48
  • Built-In XC6222 3.3V/700mA Voltage Regulator for AVDD
  • 1x 4-pin Qwiic Connector
  • I2C Address: 0x1A (unshifted)
  • I2C Pull-Up Resistors (2.2kΩ)
  • LED
    • PWR
  • Jumpers
    • LED
    • I2C
    • 3.3V/SPKVDD/VIN
    • AVDD-ISO
  • Board Dimensions: 1.00in. x 1.60in. (25.4mm x 40.6mm)