Sparkfun MP3 Player Shield

Sparkfun ElectronicsSKU: RB-Spa-535
Manufacturer #: DEV-12660

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  • Sparkfun MP3 Player Shield
  • Offers a 3.5 mm audio out jack
  • 0.1-inch spaced header for speaker out
  • Features a microSD card slot

The Sparkfun MP3 Player Shield is an MP3 decoder with the capabilities of storing music files onto a run-of-the-mill microSD card, thus giving you the ability to add music or sound effects to any project. With this board you can pull MP3 files from a microSD card and play them using only one shield, effectively turning any Arduino into a fully functional stand-alone MP3 player.

The MP3 Shield utilizes the VS1053B MP3 audio decoder IC to decode audio files. The VS1053 is also capable of decoding Ogg Vorbis/MP3/AAC/WMA/MIDI audio and encoding IMA ADPCM and user-loadable Ogg Vorbis.

The VS1053 receives its input bitstream through a serial input bus (SPI). After the stream has been decoded by the IC, the audio is sent out to both a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, as well as a 2-pin 0.1-inch pitch header.

This shield comes populated with all components as shown in the images and schematic, but it does not come with headers installed.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Shield is good, documentation link needs to be updated

I got this for sound for a robot project. I had a frustrating experience trying to use the example in the documentation link. The libraries used by the examples have changed and are no longer compatible. Robot Shop: please update the link. Once I found the updated Sparkfun documentation at and libraries and example code at, I was able to get it to work, and it does work well. I was using external speakers (a small "sound bar" for a laptop), so I needed to unsolder and re-solder the jumpers SJ3, SJ4 and SJ5 to avoid a nasty buzzing. After that, the sound was good. One problem I had was when I hooked up a button to pin 10 (which should be free), the arduino would hang when pin 10 was connected to ground. I don't know what that was about, but ended up using one for the A pins (digital pin 15) instead and it solved my problem. Comment RobotShop: Thank you, Ian. We updated the product description and useful documents.

Nifty sound output shield.

Audio quality was absolutely excellent with more than enough control over sound characteristics for my needs. Only small disappointment is the lack of mounting holes, otherwise 5/5. Great service from Robotshop as well.

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