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Play ESP DIY Kit

Play ESP DIY Kit

Louder ESP32

Availability: In stock

What is it

Louder ESP Audio Dock is a combination of an external I2S DAC capable of driving full-size speakers (I mean grown-up home stereo) and a PSRAM chip. This combination provides your compact ESP32 module with both the necessary memory and capabilities to develop Hi-Fi products.

Louder ESP Audio Dock


Over the past few years, I dedicated my time to developing various solutions using ESP devices. It all began with the ESP8266, which had limited CPU power, restricting it to basic tasks like simple sound alerts. However, with the arrival of the ESP32, everything changed. This new model brought two significantly more capable cores, providing a powerhouse for handling communication and real-time decoding simultaneously. Furthermore, the inclusion of 4MB of PSRAM proved to be crucial, enabling effective buffering for streamed content.

I developed a diverse selection of ESP32 docks that allow for rapid prototyping across the entire spectrum of ESP32 chips. These docks cater to various needs, ranging from small, compact devices resembling toys to large, full-sized speakers. The Louder ESP is a high-end Hi-Fi powerhouse, offering top-of-the-line performance and capabilities.


  ESP Audio Solo ESP Audio Duo Hifi ESP Louder ESP
Image image image image image
Docks with ESP8266, ESP32C3, ESP32S2 Mini modules ESP32 Mini Module ESP32 Mini Module ESP32 Mini Module
DAC Single I2S DAC (MAX98357) with built in D-Class amp Dual I2S DAC (MAX98357) with built in D-Class amp PCM5100A 32bit Stereo DAC -100 dB typical noise level Stereo I2S DAC (TAS5805M) with built in D-Class amp
Output (4Ω) 3W 2x 3W Non-amplified stereo output 2x 15W at 12V Vin
Output (8Ω) 1.5W 2x 1.5W Non-amplified stereo output 2x 23W at 22V Vin
Adds   8MB PSRAM (4MB usable) 8MB PSRAM (4MB usable) 8MB PSRAM (4MB usable)

Onboard PSRAM

Audio streaming requires proper buffering to work, even with ESP32 500K of RAM it is a challenging task. For that reason, most of the projects will require WROVER modules that have onboard PSRAM IC.

Louder ESP has an 8MB PSRAM chip onboard, connected via a high-speed SDIO interface. This effectively turns your regular WROOM module into a WROVER module with no effort required. Any code using PSRAM will just work out-of-the box.

Board Pinout

ESP32 26 22 25 16 17 21 27 33 34

Starting from revision E, Louder ESP exposes an Ethernet header, compatible with the popular W5500 module

ESP32 18 23 19 05 2/20MHz 35 14

Software samples

In the software section two firmware examples are provided.

  • esp32-i2s-bare is base I2S implementation based on ESP-IDF implementation directly.
  • esp32-i2s-esp8266audio is based on excellent ESP8266Audio library (it works with the whole ESP range, don't get fooled by the name), providing minimum code implementation.
  • esp32-i2s-web-radio is based on the same library, providing minimum web-readio stream player. It expects a playlist as an input in the 'data' folder.

Platformio IDE

All samples are provided as Plarformio IDE projects. After installing it, open the sample project. Select the proper environment based on your dock. Run the Build and Upload commands to install necessary tools and libraries, and build and upload project to the board. Communication and proper upload method selection will be handled by IDE automatically.

Arduino IDE

Follow the ESP8266Audio library guide. Default settings will work out of the box with ESP8266 and ESP32 boards. For ESP32C3 and ESP32S2 board please adjust pinout according to the above section


Squeezelite-ESP32 is a multimedia software suite, that started as a renderer (or player) of LMS (Logitech Media Server). Now it is extended with - Spotify over-the-air player using SpotifyConnect (thanks to cspot) - AirPlay controller (iPhone, iTunes ...) and enjoy synchronization multiroom as well (although it's AirPlay 1 only) - Traditional Bluetooth device (iPhone, Android)

And LMS itself - Streams your local music and connects to all major online music providers (Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz) using Logitech Media Server - a.k.a LMS with multi-room audio synchronization. - LMS can be extended by numerous plugins and can be controlled using a Web browser or dedicated applications (iPhone, Android). - It can also send audio to UPnP, Sonos, Chromecast, and AirPlay speakers/devices.

All ESP32-based boards are tested with Squeezelite-ESP32 software, which can be flashed using nothing but a web-browser. You can use Squeezelite-ESP32 installer for that purpose.

How to flash and configure ("ESP Audio Duo", "HiFi-ESP" and "Louder ESP")

Use Squeezelite-ESP32 installer to flash firmware first.

Use Generic/I2S profile
Connect the device to USB port and select it from the list

Press Flash and wait around 2 minutes
(Optional) You may enter the serial console to get more information
Device is in recovery mode. Connect to squeezelite-299fac wifi network with squeezelite password (your network name suffix will be different)
When redirected to the captive portal let the device scan the wifi network and provide valid credentials
You can use provided IP address ( on the screenshot) to access settings page
ESP Audio DuoHiFi-ESP Navigate to Hardware section and provide following updates in the DAC Options DAC model: I2S Clock GPIO: 26 Word Select GPIO: 25 Data GPIO: 22 Press Save button

["Louder ESP"] Navigate to NVS Editor section and provide following updates dac_config: 




i2c_config: scl=27,sda=21,speed=400000,port=1 

set_GPIO: 33=vcc Press Commit button

(Optional) You may change device names to something close to your heart
Exit recovery


You can use it now

Bluetooth Spotify Connect AirPlay LMS Renderer
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Please visit hardware section for board schematics and PCB designs. Note that PCBs are shared as multi-layer PDFs.


The Dock

Image Legend
image(Rev A) imageTAS5805M DACimageSpeaker Terminalsimage8MB PSRAM ICimage3V3 Drop-Down voltage regulator (powers ESP32)imageInput Voltage terminal
image(Rev B) imageTAS5805M DACimageSpeaker Terminals - 8MB PSRAM IC (Hidden under ESP32 module) - 3V3 Drop-Down voltage regulator (powers ESP32, hidden under ESP32 module)imageInput Voltage terminal

Louder Optional SPI Ethernet module

Image Legend
Optional Ethernet header is exposed on the bottom side of the PCB image
Use popular W5500 based module as displayed on the picture image
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Hobbyist and maker, first took soldering iron at the age of 9 and never dropped it since. Fond of audio related electronics and products. Currently developing everything within 8 to 64 bits range, including cloud connected devices.