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Device support

Recommended

balenaSound has been developed and tested to work on the following devices:

Device TypeDefault modeStandalone mode (STANDALONE)Multi-room mode (MULTI_ROOM)Multi-room client mode (MULTI_ROOM_CLIENT)
Raspberry Pi (v1 / Zero / Zero W)1STANDALONE2
Raspberry Pi 2STANDALONE2
Raspberry Pi 3 3MULTI_ROOM4
Raspberry Pi 4 3MULTI_ROOM
Intel NUCMULTI_ROOM
balenaFin1MULTI_ROOM

Notes

[1]: We recommend using a DAC or USB sound card for these device types. See audio interfaces for more details.

[2]: Multi-room master functionality is disabled on Raspberry Pi 1 and 2 family devices due to performance constraints. They can however function in multi-room client mode in conjunction with another device that supports multi-room mode. Read more about modes of operation here.

[3]: There is a known issue where on the 64 bit version of balenaOS no output is comming through the audio jack/hdmi. You can fix that with a workaround. This the website: https://sound.balenalabs.io/docs/support#troubleshooting (Scroll down to No audio when using balenaOS 64 bit on Raspberry Pi 3's)

[4]: There is a known issue with all variants of the Raspberry Pi 3 where Bluetooth and WiFi interfere with each other. This will only impact the performance of balenaSound if you use a Pi 3 as the master server to do multi-room bluetooth streaming, resulting in stuttering audio (Airplay and Spotify Connect will work fine, as well as all streaming methods with multi-room disabled). In this cases we recommend the use of a Raspberry Pi 4 as the master server or a Pi 3 with a bluetooth dongle.

Experimental

Devices with experimental support have been tested to work, though we have found compelling reasons for not including them as first-class citizens of balenaSound. If you are shopping for parts, we do not recommend you buy a device from this list.

Some of the reasons we've flagged devices as experimental include:

  • device requires multiple extra hardware pieces (USB dongles, adapters, etc)
  • device has known bugs that prevent some features to work properly and the timeline for a fix is not clear
Device TypeStandalone mode (STANDALONE)Multi-room mode (MULTI_ROOM)Multi-room client mode (MULTI_ROOM_CLIENT)Comments
NVIDIA Jetson Nano- Requires WiFi USB dongle (or ethernet cable)
- Requires Bluetooth USB dongle.
- No built-in audio support (see this bug). As a workaround, requires USB or DAC soundcard.
BeagleBone Black- Requires WiFi USB dongle (or ethernet cable)
- Requires Bluetooth USB dongle.
- Requires USB sound card
- Requires USB hub as it has a single USB port