How to Use a Raspberry Pi To Make A Cheap AirPlay Speaker

Posted in Apple, How To, Miscellaneous on 24/05/2013 by J. Glenn Künzler


Raspberry Pi – a sub-$50 pint-sized portable computer – is an extremely versatile device, and as such it can quite often save you money if you have some technical know-how. Jordan Burgess has used it to add AirPlay to a speaker that otherwise lacks the feature, and while the audio quality might not be the best, it works perfectly and means you don’t have to buy extra hardware to make it work – like an Airport Express.

It requires a USB wifi adapter (as Raspberry Pi doesn’t have built in WiFi) and obviously you need an SD card for the Raspberry Pi to run from (such as this one, which comes with an operating system already set up to run a Raspberry Pi), but that’s basically it. It also uses Shairport, a pretty cool piece of software that makes Apple devices believe it’s an official AirPlay Device, when it obviously isn’t.

Clearly a Raspberry Pi AirPlay speaker does have its downsides, but it also has one HUGE benefit that could make all the difference – price. Raspberry Pi units and accessories are also now available with free shipping from


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.