3 watt audio amp

I am building an alarm clock and for the sound I’m using Sparkfun breakout board for a WTV020SD. It has a built in 1/2 watt 8 ohm amp, but I am thinking of using an external amp. The breakout board has a dedicated 16-bit DAC/PWM audio output to use with an external amplifier. My speaker is just a little 3W 4 ohm - Digikey 668-1234-ND. I’m thinking of using either an ISSI IS31AP2005 or Analog Devices SSM2305 audio amplifier. They seem to be the same thing to me, except ISSI is about $0.35, Analog Devices is $1.55. Is this a good choice for my application? In the example circuit (attached) from the data sheet’s I wasn’t sure how I should control the volume (I can’t do it with the WTV020SD breakout board). Would I put an audio potentiometer in for Rext? If so, do I need dual gang one? I’d like to just have a little trimmer pot for the volume.

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In the real world, better the speaker, better the quality...

For example, i happily drive a 20watt (generic) satellite speaker from a 5.1 setup and avoid all the little cheapy speakers, those speakers are generally heaps better sounding regardless of your driver it's just a thought, I use a cheap amplifier with a decent speaker rather than a cheap speaker (they sound tinny)

But you know if you don't mind the power loss you can build a Class A? (the crappiest of all of them) using a half decent power transistor and 3 resistors practically but is a waste, it's better to amplify it in stages and give a feed back , but literally a tip31 a voltage divider gives a killer amplifier circuit if you don't mind wasting the power that is....

"Would I put an audio potentiometer in for Rext?"

Sure, a 1 - 5k? potentiometer, it should not matter be it before or after the filtering cap (to block DC)

cjdelphi: In the real world, better the speaker, better the quality...

For example, i happily drive a 20watt (generic) satellite speaker from a 5.1 setup and avoid all the little cheapy speakers, those speakers are generally heaps better sounding regardless of your driver it's just a thought, I use a cheap amplifier with a decent speaker rather than a cheap speaker (they sound tinny)

But you know if you don't mind the power loss you can build a Class A? (the crappiest of all of them) using a half decent power transistor and 3 resistors practically but is a waste, it's better to amplify it in stages and give a feed back , but literally a tip31 a voltage divider gives a killer amplifier circuit if you don't mind wasting the power that is....

The alarm clock will be in a Doctor Who Tardis (my daughter is a big fan); so I don't have much room for a speaker. Sound quality for this project isn't very important.