Suggestions for record audio and random audio playback from recordings.


I am working on my first arduino project. I would like to ask for general suggestions/feasibility and recommendations for components:

I want to have a box with a button, hand crank, speaker and microphone (and arduino). I would like the box to have two functions-- first, I would like the user to be able to push the button and record their voice into the microphone and store the audio file on a computer that the arduino is communicating with wirelessly. Second, I would like the arduino to playback previously recorded audio files (recorded by other users) through the speaker when the hand crank is turned.

Can I do it? Like I said this is my first project so I would just like to ask for some general suggestions as to the best way to approach this and also what components you might recommend? I was looking at this shield on the Internet:

would this be a good fit for my project?

Also, I would like to ask please- about the memory for storing the audio files, if I can design the project so that the arduino is sending the audio files to be stored on the computer (can I do that?) then will the amount of memory available on the actual arduino be an issue?

Any suggestions/advice or points in the right direction are highly appreciated!! thanks very much!!!

The Arduino isn't very well suited for audio recording, audio playback, handling files, network storage and streaming. It just lacks processing power, ram and storage. Even if you could create something like you describe with various speciality chips and shields to handle some of the tasks, I doubt it will be a good solution. Better get some platform with more power and on-board hardware for recording, playback and networking to do what you need. Some very cheap single board PC with a small Linux as operating would be a lot better.

Also money-wise, $50 for the sound shield, $40 for the Network shield, $20 for the Arduino brings you're close to the price than those Micro-ITX and Pico-ITX boards and leaves you hoping those shields can co-exist.


Filesize is not a problem when you save MP3's on an SD card. There are a couple of similar solutions for playing back many/long audio recordings as MP3s, and the both combine SD card storage with Audio playback. Take a look at these:

My version, as two separate Electronic Bricks: (It sometimes takes a week for me to get these) The Audio Player: (Click on "Larger photo" to see system together..) The SD Card:

The ADafruit version.. on a shield : (Note: This is a Kit you build) I have made one of these and the audio is excellent. Basically similar to the two parts above, together.

And there are standalone units like this:

It's a cool idea, and you can do it somehow...

DISCLAIMER: I mentioned stuff from my own Shop...

Thanks very much for your suggestions and links. Also, I'm very glad to know about your shop! I want to ask, the solutions you sent would allow me to play the audio back but I would need to add some sort of microphone for recording audio, right? Would I be able to record and playback from the same SD card? Do you have any suggestions for this? Thanks again very much for your advice. I really appreciate it.

I'll try to get some time to research this more.. You're right the ADafruit and my solutions are very similar and require the SD card to have pre-written audio files.

I think there are some standalone (But controllable from Arduino probably) units out there... I'll try to do some more digging. I'd like to be able to source something like this...

Thanks for looking into it. I've been searching around too but, as I mentioned, this is my first project so I really appreciate your advice because while I'm searching I don't really know exactly what I am looking for...well, kinda. Basically I'm just looking for either one component that can record, and playback- or else two components I can combine together to achieve that. I'd be happy to purchase through you and your shop if you think you can suggest something that would work for my project. The audio I will be recording is primarily just people talking, so quality needs to be decent but doesn't have to be amazing. Thanks again very much.

Hi Terry,

I just wanted to check in and see if you had found any standalone units for recording and playing back audio that I could control from the Arduino (or something else). I’ve been looking myself but haven’t come up with anything. thanks!

Maybe this app note would be helpful:


Same concept could be used with external ADC & DAC for wider sampling (12 bits) & higher data rate as well.