How to build an AirPlay receiver with Raspberry Pi Zero


AirPlay is great for wirelessly piping music through your home, but even basic AirPlay speakers come with a hefty price tag attached. You may already have a perfectly serviceable stereo system in place, so why spend a fortune on new speakers when you can put together your own wireless AirPlay receiver for under £50/$70 with the Raspberry Pi?

This project was inspired by a desire to make full use of a 25-year-old Pioneer stereo system that sounds as good as the day we bought it. We hoped the receiver would make good use of this stereo’s stunning sound, but even we couldn’t have foreseen just how spectacular the results would be.

The components used in this project will cost you about £50/$70, and some soldering is involved. The good news is that it’ll give you a full-blown music receiver that can do much more than simply act as an AirPlay receiver, though that’s the sole focus of this tutorial.

How to build an AirPlay receiver with Raspberry Pi Zero

Your AirPlay receiver will consist of a number of components, and you’re free to trade up or down as you see fit. We picked the Raspberry Pi Zero because it costs about a fiver, but you can easily adapt this project to any Raspberry Pi model – doing so may cost more, but you’ll avoid the need to do any soldering and you’ll even have the option of turning your AirPlay receiver into a standalone system – all you need to do is provide speakers.

If you’re thinking of buying another Raspberry Pi model, watch our video below to see if the Raspberry Pi 3 could replace your current PC.