Creative Commons images are CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Description: The Spectrum Shield enables your Arduino with the capability of splitting a stereo audio input into 7-bands per channel. You can then read the amplitude of each channel using the ADC on your Arduino allowing you to control everything from LEDs to motors, pumps to relays, or even fire, all with sound. With this shield you will be able to have almost any project be able to react to music or sound!

The Spectrum Shield features the MSGEQ7 graphic equalizer display filter. Two of these ICs allow you to split a stereo audio input into 7-bands (per channel) and read the amplitude of each using the ADC on your Arduino. The shield is populated with two 1/8" stereo jacks (like you would find on a pair of headphones). One serves as a stereo input and the other is a pass-through output which allows you to connect the Spectrum Shield in-line between your audio source and your stereo system without interruption. This revision of the Spectrum Shield has been updated to the Arduino R3 layout but still requires you to solder on your own headers (check the Recommended Products section below). This shield can be used to create sound visualizers, detect patterns in music or add sound activation to your microcontroller projects.

Note: This product is a collaboration with Ben Moyes of Bliptronics. A portion of each sales goes back to them for product support and continued development.


Recommended Products

Customer Comments

  • Is there any reason why you chose pin 4 & 6? I dont see any real logic for this decision. Just asking because I am coding an MSGEQ7 Lib with examples. And those examples should work with the shield as well. Was there any intention behind this?

  • Nice to see that this product lives on (=gets updated). :-)

    I still don’t understand why you have two jacks for “passthrough” when a simple 3.5 mm stereo splitter is a rather cheap and flexible solution. It would possibly make sense if you had some sort of “jumper” so that you could separate them and one as input and the other as modified/filtered output based on your own MSGEQ7 code but as far as I can see there are just straight traces between the two jacks.

    IMHO a compact MSEQ7 breakout board would probably be more convenient in several cases (compact speaker builds etc).

    It would be very convenient to either have a small board with the necessary MCU pins in one end, audio “LGR” pins in the other end and two MSEQ7 chips with checked/“tuned” support components in the middle OR a similar compact board with a single 3.5 mm jack in the “audio” end and all 8 pins (VCC, GND, Reset, Strobe, AnalogOutL, AnalogOutR, AudioInL ,AudioInR) on the other end.

    That way you could use it as a slightly longer but much smarter version of the 3.5 mm jack breakout board.

    • The extra stereo jack adds around $0.10 to the cost of the board, and it useful for those not having a splitter lying around. It is good that it was kept. There are compact breakout boards available (Google is your friend). I think this is the only Arduino shield though.

  • Got mine a week ago but having problems audio out - the audio doesn’t sound right when it pass through the shield. Tried different 4 male to male audio cables (cables them self work fine), different audio source and headphones/speaker. Also tried it with power on and off. seems like something wrong with the shield I got :(

  • Looking at the schematic, C1 and C3 are given as 1,000pF. When I look at the data sheet ( the values are given as 0.1uF (100,000pF). It seems like this deviation may mean some of the sharper volume peaks are missed? I could be wrong …

  • I see you’re using the SMD version of the MSGEQ7. Will you be selling them?

  • Has anything changed from the previous version besides the header layout?

    • General production upgrades to improve the quality to all users. Also, there’s now a shiny new hookup guide ;)

Customer Reviews

No reviews yet.

Related Tutorials

Spectrum Shield Hookup Guide

March 24, 2015

Want your project to react to music? Then the SparkFun Spectrum Shield is the product for you! Get going in no time with this Hookup Guide.