RN-52 - Bluetooth Audio Module

This RN-52 Bluetooth from Roving Network is an audio module that provides a highly integrated solution for delivering high quality stereo audio in a small form factor with little difficulty. This module is perfect for a project involving hands free audio for your car, remote controlling your media center, or streaming 2-channel audio.

The RN-52 module combines a class 2 Bluetooth radio with an embedded digital signal processor (DSP). The module is programmed and controlled with a simple ASCII command language. It provides a UART interface, several user programmable I/O pins, stereo speaker outputs, microphone inputs, and a USB port.

  • Fully qualified Bluetooth module
  • FCC Certified
  • Fully configurable UART
  • Dual-channel, differential audio input and output
  • Supports iAP profile
  • Low power sleep mode
  • Maximum over air data rate of 3.0Mbps
  • Compatible with all Bluetooth products that support SPP (almost all do)
  • Embedded Bluetooth stack profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP/HSP, and SPP
  • 3.0 ~ 3.6V operation
  • Bluetooth Technology v3.0 compatible
  • Class 2 power output

RN-52 - Bluetooth Audio Module Product Help and Resources

RN-52 Bluetooth Hookup Guide

August 29, 2013

A hookup guide to get you started with the RN-52 Audio Bluetooth Module Breakout Board.

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April 10, 2014

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Core Skill: Soldering

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3 Soldering

Skill Level: Competent - You will encounter surface mount components and basic SMD soldering techniques are required.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Does any one know if Sparkfun or someone else sells a board with just Power in, ground, speaker positive, and speaker negative? If not, please look into it Sparkfun.

    Edit: If Sparkfun develops it, can it be smaller than this board?

  • I'm eagerly awaiting a breakout board for this...

  • Hi, I have a "simple" question: How can I program GPIO3 like input and when I push it runs the command C(accept incoming voice call)?

  • Is it possible to issue additional AVRCP commands (such as seek) with this module?

  • Hi, I have a "simple" question: How can I program GPIO3 like input and when I push it runs the command C(accept incoming voice call)?

  • I don't see this in the command reference guide but does anybody know if there is a way to activate voice recognition on a phone from this, and tell a phone to redial? Just sending the commands AT+BVRA (voice recognition) and AT+BLDN (redial) wont work as the unit matches the first part of the command AT+(next track), and then ignores the rest.

  • Does anyone know if they command mode may be controlled from the SPI or is it only possible with the UART?

  • Any recommendations on a microphone to use with this unit ?

  • Does anyone know if a breakout board exists for this?

  • I noticed on the mircochip website they state I2C: 1, does anyone know how to access or use the I2C on this chip

  • How many meters can this device transmit data? Please help, I am new.

  • Is it possible to connect one phone to several RN52 ? I want to play the same music on several rn52 from my phone simultaneously.

  • Hi, What about the source mode version when using A2DP profil, did Microchip launched one already ? Or have we to wait for more time ? Thanks !

  • Any way we could have a Fritzing part for this?

  • Has anyone else had connection dropping problems with this module? I just got this thing setup and while it connects great when you first power it up, and even starts playing music, after about 5 seconds it drops the connection and then is no longer available. I followed the instructions here:


    By the way, for those of you who don't want to wait for Sparkfun's breakout board (like I didn't) I went ahead and fixed it and shared it at OSH Park. Look for "Sparkfun RN-52 breakout modified". I fixed the mislabeled connections and changed the LEDs to 1206's



    • Try a different power source. I've seen this with inadequate power supplies.

      • M-Short - good catch, a couple of caps cleaned it up: a 10uF and a 100n. I'm going to add this to my modified SparkFun breakout board (and recommend that SparkFun do the same)

  • Is it possible to connect two of the RN-52 modules together and allow both modules to receive and send audio simultaneously?

  • Im kind of looking for determining the signal strength of, say my phone. Is the signal strength can be determined using a uC with which it's communicating with?

  • Has anyone had issues with excessive RF noise on the analog output from this? It's fine until I pair with it, then gets even worse when there's audio streaming.

  • Has anyone had any luck connecting a microphone to the RN-52? If so, how'd you do it? I'd love to use it in HFP/HSP mode.

  • Is there any way to capture the audio data from the chip? Either through SPI or UART?

  • So this could be used with the 3.3V version of the Arduino Pro Micro and receive serial commands from the Arduino, right? I plan on making that setup so that the Arduino controls the RN-52 via serial commands, mostly so that I can send the RN-52 commands to re-connect but also to control playback based on analog input into the Arduino. Pretty doable, no?

  • Can this use A2DP when the RN52 is the audio source rather than the sink?

    • Currently that mode is not supported however, it will be in a new variant releasing by Microchip shortly

      • Interestingly, the online spec identifies A2DP support as both source and sink. However I received this reply from Microchip today when asked about it:

        "The RN52 is presently limited an A2DP audio sink and SPP slave mode. There is an RN52 firmware update to address known bugs and add an additional CODEC algorithm, but no plans to offer master and slave mode with SPP or sink and source to A2DP in the near future."

  • Can 2 of these chips be connected in parallel to allow for 2 or more bluetooth headsets to receive the audio from the same source?

    • Microchip are launching a source mode version shortly, you will be able to do this with that.

  • Can it pair with a Bluetooth headphone or speaker?

    • Microchip are launching a source mode version shortly, you will be able to do this with that.

  • Its a shame how its not a BLE or Bluetooth 4.0 module.... I can't connect to my iphone with these babies.....

    • The RN52 is an audio module. BLE isnt audio. BT4.0 is not required for audio. What are you trying to do? For audio it should connect to any phone that supports audio (most headsets are BT2.0 or BT2.1). If you are trying to do data, then you should look at the RN42 or RN41.

      • I'm trying to do data indeed, but send and receive data to the iPhone 4S and up... These devices will only see Bluetooth modules such as ble and Bluetooth 4.0, I'll check the ones you mentioned but I thought I went through all the modules before. Thanks

        • Your mixing terms. BT4.0 has nothing to do with this. That's a stack version and your phone does support the earlier versions.

          What you are trying to do is send data and this can be done with both BTC and BTLE. The issue is that Apple doesn't support SPP (serial port profile), they instead made a proprietary one and to be able to use that you need to be a member of Apple's MFi program (mfi.apple.com). If you are using BTLE you dont need to be a member of the program, but BTLE itself doesnt have an SPP, you will need to make your own proprietary profile.

    • why not? - works fine with mine.

      • How are you connecting it? Because only certified devices can be connected to iOS thanks to Apple's silly rules, and BLE modules can through third party apps... Unless you're under MiFi for Apple, there is no way that you can connect a non Bluetooth 4.0 or BLE to iOS. And in the very remote possibility that you do/could, you would have very limited use, such as sending data/audio but not reading it back...

        • Well if you are talking data then then there are restrictions. For audio, this audio module will connect to any platform including iOS.

          For proprietary data you would typically choose to use SPP. Apple doesnt support SPP, instead they have iAP. That requires the auth chip. This module, while designed for audio, will do data. For iAP it therefore still needs the auth chip when doing iAP.

          • That probably sounds like a perfectly good explanation... I just am not too knowledgeable in communications.. thanks!

    • We are working on trying to get a BLE module into the catalog, but have been running into supplier issues. Hopefully soon though!

      • That sounds terrific! Just please don't make it bluegiga's ble112/113..... As a Biomedical Engineer I'm not too familiar with communications via wifi or bluetooth, and BlueGiga's module is very very hard to prototype around... They claim their BGScript is easy enough to use, but it lacks the complexity or ability to make medium advanced applications around it. Their modules make use of the 8051 processor which is great! But to access its base functions/capabilities or make full use of it, you need the EXpensive workbench for 8051 from texas instruments.... So for testing, prototypes, noobs and non-communications engineers its a bit too much

        • We actually were looking into the BlueGiga, but ran into many of the same prototyping issues as you did. I don't believe that's the current module we are looking at, so hopefully the new one will be a little easier to work with! Also, I'd love to hear what type of application you are working on-I'm studying Biomedical Engineering currently myself!

  • OK I can see that bringing PWREN Hi will wake the module up, but how do I turn it of without removing the power? when this is embedded into a project, do I then have to have two “power on” switches ie one to apply power then the second to pull PWREN Hi? or can I leave power applied, and either take PWREN Lo or “something else” to turn it off / put to sleep?

  • Has anyone created an ExpressPCB/ExpressSCH custom component for this yet? If so, could you post it somewhere and share a link? Thanks in advance!

  • Still no breakout board? I finally broke down and bought one of the chips from Digikey, but it's amazingly tiny... I'm almost afraid to try soldering leads to it. Do we even have an ETA for the breakout board?

  • Does anyone know how many concurrent connections this device supports? I suspect it is only 8 since it can only store addresses for 8 pairing however I can't seem to find this information spcifically stated in the datasheet or command refence guide...

    • as it is an audio receiver in effect, then 1. Microchip are shortly launching a source version to stream audio to sinks, that version will support multiple connections

  • Senior project begins in a week! Break out board will be most helpful. Please!

  • I'm confused (not hard I assure you!). I want a device that can take an audio (line level) input and send it to a Bluetooth headset. I believe that this can't do that as it seems to only have microphone inputs. Are there any products that would take line level and transmit it?

  • Does this module support sending / receiving the ID3 tag information like song & Artist name or does anybody know of a module that does?

    • this is not a standard BT profile

      • Well, actually, track information is part of AVRCP profile, just not specifically "ID3".

        The BlueGiga WT32 (with the latest firmware, probably earlier ones too) does this if the A2DP source (actually, the AVRCP controller) provides the data. It's part of AVRCP profile.

        For instance, the WT32 will rx the track data from my Galaxy S3 when acting as a A2DP sink and AVRCP target.

        Not sure about the RN-52 capabilities.

        • This is exactly what I'm looking for.

          In my car I'd like to listen to music from my phone w/o taking it out of the pocket. However, a really cool feature would be displaying the current the song title and artist on my dashboard.

          The WT32 seems to be the only available module having a full AVRCP1.3 implementation.

          Do you some documents (pics, schematics, and/or code) that you can share with me?

          • Did you found any method to get song name via A2DP or AVRCP? Please Tweet me any documentation about how to do this via arduino

            I simply want to display the song name on an LCD using some bluetooth connection to my phone

            Tweet me @MrSamSeen

  • What BT chip is used on this module?

  • I contacted microchip today to see if they intend a firmware update to assist with battery charging via USB. If the device itself cannot request high power operation (and indicate that it is available via an I/O pin) using a USB based charging circuit is going to be problematic. Trying to get away with a design around this that doesn't need a microcontroller, can charge via USB, and keeps the USB available for flashing updates as well.

    Right now I'm fairly settled on just using an external USB port for charging, and hiding another one inside, under the battery, for flashing. That way the charging circuit can be a MAX8895 or similar, that can handle negotiating high power (or detecting a standalone charger), without the RN52 being involved in charging at all.

  • Does anyone know if this is automatically able to be paired with an iphone to stream music with its default settings?

    • Yep, I plugged it in and immediately connected - no trouble at all. Later on I went in to adjust some settings through the UART - but that isn't necessary for OTB functionality.

    • it does

  • Does anyone else see Star Trek TNG Communicator Badge?

  • Is there a projected date for the break out board? I've have a project that I was going to use the WT-32 in until I found out about this little guy. I've been waiting months now to get it built.

    BTW - You guys are awesome! Keep up the great work.

  • I also ordered the development kit from Microchip. I would like to use third-party (PTT) push to talk applications on my phone via this bluetooth module. I'm also trying to assign a GPIO and I can't seem to find a way to send the correct commands to enable the phone app. Does anyone know maybe how?

    • it uses the HFP and HSP profiles. These are for use with cell phones. PPT is therefore not part of this profile.

  • I’ve been playing with the development kit. I specifically looking to use it as bluetooth PTT (push to talk). I can't seem to find the right command to enable with a third party app running on android. App requires Bluetooth (serial). I would like to assign a GPIO. Anyway in doing so?

    • it uses the HFP and HSP profiles. These are for use with cell phones. PPT is therefore not part of this profile.

  • Also interested in the breakout board (future) and whether any GPIO pins will be included. Where would someone get infomration on creating "modified" firmware? For instance: GPIO5 goes HI with speaker audio out on either speaker (as in PTT) or are one of the LEDs used for such a function? Anyone know?

  • Let me see if I can word this correctly. Can these Bluetooth modules be put into CMD mode remotely? I.E by a keypress ( command ) from a Droid/android. I would like to control the GPIO pins on the BT module via wireless link from the Droid! I can already get audio and in SPP keyboard etc. Thanks Bill

  • I have an application where I'm just trying to convey audio between the output of a standard DJ type mixer, wirelessly to the input of a powered amp.. so, basically RCA out to RCA in... Will this work for me? Seems simple that it would, but I'm a little concerned because it says it has internal amps to be connected directly to speakers, and it has MIC inputs, rather than "line in" for what that's worth.. Sorry - analog is definitely not my thing..

    Also, has anyone got any REAL WORLD experience regarding range? I only need to go about 50', but it will be in a karate studio full of proud parents watching their kids compete, so there will be a lot of Bluetooth devices potentially interfering nearby.. I'm not sure how resilient Bluetooth is in that regard??

    Thanks! Steve

    • the Bluetooth definition of a class 2 device is 20-30m line-of-site. This is a class 2 device. It therefore easily does 50' line-of-site.

  • My goal is to stream audio from the RN-52 to my iPod or a BT earpiece for wireless monitoring of a communication radio earphone out. I could use help with programming commands needed to make the RN-52 send BT audio. Also audio input recommendation levels. Finally if it's possible to actually stream audio to an iPod or BT earpiece with this device? I bought it but not the developers kit because of lack of knowledge. I have rs232 programming interfaces and some experience with firmware flashing. Any step by step help would be great. If it confuses me I'll find help with it locally. I would think this option would be of interest to many. Thank you

    • Microchip plans to launch a new version that is for source applications shortly

    • This device operates the other way around. It is a SINK not a SOURCE. it goes in the speaker end.

  • So if I wanted to pair this with my phone and make a wireless headphone jack (for plugging into a home stereo), would I need to use a pre-amp between the module and the 3.5mm headphone jack?

    If not, would hooking a set of headphones directly to this module damage it?

    • I finally noticed the datasheet lists "Integrated amplifier for driving 16 Ω speakers" in the features section at the very top.

  • I've been playing with the development kit from Microchip and this module looks really great for audio streaming. You mention programmable I/O pins, but going through the documentation, I haven't found a way to update their functions (while in command mode at least), such as moving the pin locations of the AVRCP commands. Are these only accessible by a firmware update?

    • Here are the commands:


      Show GPIO input/output mask


      Set GPIO input/output mask


      Show GPIO input/output state


      Set GPIO output state


      Auto Power Off timer; set seconds of IDLE time to power down module


      Extended features, bit0-enable AVRCP buttons on EK, bit1-reconnect on power up, bit2-discoverable on power

  • So happy to see this listed! I was just looking at this on the manufacturer's site last week.

  • One day, Americans will remember there's other countries, that have Internet, outside the US, and stop using US-specific coins to indicate size of items...

    • For those who can't click on the datasheet link and read the first page, or google "diameter of US quarter", the datasheet says 13.5x26.0x 2.7 mm.

    • You do realize that the problem then becomes who's coin to use? Or maybe we should take multiple photos with multiple world coins and just show you yours based on your location? (IT get on that! ;)

      But point taken; I don't know why the in/cm rulers were left out of this product's photos but I'll check on that. Suffice it to say that this board is very small.

      • Having now seen the same "quarter comparison" photo on an Australian website, I felt it pertinent to balance my previous whinge with a compliment at the otherwise brilliant website you have created here. Kudos, and please, keep up the good work.

      • Yes please. I am happy to supply a 20C piece for the purposes of Sparkfun Internationalisation ;)

        The in/cm rulers are very helpful.

  • Does this module bear any relationship to the Bluegiga WT-32 module that used to be available?

    • Similar idea. This would be the module we would recommend as a replacement for the WT-32 if you needed to use bluetooth for an audio application. Otherwise, these are from different companies, and different pieces of hardware.

    • The RN module sounds better and is alot easier to use

  • Will this connect to iOS devices?

  • is this direct plug and play with arduino???

    • If it's a 3.3v Arduino, then yes, you could plug it in directly. Otherwise, you will need to include voltage regulation and logic level shifting. Also keep in mind you will have to solder connectors to this board.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

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0 of 1 found this helpful:

It works! ;)

Very powerful Bluetooth. Thank you a lot.

Really good!

Versatile, robust and easy to control. The only thing missing for getting 5/5 star review is the PDL (Paired Devices List) management.