Breakout Board for VS1033D MP3

Replacement:BOB-10608. The new revision fixes the issue noted below. This page is for reference only.

The VS1033D-L is a great MP3 decoder, and with this breakout board, it's easy to drop it into any project. The VS1033 is capable of decoding MP3/AAC/WMA/MIDI audio and encoding IMA ADPCM. Can drive 30 Ohm headphones with no additional power supply.

Note: We discovered an obscure issue with these boards. The TEST pin needs to be tied in to IOVDD or else some erratic behavior in certain circumstances. For our remaining stock, we tied these pins together with a jumper wire, as seen in the pictures. Further revisions will fix this issue more permanently.


  • Separate Audio and Digital 3.3V supplies
  • Onboard 12.288MHz oscillator


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.

  • wendyju / about 13 years ago / 3

    This VS1033d MP3 decoder can't play properly unless you've got the TEST pin tied high. This is indicated in the VS1033 datasheet on page 14 ("Reserved for test, connect to IOVDD") and on the connection diagram on page 16. The engineers at VLSI pointed it out to us when we contacted them about our issues with this board.
    We have been able to get the board to work when we create a solderblob that connects TEST pin 32 to CVDD3 pin 31. Make sure you've got a fine tipped soldering iron for the job!

    • maniacbug / about 12 years ago * / 1

      The board I just received still has this problem. It's been months, and still no correction. It's an obvious typo on the schematic. TEST is connected to "DVDD" which should be "CVDD". Ergo, it's left unconnected.
      This problem interferes with DREQ working properly, which is a pretty fundamental feature of the chip.
      VLSI has some info on their forums: Bug in SparkFun VS1053 Breakout Board (applies to this one, too.)

    • C.M. / about 13 years ago / 1

      wendyju, thanks for solving this problem!
      I worked with the VS1033D board and it had extremely intermittent operation. If you moved a finger near it, it would emit static. But now I know it's because the test pin was floating.
      Another warning: CVDD is powered at 3.3V (same as IOVDD) but the VS1033D datasheet says 2.7V is the maximum. Not sure what the implications might be, but it's definitely out of spec.

      • Paicot / about 13 years ago / 1

        hi C.M.
        I'd like to know how did you deal with the misdesign on the CVDD conection? Did it work out properly despite it is hardly not recommended to power that pin with more than 2,7V as VLSI data sheets says?

      • ju1ce / about 13 years ago / 1

        Are you sure that the regulator outputs 3.3V and not something like 2.8V? I can't measure the voltage because I don't have this board yet. I find it hard to believe that the designer of this board had made this kind of an error.

  • Emotion / about 14 years ago / 3

    Does it have 1.1 inches between the headers like every other MP3 breakout board sold at this fine establishment? Just thought I'd ask. I tried to measure from the photos, but quickly found I'm laughably horrible at keeping my mouse travel in a straight line.

    • Emotion / about 14 years ago / 7

      And also laughably bad at good grammar.

    • frank26080115 / about 12 years ago / 1

      Actually I just found out the hard way that it does not fit into a breadboard or a perfboard. I have a VS1002D breakout board to compare it to, and the VS1033D breakout board is slightly thinner.
      I want the staff to acknowledge this first and then correct it. This has put a slight dent in my confidence in SparkFun products.

  • goaf / about 13 years ago / 2

    This may seem like a dumb question, but what's the drop-out voltage of the on-board power supplies? If I'm running my dev board at 3.3V, does this mean I'll need a higher supply voltage to compensate for the drop-out voltage of the on-board supplies?
    Also, what's the digital supply voltage? Will I need level translators for the SPI bus lines? (VLSI's website is currently down, so no data sheet right now)
    Thanks for your help.

    • Member #824 / about 12 years ago / 1

      I also wonder about this. I assume I can connect 5V to the board, however I don't want to smoke my new board!

  • frank26080115 / about 13 years ago / 2

    the pictures are wrong, this comes on a red PCB identical to the VS1053 breakout board

  • Hector_rv / about 12 years ago / 1

    ROHM's USB Audio Decoder ICs integrate a USB 2.0 host, SD memory card controller, AAC decoder, WMA decoder, MP3 decoder, Audio DAC amp, and a system controller all on a single chip, allowing easy playback of music stored in USB flash memory using an audio player. They can be easily added to virtually any audio device (i.e. CD player, mini-component stereo, portable player, car stereo) for greater functionality.
    This is my MP3 player project

  • doobie / about 13 years ago / 1

    From an audio codec newb: Is it easy to use this to encode voice, store it, then play back the stored voice? It says it records into IMA ADPCM (and user loadable? user-loadable Ogg Vorbis), but I don't see it saying it decodes IMA ADPCM.

  • dwinz / about 13 years ago / 1

    The schematics show a VCC which goes through regulators.
    I assume the output of those are 3.3V based again upon
    the schematic. I can only assume I can deliver 5V which
    would be regulated to the 3.3V however I have no idea of
    the regulators as they are not defined in the schematic.
    SO....could anybody provide a bit more information so I don't let the smoke out of something????

  • reMARCab1e / about 14 years ago / 1

    Can anybody tell me what voltage level DREQ is supposed to be? For some reason my DREQ switches between 1.4V and 0V. I asked the forums but nobody answers..

  • Huy / about 14 years ago / 1

    Just for my understanding (never bought from SparkFun yet).
    Does this board contains the decoder chip or do i
    have to order it separately?

    • Hello Huy! Yes, the breakout board does come with the vs1033 decoder chip soldered on, along with the supporting circuitry you see in the photograph.

  • gert / about 14 years ago / 1

    i am also interested in a breakout board with 1053 (1033 and 1053 should be pin compatible, so the baord for 1033 should work for 1053 too)

  • Brice / about 14 years ago / 1

    Yes, it's the VS1053 that supports Ogg Vorbis/MP3/AAC/WMA/MIDI audio codec. I was really hoping tis breakout board would have had the VS1053 chip on it. The VS1033 is not capable of decoding Ogg Vorbis according to the VLSI datasheet. Is it possible to get this breakout board with the VS1053 on it instead? Thank you.

  • Dibblah / about 14 years ago / 1

    Is this the VS1033 or the VS1053? One does Ogg, the other does not.

    • MattTheGeek / about 14 years ago / 1

      From the chip markings, It looks like the VS1033.

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