LM386 low voltage audio power amplifier

in DIY by DP | 2 comments

dsc09392

Zx Lee published a low voltage audio amplifier build:

Today, I am going to share on how you can make a low voltage audio amplifier. For this project, I am using LM 386 Audio Amplifier, which is commonly used among electronics hobbyist. I will break the article into a few sections. First, I will explain about the LM 386 chip itself. Then move on with some explanation on the parts used in this project. And finally, the design of audio amplifier.

Check out the video after the break.

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Comments

  1. KH says:

    A datasheet-centric article, I’ve no complaints on that bit. But it has to be said that in the year 2014, LM386 is a very old part. As a “low voltage audio amplifier” it is barely suitable if you have a portable audio project and want to use Li-po or 2xAA power efficiently. Many much better parts exist. TPA321 from TI, a modern version of MC34119, will give you 2.5-5.5V operation and shutdown capability (<1uA in shutdown versus 4mA quiescent for LM386) or one can move to a class-D amp such as PAM8403. So remember boys and girls, if you are planning a portable audio project with a LM386 that uses expensive 9V batteries, you're seriously hamstrung and limited.

  2. ee says:

    I’d *almost* agree, except that the LM386 is still not bad compared to contemporary devices if your requirements are not hi-fi. If you want basic audio out of a speaker for a project (e.g. for announcements, alarms, etc), LM386 still is usable, super-cheap, want to run from 5V supply, and comes in DIL for those who require this. It’s not as hissy as sometimes people make out (usually they have high gain set) and is reasonable quality. (But I agree this is not the device for a PP3 9V project).
    There are still people using TBA810 and that’s ridiculous :-)
    So while TBA810, LM741 etc can be just sad, I think LM386 is still just-about in the “ok” category in certain conditions :-)

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