Upcycling Vintage Speakers

The HiFiBerry range of audio HATs for the Raspberry Pi have been around for a while now, but their collaboration with Bang & Olufsen is somewhat newer, with their recent maker competition producing a bunch of interesting projects. However their latest piece of hardware, the Beocreate 4-channel amplifier is the first product to come out of the collaboration.

The Beocreate board next to a Bang & Olufsen Beovox CX50 speaker. (📷: HiFiBerry)

The Beocreate is a DSP/DAC/amplifier board designed to “upcycle” traditional passive loudspeakers. It has 180W output power (2×30W and 2×60W outputs) and is capable of driving up to four of 4-8 Ohm speakers. While it can work in standalone mode as a digital amplifier, it is fully controllable from the Raspberry Pi allowing you to play music via AirPlay, Bluetooth, or Spotify. A single 12–24V power supply powering both the Beocreate board and the Raspberry Pi.

The Beocreate 4-channel amplifier. (📹: HiFiBerry)

If you want to pick up a HiFiBerry board to wireless enable your old speakers then the Beocreate 4-channel amplifier can be had for £149 ($189) plus shipping. Also, there are instruction guides for integrating it with Bang & Olufsen’s Beovox CX50 and CX100 speakers available online, with guides for the Beovox RL2000 and Beovox RL6000 “coming soon.” If your speakers are a bit more generic, the software is open source and should work okay, but you’re on your own when it comes to physically connecting the board to your speakers.