I have an 8-ohm 1/2 Watt speaker I'd like to hook up to the Arduino. I'm currently hooking up the gate of a FQP30N06L MOSFET to the PWM output of the Arduino. I've tied the drain to Vcc (5V) and the source to the (+) speaker terminal, with (-) speaker terminal to ground. I also have a 10Kohm resistor from the MOSFET gate to ground.

This gives a pretty good volume output, but I'm worried about two things:

  • Doesn't a speaker act as a short for DC current? I'm afraid this could fry the MOSFET.
  • This seems to run a DC current component thru the speaker, which I'd like to remove.
  • There is a lot of high-frequency "ringing" (bad audio quality)

I've tried other things, but the speaker just isn't loud enough. For example, putting a resistor in series with the speaker makes the sound too quiet. Also, using a DC-blocking capacitor in series with the speaker results in no audio output.

Is there a better way to amplify the PWM signal and block the DC component?

The PWM signal ranges from 0-5V (square wave) with a frequency of ~30Khz.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's a discussion about a speaker hookup for Arduino: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=21485.0 \$\endgroup\$
    – Alexxx
    Dec 7, 2015 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking at the circuit he has, if the MOSFET stays switched on, there will be (12V)^2 * 33 ohm = 4.36 W dissipated by the resistor. Isn't that enough to fry most resistors? I guess in the common case, the average power would be 1/2 that (2.18 W), but that still seems high. Also, I need to run my amp from the same +5V power source the Arduino uses -- I can't use a separate +12V supply. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2015 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since you're driving your audio amp with PWM you'll want to google "class D amplifier". \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2015 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RespawnedFluff Yep, I did that. I think I need the "output stage" of the class D amplifier, since the signal is already a square wave (the input stage of the class D converts from AC => square wave). However, I can't really find a good example. For instance, most of the schemes I found assume no DC bias, which my circuit has (more-or-less +2.5 DC bias). Basically, I've tried to use the MOSFET as a switch to generate a square wave with greater current than the input signal, but still can't get it loud enough if I decouple the speaker with a capacitor. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2015 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, many of the class D schematics I've found use a negative supply and 2 MOSFETS in push-pull configuration. I don't have a negative supply -- only a +5V rail. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2015 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


Why dont you do a complimentry drive for your proposed book up .If you do this then you can capacitively couple your speaker.Remember that the DCR of a 8 ohm speaker is approx 6 ohms . This rough ratio doesnt change much with speaker impedence.You could connect a couple of logic level fets in the CMOS configuration or you could use a grunty mosfet driver chip that say has an on resistance of 1 ohm.


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