ESP32-S3-based kit allows you to build an Internet Radio with a touchscreen display

The ESP32 Internet Radio from Poland-based maker, The MicroMaker, is a simple hardware kit that combines the LilyGo T-Display S3 Development board with an I2S audio breakout module and other components to form a radio that can access and stream from online radio stations. With the ESP32 Internet Radio, you are not limited to the radio stations available in your immediate vicinity.

ESP32 Internet Radio

It is powered by the LilyGo T-Display S3 which integrates the network-capable ESP32-S3 microcontroller (Wi-Fi + BLE 5), a 1.9” full-color capacitive touchscreen display, and two programmable buttons. The ESP32-S3’s integrated Wi-Fi capability allows the radio to connect to the Internet, and the touchscreen brings an intuitive and easy-to-use interface to the device.

internet radio screen info

It supports up to 512 stored radio stations, and you can manage these stations from a web browser on your PC or mobile phone.

The Internet Radio can be powered by an 18650 Lithium-ion battery for portable applications. We have recently covered various other interesting projects powered by the ESP32-S3 microcontroller such as the ThingPulse Pendrive S3, M5Stack CoreS3 SE, T-Camera S3, and the Air Quality Sensor.

ESP32 Internet Radio specifications:

  • Development Board – LilyGo T-Display S3 (Touch Soldered Version H589) with
    • Espressif Systems ESP32-S3R8 microcontroller
    • 16MB flash, 8MB PSRAM
    • 1.9-inch LCD color screen and two programmable buttons
  • SparkFun I2S Audio Breakout module with MAX98357A (3W Class D Amplifier + DAC)
  • 40mm 4ohm 5W speaker
  • 18650 Li-ion battery and battery holder (optional)

The Internet Radio is not open-source. The precompiled firmware is hosted on OneDrive and can be flashed onto the microcontroller using Espressif’s Flash Tool, but you will need to activate it with a product key from the maker. It is listed on Tindie for about $10.

The hardware kit itself is currently priced at $95, and includes a LilyGo T-Display S3 module, the SparkFun I2S Audio Breakout module, a 5W speaker, a battery holder, a Wi-Fi Antenna, an enclosure, and other components. A hot glue gun is required for assembly, but buyers can opt for the pre-assembled version for $30 extra. If you decide to build the Internet Radio yourself, you will be able to swap any component with a better replacement, except for the LilyGo T-Display S3.

It is important to note that the ESP32 Internet Radio does not have a radio antenna and is unable to receive local radio transmissions. More detailed instructions about installation, setup, and usage are available in the GitHub repository for the device.

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17 Comments
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Willy
1 month ago

The project is great, but frankly, the problem I’m seeing with such devices is how long they can last on battery. My previous radio was completely analog, running off a single AA LiPo 600mAh battery that I had to recharge roughly once a month when working several hours a day. The current one comes with a micro-controller, it’s able to present itself as a USB audio device and can read MP3 from micro-SD. It features a LED-based digital display. Result: it needs to be recharged at least once a week and can barely last a day long, despite running off… Read more »

Styno
Styno
1 month ago

Agree on the power consumption complaint. But speaking from experience, designing for really low power (few uW) is difficult, time consuming and often requires more expensive components. All add up to significantly more expensive products.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Not open source. No point in reading anymore.

Klaudiusz
Klaudiusz
1 month ago

The situation is even worse. There is a binary version of the firmware in the Github repository with the GPL-3.0 license include

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
1 month ago

Isn’t that in violation of GPLv3 (and GPL generally, whichever version)?

Trait0r
Trait0r
1 month ago

Crap

Randy guay
Randy guay
24 days ago

Agreed .
There is a far better open source version of this i currently run 2 ammo box versions with solar charging.
Power is not my issue.
I am working on 2 more an will build no less than 10 more for my little network.
Good luck yall.
Githib is thee answer .

CncJerry
CncJerry
1 month ago

There are many other ways to do the same thing for free for instance, using pianobar for Pandora or vulumio for streaming on SBCs with a 35 touchscreen. I use beaglebone blacks and the touchscreen audio. Then you can take the i2s audio output and run it into a sure electronics jab5 power amp. Granted, you need a power supply, but now for less than 150USD you have the same thing with a 4x100w class D amp and much more flexibility and expandability. Sure sells battery modules to so you can make a boom box with significant umph out of… Read more »

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
1 month ago

Thanks for the tips!

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

No open source, so at the mercy of the manuf/dev, which could charge a monthly to keep the service up and still quit at any moment making your “radio” semi unusable etrash. Radios used to be an affordable to ultra cheap appliance for communication and entertainment, the staple of society. You can buy an always working (assembled) free radio for less than 10 Dollars… Or that for $95+$30 which I’m sure will not work in few years.

Eric
Eric
29 days ago

According to the user manual it is not working with a central server like other internet radios do. This internet radio is using a direct URLs to connect to the various internet radio stations so i don’t share your concern about a monthly fee.

Steven
Steven
29 days ago

According to the manual the radio is using the station’s URL’s directly. It is not like other internet radios that uses central server to which you need to connect for streaming the radio stations. so there is no way the manuf/dev can charge a monthly fee.

29 days ago

This internet radio uses a direct URL’s to connect to the various stations so there is no way to charge a monthly fee.

Other Internet radios uses central server to which you need to connect for getting the stream this allows them to charge a fee. this is not the case here.

Foss
Foss
1 month ago

There is no reason getting a closed source wifi radio for 100Dollar.
You can have for cheaper a device with a build in wifi and SDR – endless capabilities – one of of those can be modern radio for example using https://www.welle.io/

Steven
29 days ago

I like it but it is not an internet radio , it is DAB and DAB+ software

Trait0r
Trait0r
29 days ago

The Hardware should allow to run (open source!) esphome instead of the fishy binary provided… Just sayin

Chang
28 days ago

People, I see the comments below and I wonder how can you have an opinion about something you didn’t even try??? Writing such a software and designing that device requires time, effort and talent so why you expect it to be free? Would you get a job that you don’t get paid for? 10$ is not much for such a software.

Khadas VIM4 SBC