Tested on:RPi3; Raspbian Jessie
Prerequisites:Raspberry Pi with Raspbian Jessie and internet connection (see steps 1-7 in the Introduction)
Hardware:USB sound card
active speakers

Enable an USB sound card for Raspbian Jessie

The onboard sound of the Raspberry Pi is bad, sadly. However, USB sound cards are cheap and a quickly installed alternative for a better sound output.

Find the sound card
Plug in the sound card connected to an active speaker, then boot the Raspberry Pi. Enter in the terminal

The output should look like

USB soundcard detection

USB soundcard detection

with card 1: ... USB Audio being the important part.

All you need to do is update the sound card index in the Alsa configuration. Open alsa.conf with

then replace


Reboot, then test the sound by entering

in the terminal.

Adjust the sound volume
In the terminal, enter

Press F6 and select the USB sound card. Adjust the sound level with the arrow keys, then save with Esc.

Knight of Pi

Johannes Bergs aka Knight of Pi. Diploma in Bioinformatics, some Webdesign and Python coding then. Living in the beautiful city of Vienna.


  1. Hi !
    Does it work with Rpi Zero W ?
    I tried this but wihtout success…

    No sound with the USB sound card even if it’s well discovered by the system…


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