Buzzer for Quadcopters

Buzzers for quadcopter is one of the most basic hardware in the hobby, but a few beginners are still getting confused. So hopefully this article can help clarify a few things.

Don’t forget to check out our quadcopter building tips and tricks.

Purpose of buzzer on a quadcopter

  • Lost model alarm – helps you to find your quad in bushes after it’s crashed
  • Voltage low warning – buzzer goes off when battery voltage is low
  • Quad status – the beeping can help you identify what state the quad is in, e.g. when the quad is ready to arm it beeps 3 times; when there is a problem with receiver connection, it beeps non-stop etc

Buzzer Choice

There are 2 types of buzzers, Active and Passive.

Basically, active buzzers beeps as soon as you give it DC voltage, while passive buzzers require an AC “sound signal” for it to generate sound. Quadcopter flight controllers usually support 5V 2-pin active buzzer/beeper. These buzzers are cheap, light weight and widely available online.

If you are still wondering which type of buzzer to get, just get active buzzers.

Standard Active Buzzer

This is the “standard”, most popular, basic 2-pin active buzzer that should work on most quadcopter flight controllers. I tested the volume and it’s about 89dB at 20cm distance.

Mini Buzzer

For smaller models, or space saving, you can consider this smaller “mini” version. It works the same as the standard version, just smaller and not as loud, about 86dB at 20cm distance.

Buzzers with Backed-up Battery

If you crash the ejected the battery, your buzzer will stop work as it’s powered by the flight controller! In this case you might want to get a buzzer with built-in battery, that will continue to beep when the quad’s battery is disconnected.

I did a shoot out in this post comparing the different options.

Matek PWM Buzzer

Matek makes some really cool buzzer designs. For example this “Loud buzzer” works as a normal buzzer, and can also be controlled via a AUX channel (PWM signal) at the same time.

And this “LED tail light buzzer” is like the last one, but combines with RGB LED’s which can be mounted on the back standoffs.

Don’t confuse yourself with LiPo voltage alarm/checker with the type of buzzers we are talking about here. Voltage alarms are equipped with speakers but they are meant to connect to the balance lead and read the voltage. Other ways to monitor quadcopter voltage.

This is a voltage alarm, not a buzzer

How to use buzzer on quadcopters

Most flight controllers have dedicated pins for connecting the buzzer, normally labelled as B+ and B-, or similar. For example:

Active buzzer and flight controller Connection example

How to make buzzer louder?

  • Connect multiple buzzers in parallel, for example.
  • Use higher voltage rated buzzer, and provide higher voltage to it, such as using 12V in this example.#

How to make buzzer quieter?

If you don’t like how loud these buzzer is, you can simply put a resistor in series to the positive or negative pin. This will reduce the current flowing through it and lower the volume. The larger resistor the more effective it will be.

Buzzer Alternative?

As a lost model alarm, you could setup your ESC beeping as an alternative to buzzer: Using ESC Beacon as a lost model alarm

Edit History

  • Jul 2017 – Article created
  • Aug 2018 – Added Mini Buzzer

12 thoughts on “Buzzer for Quadcopters

  1. HDBoy

    Hello Oscar,

    I just build my new quad using a Racerstar TattooF4S FC and after a final setting a realized the buzzer doesn’t work, only the ESC beeper. There is 5V as should but looks like the BUZZ- side doesn’t work properly, no 5V on the buzzer side.
    The LED strip works as should.

    I uploaded a video to the following link about the issue:

    Please let me know if you have a suggestion to solve this issue. (There is the CLI and resource map on the video description)

  2. Gareth Hayman

    Hi Oscar,

    If i remove one of the two buzzers from a voltage tester/alarm and wire that positive to lipo + and ground to buzzer ground, will this work?

    these buzzers seem to be very loud when connected to a lipo balance cable and I have a couple lying around i can tear apart.

    1. Garrett

      I tried this. I think they are passive buzzers. It didn’t work for me, just made a clicking noise meaning that there was nothing to drive the frequency. I suppose you could connect it to an AUX channel with PWM output but I am not sure how to accomplish that.

  3. Steve Gross

    what does one do if the FC has no Buzzer pads? Like the CLRacing F4 mini has none. How can I adapt or, can I add one somehow?

  4. enrico

    hi Oscar, thank you for tutorials! I bought a matek Loud Buzzer and I want to wire it on my omnibus f4 v2 pro, and use only with a switch from my taranis when I lose my quad.
    But I m confused about wiring. My FC has B+ and B- pads.
    I have to wire also 5v and gnd? Matek manual is not really explicative

      1. GK

        hi, and thanks for sharing your knowledge! I am in the same boat as enrico, ive looked at the manual and dont really understand where I can put the 5pin matek buzzer on my omni f3 v3 pro, im using a pdb and sbus and it seems the pwm pins on the board dont have 5v coming out of them, the only pins that do are the b+ and 5v off the pdb, however neither of these seem to work, and looking at the manual the b+ pin on the buzzer is never used? I have gnd going to tbe pwm5 gnd, 5v pin going to the b+ on the fc and b- to b- the buzzer is getting 5v but no luck, any ideas? thanks again

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