How can I use my phone as an audio output for my computer via USB?


Connecting your phone to your computer via USB allows you to use your phone as an audio output device for your computer. This can provide better quality sound compared to your computer’s built-in speakers and allows you to listen to computer audio through your headphones or external speakers plugged into your phone.

Some key benefits of using your phone as an audio output for your computer include:

  • Improved sound quality from your phone’s internal DAC and amplifier versus your computer’s basic audio output
  • Ability to listen privately through headphones plugged into your phone
  • More flexibility to move around while listening to computer audio
  • Use of external powered speakers connected to your phone’s headphone jack

To use your phone as a USB audio output device, you will need:

  • A phone that supports USB audio output or USB OTG modes
  • A USB cable to connect your phone to your computer (often USB-C or micro-USB)
  • A computer with a USB port and operating system that supports USB audio output
  • Headphones or speakers to plug into your phone’s audio jack

With the right setup, you can unlock the ability to listen to high-quality audio from your computer through your smartphone.

Enable USB Audio Output On Computer

Before connecting your phone, you’ll need to enable USB audio output on your computer. Here’s how to do it:

On Windows:

  1. Open the Start menu and go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound
  2. Under the Playback tab, right click on an empty space and make sure “Show Disabled Devices” is checked
  3. Right click again and enable “Show Disconnected Devices”

On Mac:

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Sound
  2. Click on the Output tab and select “USB Audio Device”
  3. You may need to restart your computer

With USB audio output enabled, your phone will be detected as a playback device when connected via USB cable.

Connect Phone to Computer

To connect your phone to your computer as an audio output, you will need the appropriate USB cable to physically link the two devices. Most modern phones use a USB-C cable, while most computers have a standard USB-A port. This means you will likely need a USB-C to USB-A cable or adapter to bridge the difference.

For example, if you have an Android phone with USB-C, you would need a USB-C to USB-A cable like this one: If your computer only has USB-C ports, you may be able to connect directly with a USB-C to USB-C cable.

The key is finding the right cable that fits the ports on both your phone and computer. With the proper adapter or converter cable, you can physically connect the two devices and enable audio output from the computer to the phone.

Set Phone As Audio Output

Once your phone is connected to your computer via USB, you need to set your phone to output audio through the USB connection rather than the built-in speakers. Here’s how:

Open the Settings app on your Android phone and go to the Sound section. Look for an option like “Audio output” or “Play sound via” and change it to output audio through the USB port or external device. On Samsung phones, this setting may be under Sound > Sound Quality and Effects > Audio Device.

You can also pull down the notification shade on your Android phone and look for the current audio output destination. Tap on it and switch the audio output channel to USB or external device.

According to a StackExchange discussion, this option may be labeled “USB audio source” or “USB output” on some Android versions.

Once you have changed your phone’s audio output to USB, audio from your computer should now play through your phone’s speakers or headphone jack.

Adjust Volume and Settings

Once your phone is connected to your computer and set as the audio output, you may need to adjust the volume levels on both devices to get the right balance. The computer’s volume controls will adjust the overall volume being sent to the phone. You can then fine-tune the volume using your phone’s controls.

On your computer, right-click the volume icon in the taskbar and select Open Volume Mixer [1]. This allows you to adjust the volume sliders for each playback device separately. Drag the slider for your USB audio device to adjust the volume being sent to your phone.

On your phone, use the volume buttons to adjust the overall volume to your preferred listening level. You can also go into your phone’s audio/music app and customize the equalizer, bass boost, spatial effects, etc. to tailor the sound.

If you find the overall volume is too low even at max levels, you may need to go into your computer’s sound control panel, select the USB device properties, and adjust the default format and advanced settings [1] to boost the gain.


If you encounter issues using your phone as a USB audio output for your computer, there are several things you can try:

No sound:

  • Check that the volume on your phone and computer are turned up. The phone’s volume will control the output level.
  • Make sure you have enabled USB audio output in your phone’s settings. On Android this is often under Developer Options. On iPhone, ensure the phone is unlocked when first connecting it.
  • Try a different USB cable. Some cables may not transfer audio properly.

Low volume:

  • Adjust the volume slider in your computer’s sound settings or audio application.
  • On Android, go to Developer Options and adjust the USB Volume Steps to maximum.


  • Ensure that the phone’s microphone is not also being used as an input on your computer. Disable or mute the phone’s mic in your computer’s sound settings.
  • Try enabling an echo canceller/noise suppression filter in your operating system or audio application settings.

If you still have trouble, check for driver updates on your computer or consult your phone and computer manufacturer’s support sites for USB audio troubleshooting.

Recommended Apps

There are several apps that can enhance the experience of using your phone as a USB audio output device for your computer. Here are some top recommendations:

USB Audio Player PRO ( – This app has extensive audio format support and options for audio enhancements like an equalizer, effects, and custom playlists. It can optimize the audio quality when using your phone as a USB DAC.

Neutron Music Player ( – Offers high-resolution audio playback up to 32/384 PCM and DSD256. Includes a parametric EQ and audio effects.

Poweramp ( – Feature-rich music player with bass/treble adjustment, equalizer presets, and widgets. Good for enhancing music playback.

Viper4Android ( – Provides an audio engine with effects and EQ for improved sound quality on Android.

Using a specialized audio player app can let you adjust the sound signature, add effects, optimize formats, and customize the experience when routing your computer audio through your phone via USB.

Alternative Options

While using a USB connection is a convenient way to output your phone’s audio to your computer, there are some alternative wireless options worth considering:

Bluetooth – Most phones and computers have Bluetooth capability. You can pair your phone and computer over Bluetooth to stream audio without any wires. The main downside is that Bluetooth audio quality is often lower compared to a wired connection.

WiFi – Some apps like Airfoil allow you to stream audio from your phone to your computer over the same WiFi network. This gives you wireless flexibility while maintaining high audio quality. Just make sure your phone and computer are on the same network.

Airplay – For iPhone users, Airplay is a great way to wirelessly stream audio to your computer. As long as your computer is compatible with Airplay, you can select it as an audio output option on your iPhone. Airplay audio quality is excellent.

While a bit more setup may be required, these wireless alternatives provide more flexibility and avoid the need to physically tether your phone to your computer. Still, a wired USB connection remains the simplest and most universally compatible option.

Models Supported

Here are some of the phone models known to work for USB audio output:

In general, most flagship Android phones from 2017 onward with USB-C ports should support USB audio output. However, some models may require updating to the latest OS version or enabling developer options to activate the feature (cite:


Using your phone as a USB audio output for your computer is a convenient way to amplify and enhance your computer’s sound. Here’s a quick recap of the main steps:

  • Enable USB audio output in your computer’s sound settings
  • Connect your phone to your computer via USB cable
  • Set your phone as the default audio output device
  • Adjust volume and audio settings as needed

For the optimal listening experience, use a high-quality USB cable to minimize interference. Position your phone properly to take advantage of the speaker direction and acoustics. Fine-tune any equalizer settings on your computer or phone to balance treble and bass levels.

With a few quick steps, you can start enjoying your computer audio through your phone’s speakers for a convenient sound upgrade anywhere you go!

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