How do I listen to just the audio from a YouTube video?

There are many reasons why someone may want to listen to just the audio from a YouTube video rather than streaming the video itself. The main benefits of audio-only listening include:

Saving internet bandwidth – Streaming video consumes much more data than audio alone. Listening to only the audio track can help reduce data usage.

Saving device battery life – Video streaming drains batteries much faster than audio streaming. Opting for audio helps conserve device battery, especially on mobile.

Avoiding distractions – Listening to audio allows you to multi-task or focus on other tasks without the distraction of video images.

Accessibility – Some users with visual impairments can still enjoy YouTube audio content through assistive screen readers or other accessibility tools.

Personal preference – Some users simply prefer listening to podcast-style audio content as opposed to watching videos during activities like commuting, exercising, etc.

Background play – YouTube’s background play feature only works with a paid Music Premium subscription. Audio-only listening allows background play without a subscription.

So in summary, there are many practical reasons one might want to extract just the audio track from YouTube videos, ranging from reducing data usage to enabling multi-tasking while enjoying content.

Online YouTube to MP3 Converters

Online YouTube to MP3 converters allow you to convert and download YouTube videos as MP3 audio files directly on their websites. They are very convenient to use – simply copy and paste a YouTube video URL into the site, and it will extract just the audio portion as an MP3 download.

Some of the most popular online YouTube to MP3 converter sites include:

The major advantage of online converters is convenience – just paste a link and download. However, some have limits on downloads per day or add watermarks unless you upgrade to a paid account.

Browser Extensions

You can download browser extensions that allow you to only listen to the audio from YouTube videos. These browser extensions work by disabling the video playback while keeping the audio running.

Some popular browser extensions for audio-only YouTube include:

These extensions are free to install and provide an easy way to save bandwidth and system resources by only loading the audio stream from YouTube.

Online Audio Extractors

Using an online audio extractor is one of the easiest ways to download just the audio from a YouTube video. Sites like and allow you to enter the URL for a YouTube video and extract the audio in MP3 format. These sites work by downloading the video file from YouTube and converting it to an audio-only MP3 file for you to save. The benefit of using an online extractor is you don’t need to download any software and it only takes a few seconds to extract the audio. However, be aware that some sites may contain ads or try to get you to install software.

To use an online audio extractor:

  1. Go to a site like or
  2. Paste the URL for the YouTube video.
  3. Select MP3 as the output format.
  4. Click the “Convert” or “Download” button.
  5. Your MP3 audio file will start downloading automatically.

Online audio extractors like yt5s and flvto provide a quick and easy way to rip audio from YouTube videos. Just be cautious of any ads or software offers when using them.

Desktop Applications

There are several desktop applications you can use to download just the audio from YouTube videos on your computer. Some popular options include:

4K Video Downloader is a free open source desktop program that allows you to download videos and audio from YouTube and other sites. It has options to download only the audio track in MP3 or M4A format.

Free YouTube Download is another free desktop app that can extract and convert YouTube audio into various formats like MP3, WAV, FLAC, etc. It has a simple interface and fast download speeds.

These desktop applications are quick and easy to use. Simply copy and paste the YouTube video URL, choose audio-only download, select the format you want, and download the audio file. They work on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

The benefit of using a desktop app rather than an online converter is speed and quality. Desktop applications tend to be faster with better audio quality output. They also don’t have limitations or watermarks that some free online converters have.

Mobile Apps

There are many mobile apps available for both Android and iOS that allow you to download just the audio from YouTube videos. Some popular options include:

Musi – Musi is a free app for iOS that lets you play YouTube videos in the background while doing other things on your iPhone. It also allows you to download audio files from YouTube videos as MP3s. Musi has a clean interface and no ads.

Snaptube – For Android users, Snaptube is a great option for downloading YouTube videos and converting them to MP3 audio files. The app is free, supports multiple resolutions, and has no ads. Snaptube can batch download multiple videos at once.

KeepVid Music – Available on both iOS and Android, KeepVid Music lets you extract audio from YouTube videos and save as MP3, M4A, or other formats. It can also directly transfer downloaded music to your device’s music library.

Overall, mobile apps provide a convenient way to save just the audio content from YouTube videos to your phone or tablet. They avoid the need to download videos then extract the audio on a desktop computer.

YouTube Premium

One way to listen to just the audio from YouTube videos is by using the background audio feature of YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium is a paid subscription service that allows you to play YouTube videos in the background on mobile devices and enables the background audio feature.

With background audio, YouTube Premium subscribers can listen to the audio from videos while minimising the YouTube app or locking their phone screen. The video playback continues uninterrupted while just the audio plays. This allows users to listen to YouTube videos like a music streaming service.

However, the background audio feature has some limitations. As per Google support, it may not be available for certain videos due to licensing restrictions. There are also reports from users that background audio does not always work reliably.

Third-Party Media Players

One easy way to listen to just the audio from YouTube videos is by using third-party media players like VLC media player. VLC is a popular open-source, cross-platform multimedia player that can play a wide variety of audio and video files.

To extract only the audio from a YouTube video using VLC, first copy the video’s URL from YouTube. Then in VLC, go to Media > Open Network Stream and paste the video’s URL. VLC will begin playing the video, but you can toggle to only play the audio by clicking the Audio button near the bottom right of the window. This will stop the video playback while continuing to play just the audio.

The advantage of using VLC is that it’s free and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. You don’t need to rely on any online services or unstable browser extensions. VLC downloads the audio directly from YouTube’s servers, so you get the original high-quality audio. The only limitation is that you have to manually copy and paste each video URL to listen to it.

Downloading from the Source

One way to get just the audio from a YouTube video is to download the audio file directly from YouTube’s servers. This involves finding the direct link to the audio file and downloading it. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for downloading the audio file directly:

1. Install an extension like Video Downloadhelper for Chrome or Firefox. This will allow you to see the direct links to the audio and video files.

2. Go to the YouTube video page and play the video.

3. Click on the extension icon and look for the link that ends with “.m4a” or another audio file extension. This is the direct link to download just the audio.

4. Right click on the audio link and select “Save As” or “Download Linked File” to download the file to your computer.

5. You can now play the downloaded .m4a or other audio file on your computer without the video.

This method gives you access to the raw audio track contained in the YouTube video, allowing you to download it directly. Just be mindful of copyrights and only use this for personal use.


In summary, there are several options for listening to just the audio from YouTube videos, depending on your preferences and needs. Online YouTube to MP3 converters provide a quick and easy way to extract audio, but quality may vary. Browser extensions like Audio Only YouTube offer audio-only playback directly on YouTube. Desktop apps like 4K Video Downloader let you download high-quality audio files. Mobile apps like YouTube Music have an audio-only mode to save data. YouTube Premium allows background audio playback. Third-party media players like VLC let you play audio only. And for maximum quality, you can try to download the original audio source file if available.

The optimal method will depend on factors like sound quality, offline use, data savings, and convenience. But with the various options available, it’s possible for most users to enjoy YouTube audio only according to their individual needs. The key is finding the right balance for your situation. We hope these tips help you get the most out of YouTube’s audio content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *