How do I play music through my Android TV?

What is Android TV?

Android TV is a smart TV operating system developed by Google based on the Android platform. It provides an intuitive interface and integration with other Google services like Google Play for apps, games, movies, and shows as well as Google Assistant for voice controls.

Major TV manufacturers that make Android TVs include Sony, Philips, Xiaomi, TCL, Sharp, Hisense, and more. There are also set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield TV and smart soundbars that run Android TV.

Android TV comes in different versions like Android TV 10, Android TV 11, and the newer Google TV interface. Models range from basic HD TVs to high-end 4K HDR TVs with advanced display capabilities.

Overall, Android TV aims to bring the app and content ecosystem of Android smartphones/tablets to the big screen. It competes with other smart TV platforms like LG’s webOS, Samsung’s Tizen OS, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Roku TV.

Connecting Speakers or Headphones

If you want better audio quality when watching shows or listening to music through your Android TV, you can connect external speakers or headphones. Here are some of the main options:

Bluetooth Speakers or Headphones

One of the easiest options is to pair a Bluetooth speaker or headphones to your Android TV. Most Android TVs have built-in Bluetooth connectivity. To connect a Bluetooth device:

  1. Go to Settings > Remotes & Accessories on your Android TV.
  2. Select “Add accessory” or “Pair accessory” and make sure your Bluetooth speaker or headphones are in pairing mode.
  3. Your Android TV should detect the Bluetooth device. Select it to finish pairing.

Once paired, you’ll be able to play audio from your TV directly to the Bluetooth device. Many Bluetooth speakers like the Anker SoundCore 2 are designed specifically for TV setups.


If your TV and external speakers support HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel), this connection method offers higher quality audio with less lag than Bluetooth. Connect your powered speakers to the HDMI ARC port on your TV using an HDMI cable.

Using the Built-In Media Player

Most Android TVs come with a built-in media player app that can play music files stored locally or over a network. The exact app may vary depending on the TV brand, but common options include Google Play Music, VLC media player, or Android media players from Sony, LG, etc.

The built-in Android media players provide playback controls similar to other music apps. You can play/pause, skip tracks, adjust the volume, shuffle songs, and create playlists. The player usually shows album art and song metadata as well.

For example, Google Play Music enables playing audio files stored on your Android TV in folders like Music, Downloads, etc. It supports common formats like MP3, AAC, FLAC, etc. You can browse songs by album, artist, playlists, or simply shuffle all songs. Playback controls like play/pause, next/previous track, repeat, and shuffle are available.

The advantage of using the built-in player is that no additional app installation is required. However, the selection of songs is limited to files stored locally on your Android TV. To access streaming music services or your music library from a computer/phone, you’ll need to use the methods described in the following sections.

Streaming from a Phone or Tablet

You can easily stream music from an Android phone, iPhone, or tablet to your Android TV using Chromecast. The Chromecast feature allows you to “cast” audio from supported apps on your mobile device to a TV or speaker connected to the same Wi-Fi network. To stream with Chromecast:

  1. Connect your Android TV and mobile device to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. On your phone or tablet, open a music streaming app like Spotify, YouTube Music, or Pandora that supports Chromecast. Play a song or playlist.
  3. Tap the Chromecast icon in the app and choose your Android TV as the device to stream to. The song or playlist should start streaming to your Android TV.

Some music streaming apps like Google Play Music, YouTube Music, and Spotify have Chromecast already built-in. In iOS, you can use the Chromecast option in the iOS Control Center to stream audio from any app. With Chromecast, you can control the music playback from your phone while the audio streams on your TV.

Using a USB Drive

Plugging in a USB drive with music files is a convenient way to play your songs, albums, and playlists directly through your Android TV. Most Android TVs come with at least one USB port, which supports USB thumb drives and portable hard drives up to 2TB.

When you plug in your USB drive, it may take a few moments for the Android TV interface to load and recognize the device. You’ll then be able to navigate your folders and files using the TV remote.

Android TV supports common music file formats like MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and more. It’s best to organize your audio files into folders on the USB drive to make browsing easier once connected to your TV.

To play a file, simply navigate to it using your remote and select it. This will launch the media player and begin playing the chosen music track or album from the start. You can pause, skip forward/backward, shuffle tracks, and adjust the volume using your remote.

For more details, check the Sony guide on playing media from a USB device:

Installing a Music Streaming App

One of the easiest ways to play music on your Android TV is by installing a dedicated music streaming app from the Google Play Store. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. On your Android TV remote, press the Home button to access the main menu screen.
  2. Scroll down to and select the Play Store icon.
  3. Use the search bar at the top of the screen to search for the streaming app you want. Some popular options include Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, and more.
  4. Select the streaming app and press Install.
  5. If prompted, enter your Google account or sign up for a new account with the streaming service.
  6. Once the app is installed, open it from your Android TV’s app menu. You can browse music, create playlists, and stream songs just like you would on your phone.

Streaming apps provide a huge music library and work very well for playing background music on your TV. Just keep in mind you may need a paid subscription for full access to some apps.

Using Plex Media Server

Plex Media Server is software that lets you manage, stream, and play your digital media collection, including music, on devices like Android TV. To get started, you will need to have the Plex Media Server software installed on a compatible computer or network-attached storage (NAS) device where your media files are stored. The setup process involves creating a Plex account, connecting your media library folders, and installing the Plex app on your Android TV.

Once Plex Media Server is set up, open the Plex app on your Android TV. You will see sections and libraries for your media, including one for music. Browse your music by library, album, artist, or by searching. When you find music you want to play, simply select it and Plex will begin streaming it directly to your TV. The music plays through your TV or any other speakers connected to your TV.

Some key benefits of using Plex for music include:

  • Access your music library from anywhere (according to
  • Control playback and browse libraries right from your Android TV
  • No need to convert file formats or transfer music to your TV storage

Casting Music from a Computer

You can easily cast music from your computer to your Android TV using the Plex desktop app or Google Chrome browser.

To use Plex (

  • Download and install the Plex app on both your computer and Android TV.
  • In the Plex app on your computer, select the music you want to play. Then click the cast icon and select your Android TV.
  • The selected music will start playing through your TV speakers or any speakers connected to your TV.

You can also use Chrome (

  • Open Google Play Music in the Chrome browser on your computer.
  • Start playing music.
  • Click the Chromecast icon to cast the tab to your Android TV.
  • The music will play through your Android TV.

Using either Plex or Chrome makes it simple to enjoy the music library on your computer through your Android TV audio system.

Connecting to a Bluetooth Speaker

One of the easiest ways to play audio from your Android TV is by connecting to a Bluetooth speaker. Most Android TVs have built-in Bluetooth capability that allows you to pair with speakers and headphones wirelessly.

To pair a Bluetooth speaker with your Android TV:

  1. Make sure the speaker is turned on and in pairing mode. Refer to the speaker’s instructions if you’re unsure how to activate pairing mode.
  2. Go to Settings > Remotes & Accessories on your Android TV.
  3. Select Add accessory.
  4. Choose the Bluetooth speaker from the list of available devices.
  5. Your Android TV will connect and pair with the selected Bluetooth speaker.

Some Bluetooth speakers designed for multi-room setups, like models from Sonos or Bose, have their own apps that allow you to connect and control multiple speakers from your Android TV. Refer to the speaker manufacturer’s instructions for multi-room pairing and grouping.

Make sure your Android TV and Bluetooth speaker are within 30 feet of each other for stable connectivity. Keep the speaker away from potential sources of interference like microwaves and wireless routers. For best results, position the Bluetooth speaker facing toward the center of the room.

If you run into issues pairing your Bluetooth speaker, try restarting both devices. Some older Android TVs may have limited Bluetooth capabilities and struggle to maintain connections.

Tips for Better Audio Quality

There are several settings you can adjust to improve audio quality from your Android TV. Here are some tips:

Check your TV’s audio settings and switch to a sound mode optimized for the content you’re watching. For movies, try “Cinema” or “Movie” mode. For sports and TV shows, try “Clear Voice” mode to make dialogue easier to hear. Samsung TVs have an “Adaptive Sound+” mode that automatically adjusts audio based on what you’re watching.

If you have a soundbar or speaker system connected to your Android TV, adjust its audio settings too. Enable any surround sound or 3D audio modes when watching movies. For better dialogue, look for a “Night” or “Voice” mode.1

Try using Dolby sound modes like Dolby Atmos on content that supports it for a more immersive audio experience. You may need to purchase a sound system or soundbar that is Dolby Atmos compatible.

Consider connecting an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) via USB or HDMI for improved audio processing and quality.

Adjust any equalizer settings to boost or reduce certain frequencies as needed. For example, boost mid-range frequencies slightly for better dialogue intelligibility.

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