Is there a way to listen to YouTube audio-only Android?

YouTube is the most popular online video platform, but did you know you can also use it just for audio listening? With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube offers a vast library of audio content. Listening to YouTube audio-only lets you play just the audio track of videos in the background, with the screen off, or while using other apps. This allows you to enjoy podcasts, music, lectures, audiobooks and more without having the video take up your screen.

In this guide, we’ll explain multiple methods for audio-only listening on YouTube for Android devices. We’ll cover how to enable background audio playback in the YouTube app, use third party apps and converters, and provide tips for the best audio experience.

Background on YouTube Audio

YouTube is known primarily as a video platform, but it also offers a wide selection of audio-only content like songs, podcasts, audiobooks, and more. Many users enjoy listening to just the audio from YouTube videos for a variety of reasons:

Listening to only audio can help save mobile data and bandwidth compared to streaming video (source). It takes less data to stream audio versus video, making it more efficient, especially on the go.

Audio mode allows for easier multitasking, since you don’t have to look at the screen and can keep the phone in your pocket while listening (source). You can continue browsing other apps or lock your phone while the audio plays.

For accessibility reasons, some users may prefer an audio-only option if they have visual impairments or find it difficult to look at a screen.

When doing chores, driving, exercising or other activities, audio can be less distracting and safer than video.

In some cases, YouTube may exclusively host content only available in audio format like podcasts, radio programs, or music tracks.

Enabling Audio-only Playback

The YouTube app has a built-in audio-only mode that can be enabled to listen to audio without video on Android devices. This feature allows you to listen to YouTube content in the background or with your screen off, saving battery life.

To enable audio-only playback in the YouTube app on Android:

  1. Open the YouTube app and tap on your profile picture in the top right corner.
  2. Go to Settings > Don’t play videos.
  3. Toggle the “Don’t play videos” switch on. This will enable audio-only mode.

Once enabled, videos will not show video playback. You can listen to the audio track of videos with the screen off or while using other apps. This creates a music-like experience for listening to YouTube videos, podcasts, and more.


Using a Background Player

Many popular music and audio apps like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music allow you to keep playing audio in the background while using other apps. This can be a convenient way to listen to YouTube videos in audio-only mode.

YouTube Music has a background player feature that continues playing audio even when you exit the app or lock your phone screen. You can enable background listening in the YouTube Music settings. Songs and playlists you start in the YouTube Music app will keep playing as you use other apps (Add Music to Videos for Free – Apps in 2024).

Similarly, Spotify offers background listening for Premium subscribers. Start playing a playlist or song in Spotify, then switch to another app to listen to the audio. The music will continue uninterrupted. Other audio apps like Pandora and Apple Music also allow audio playback in the background.

Using a dedicated music app in the background is an easy way to listen to YouTube audio passively while doing other tasks on your device. The audio stays on even when your phone is locked.

Using Video Downloader Apps

There are several video downloader apps for Android that allow you to download just the audio track from YouTube videos. Here are some of the top options:

Snaptube (Proprietary software) – This popular app lets you download videos and extract audio in formats like MP3 up to 320kbps. To download just audio, tap the video and select ‘Audio’ from the popup menu.

Videoder – Video Downloader – Videoder has an audio-only download option when you paste in a YouTube link. You can save the audio as MP3 or other formats.

TubeMate (GNU General Public License) – TubeMate is one of the most popular YouTube downloader apps on Android. After pasting a link, tap the download icon and select ‘Audio’ to extract just the audio track.

YMusic – This lightweight app allows downloading audio from YouTube, SoundCloud, and more. Paste the URL and tap the download icon to save just the audio file.

Overall, these video downloader apps provide an easy way to extract and save just the audio content from YouTube videos on your Android device.

Converting Videos to MP3

One popular way to listen to YouTube audio-only on Android is to convert the YouTube videos to MP3 files. There are a few different methods for doing this:

Online video converters allow you to paste in a YouTube URL and download just the audio in MP3 format. Some popular online converters include YouTube to MP3 Converter,, and OnlyMP3. These sites make it quick and easy to extract the audio into an MP3 file you can play on your Android device.

There are also desktop programs and browser extensions you can install to convert YouTube videos to MP3. These give you more control and customization for downloading and converting multiple videos at once. Some options to explore are Freemake Video Downloader, 4K Video Downloader, or Online Video Converter browser extensions.

The advantage of converting to MP3 is you end up with audio files you can listen to anywhere, even offline. The drawback is it takes an extra step compared to streaming the audio directly.

Using Third-Party Websites

Many third-party websites allow streaming YouTube audio without video. These sites act as an intermediary and convert YouTube videos to audio files that can be streamed or downloaded. Some popular third-party sites with audio-only options include:

MP3-Youtube – This site lets you paste in a YouTube URL to convert and download audio in MP3 format. You can also stream the audio directly on their site.

OnlineVideoConverter – Supports extracting audio in MP3 or M4A format from YouTube and many other sites. Provides options for downloading or streaming audio.

Video2MP3 – Allows downloading audio from YouTube and SoundCloud. Supports MP3 and M4A formats.

The advantage of these sites is providing a quick and easy way to listen to YouTube audio without dealing with converters or apps. However, quality can vary and users have little control over the conversion process.

Considerations for Audio Listening

When listening to audio-only YouTube, there are some important legal and ethical considerations to keep in mind.

YouTube’s Terms of Service prohibit illegal downloading or distribution of copyrighted content. Simply listening to audio may be permitted under fair use, but downloading videos or songs solely for the audio could violate copyright law.

Artists and creators often rely on ad revenue from YouTube views, so consider ethics and supporting them by watching videos normally when possible. As Quora user Anirudh Kanisetti notes, audio-only listening reduces their potential ad income.

Use discretion when sharing copyrighted audio and avoid re-uploading songs. Listen ethically within fair use guidelines, and support creators when you can.

Additional Tips

Here are some extra tips for listening to YouTube audio only on Android:

You can use keyboard shortcuts like “K” to toggle play/pause and “J” and “L” to skip back and forward in a video. This allows you to control audio playback without looking at the screen (Source: Reddit).

For desktop listening, you can pop out the video player, minimize it, and listen to audio only while you work on other tasks (Source: Google Support).

You can also use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice commands to control YouTube listening on supporting devices without touching the screen. Just link your YouTube account and ask it to play videos or playlists.

Using headphones can enhance the audio experience and help avoid distractions. Bluetooth headphones allow listening away from the screen.

Turning on Do Not Disturb mode will prevent notifications from interrupting your audio. You can also try using airplane mode if you don’t need internet access for anything else.

Some third party apps like TaMus for Android offer advanced audio controls like speed, bass boost, and mono mixes specifically designed for listening rather than watching videos.


Listening to YouTube audio-only on Android offers several convenient options for enjoying your favorite videos without always looking at the screen. We covered a few main methods like enabling audio-only mode in the YouTube app, using background players, converting videos to MP3 files, and leveraging third-party websites.

The benefits of these audio-focused options include saving data and battery life by not loading video, multi-tasking while listening, and gaining portable access to audio content. As YouTube continues enhancing its offerings, we may see more audio-centric features added natively to the platform. For now, the methods discussed provide flexible ways to turn YouTube videos into audio content as needed.

Overall, Android users have the ability to customize their YouTube experience for audio-only listening. By understanding the various techniques available, you can easily access YouTube’s massive library of content in an audio-first manner when desired.

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