Under The Microscope

How to Send Audio From iOS or iTunes to an iOS Device

As reported elsewhere on this blog, we’ve unfortunately had to remove the ability for Airfoil Speakers Touch to receive audio directly from iOS and iTunes. While this functionality will continue to work for those who previously purchased it, it’s no longer available for purchase. It’s clear, however, that tens of thousands of people wish to send audio from one iOS device to another, or from iTunes to any iOS device. While it’s not as simple as it was before, it is still possible. Herein, we’ll describe two workarounds to make this possible.

Sending From One iOS Device to Another

To send between two iOS devices (iPhones, iPods Touch, and iPads), you’ll now need a Mac or PC running Airfoil to act as an intermediary between the two devices. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Send from the first iOS device to your computer

To get started, launch both Airfoil and Airfoil Speakers on the same computer. Next, on your iOS device, tap the AirPlay icon in the audio app you’re using. The Airfoil Speakers instance running on your computer will appear as an output option in the AirPlay sending menu, and you can choose it.

Here, we’re sending from an iPhone to Airfoil Speakers running on a MacBook Air:

Step 1 - Send from iOS to your computer

Send from iOS to your computer

And this is Airfoil Speakers running on that MacBook Air, receiving the audio stream from the iPhone:

Receiving with Airfoil Speakers on the Mac

Airfoil Speakers on the Mac receives audio from the iPhone

Step 2: Send from your computer to the second iOS device

With the audio flowing from the iOS device to our Mac, we’re halfway to sending that audio to our second iOS device. That feat is ultimately accomplished with the help of Airfoil. Open Airfoil and select Airfoil Speakers as your audio source, then transmit the audio out to the desired iOS device.

Below, you can see that the audio originally from the iPhone is being pulled from Airfoil Speakers and sent out to an iPod Touch:

Sending to iOS via Airfoil

Then, use Airfoil to send from your computer to the second iOS device.

Now, audio from the iPhone is heard on the iPod Touch.

If you’re thinking “Couldn’t I use this to send from iOS to multiple outputs too?”, you’re exactly correct. While iOS’s AirPlay sending allows you to send to just one output, with this workaround, you can send from iOS to multiple outputs. We wrote detailed instructions for this previously.

Sending From iTunes to an iOS Device

Sending from iTunes to an iOS device is a bit more straightforward, as you’re obviously already using a Mac or PC to play audio with iTunes. To get that audio to your iOS device, you’ll use Airfoil to then capture iTunes audio and send it out to Airfoil Speakers Touch.

Step 1: Set iTunes as your source in Airfoil

Launch Airfoil on your computer, and set iTunes as the source as the top of the window, as we’ve done here:

Step 1 - Select iTunes as your source

iTunes is set as the source in Airfoil

In iTunes, make sure that your output in the lower right is set to Computer (so Airfoil can capture iTunes’ audio), then play some audio.

Step 2: Capture iTunes’ audio and send it to Airfoil Speakers Touch

On your receiving iOS device, open up Airfoil Speakers Touch. It will then appear in Airfoil as an output option. Click the Transmit button, and Airfoil will capture iTunes’ audio, then send it out. Below, you can see Airfoil sending audio to our iPod Touch.

Step 2 - Send from Airfoil to Airfoil Speakers Touch

Airfoil then sends to Airfoil Speakers

Now, the audio from iTunes is being heard on the iPod Touch, thanks to Airfoil. This is, of course, the same process by which any audio on your Mac (from web browsers, from Spotify, and more) can be sent to iOS devices, using Airfoil.


While it’s unfortunate that we’ve had to remove useful functionality from Airfoil Speakers Touch, it is still possible to route audio to iOS devices. These guides should get you going.

14 Responses to “How to Send Audio From iOS or iTunes to an iOS Device”

  1. reyno7771 says:

    i bought your iap, which the update removes ?? now i have to buy a $25 app to do the same thing ? can have my money back please ?

  2. Kristian Matthews says:

    Although I am not expecting my money back I do agree with reyno7771, I also purhcased the in app purchase and now find out I have to purchase an additional app to get this working.

    Although I am fully aware this is at not fault of Rogue Amoeba it has none the less put their reputation lower.

    Fortunately (at least I hope) I have not yet updated this app, but it will get updated eventually.

    It would be great to perhaps have a discount to purchase the additional app.

  3. Disappointed. says:

    I’m with Reyno here. I feel like I’m being ripped off, I paid for an app to do a specific thing, that key functionality has been removed, and the app to replace that key functionality is way more expensive. Extremely disappointing. Can those in this position at least get a comped desktop version to replace the lost functionality of the paid app?

  4. Bailor says:

    I’m sad to see my purchase will eventually be rendered useless, but it’s good to know it’ll still work for now.

    And ‘Disappointed’, did you really just ask for a free copy of a $25 app (which is awesome, btw) to replace your $2.99 purchase? What an @#$!@#$!!

  5. Paul Kafasis says:

    reyno7771: As the notes on our other post mention, nothing is removed by the update. If you bought the $3 in-app purchase, that functionality remains when you update.

    App Store purchasers should be (but definitely are not) aware that developers have no ability to issue refunds, nor any sales information. We don’t know who purchased, we can’t talk to our purchasers, and we can’t provide them with refunds. Unfortunately, Apple controls all of that, and their policy has always been “No Refunds”.

    Kristian Matthews: As noted above, the functionality remains when updating. I can’t say I understand why this lowers our reputation in your eyes though, and I’d like to. You indicate that you see this isn’t our fault, yet it seems like you’d have us do something differently – what, exactly?

    We have no control over what Apple has done here, nor the ability to do anything to refund the purchasers. The way Apple runs the App Store, we can’t even tell who they were. We’re deeply disappointed by their decisions, but like you, we don’t have any degree of control here.

    Disappointed.: We’re disappointed too, there’s no question about it. Apple hasn’t left us with a lot of options though. As far as comped versions, we don’t have any way of know who the folks are who purchased the feature in Airfoil Speakers Touch – Apple never provides us with purchaser info.

    As far as “the app to replace that key functionality”, that’s not really what Airfoil is. This is simply a less-than-ideal workaround to replace functionality removed at Apple’s behest – we’re certainly not pitching it as a recommended purchase. Further, most users of Airfoil Speakers Touch already own Airfoil.

    And again, that functionality remains if you already bought the $3 in-app purchase.

    Bailor: No name-calling, please. I’ve edited your comment.

  6. No Longer Disappointed. says:

    Paul – Thank you for your thoughtful response. No longer disappointed, I did not understand from the App Store Update note that the functionality will not be affected for those who already made the purchase, at least until we upgrade or replace our devices. I appreciate you clearing that up, and I’m glad I purchased it before Apple screwed it up!

    I’m really sorry Apple screwed you guys on this.

    Feel free to delete my previous (uninformed) comment! I hadn’t seen your other post, I saw only the App Store Update text and was routed directly to this page by a blog post.

  7. Kristian Matthews says:

    Paul Kafasis
    Thank you for your reply, I’m glad to hear that even after updating those that have purchased the in app purchase can continue to use it. Thank you for clarifying this, perhaps you should amend this article to mention that at the top? Just a suggestion.

    In my eyes it has not put your reputation lower, just reading from other negatives comments on this whole problem which many people feel negatively towards Rogue Amoeba. Personally, which I feel is just Apple, again, monopolising the market.

    Since the functionality of the original purchase remains, there’s no need for any refund or discount.

  8. Fabio says:

    Has Apple given you the option of licensing Airplay for the APP? If so what would be the additional cost of the APP?

  9. reyno7771 says:

    Just for the record!! the ?? in my comment was because i wasn’t sure so thanks Paul for the clarification..
    i didn’t honestly expect to get my money back, but a buying a $25 app as a workaround ( however cool that app is ) is an expensive workaround…
    also if this feature appears in the next IOS update, as developers i think apple will have screwed you too…

  10. Yarrow says:

    Thanks for the updates and clarifications, Paul. Much appreciated.

  11. Dom says:

    Don’t worry thanks to plist files, there’s a way to put this feature back on the App… Check out the post on 9to5mac… Apparently they didn’t completely remove the functionality!


  12. cw says:

    Funny I read about the app store removal the other day, as others I was disappointed. Yesterday when I saw the update tucked between several other app updates I manually download all of the others because I didn’t want to lose functionality. What a pain, I was already weighing the option of losing functionality vs. one at a time app updates, in and out of App Store. I don’t think it would have been long before I needed to revert to the update all button and update the Airfoil app in the process.

    Today I started reading posts about your implementation which obeys the ‘new’ guidelines but keeps my purchase intact – you guys are the best! Thanks for the extra work that allows us to keep the extras working. Once again you guys are above and beyond in products and service. Cheers!

  13. Jonathan says:

    While this is unfortunate, I hope everyone realizes that Rogue Amoeba did everything they could to fight in favour of their users.

    For those complaining about paying $25 for Airfoil, I must say that I recently purchased the app, and it is well worth it. It’s a great piece of software.

  14. John says:

    Hey if you want airplay back in your app follow these instructions from 9to5mac. They functionality is still there, there’s just a plist file missing!!


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