Is it possible to have a bluetooth speaker connected, but have VO coming through the in-built speaker of an iDevice?

Hardware and Accessories

Hi all,

VO redirecting itself through an external bluetooth device is what you'd likely want to happen if you were using a bluetooth headset or the like. Sometimes though, it'd be preferable to be able to play content through an external bluetooth thing, whilst keeping VO talking through the speaker on whichever iOS device you're holding. I'm not seeing a way to get this to happen here in iOS 7, and wondered whether it'd been added in iOS 8?

Any advice appreciated. If the feature doesn't exist yet, I'll be writing in to request it. I'm imagining something similar to the options provided for the accessibility shortcut, so you'd have the choice to always automatically switch output, never switch output, or ask.

Here's hoping that Apple are one step ahead of me as usual :)



Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

As far as I know, this is not implimented on iOs yet. On the mac side of things, you can do this, it's under the VO preferences in the sound option. I believe, anyway.

Submitted by DPinWI on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I have not found a way to do this.

However, if I use Airplay to send audio to an Apple TV, the Voice Over audio still comes out the phone's speaker, or wired headphones.

Submitted by Scottsdale on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In reply to by DPinWI

Yup, I've seen how things work with Airplay, that's why I was kinda hoping they'd added the same for other streaming protocols. Guess not. Bummer.

Alrighty then, here goes that email. Fingers crossed for iOS 9.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hi. I also wanted a way to have VO and other sounds go to 2 different places on iOS. I submited the idea to Jailbreak tweak developers weeks ago, but got no response yet. I hope it will happen some day either by Apple doing it themselves or by a Jailbreak tweak being made. Maybe we should all contact apple and JB devs. Maybe if one will not do it, the other will.

Submitted by DPinWI on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I am using Tango Remote. I plug my iPod directly into the audio system, or Airplay it to an Apple TV, and then use my phone to control it. But this assumes someone has two devices. It's working fine for me. But it sure would be nice if Bluetooth could split out the voice Over speech like Airplay does.

Submitted by Logan9Fingers on Friday, July 24, 2015

Sorry for the late comment, but I only just saw this thread.

Not exactly the sort of solution you were looking for, but in the absence of an IOS settings solution, this would work for those who have old or second devices hanging around.

If you've got an old iPhone or maybe an additional IOS device, then use that to stream the bluetooth music. You'll still get the VO while selecting the music, but at least you could then get on and use your regular device while having the music streaming in the background.

Not perfect because you'd still have the VO coming through during selection, but better than nothing. It makes a case for haning on to that old device when upgrading.

Submitted by DPinWI on Friday, July 24, 2015

I use Tango and an old iPod Touch 4 to play music. I can control the Touch with my iPhone, I have used the Touch connected via blue tooth, and Air Play, with Voice Over on the phone controlling things.

Submitted by Kevan on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I like the idea of having Bluetooth sending audio somewhere else, like a good quality speaker, while VoiceOver is coming out of your phone's speaker. This probably would be useful in parties where you wouldn't want everyone hearing when you changed the music or got a notification and VoiceOver started talking.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, January 1, 2017

A tutor and I set up and configured my blue-tooth speaker on Friday, and without doing anything on my part some of the VO speech came through my blue-tooth speaker. This is the first blue-tooth device I've ever used. I checked in VO Utility under Sound, and it appears that if no blue-tooth device is detected in Mac System Preferences, VO speech reverts to either the internal speakers or another external set of speakers if connected. Speech was working fine for me up until yesterday, when it somehow got muted. Now that I've had a bit of time to think things through, this could've been due to me taking the blue-tooth speaker outside of my apartment just to test it out. Luckily this same tutor was able to unmute VO earlier today, but it looks like I'm gonna have to either pair the speaker again or change the setting back in VO Utility to what it was prior to getting the other speaker. Having said all that, this appears to be a heck of a good speaker. It is from Sharkk, a company which I hadn't heard of before. But my brother told me that there is a talking user guide and audio indicator for low battery.