changing the audio destination of voiceover

iOS & iPadOS

Good day. I had thought there was a way to change the audio destination of voiceover say from the phone speaker to another connected device. There used to be an item in the rotor called audio destinations. Is this gone or am I missing this? The idea would be if I am doing some kind of recording and want voiceover nto be spoken over the phone but through some other connected device.



Submitted by Jesse Anderson on Friday, September 23, 2016

I originally contacted Apple Accessibility about this problem, and they gave me a couple of ideas to try. So I have done some more experimenting, and here's what I found.

In IOS 9, I would connect my iPhone and iPad to an AirPlay server, occasionally Apple TV, but more often, the Reflector 2 PC app:

Reflector turns your computer into an AirPlay server, which is great for doing presentations and recording videos. In IOS 9, VoiceOver added a feature, when connected to an AirPlay device, that would add an Audio Destination option to your rotor automatically when connected, but wouldn't be when not in AirPlay. It was very helpful having the audio destination option in IOS 9.

I tried this same process in IOS 10, and the option has disappeared when using AirPlay to Reflector. Apple suggested experimenting with Audio Ducking to see if that would make any difference, but it didn't. Audio Destination didn't appear with Audio Ducking on or off.

When connected to a Bluetooth headset however, the option appears. Interestingly, it doesn't work how I'd expect. When switching the audio destination with a headset, both VoiceOver and any other audio (music, movies, etc.) toggle between the IOS device speaker and Bluetooth headset. I was thinking you'd have the option to switch VoiceOver audio and other audio separately. Having this level of audio destination support through AirPlay would still be useful though.

has anyone else tried switching audio destination over AirPlay in IOS 10? Has that option disappeared for you as well?

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, September 23, 2016

Hi. I thought somewhere there's a setting to route audio or something, I think it might be for phone calls, but would that not work? Hope you get this resolved.

Submitted by Christopher Duffley on Friday, September 23, 2016

In iOS 10, you can, from what I saw in the iOS 10 Review. However, I think you have to have the source connected to it in order to switch it.

Go to the Audio settings of VoiceOver settings and it should be there, haven't tried it myself so don't know exactly what to do, but I know that you will need to go to the Audio settings to change it, sort of like VoiceOver on the Mac.

Submitted by Chris on Saturday, September 24, 2016

The audio section under VO settings only allows you to set which channel VO speech and sounds come through. I haven't tried AirPlay with iOS 10 yet. I need to download the demo of Airfoil.

Submitted by Luke on Saturday, September 24, 2016

I used an iPad 4th-generation running iOS 10 for this test:

When connected to an airplay destination, by default, voiceover output remains on the local device. Toggling the audio ducking rotor setting allows you to send voiceover output to The connected airplay destination, albeit with significant lag. Not recommended

When connected to a Bluetooth destination, an audio destination rotor option becomes available. Invoking this option switches all output, including voiceover, between your local device and the Bluetooth destination.
While connected to a Bluetooth destination, an option called speech channel appears within the audio section of VoiceOver settings, found from General settings > accessibility. I was disappointed to find that this option still does not allow you to separate VoiceOver output from the rest of the phone's output. All it does is display options for the left and right audio channel of your connected Bluetooth device, the usefulness of which is unclear to me.

I was under the impression from reading about the voiceover updates in iOS 10 that we would be able to, for example, have music playing on a Bluetooth speaker while keeping VoiceOver play back on our phones, but it appears either we cannot do that yet or I cannot figure out how. I hope this was helpful.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Saturday, September 24, 2016

I heard this was jut for mixers and split head phones like wat you do in customer service stuff. Sad as I also wanted to do this.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Thursday, April 20, 2017

I know apple probably want to drive sales of airplay solutions as they have a large investment in it and don't with bluetooth devices, still, feel it is a little unfair. The ideal for me is to be able to have a discrete headphone whilst curating a playlist in the car for friends and, as great as old Al is, his inane babbling can test the resolve of even the most patient of people.

Please sort this out for a next release. I can't imagine there is a hardware limitation in the iPhone 7, for example, as even the cheapest of headsets have multipoint connection so should even be able to push VO to a headset and audio to a BT speaker setup.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hey, can anyone advise about how to get voiceover back onto the phone when using airplay? I’ve got a new denon AVR and a sweet sweet set up, but voiceover, with dreadful lag, only seems to come through airplay? I thought that VO should have remained on my IOS device… What the dickens? Is there any setting to change etc so that I’m not having to deal with such a terribly laggy setup?

I am using IOS11 beta, but I can’t imagine that should make too much difference. What is the current state?