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I have a 2018 iPad Pro. It plays music through AirPlay to an external speaker if I choose it. However games seem to play sound only through the built-in speakers. I can have music and the game at the same time but game sounds on the iPad and music on the speaker

How do I make game sounds and music play through an AirPlay device?

  • Have you tried going through the game settings? Is it one game or every game? – user310476 Jan 2 at 17:41
  • Every game and they do not have any sound settings – Mark Jan 2 at 19:44
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Sorry but what you want to do is not possible.

iTunes can use AirPlay for music because it has been created to support AirPlay. Game developers are unlikely to add support for AirPlay just for audio. If they do support AirPlay, it would probably be to do screen mirroring or dual screen to an AppleTV.

Also, only one app at a time can use the AirPlay stream. So even if there was a game that supported just audio to AirPlay speakers, you would not be able to have iTunes streaming to the AirPlay speakers at the same time.

This is documented by Apple for developers: https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/airplay/overview/media-playback/

Stream only expected content. Disable streaming of content like background loops and short video experiences that only make sense within the context of your app itself.

The breakdown between game sounds that play locally and soundtracks that are presented through AirPlay is here: https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/AudioVideo/Conceptual/AirPlayGuide/EnrichYourAppforAirPlay/EnrichYourAppforAirPlay.html

Send Audio Where It Belongs

Apps typically use two types of sound—app audio (such as ambient sounds, background music, and incidental noises) and system sounds (such as key clicks and alert sounds). AirPlay attempts to deliver the app audio to a remote sound system while keeping system sounds on the host, so that feedback sounds remain local to the input device.

If your app uses system sound APIs for app audio, AirPlay does not redirect them to the AirPlay-enabled sound system. The result is a less-than-optimum user experience. It is important to use system sound APIs only for system sounds. For app audio, use APIs such as AVAudioPlayer.

  • Yes that seems to be so from other googled results and Apple development note. I was hoping it would be like bluetooth or like Airplay on the Mac where the Airplay speaker just acts like any other output. Actual direct references as URLs would be useful – Mark Jan 4 at 17:20
  • @mark I know this used to work and my belief is Apple has been tracking down all the developers and convincing them to play the local sounds and leave AirPlay to music / long playing sounds. Great comment calling for references, I dug up two in hopes I could get you an answer how to do this with an app like Audiobus to reroute things, but no luck finding you an answer better than documenting why this isn’t likely to be added by developers. – bmike Jan 9 at 2:39
  • Ugh it gets worse. If I had known this before I would have bought Bluetooth speakers not airplay. Games sound cramp from the iPad compared with decent speakers. – Mark Jan 9 at 2:56

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