Is it possible to send audio from music in iTunes, or from movies on Netflix, or video game sounds, etc., from my MacBook and receive and listen to the audio on my iPhone? I'm thinking of this working like wireless headphones, except with a really long cord. If there is a way could you let me know how the solution works, I'm interested in creating my own script/app to do this if it's not too daunting.

If its important, I'm running an old 2009 MacBook, running Snow Leopard.

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    Crikey what year are you living in if a 20009 is old? That's 18,000 years in the future! ;) – Graeme Hutchison Dec 27 '11 at 9:15
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    I'm glad you were able to make that comment before I edited it, @GraemeHutchison :). – Jason Salaz Dec 27 '11 at 12:26
  • Has there been anything new since 2011? – Adam_G Apr 16 '19 at 18:25
  • This is super dumb, but play the thing you want on both devices at the same time and just listen... Hopefully the iPhone app you're using to listen to can be backgrounded... – Honey Oct 30 '20 at 20:42

Yes, using Airfoil for Mac (also available for Windows) and the companion app Airfoil Speakers Touch you can stream any audio from your Mac to your iOS device.

I haven't tried it much myself, and reviews are mixed, but you can try it for free before shelling out the money for it.

This can also be used to send audio from a MacBook to a bluetooth headset connected to an iOS device. Something which is very difficult otherwise.

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    This solution worked, although for live applications, such as watching a movie on netflix, the audio was delayed enough to be annoying. Perhaps I'll delve deep into the Core Audio API and see if I can find a few tools there – theck01 Dec 27 '11 at 20:33
  • Is Airfoil still the best? – Adam_G Apr 16 '19 at 18:25
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    It definitely works with Airfoil, but personally I wasn't fan to pay 25$ for just a solution in setup I am not sure I will ever use again after this. And seriously, I can't stand the 'hey-use-me-I'm-free-but-I-will-annoy-the-crap-out-of-you-after-15-min-of-freeriding' policy.. – Damian Vogel May 2 '19 at 1:26
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    The major downside to Airfoil is a significant lag, usually about 2 seconds. It doesn't matter for just listening to music, but the audio from Skype or Netflix will be completely out of sync with the video. – Adam_G Jul 9 '19 at 16:30

Here is a little solution that uses the open source programs Soundflower, VLC and SoX.

First of all, you need to install the necessary programs using Homebrew:

brew install sox
brew cask install soundflower vlc

Choose the Soundflower (2ch) device in the system settings for the sound output such that it can be forwarded to a VLC server which we will set up next. (Note, that this mutes the internal speakers/headphone jack.) By checking "Show volume in menu bar", you can also change the output device by alt-clicking the menu bar item more conveniently.

Sound settings

Now, run the VLC server:

sox -t coreaudio "Soundflower (2c" -t mp3 -C 96 -q - | \
  vlc - --sout "#standard{access=http,mux=ogg,dst=localhost:8080}" --intf dummy

You can adapt the quality and bit rate with the -C switch (see the SoX documentation). Remove -q to get visual feedback about whether sound is playing.

Finally, on your iOS device, install the iOS VLC client. In the side menu, choose Network Stream and enter http://[YOUR-LOCAL-IP]:8080 to start the stream.

Caveats: This setup is not suitable for real-time applications like gaming or chat because there is a ~2 seconds lag. However, it can be used for watching videos in VLC by shifting the sound track to account for the lag (Window > Track Synchronization).

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    a great solution! thanks. It is recommended to include: brew update-reset && brew update before starting installation – Roy Jun 6 '19 at 15:20
  • Doesn't brew update automatically when installing something? By the way, it just occurred to me that one could access an audio input device (Soundflower in this case) directly from VLC using qtsound:// as described here. This way one could avoid SoX as additional sound capturing program. – Robin Dinse Jun 7 '19 at 0:34

I didn't fancy paying for Airfoil - plus I'm a bit suspicious of not being able to use all audio sources on the Mac.

Instead I'm making use of Airphones (DELETED - app now unavailable)

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    Downvoted, because the Airphonesapp.com now displays a porn site.. NSFW! – Dominik Dorn May 28 '18 at 11:32
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    Fair. Edited... – Joe May 28 '18 at 17:28

I used Airfoil and was able to stream music from iTunes (on an iMac running OSX Mavericks 10.9.1) to my iDevices.

I admit the $25 price tag was not something I liked.

However it does work. You can play music from iTunes on a your laptop and simultaneously listen to the music on your iPhone remotely.

You can have the entire house playing the same music through various speakers: your laptop, your iphone and perhaps an imac or ipad.

For me, the price of the $25 is a little easier to swallow than buying a USD $94 Apple Airport Express plus Speakers to connect to the Airport Express.

What's more the Airport Express only has One Audio Jack Port so one speaker for one Airport Express.

Hope this helps.

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