How To: Use your mobile device as a PC speaker

WiFi Audio Wireless Speaker

Though I really like my laptop for its sheer performance, its speakers are more than lacking. That was a conscious choice as I mostly use my headphones and do not really care about a laptop’s speakers but it is still disappointing to see a mobile device performing better in the sound department than my PC. That is why I started searching for ways to use a mobile device as PC speakers but I am sure others will appreciate this feature if their dedicated speakers are broken or unavailable for whatever reason.

Glorious notes

There are many apps that will perform what we want, turning your device into a PC speaker. I do not want to focus on any particular one because they all have their strengths and weaknesses so instead I am going to give you some general guidance on what to expect along with links to a few apps that I think are worth the trouble. Do note that no app for this particular purpose is completely free without limitations. While all the apps I will show you in this post have free versions, they usually come with ads or other limitations like lower quality of sound.

Android

Having tried quite a few apps from the Play Store, I think that two of the best offerings are SoundWire and the more generic WiFi Audio Wireless Speaker which works surprisingly well too. Both apps have very nice quality, low latency and advertising. What you need to do is head over to Google Play, download one of the apps to your device and then download the server to your PC. The SoundWire server can be found here and the one for WiFi Speaker is here.

SoundWire Android

After you have installed the applications, you need to make sure that your PC and your phone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Both apps should detect your phone automatically and set everything up on their own. All you have to do at that point is play the audio you want from your computer and you should hear it in your Android device, provided of course you do not shut down the apps in your computer or your phone.

iOS

The only option I am aware of that actually works is Airfoil, a third-party app that has been around for a good while and lets you send and receive audio through any iOS device and supports both Windows and OS X. The problem with this one is that the PC/Mac application costs a fair bit of money at around $29 as it does more than just use your iOS device as a speaker.

Airfoil

The server can be downloaded from the link provided above and the Airfoil Speakers Touch companion app can be found on iTunes. Setting this up is also very simple as it will automatically detect your device and send the music to your iPhone, iPad or iPod without hassle.