I'm trying out Android Things on my Raspberry Pi 3, and besides a little bit of a learning curve around the adb utility, things are going well. However, it doesn't seem like audio is working at all.

Ultimately I'm writing a small app using Google's Nearby API. This allows one Android device (my Pi) to talk to another over a short range. It does this over wifi and bluetooth. It also has an option to communicate over an extremely short range by using the speakers and microphone of the respective devices and sending near-ultrasonic sounds. I verified that the normal version (i.e. wifi/bluetooth) of Nearby is working correctly on my Pi. That is, I can publish a message from the Pi, and receive it on my phone. Again, that is working.

However, when I switch the publish strategy to "earshot," which uses the near-ultrasonic sounds, then my phone can no longer seem to see the signal coming from the Pi. So, I ran a test just to see if the audio was working at all, by adding a short bit of code to my app to play an MP3 file:

MediaPlayer mediaPlayer = MediaPlayer.create(this, R.raw.test_audio);

But I don't hear anything. When I run the application in an Android emulator, the sound plays. But when I move it onto the Raspberry Pi, it won't play anything. This would explain why the ultrasonic signals from the Nearby API aren't working. I tested this using both the HDMI output and the 3.5 mm jack on the Pi and in both cases I could not hear any audio playing.

Does anyone know how to get audio working on a Raspberry Pi running Android Things?

  • Can you use any audio at all? Is the problem audio output from the RPi, and can you get it to play audio any other way?
    – user61421
    May 13, 2017 at 21:21
  • Like I said in the question, audio does not appear to be working at all - regardless of whether I'm using the 3.5 mm jack or the HDMI audio. My question is how I can remedy that.
    – soapergem
    May 15, 2017 at 14:25
  • Okay, have you tried playing a normal music file or something that's not using code? (As a control test?)
    – user61421
    May 15, 2017 at 14:27
  • What do you mean by "something that's not using code"? Are you familiar with how Android Things works? It can only have a single app installed at a time and runs that app exclusively.
    – soapergem
    May 15, 2017 at 14:28
  • I want you to play an audio file on your raspberry pi. Just play the audio file, don't do anything else. (Trying to isolate the problem)
    – user61421
    May 15, 2017 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


I got sound working by using a USB sound adapter that has 3.5 mm jacks for microphone and speakers.

The one I used is USB Audio Sound Adapter for PS3, PS4, Windows, Mac, Raspberry Pi and Linux. To be used with external headphone and microphone. Plug and play No drivers Needed. and I am testing with Developer Preview 4.

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