Connecting USB audio devices in a virtual machine
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Connecting USB audio devices in a virtual machine

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Article ID: 319530

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Updated On:

Products

VMware Desktop Hypervisor

Issue/Introduction

This article details configuring VMware Fusion to use USB audio devices in the virtual machine, and on the host.


Symptoms:
  • USB audio devices (such as speakers and headphones) are only available in the virtual machine
  • Cannot use USB audio devices with Mac applications
  • Connecting a USB audio device to the virtual machine fails


Environment

VMware Fusion 4.x
VMware Fusion 2.x
VMware Fusion 6.x
VMware Fusion 10.x
VMware Fusion Pro 10.x
VMware Fusion 11.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion 5.x
VMware Fusion Pro 11.x
VMware Fusion 8.x
VMware Fusion 1.x
VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Fusion 3.x

Resolution

Note: Standard USB devices cannot be used with both the Mac and with the virtual machine at the same time. In Fusion 2.x and 3.x, an audio device can be shared with the virtual machine from the Mac for simultaneous use. In Fusion 1.x, audio devices can only be used by either the guest operating system or the Mac OS.

Fusion 3.1 and later

To use audio devices with both the Mac and the virtual machine simultaneously, you need to to prevent the automatic connection of the USB audio devices to the virtual machine, and use audio pass-through instead. To do so:

  1. Disable Automatically connect USB Devices in VMware Fusion:
     
    1. Power on the virtual machine.
    2. Go to Virtual Machine > Settings > USB & Bluetooth (Fusion 4.x and later) / USB Devices (Fusion 3.1.x).
    3. Next to the USB audio device, select (Always) Connect to Mac.
       
  2. Configure Fusion to allow audio pass-through to the USB audio device connected to the Mac:
     
    1. Click Sound.
    2. Ensure that Sound Card is turned ON (Fusion 4.x and later) or that Enable sound device is selected (Fusion 3.1.x).
    3. Click the Apple in the Apple menu bar and go to System Preferences > Sound (Fusion 4.x and later), or, click Open System Preferences (Fusion 3.1.x or later).
    4. Ensure that the USB audio device is selected as the default and functioning on the Mac.
    5. Close the Sound window for both System Preferences and Settings.
    6. Start the virtual machine.

Fusion 2.x and 3.0

To use audio devices with both the Mac and the virtual machine simultaneously, you need to to prevent the automatic connection of the USB audio devices to the virtual machine, and use audio pass-through instead. To do so:

  1. Disable Automatically connect USB Devices in VMware Fusion:
     
    1. Shut down the virtual machine.
    2. Go to Virtual Machine > Settings > USB.
    3. Disable Automatically connect USB devices.
    4. In the top left, click Show All.
       
  2. Configure Fusion to allow audio pass-through to the USB audio device connected to the Mac:
     
    1. Go to Sound.
    2. Ensure that Enable sound device is selected.
    3. Click Open System Preferences.
    4. Ensure that the USB audio device is selected and functioning on the Mac.
    5. Close the Sound windows for both System Preferences and Settings.
    6. Start the virtual machine.

Fusion 1.x

To prevent the automatic connection of the USB audio devices to the virtual machine and allow for manual connection/disconnection:

  1. Disable Automatically connect USB devices in VMware Fusion:
     
    1. Shut down the virtual machine.
    2. Go to Virtual Machine > Settings > USB.
    3. Disable Automatically Connect USB Device.
    4. Click Apply and click OK.
    5. Start the virtual machine.
       
  2. Connect the external USB audio device to the Mac host, and ensure that the device mounts.
     
  3. Connect the USB audio device to virtual machine:
     
    1. Launch VMware Fusion.
    2. Start the virtual machine.
    3. Go toVirtual Machine > USB> Connect <USB audio device>.

Note: You cannot use the USB audio device with the Mac until you disconnect the USB audio device from the virtual machine. To do so, go to Virtual Machine > USB > Disconnect <USB audio device>.