Samsung USB-C headphone jack adapter on Galaxy S21

I recently acquired a genuine Samsung USB-C headphone jack adapter for my Galaxy S21 phone, so I could use some older-but-still-good wired headphones with it. Fully expecting it just to work when plugged in (given that I’d bought a branded one rather than some cheap no-name brand), I was rather surprised when it didn’t, and instead the phone insisted it was just “charging” the device with no apparent option to enable it as a USB audio device.

Testing the adapter on a nearby Samsung tablet of a similar age showed it working fine, so it was clearly a software problem. A search revealed endless lists of people having the same problem, so this is clearly a common issue. There are various different solutions proposed but here’s what worked for me:

  • Enable Developer Mode (Settings -> About Phone -> Software -> hit the build number 7 times)
  • Go to the Settings -> Developer settings menu
  • Check the value of the “Disable USB audio routing” option (this is called “Inaktivera ljud via USB” on a phone set to Swedish). In my case it was turned off which is the correct setting, however since it clearly wasn’t working I continued.
  • Turn the “Disable USB audio routing” option ON and reboot the phone (we don’t actually want this setting, but let’s try…)
  • (Headphones via USB-C still not working)
  • Turn the “Disable USB audio routing” option OFF
  • Headphones now work.

Why does this workaround (turning the option on and off with a reboot in the middle) work? No idea; it’s clearly a bug somewhere.

Overall, this is pretty bad, given that Samsung knowingly removed the 3.5mm socket from many newer models but apparently have not succeeded in making its expensive branded replacement work reliably. But there you go.


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