SDL Wiki
(This is the documentation for SDL3, which is under heavy development and the API is changing! SDL2 is the current stable version!)


This function is a legacy means of opening the audio device.


int SDL_OpenAudio(SDL_AudioSpec * desired,
                  SDL_AudioSpec * obtained);

Function Parameters


an SDL_AudioSpec structure representing the desired output format. Please refer to the SDL_OpenAudioDevice documentation for details on how to prepare this structure.


an SDL_AudioSpec structure filled in with the actual parameters, or NULL.

Return Value

Returns 0 if successful, placing the actual hardware parameters in the structure pointed to by obtained.

If obtained is NULL, the audio data passed to the callback function will be guaranteed to be in the requested format, and will be automatically converted to the actual hardware audio format if necessary. If obtained is NULL, desired will have fields modified.

This function returns a negative error code on failure to open the audio device or failure to set up the audio thread; call SDL_GetError() for more information.


This function remains for compatibility with SDL 1.2, but also because it's slightly easier to use than the new functions in SDL 2.0. The new, more powerful, and preferred way to do this is SDL_OpenAudioDevice().

This function is roughly equivalent to:

SDL_OpenAudioDevice(NULL, 0, desired, obtained, SDL_AUDIO_ALLOW_ANY_CHANGE);

With two notable exceptions:


This function is available since SDL 3.0.0.

Code Examples

SDL_AudioSpec want, have;

SDL_memset(&want, 0, sizeof(want)); /* or SDL_zero(want) */
want.freq = 48000;
want.format = AUDIO_F32;
want.channels = 2;
want.samples = 4096;
want.callback = MyAudioCallback; /* you wrote this function elsewhere -- see SDL_AudioSpec for details */

if (SDL_OpenAudio(&want, &have) < 0) {
    SDL_Log("Failed to open audio: %s", SDL_GetError());
} else {
    if (have.format != want.format) {
        SDL_Log("We didn't get Float32 audio format.");
    SDL_PauseAudio(0); /* start audio playing. */
    SDL_Delay(5000); /* let the audio callback play some sound for 5 seconds. */

CategoryAPI, CategoryAudio

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