So what is Bluetooth? Well technically Harald Bluetooth was a king who united the people of Denmark, but that’s not why we’re here. Bluetooth the technology standard was invented as a way to allow many different kinds of devices to share information with each other. To “unite” them if you will (hence the name).  Although Bluetooth isn’t perfect, it’s one of the best ways to wirelessly connect two devices together and it’s especially handy when it comes to audio.

Bluetooth has a bad rep when it comes to sound quality and a lot of it is earned – kind of. Up until a few years ago it sounded terrible, but recently it’s become significantly better. So much better that most people can’t tell the difference between wired and wireless unless they have an extremely well-trained ear. Because of recent advancements in sound quality and battery life it has quickly become a great way to listen to music wirelessly whether that be through a pair of Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

Now there are literally thousands of audio products that use Bluetooth, so going through each one and explaining how to use it is basically impossible. Instead we’re taking a simpler approach. You’re most likely going to be using a computer, phone, or tablet as the source device, that is, the device that sends the music to your wireless headphones or speaker. So this guide will show you how to connect your headphones or speakers to that device so that you can listen to all the music your heart desires cable-free. Let’s get started.

iOS Devices

iOS devices are made exclusively by Apple and consist of all iPhones and iPads. Luckily, the process is identical between the two so we’re able to lump these two together into one.

  1. In the panel on the left in the Settings app, select Bluetooth
  2. Move Bluetooth switch to the On position, or until you see green
  3. Once Bluetooth is turned on, you’ll see a list of available devices underneath. These are all of the devices in your vicinity that you can connect your iOS device to
  4. Hold down the power button on your headphones or speaker to turn it on. Some devices require you to hold it down for 3 seconds while others have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button that will allow your iOS device to connect to it. It varies from product to product
  5. Select your headphones/speaker in the Devices list on your iOS device to connect

Android Devices

Android devices vary greatly but thankfully the Bluetooth option can usually be found in more or less the same location on all Android devices. Though it might look slightly different on your device it shouldn’t be too far off.

  1. In the Settings app, click on Connections from the list
  2. Select Bluetooth
  3. Switch the toggle to the On position
  4. Hold down the power button on your headphones or speaker to turn it on. Some devices require you to hold it down for 3 seconds while others have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button that will allow your device to connect to it. It varies from product to product
  5. Select your headphones/speaker in the Paired devices or Available devices list on your Android device to connect

Macs & PCs

Mac

On computers connecting to Bluetooth is just as simple (if not more).

  1. Click on the Bluetooth symbol in the top right corner of your screen
  2. Select Open Bluetooth Preferences
  3. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on by clicking the button to the left labeled Turn Bluetooth On
  4. Hold down the power button on your headphones or speaker to turn it on. Some devices require you to hold it down for 3 seconds while others have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button that will allow your device to connect to it. It varies from product to product
  5. Click Pair on the device name that you want to connect to

Windows

  1. Towards the bottom right of your screen click on the Bluetooth logo in the quick settings
  2. Click on Add a Bluetooth Device
  3. Under Bluetooth & other devices, make sure that Bluetooth is toggled on and then click Add Bluetooth or other device
  4. In the Add a device screen that follows, click on Bluetooth
  5. Hold down the power button on your headphones or speaker to turn it on. Some devices require you to hold it down for 3 seconds while others have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button that will allow your device to connect to it. It varies from product to product
  6. Select the device you want to pair to from the list of Available devices that shows up

Troubleshooting

Okay, so like we mentioned earlier Bluetooth isn’t perfect. If you followed all the steps and are still having problems connecting your devices.  Here are a few things you should do to troubleshoot:

  • Are both devices turned on? (You’d be surprised how often this happens to me)
  • Is Bluetooth turned on?
  • Are your headphones/speaker in pairing mode? (Consult product manual if you’re unsure how to get headphones/speaker to enter pairing mode. Usually it’s done by pressing a dedicated Bluetooth button until an indicator light begins flashing or by turning off the product and then holding down the power button for about 3 seconds after powering it back on.)
  • If connected but no music is playing, unpair devices completely and begin the process over.
  • Check if the drivers on your computer need to be updated.
  • Restart both devices.
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