How to Turn Any Speaker Into a Bluetooth Streaming Device

George Tinari

Do you own a really awesome speaker or speaker system that you just wish was Bluetooth-capable so you can stream music wirelessly to it from your smartphone or computer? The experience playing Spotify or Apple Music through a solid sound system is killer. Fortunately, this is far from impossible.

shutterstock-bluetooth-streaming-speaker
These inexpensive adapters can transform your regular speakers into Bluetooth ones | Shutterstock

The good news is that almost any regular speaker (non-Bluetooth) can quickly and easily be turned into a Bluetooth streaming device. The bad news is while you won’t have to buy an entirely new Bluetooth-ready speaker, you will have to spend money. But the options outlined below are pretty inexpensive solutions to bring your speakers into the wireless world.

Buy a Bluetooth Audio Adapter

The primary device you’ll need to turn your speakers into a Bluetooth-compatible audio system is an adapter. This adapter would plug into your speaker and accept incoming requests for a Bluetooth connection. Enabled, it can transmit Bluetooth streaming to your speaker.

Fortunately, these aren’t very expensive at all, but they do come with their own sets of features and as such, different pricing options. We’ve picked out the best budget, mid-tier, and high-end options available, so let’s run through the choices.

Photo: AmazonBasics
Photo: AmazonBasics

On the low end is the AmazonBasics Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver. It’s just $20 on Amazon and put simply, it gets the job done. It can handle a connection for as far as 10 meters (or 30 feet) away and one Bluetooth device at a time. If you want something basic that works, shelling out $20 on AmazonBasic’s adapter is an easy choice.

Photo: Logitech
Photo: Logitech

However, I’d recommend moving up to the mid-tier option on our list: Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter. The retail price is $39.99 but it currently sells for just over $27 on Amazon. It stays connected to your device up to 15 meters away (or 50 feet) so you’re free to roam a bit more, plus connects to up to two devices at once. You can switch between which device you want to stream from on the fly. For $7 more than the low-end adapter, Logitech’s popular offering is worth the step up.

Photo: Bose
Photo: Bose

Folks who might categorize themselves as more genuine audiophiles should consider the Bose Bluetooth Audio Adapter. It’s $60 on Amazon and while it drops down to that 10-meter connection range, it can remember up to eight different devices that you’ve connected. Plus, you can switch between three active device connections simultaneously. This is the adapter ideal for large households or parties.

Note: With any adapter, because the music is getting streamed wirelessly through Bluetooth, there might be some slightly noticeable degradation in the audio of the quality. This is normal for any Bluetooth connections and it shouldn’t be so noticeable that excellent speakers suddenly sound subpar.

How to Set Up Your Adapter

Once you get your adapter, setup should be pretty simple. First, you’ll need to take the included power adapter and plug it into an outlet. Yes, unfortunately, these adapters must run on their own power, so make sure the speakers you want to hook yours up to is near a wall.

Next, take the auxiliary cord and plug one end into your adapter and the other end into the Audio In (sometimes called Aux In) port of your speaker. This is located in different places on different speakers, so you’ll have to search around to find it.

The last step would be to connect the adapter to your speaker. How to do this will vary based on your adapter, so check your instruction manual. Generally, you should have to press some sort of Connect button (as is the case with the Logitech adapter) and wait to hear a sound that verifies it’s working.

iphone-bluetooth-turned-on-settings

Finally, head over to the device you want to stream music out of, make sure Bluetooth is enabled and connect to the Bluetooth adapter via your Bluetooth settings. And you’re all set. Start playing music with an active Bluetooth connection to the adapter and it should automatically come out of your previously antiquated speakers.

ALSO SEE:How to Use an Android Device as a Mic for Bluetooth Speakers

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#audio #bluetooth

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George Tinari

Written By

George Tinari

George Tinari has written about technology for over seven years: guides, how-tos, news, reviews and more. He's usually sitting in front of his laptop, eating, listening to music or singing along loudly to said music. You can also follow him on Twitter @gtinari if you need more complaints and sarcasm in your timeline.