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Can a Smart TV Connect to Bluetooth Speakers?

Aug 4, 2020
smart tv with a sound bar sound system

In today’s world, smart home devices are changing the way we interact with our home appliances. Smart TVs, in particular, are changing the things we can do with our television in our home. Most smart TVs allow users to browse the web, stream videos on YouTube—even connect their television to an external Bluetooth speaker. 

Whether you can connect a smart TV to a Bluetooth speaker depends on if the TV supports Bluetooth connections. Most first-generation smart TVs may lack the ability to connect to a Bluetooth speaker, unlike recent TV models. However, if your TV lacks a Bluetooth compatibility feature, you should still be able to connect to a Bluetooth speaker using a Bluetooth audio transmitter.

Nowadays, most smart TVs offer users the ability to connect video and audio devices seamlessly using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. In this article, we will focus on the steps needed to connect your smart TV to a Bluetooth speaker and why you may want to pursue this option as opposed to connecting to traditional wired speakers.

Determining Bluetooth Compatibility

While most smart TVs today are compatible with Bluetooth-related devices, you should keep in mind that other, older models may not be able to do so. To find out whether your smart TV can work with Bluetooth devices, look at its specs online or in the manual that came with it to see if it is compatible.  

Alternatively, for most newer smart TV brands, you can easily confirm if they support Bluetooth connections or have an inbuilt Bluetooth connectivity feature by following the steps below:

  1. Go to your TV Menu. (You should see the menu icon on your TV remote.)
  2. Tap on Settings.
  3. Scroll down and see if you see the term “Bluetooth” on the list.

If your smart TV is Bluetooth-compatible, you should be able to see “Bluetooth” on the list. Additionally, if your smart TV comes with a smart TV remote or was manufactured after 2016, then there is a high possibility that your TV supports Bluetooth connections.

Connecting Your Smart TV to a Bluetooth Speaker

If you’ve confirmed that your TV is Bluetooth-compatible, it should be easy for you to connect it with your speakers using the steps below:

  1. Before pairing with your smart TV, you should turn on your Bluetooth speaker’s pairing mode. Most Bluetooth speakers will emit a sound notification to let you know that it’s actively trying to pair.
  2. Open your TV’s menu and tap on Audio Devices.
  3. Click on Sound Output.
  4. A drop-down menu will display, then click on the Bluetooth speaker list (may appear as Bluetooth audio device).
  5. Select your Bluetooth speaker device from the list.
  6. If successful, your Bluetooth speaker will emit another sound notification, confirming the connection.

Note: The above steps may differ depending on your smart TV model. If you find that you still cannot connect your Bluetooth device, make sure your speaker is also compatible with smart TVs. If so, and you still can’t connect after multiple attempts, contact your TV manufacturer’s customer service helpline for more assistance.

Recommended Bluetooth Speakers for Smart TVs

Of course, just as your TV should be compatible with Bluetooth devices, as we briefly mentioned, your chosen speaker should also be compatible with smart TV! Below are a few Bluetooth speaker options rated highly for TV connectivity:

As you can see, the best Bluetooth speaker options for smart TVs will mostly be those built for TVs, such as soundbars or home theater systems. However, if you plan on using a large portable speaker to connect, make sure that it’s compatible with your TV before attempting to pair them.

Connecting to Non-Bluetooth Compatible Smart TVs

It’s easy to assume if your smart TV is not compatible with Bluetooth that it’s impossible to connect to a Bluetooth speaker, but there’s actually a way around this; all you need is a Bluetooth transmitter.

However, for this method to work, your TV must have a 3.5mm audio jack for the transmitter to connect to it. If you do have a jack and a transmitter, follow these steps to connect:

  1. Plug in the transmitter into your TV’s audio jack. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for setting it up with your TV.
  2. Go to your TV’s Settings.
  3. Under Audio Devices, tap Sound Output and pair your Bluetooth transmitter to your Bluetooth speaker, like the steps mentioned above.

Final Thoughts

Even with the introduction of advanced wireless connections like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth is one of the most popular and widely used connections among audio devices like speakers and headphones. That being said, Bluetooth speakers offer plenty of benefits, especially when you connect it to your smart TV.

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