How to Connect Bluetooth Speakers
By Andrew Tennyson
Updated August 23, 2017
Connecting your Bluetooth speakers to a computer, smartphone or other audio-capable device is a two-stage process: first, make the speaker are discoverable, and then pair them with the other device. The device from which you're attempting to broadcast audio to your speakers must have Bluetooth capabilities as well.
Preparing the Bluetooth Speakers
Setting up your Bluetooth speakers varies depending on the make and model. Plug the speakers into a wall outlet if they have their own power cable, or insert batteries if they’re battery-operated. Turn on the speakers and make them discoverable. Making a Bluetooth device discoverable is necessary in order for computers, stereos, smartphones and other Bluetooth devices to communicate with it. Some speakers are automatically discoverable as soon as you turn them on. Others have dedicated buttons you push to make them discoverable. Consult the speakers’ manual for more information.
Connecting Bluetooth Speakers to Your Computer
Once you’ve turned on your speakers and made them discoverable, you can pair them with your Windows 8.1 computer. To enable Bluetooth on your computer, press “Windows-C” and select the “Settings” charm. Click “Change PC Settings,” select “PC and Devices” and choose “Bluetooth” to open the Bluetooth settings panel. Toggle the virtual “Bluetooth” button to the On position and then click your Bluetooth speakers from the list of available devices. Enter your speakers’ pairing code, if prompted. Not all speakers use pairing codes. Consult your manual or look at the bottom of your speakers to obtain your pairing code.
Connecting Bluetooth Speakers to Mobile Devices
To use your speakers with a smartphone or tablet, you need to pair them as well. On Android and iOS devices, launch the Settings app, touch “Bluetooth” and toggle the “Bluetooth” switch to the On position. Tap your speakers on the list of devices and then input the speakers’ pairing code, if prompted.
Connecting Other Devices
Bluetooth speakers can also be used with stereos, TVs and a variety of other Bluetooth-enabled devices. How you pair them with your speakers can vary considerably depending on the product and the nature of its use. Like the speakers themselves, many units need to be made discoverable before they can communicate with other Bluetooth devices. Consult the product's documentation for information on pairing.
If you’re having trouble connecting your speakers to your Windows 8.1 computer, use the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter to fix the problem. Move your mouse to the top-right corner of your screen, click “Search” and enter “Troubleshooting.” Select “Troubleshooting” on the search results and then click “Hardware and Sound.” Click “Hardware and Devices” and then follow the prompts to troubleshoot the connection between your computer and speakers.
Keep in mind that Bluetooth devices have maximum ranges of roughly 33 feet. Attempting to connect your device to your Bluetooth speakers beyond this range can result in poor audio quality and drop-outs.
Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.