About Speakers for a Mac Mini

By George Tinari

USB and Bluetooth are just two methods for connecting speakers to a Mac Mini.
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The Mac Mini isn't an all-in-one computer. It doesn't come with any hardware accessories such as a display, keyboard, mouse or speakers. While the Mac Mini does have built-in speakers of its own, you may want to explore your options for connecting external speakers to get the best sound possible.

USB Speakers

The Mac Mini comes with four USB ports in the back. That's more than enough for the average computer user, so chances are you could take advantage of one of these to plug in USB speakers. They won't take up much space on a desk and are often affordable. Brands that manufacture USB speakers include Bose, Phillips and Bowers & Wilkins.

Bluetooth Speakers

Bluetooth speakers use wireless Bluetooth technology to connect to the Mac Mini. Turn on Bluetooth by going to System Preferences on your Mac Mini, clicking "Bluetooth" and then selecting "Turn Bluetooth On." When the Bluetooth speakers are turned on and near the computer, they appear as options for pairing.

AirPlay Speakers

AirPlay is Apple's own technology built in to every Mac for broadcasting media to compatible devices from your computer. A variety of speakers are AirPlay-enabled from a number of brands including Bang & Olufsen, Bose and Phillips. These typically come with premium price tags, but they are wireless and deliver high-quality sound. For the Mac Mini's AirPlay feature to detect and connect to the speakers, the computer and speakers must both be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

3.5 mm Audio Output Speakers

If you aren't looking for much power in a speaker, consider speakers that plug in to the Mac Mini's 3.5 mm audio output. This is the same port most headphone jacks use. These speakers are typically small in size and portable, but they require recharging or swapping out old batteries for new every now and then. While they likely won't take up much desk space, they use the Mac Mini's audio output jack that's typically reserved for headphones, so that's something to keep in mind.