If you have ever tried to connect multiple Bluetooth headphones, like the Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT (on Amazon), to a single device, you may have already experienced some issues. While it is true that some devices can support this type of function, most consumer electronics will run into problems trying to connect across more than one pair of Bluetooth headphones.
In general, you can’t connect multiple pairs of Bluetooth headphones to a single device. If this is a function that you need, then some solutions require additional hardware like an adapter or transmitter to enable this feature.
Bluetooth is a simple connection that allows two devices to communicate with each other - more on this in our guide. It has dramatically improved wireless applications for audio and other tools like keyboards and computer mice. But Bluetooth does have its limitations. To understand more about the issue of using multiple pairs of headphones, then read on.
You may have seen the term Bluetooth multipoint pairing advertised on some products and wonder if this technology is the solution to your headphone problems. Unfortunately, this means something a bit different. While it is the case that multipoint pairing means you can have more than one device connected to a single source at a time when it comes to audio, you will only be able to use one Bluetooth device at a time.
Multipoint pairing just means that you can have multiple Bluetooth devices connected, not that you can use multiple audio devices like headphones at the same time. Bluetooth multipoint pairing usually means you can do the following things:
What it doesn't mean, unfortunately, is that you can have multiple pairs of headphones hooked up to a single audio source. So if you're watching a movie on a plane and want to share with your neighbor, they can’t connect their Bluetooth headphones without stealing your audio.
Bluetooth multipoint pairing allows you to have access to multiple audio sources without needing to repair the headphones. For example, if you are watching a movie on your tablet and your laptop starts alerting you of a Skype call, you can take the call on the same headphones you were using to binge-watch your favorite shows without the hassle of re-pairing the devices.
While this does not solve your problem, it is worth exploring. When trying to find a solution to the multiple Bluetooth headphone issue, you are more than likely going to run into this terminology. Products like the JBL Tune 700BT (on Amazon) offer this technology and can easily connect to two devices and switch intelligently.
This means taking calls between gaming or Netflix sessions is easier than ever. But multipoint technology does not solve our problem; to connect more than one pair of Bluetooth headphones to a single audio device, we will need extra hardware.
As it stands now, there are not many native solutions to this issue. To connect more than one pair of Bluetooth headphones to a single device, you are going to need to get a hold of a Bluetooth transmitter - an item we've talked about before in our article on Bluetooth speakers and Fire TV Sticks. These devices will add this function to your setup but come with their own limitations.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using a Bluetooth transmitter:
The last one is important to note because if you are hoping to use your transmitter in an active situation, like on a run, you will not be able to get the connection stable enough to work. You will also be burdened by having to carry the extra transmitter and cords necessary for operation, which defeats the purpose of using wireless technology in a way.
Fortunately, if this is something you are looking to add to your audio setup, there are some excellent and reasonably priced options to explore. The Elegiant Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter (Link to Amazon) offers both a transmitter and a receiver, which means you can use this device to add Bluetooth accessibility to a device that does not support this functionality natively.
Bluetooth technology is moving fast, and some proposed advances like Bluetooth LE may support multiple paired headphones in the future. But, depending on your mobile platform, you may already have access to elegant solutions to remedy this problem.
Some device manufacturers, like Apple and Samsung, have already produced some neat solutions to this issue. Unfortunately, these functions only work if you are either using their products or are specific to certain models. In Apple’s case, you can use audio sharing reasonably easily, but you can only use this function to connect either AirPods or Beats branded headphones, both Apple products.
To access this feature, you will need to:
In the case of Samsung, you will need a Galaxy device that is version 8 or higher. But with Samsung, you can use multiple headphones of different brands, so long as they are both Bluetooth. To connect more than one device on your Samsung phone, all you need to do is follow the regular Bluetooth pairing sequence but for both devices.
You should be able to choose both pairs of headphones to stream audio over Bluetooth. Fortunately, this kind of feature is becoming more and more widespread, and some other mobile manufacturers are starting to include audio sharing features in their products. In 2020, Bluetooth LE was announced.
This new standard for Bluetooth devices supports all kinds of features, including connecting more than one pair of Bluetooth headphones to a single audio device. In fact, this new Bluetooth claims to be able to connect numerous devices to a single source.
One proposed application is using this in a classroom setting where each student is connected to the teacher’s microphone. But until this standard is adopted by more manufacturers, you will be stuck either using a transmitter or audio sharing to connect more than one pair of headphones. Just be patient.