You may have tried to pair more than one device to your Bluetooth speaker and run into issues. While the technology that drives Bluetooth is rapidly progressing, some functions are still harder to implement, at least until more advancements have been made. Additionally, some devices support multipoint pairing, and others don’t.
Bluetooth speakers using Bluetooth 5 will allow you to pair more than one device to it, but will only be able to play audio from a single source at a time. If both sources are playing audio at the same time, it will prioritize a single source. Once that source stops playing, the other source should take over and begin playing from the speaker.
While it is true that some Bluetooth devices can connect to multiple devices, audio can only come from one device at a time. If you are hoping to play more than one song over your speaker, you are out of luck. Even with adding a Bluetooth hub, you will experience this problem.
Bluetooth Multipoint Pairing and Bluetooth Speakers
Bluetooth multipoint pairing is a feature first introduced in Bluetooth 4.0. What this technology does is allow for multiple devices to be connected to a Bluetooth device at once. To do this, it primarily uses two Bluetooth connections: 1) A2DP and 2) HFP/ASP. What makes things complicated is that not all devices will support both these connections.
Furthermore, even devices that support multipoint pairing may only operate using one of the two connections. This can limit the potential connections. The idea, and practicality of this tech, is that you could have device switching without the need to reconnect. For example, let’s say you have a work phone.
While you are listening to videos on your laptop via Bluetooth wireless headphones, you get a call. Bluetooth multipoint will allow you to switch to your phone without the need to re-pair the device. While this technology has been around for a while, it is somewhat rare to find. For the most part, the only applications of Bluetooth multipoint are for certain wireless headphones.
In contrast, you would be hard-pressed to find a speaker that supports Bluetooth multipoint. If you are hoping to find a Bluetooth speaker with multipoint, you might be out of luck. While there are plenty of wireless headphones that support this feature, like these JBL Tune 500 Headphones (on Amazon), to connect more than one device to a speaker, you will need to source some extra hardware.
Adding Multiple Bluetooth Device Support to a Bluetooth Speaker
Fortunately, if you are interested in pairing more than one device to your Bluetooth speaker, or more than one speaker to your device (our tutorial), you are in luck. While native solutions don’t exist yet, you can get your devices to connect with some extra hardware. However, you may lose some of the functions that make Bluetooth so appealing. So keep in mind the trade-offs.
What you will be looking for is a Bluetooth receiver/adapter. These small devices will allow you to add multipoint pairing functionality to any Bluetooth or audio device. In fact, with one of these adapters, you could easily add modern Bluetooth functionality to any audio system that takes either: 1) an RCA connection or 2) a 3.5mm connection.
These receivers are relatively cheap, and setup is usually a reasonably simple plug-and-play process. To help you find the best devices, we have explored several options including the Mpow Bluetooth Audio Receiver (on Amazon), a device that supports two devices and is also wireless; the Logitech Audio Adapter (also on Amazon), and the 1Mii B06 Plus (Amazon as well).
Regarding the Logitech Audio Adapter, it has received rave reviews because the company has come forward with an easy setup device that will add multipoint pairing to any audio device. The 1Mii B06 Plus is a great option if you are looking to play Hi-Fi audio; this device is your best bet. It supports Hi-Fi codecs and even supports voice commands through a connected Amazon Alexa smart speaker.
While these receivers will add Bluetooth multipoint pairing to any audio device, keep in mind their limitations. For example, these receivers can work with a Bluetooth speaker so long as it has a 3.5mm AUX connection. You will also limit the portability and wireless nature of the speaker by adding extra cords and devices.
Bluetooth 5.0 and Other Audio Technologies
Bluetooth audio is rapidly advancing. While the problems we’re faced with today are often a minor inconvenience, most developers and engineers are trying to help alleviate this stress. Accordingly, advances in Bluetooth and other audio technologies may solve these problems in the future. Bluetooth 5.0 aims to tackle a whole list of problems people have with the current release.
One item on the list is dual audio. While this feature is more geared towards pairing multiple sets of headphones to a single device, it can allow for speakers to pair to multiple sources. Several electronics manufacturers have tried to tackle this issue. Apple and Samsung have developed proprietary technologies aimed at connecting multiple Bluetooth devices.
Samsung has taken advantage of Bluetooth 5.0, while Apple has used their Airplay connection platform to allow for more than one device to stream audio. While the problem we are trying to solve may not have a native solution just yet, the future does seem bright for Bluetooth speakers. Right now, your best bet is to source a quality receiver. Hopefully, soon you can connect your phone, car stereo, or even your laptop to the same speaker without too much hassle.