Given the basic functionality of Bluetooth, it would seem that connecting to more than one speaker would be impossible. There are, however, a number of ways to connect to multiple speakers via Bluetooth.
Newer equipment comes with Bluetooth 5. Other solutions include apps like Bose Connect and Ultimate Ears. Samsung Galaxy phones S8 and later as well as iPhones running iOS 11.4 or later are capable of broadcasting to two speakers at once. JBL’s Connect+ feature in their Bluetooth speakers also allows speakers to piggyback off of each other.
Figuring out which setup is right for you does not need to be complicated. All you need to do is inventory your equipment, and select the appropriate connection method based on the devices you have.
Until Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth’s features were somewhat limited. The previous version, Bluetooth 4.2, only allowed one-to-one device pairing and only had a range of around 10-30 meters.
This basically meant that Bluetooth listening was to be restricted to one room, and possibly the next one over. Good enough if you are listening to music by yourself, but maybe not if you are entertaining house guests while DJing from your phone.
Several workarounds were developed to get around this limitation including apps and device features. With Bluetooth 5, many of these solutions are now unnecessary if you intend to connect to no more than two speakers.
Beyond this, you may need to use other software or hardware solutions, and possibly need to seek other avenues than simply Bluetooth.
Depending on the equipment you have, you may be able to connect to two Bluetooth speakers simultaneously. Newer technology comes equipped with Bluetooth 5 which allows you to pair with two devices at once. Other device manufacturers have developed their own similar solutions.
Bluetooth 5 extends the range of Bluetooth connectivity to 120 feet and allows connection to up to two devices at once. Not very many device manufacturers have adopted the new standard for their devices, but are expected to in the coming years.
With some of these technologies, such as Samsung’s dual audio feature, it’s as simple as flipping a switch. For others, you need to configure your connection through an app.
If you're interested in learning more about Bluetooth 5, check out this article from lifewire.
The Bose Connect app allows you to connect two SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speakers (on Amazon) to a single phone in either party mode (speakers play the same thing) or stereo mode (each speaker delivers either the left or right channel).
Simply turn on both speakers, connect to one with Bluetooth, turn on the Connect app, and turn on party mode. Once the speakers connect, you will be in party mode. You can switch between stereo mode and party mode by selecting stereo (L/R).
You can enable party mode without the app by pressing the Bluetooth and volume up buttons simultaneously and following the audio instructions.
To configure between stereo mode and party mode, press and hold the Bluetooth and volume up buttons until the speakers say “stereo mode” or “party mode.” Press and hold the Bluetooth button until you hear confirmation that the speakers are unlinked.
This app can be also be used with Bose’s Bluetooth headphones, allowing you to not only sync up two pairs of headphones for couples listening but also one pair of headphones and one pair of speakers.
This can be good for having the music on the speaker inside the house and having the same music on your headphones outside.
Ultimate Ears has upped the ante by designing an app that allows you to connect over 150 Boom, Boom 2, Boom 3, Megaboom, and Megaboom3 speakers together. In addition, the app enables a block party mode that allows you to connect to your friends’ speakers.
Like the Bose system, you can connect without the app. Connect one of the speakers to your device with Bluetooth. Next, press the Bluetooth and volume up buttons simultaneously until you hear a tone.
Turn on your second speaker and press the Bluetooth button twice. Repeat the speaker pairing process with the first speaker to connect additional speakers.
On Samsung Galaxy phones S8 and later, you can enable a dual audio mode that allows you to control two speakers at once the same way you would use Bluetooth regularly.
Simply go to your device settings, and go to connections. Click and hold Bluetooth to advance to the Bluetooth menu and select advanced. From here, flip the dual audio switch to on.
Like Bose Connect, Samsung’s Dual Audio only allows the connection of two speakers at a time. If you try to connect to a third speaker, it will automatically disconnect from the first one. This is because Samsung’s dual audio mode uses Bluetooth 5 which has the limitation of two paired devices at once.
Many JBL Bluetooth speakers come with either a Connect, Connect+ or PartyBoost feature that allows them to piggyback off of each other. To take advantage of this, connect a device to one of the speakers. Then turn the second speaker on and press the Connect, Connect+, or PartyBoost button.
Like with Ultimate Ears, JBL allows you to connect up to 100 JBL devices together, vastly improving upon Bluetooth 5. Using the JBL Connect app, you can also configure two speakers to operate in stereo.
HomePod is last on this list simply because it requires so many compatible devices. With an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 11.4 or later, you can connect to two HomePod speakers to run stereo sound. One limitation is that the speakers need to be in the same room.
Using Apple’s Home app, press and hold HomePod, and then tap Settings. Select create stereo pair, and choose the second HomePod speaker to use for the stereo pair. You can use the button with the two arrows to switch the left and right channels if needed. From here, tap back, and then done.
As more manufacturers adopt it, Bluetooth 5 will enable more speakers to be paired together, and more devices will be able to connect to multiple speakers. It may still be a few years before device manufacturers integrate Bluetooth 5 into their products.
That said, if you want an immersive sound experience, you may want to consider stepping up to a proper sound system. Many of these systems allow you to connect via Bluetooth and have a lot more versatility and better quality than an assortment of Bluetooth speakers. Further, unless you get a wireless system, you will not need to worry about charging your speakers.
The advantage that Bluetooth 5 presents over traditional sound systems is that it can integrate a wide variety of devices beyond just speakers. This includes smart assistant devices such as Alexa and Google Home, as well as headphones. The combinations and possibilities are limitless.
Bluetooth 5 greatly improves upon Bluetooth technology, allowing connection to multiple devices and increasing range from around 10 meters to 120-200 meters.
Although bitrate varies with the distance between devices, you should be able to stream music to your audio devices from a much greater distance. This will make hosting parties a lot easier.