In addition to using Bluetooth technology for your set-up, sometimes you might want to listen to the same music through auxiliary speakers and your Bluetooth device at the same time. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as pressing the play button on both devices. Chances are if you’ve tried it, the sound is only emitted from one or the other. So, how can you use AUX and Bluetooth at the same time?
Generally, most devices won’t let you use the auxiliary output and Bluetooth simultaneously, however, if you add an auxiliary splitter and Bluetooth adapter you can listen to the same music through both channels. There are other devices you may need to learn about as well.
Put simply, it is possible to connect a Bluetooth device and use AUX cable simultaneously for audio output, however, you’ll need another component or device. In this guide you’ll discover practical steps to sync AUX and Bluetooth for audio playback, alongside the necessary equipment and setup tips. The article also weighs the pros and cons, providing a balanced view for audiophiles and casual listeners alike.
- AUX vs Bluetooth: AUX input provides a wired, consistent, and low-latency audio connection, while Bluetooth offers wireless convenience with potential variations in audio quality due to signal interference.
- Simultaneous AUX and Bluetooth Use: Audio playback through AUX and Bluetooth simultaneously is possible with additional equipment like a dual auxiliary splitter and a Bluetooth transmitter.
- iPhone Dual Audio Outputs: iPhones don’t natively support playing audio via AUX cord and Bluetooth at the same time, but they can be enabled with external devices.
Why Would You Want to Use Both AUX and Bluetooth?
There are times when using Aux and Bluetooth together is convenient. You may want to share the music you’re listening to with friends via your PC or Mac.
There are also times when you want to output the audio from wired headphones to Bluetooth-enabled ones. Or send the audio from a wired speaker to a Bluetooth-connected one.
For instance, your Bluetooth audio-enabled mobile devices, such as Android or iPhone, could contain your music playlist and you want to listen to the music on your home speakers. Or someone in the home could prefer headphones to speakers.
Most Devices Can’t Natively Use AUX and Bluetooth at the Same Time
Even though, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group states that it’s the most commonly used global wireless technology, it doesn’t mean that it’s compatible with all devices.
Older versions of Bluetooth have limited capabilities which were explored in our article on whether Bluetooth can be used to connect one device to more than one speaker. Your auxiliary speakers often can’t communicate with Bluetooth devices.
The device you are trying to use with Bluetooth must speak the same ‘language’. Even if there is a communication problem between the devices you want to use, there is still a solution.
How to Use AUX and Bluetooth at the Same Time with Any Device
There are a few components you’ll need to use AUX and Bluetooth at the same time, regardless of the device, there are some things you should know if you’re going to use Bluetooth 5 as well.
The first is a device with an auxiliary output. It can be anything from wired speakers or headphones. You will also need a Bluetooth transmitter, such as this one (on Amazon), and your options are almost unlimited.
Additionally, you’ll need a male to dual female auxiliary splitter(on Amazon), a great option for managing audio systems. It’s a small component that you can pick up online or at an electronics store. It’s not expensive, and you’ll definitely need it if you want simultaneous audio from both aux and Bluetooth.
Connect the AUX Splitter to the Source Device
Also known as a “y” splitter, it allows you to divide an audio signal between two devices, and it’s not difficult to install. It typically comes with two 3.5mm outputs that allow you to connect speakers or headphones to the jack your device is connected to.
The splitter typically sits between the two devices so the cables connect. You might have to rearrange some components.
Connect the AUX Device to One End of the Splitter
On the splitter that should be within cable reach of the devices, you want to connect your auxiliary device to one end of the splitter.
Like most connectors, there are at least two ports, one of these is for your auxiliary device. You’ll plug your aux speakers into the splitter so the signal is divided between the two connected components.
If you’re worried about losing audio quality, it usually isn’t an issue. Distortion also isn’t a typical problem since the connecting cables and splitter are close.
Interference and audio quality issues typically arise with long-distance cable connections; keeping devices within one cable’s length ensures clear, crisp audio.
Connect the Bluetooth Transmitter to the Other End of the Splitter
On the end opposite of where you connected the aux device, you want to attach the Bluetooth transmitter. You shouldn’t have any problems because the cable is designed to be plugged in smoothly.
Once the cable is connected to the splitter, there is one more step which is to pair the Bluetooth transmitter with the auxiliary device.
The Bluetooth transmitter pairs with an AUX device to play audio simultaneously, offering straightforward, on-screen pairing instructions for PCs or Macs.
If you need to connect wired speakers or headphones, pairing the devices is as simple as using a splitter. Although, your Bluetooth device may require you to follow a few simple steps.
Using Bluetooth and AUX Simultaneously: Pros And Cons
This section provides some of the most common advantages and disadvantages of using Bluetooth and AUX at the same time.
- Flexibility in Audio Sources: Having both AUX and Bluetooth lets you easily switch between wired and wireless audio, which is particularly useful for using different devices.
- Reduced Latency with AUX: AUX connections typically offer lower latency compared to Bluetooth. This is advantageous for activities where audio sync is crucial, like watching videos or gaming.
- Consistent Quality with AUX: AUX provides a consistent audio quality that does not depend on signal strength or interference, which can sometimes affect Bluetooth connections.
- Battery Savings: Using an AUX connection for audio playback is a great way to save battery life on both the playback device and the receiving device, as Bluetooth connectivity generally consumes more power.
- Simple and Universal Connectivity: AUX cables are universally compatible with any device that has a headphone jack, making it an ideal and straightforward option for connecting various devices.
- Physical Constraints: AUX cables add physical constraints and can be inconvenient, especially when mobility or distance is a factor.
- Potential Quality Loss with Bluetooth: Bluetooth audio in older or budget devices may face quality loss due to compression, but newer technologies like aptX and LDAC have greatly enhanced sound quality.
- Increased Complexity in Setup: Simultaneously managing AUX and Bluetooth connections can complicate setup, particularly when playing or switching audio between two sources.
- Device Compatibility and Limitations: Not all devices support the simultaneous use of AUX and Bluetooth, and even when they do, there might be limitations in how audio is routed or played.
- Interference Issues: Bluetooth connections can be susceptible to interference from other wireless devices, which is something to consider when prioritizing audio quality.
- Dependence on Battery for Bluetooth: Bluetooth devices, such as headphones or speakers, rely on battery power, which can be a limitation if there’s no immediate way to recharge them.
Can I connect Bluetooth and AUX at the same time to an iPhone?
Yes, you can use the steps mentioned above to connect Bluetooth and AUX at the same time to any device, including your iPhone. However, this feature is not natively supported by iOS, so this solution may have its limitations.
How To Connect Bluetooth Speakers Via AUX and Bluetooth?
Standard headphones or speakers typically don’t support simultaneous Bluetooth and AUX use, but specific workarounds or equipment can make it possible. For example, you can turn a regular speaker into a Bluetooth speaker.
Connect your AUX source to a Bluetooth transmitter and pair it with your Bluetooth headphones or speakers. From there, you have several options to choose from, as we have mentioned in this guide.