How To Connect Your Bluetooth Speaker To Your Console

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There was once a time when gaming was a niche interest, but over the last two decades, it has become a beloved activity shared by the masses. Given the prevalence of gamers and the popularity of console gamers, you’d think there would be an easy way to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your console. Unfortunately, few major consoles support Bluetooth audio, and pairing your Bluetooth speaker to your Xbox or PlayStation will require extra tools or effort, depending on which route you go with.

In this article, we’ll cover the easiest ways to pair your Bluetooth speaker with your console and discuss some of the implications involved in these setups. It is also worth noting that one can also use these same methods to connect Bluetooth headphones to your console.

Consoles That Support Bluetooth Audio
  • Steam Deck
  • Nintendo Switch
Consoles That Don’t Support Bluetooth Audio
  • Xbox One / X-Series / S-Series
  • PS4 / PS5

As can be seen above, native Bluetooth audio output is not common in consoles, even the most popular models. That doesn’t mean you have to lose hope, though! There are still ways to get your Bluetooth speaker connected.

Bluetooth Speaker Console Support

We’ll first be looking at your different options for getting your Bluetooth speaker connected, followed by suggestions on the types of adapters you can use and the process of getting an audio passthrough setup on supporting TVs and stereo systems.

Steam Deck

How to Connect Bluetooth Speakers To The Steam Deck

The Steam Deck offers out-of-the-box Bluetooth audio support, making connecting a Bluetooth speaker to the console easy.

  1. Turn on your Bluetooth speaker and put it in pairing mode.
  2. On the Steam Deck, navigate to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Bluetooth.
  3. Select “Pair new device” and choose your Bluetooth speaker from the list of available devices.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the pairing process.

How To Connect Bluetooth Speakers To The Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch was initially released without Bluetooth audio support. Only in late 2021 did Nintendo enable this capability through a software update. Here’s how you can pair your Switch with your Bluetooth speaker.

  1. Go to System Settings on your Switch.
  2. Select Bluetooth audio.
  3. Turn on your Bluetooth speaker and put it in pairing mode.
  4. Select Pair Device.
  5. Pick the speaker you want to connect to.

If you cannot complete the pairing process, ensure your Switch software version is up to date.

Playstation 5

How To Connect Bluetooth Speakers To PS4 or PS5

Playstation 4 and 5 don’t have Bluetooth audio support, meaning there’s no way to connect your Bluetooth speaker directly to your console out of the box. Here are some options for connecting your Bluetooth speaker to your PS4 or PS5.

  • Use a supported Bluetooth adapter.
  • Parse audio through a TV or stereo system that supports Bluetooth output.
xbox

How To Connect Bluetooth Speakers To Xbox One, Series X or Series S

As with Playstation, Xbox does not provide native support for Bluetooth audio. If you want to connect your Bluetooth speaker to your Xbox, there is only one reliable method.

  • Parse audio through a TV or stereo system that supports Bluetooth output.

Using Bluetooth Adapters To Connect Your Bluetooth Speaker To Your Console

Important Note: While many adapters support the transfer of game audio, some don’t support the use of a microphone and can’t be used for party chat.

Because Sony and Microsoft have excluded Bluetooth audio output from their consoles, the most popular method to connect your Bluetooth speaker to them is to buy an aftermarket Bluetooth adapter.

Understand that not all Bluetooth adapters are created equal, and any time you introduce a Bluetooth connection for audio purposes, you need to consider the impact of latency on your gaming experience. Adapters with poor codec support can result in a noticeable lag between the visuals you see in-game and the audio you hear. Look for adapters that support AptX-LL, a low-latency codec. Remember that to make the most of the AptX low latency codec, the speaker you’re looking to pair must also support it.

For Playstation 4 and Playstation 5, the Avantree DG80 is a popular adapter choice. It plugs into the console’s USB-A output. If you’re looking to connect via USB-C, consider the Avantree C81.

Finding adapters that support Xbox consoles is more challenging, and we haven’t found a product that works as expected. If you’re an Xbox user, keep reading, and we’ll go over a more viable option for you.

Parsing Audio Through Your TV or Stereo

The second method to connect your Bluetooth speaker to your console is to parse the audio signal through a supporting television or stereo system. Some newer televisions and stereo systems include a Bluetooth audio output that lets you broadcast your audio signal wirelessly. This step is better suited for Xbox users with less adapter support.

To start, ensure your TV or stereo system supports Bluetooth audio output. If it does, you can connect your console directly to the television, then broadcast your audio via Bluetooth and pair your speaker with your television. If your console audio is routed to your home stereo, you can follow the same process if that stereo supports Bluetooth audio output. Remember that your performance will be subject to the codec support from the casting device.

If you run out of luck and find that neither your TV nor stereo allows for Bluetooth audio output, you can consider buying an adapter for your television to transmit audio wirelessly. The Avantree Relay is a popular choice for achieving this functionality.

Conclusion

You’d think that with today’s technology, connecting a Bluetooth speaker to a console would be a straightforward process. However, the two largest console manufacturers have still not provided an easy method for Bluetooth audio transfer.

Thankfully, some aftermarket products make achieving this type of connection possible, as long as one’s willing to invest more into their console. The fact that Nintendo added support after its release is hopefully a sign that we’ll see similar support provided by Sony and Microsoft in the future.

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Author: Bryn De Kocks

Bryn has worked in the field for several years, writing in-depth speaker reviews for various audio publications. His work has historically focused on headphones and Bluetooth speakers, while incorporating his understanding of the Bluetooth speaker market to help educate potential buyers.

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