You heard you can connect Smart TVs to soundbars, but what about connecting a Bluetooth speaker to a Smart TV?
You might have a decent Bluetooth speaker lying around and wondering if you can use it with your TV. In this guide, I’ll break down everything that you need to know about connecting a Bluetooth speaker to a Smart TV.
Can You Connect a Bluetooth Speaker to a Smart TV?
Yes. If your Smart TV has Bluetooth, it can connect to any Bluetooth speaker. To see if your Smart TV has Bluetooth, open the settings menu, select Sound Output, and choose Bluetooth Speaker List. It will show any nearby Bluetooth audio devices.
If you do not see the option for Bluetooth Speaker List, chances are your Smart TV does not support Bluetooth. Don’t give up yet. I’ll walk through some easy solutions on how to get Bluetooth working on your TV later on in this article.
How to Connect a Bluetooth Speaker to a Smart TV:
Connect Bluetooth Speaker to Samsung TV:
First, to connect a Bluetooth speaker to a Samsung Smart TV, make sure the speaker is in pairing mode. From there, press the settings button on the TV’s remote, select Sound Output, and locate Bluetooth Speaker List.
On some Samsung TVs, the Bluetooth Speaker List is located under different options. For example, on 2016 TV’s, the list is under Sound, Expert Settings, and Wireless Speaker Manager.
Your Bluetooth speaker should appear on the list. Select the Bluetooth speaker and pair it with your Samsung TV.
If successful, the speaker should chime, and the TV’s audio will come from the Bluetooth speaker.
There are some cases where the Bluetooth Speaker list won’t appear on Samsung TVs.
If that’s the case, hit the Source button on the remote, select Connection Guide, and Bluetooth. From there, follow the on-screen instructions to connect your Bluetooth speaker to your Samsung TV.
The above option is useful to connect non-Samsung or brand name Bluetooth speakers.
Connect Bluetooth Speaker to LG TV:
To connect a Bluetooth speaker to an LG TV, open Settings, navigate to Advanced Settings, select Sound, Sound Out, and choose LG Sound Sync Bluetooth.
LG Sound Sync Bluetooth will search for nearby Bluetooth speakers and allow you to pair them. Put your Bluetooth speaker into pairing mode, and wait for it to appear on the LG TV’s Bluetooth List.
UHD, Nanocell and OLED TVs from the 2020 lineup (and more recent) have a cool feature that allows you to connect a bluetooth speaker to the TV and enjoy a surround sound experience. It’s basically a Bluetooth Speaker playing sound in connection with your TV’s internal speaker.
To try this functionality, go to sound settings > Sound Out where you’ll see the option “Bluetooth Surround Sound + TV Internal Speaker”.
I tested this on my Bose SoundLink II Bluetooth Speaker (which is a great all-around speaker with fantastic bass), and the sound quality was significantly improved when I added just one speaker (you may add two of the same model). This is something you should attempt if you have an LG TV or are considering buying one!
How to Connect a Bluetooth Speaker to a Non-Bluetooth Smart TV:
If you don’t see a Bluetooth Speaker List in either your LG or Samsung TV’s menus, it’s most likely because the TV does not have Bluetooth. Is there a way to connect a Bluetooth speaker to a TV that does not have Bluetooth? As a matter of fact, it might be possible.
Here are some options:
Use a Cable:
Does your Bluetooth speaker support any other audio inputs? Most Bluetooth speakers will have at least a 3.5mm audio port. The more advanced Bluetooth speakers often include HDMI ARC or optical support.
While a wired connection from the TV to a speaker is not the most convenient, the audio quality is much better, and there is significantly less input delay. In fact, Bluetooth is usually the last resort.
For more information, read our guide on the best ways to connect a speaker to a TV.
Buy a Bluetooth Dongle for Your TV:
If your Bluetooth speaker only supports Bluetooth audio and has no other connections, you can buy a Bluetooth dongle for your TV. The most convenient option is a 3.5mm Bluetooth transmitter adapter that connects to your TV’s 3.5mm aux port.
Make sure you choose a Bluetooth transmitter, not a receiver, it’s easy to confuse the two devices.
With Bluetooth on your TV, you can watch movies on the big screen with Bluetooth headphones, without disturbing anyone.
Check the Secret TV Menu for BT Audio:
In some cases, Bluetooth is available on your TV but it is not enabled. Entering the TV’s developer menu and manually enabling Bluetooth can sometimes bring it back.
Enable BT Audio on Samsung TV:
- Turn off your TV using the remote.
- On the remote, press Mute, 1, 8, 2, and Power.
- A blue box will appear on the top right corner of the TV.
- Scroll down to Engineer Options.
- If you see BT Audio, enable it.
- If you don’t see BT Audio, head back and select MRT Option from the list.
- Look for BT Support, make sure it’s on.
- Restart your TV and look for Bluetooth Audio options
The Bottom Line:
To summarize, if you have a decent Bluetooth speaker lying around, you can connect it to your TV and use it as an external speaker. In most cases, good quality Bluetooth speakers will be an improvement on the TV’s built-in speakers. And don’t let the fact that your TV does not have Bluetooth stop you from connecting to a Bluetooth speaker.