In the past, you could only connect one Bluetooth speaker to any device unless there was a manufacturer-specific app like those offered by Bose or Sonos.
Bluetooth 5, however, has changed all that, and now you connect multiple Bluetooth speakers to your iOS, Android device, or laptop with relative ease.
What is Bluetooth 5?
Put quite simply, Bluetooth 5 is hardware built into your media playing device.
It allows it to connect or communicate with compatible Bluetooth devices like wireless headphones or portable Bluetooth speakers.
Unfortunately, previous versions of Bluetooth didn’t allow you to connect multiple speakers, and workarounds included 3rd party apps, official manufacturer apps, or built-in device features in the speakers themselves.
With Bluetooth 5, all that changes. Alongside a Bluetooth Low Power mode, Bluetooth 5 introduced Audio Share, which allows you to sync multiple Bluetooth speakers to your device simultaneously.
Not only will your battery last longer, but now you can enjoy the more immersive sound offered by multiple Bluetooth speakers (well, up to 2 anyway, more on that later.)
How Do I Know If My Phone Supports Bluetooth 5?
All iPhones and iOS devices since the iPhone 8 use the latest version of Bluetooth.
Unfortunately, if you have an older version of the iPhone you will still need to use those 3rd party apps or Apple hardware like the HomePod, which has device features to enable you to connect multiple Bluetooth speakers iPhone specific.
For Android, it can be harder to tell with so many different manufacturers out there, some may have stuck with the cheaper earlier versions of Bluetooth technology to keep the cost of the phone down.
However, Samsung has used Bluetooth 5 in all their phones since the S8, so if your model is later than S8, you’re good to go.
For other Android devices, it’s pretty simple to check:
From the home screen, open the Settings app.
Scroll down until you see the Application Manager and open it by tapping on it.
Swipe right until you see the ALL tap and select Bluetooth Share.
Under the words Bluetooth Share, you should see the Version, which shows what Bluetooth version your phone is using.
How to Tell if Your Laptop or Computer Uses Bluetooth 5?
On a Mac Computer, this is as easy as going into the About This Mac setting and checking the hardware used:
Click on the Apple icon at the top left corner of the screen.
Select About this Mac.
Click on System Report, and in the hardware list, look for Bluetooth and click.
If the LMP version is 0 x 9, then the Mac supports Bluetooth 5. Anything earlier like 0 x 6 means the Mac only uses Bluetooth revision 4.
On a Windows computer, you can also check the Bluetooth version using the Device Manager:
Press the Windows key while holding down the X key too.
Select Device Manager.
Expand the Bluetooth drop-down and then click on the Bluetooth device of the computer.
Using the Advanced tab, check next to the Firmware field and look for the LMP Version.
Anything after 9.X shows you have Bluetooth 5.
How to Pair Multiple Bluetooth Speakers?
Pairing multiple Bluetooth speakers isn’t the problem, remember you can pair many Bluetooth devices to a single device.
Assuming you have Bluetooth 5, there are several steps to ensure the device recognizes and syncs the multiple Bluetooth speakers.
Connect Multiple Bluetooth Speakers Android Using Samsungs Dual Audio feature
To enable the dual audio feature of Samsung phones above the S8, go to Settings>Connections>Bluetooth and tap the Advanced tab.
You should find a Dual Audio toggle switch which you need to turn on.
To use the Dual Audio feature, now pair your phone with the two speakers as you would normally pair each device.
Note only two speakers can be connected at the same time. If you add a third speaker or set of headphones it will simply kick out the first speaker.
How to Connect Multiple Bluetooth Speakers iPhone and Other iOS Devices
As long as you are using the latest version of iOS, you shouldn’t have too many problems when trying to sync multiple Bluetooth speakers.
The speakers should have similar specs, although iOS has been known to struggle to communicate with speakers if one is using an older technology.
After connecting each Bluetooth speaker to the iPhone you need to go into the Airplay settings through the Control Center:
Play an audio or video track through one of the speakers.
Go into Control Center and tap on the Airplay Icon.
Select the linked speakers you wish to play the music through. Tapping the Music icon will allow you to see which Bluetooth speakers are currently playing the track. Tapping on the speaker name again will deselect the device and stop playing the music through it.
Remember you need to be using the latest iOS and have an iPhone above iPhone 8 to use this feature.
Don’t worry if your iPhone is older than this, you can still connect multiple speakers using a 3rd party app like AmpMe.
How to Connect Multiple Bluetooth Speakers to Your PC
On Windows devices, it can be a little trickier as you must first sync the speakers and then configure the audio settings manually:
Ensure both speakers are turned on. They should be able to pair with each other.
Click on the search icon in the Windows system tray and type in Bluetooth. Go to Settings and toggle on the Bluetooth switch.
While in the same window, click Add A Bluetooth Device. Find the first speaker and pair it.
Repeat step 3 for the second speaker.
If possible pair the speakers together with a manufacturer app, depending on the brand and make.
From the main window’s menu, go to Settings and search for Audio Settings. Go to Manage Audio devices.
Select your Bluetooth speaker and the speaker’s option, then set default. The speakers are already set to default if the PC doesn’t allow you to do this.
Click on the Recording tab and right-click on Stereo Mix.
After setting Stereo Mix to default, click the Properties button at the bottom right of this window.
Under the Listen tab of the new window, check the Listen to This Device box and select your second speaker from the drop-down list under Playback Through this device.
Click OK and then click OK again to close the Audio Settings panel.
Restart your computer for the changes to audio to place.
Connect Multiple Bluetooth Speakers to a Mac
Pair the Bluetooth speakers with your Mac in the usual way.
Open System Preferences>Sound>Output
Open the Audio MIDI Setup Application
Click on the + Icon and select Multi-Output Device.
Scroll down and select the two speakers you wish to connect to by ticking the box on each side.
Rename the Multi-Output Device and then select it in the Sound menu.
All audio from your Mac should now be routed to both connected Bluetooth Speakers.
Can You Connect 3 Bluetooth Speakers at Once?
Unfortunately, Bluetooth 5 only supports connecting 2 Bluetooth speakers at the moment.
If you try connecting a third output device, it will kick out one of the others, normally the speaker one.
A workaround is to buy speakers like those from Bose or Sonos, which use hardware-specific technology for a multi-room style setup.