Bluetooth is one of the most popular standards, especially for audio. If you want to upgrade your TV speakers to connect to your TV without long wires, it’s natural to consider setting up a Bluetooth TV. We’ll walk you through what you need and how to add Bluetooth to your TV, as well as look at some of the hurdles and best alternatives.

Taking inventory of your TV

Before diving into this process, you’ll want to know what options your TV supports. The first thing to do is to check if your TV has built-in Bluetooth. Some TVs have this, and if you have, you may not need fancy adapters.

Illustration of a person standing in front of a TV with a bluetooth adapter in the foreground
Lifewire / Tim Liedtke

If you have a Bluetooth-enabled TV and are connecting to speakers or headphones that do not use Bluetooth, you can use a Bluetooth receiver such as this one Harmon Kardon Bluetooth adapter . If you’re ready to use your Bluetooth-enabled devices, you can immediately connect to your TV using Bluetooth.

Another important thing to note is the different audio output options supported by your TV. If it doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth, you’ll probably rely on 3.5mm AUX RCA or optical audio output. You will need to confirm which ports are available to you when choosing an audio solution to get one that will work with your TV.

Possible problems and alternatives

Bluetooth has its drawbacks and limitations. This may seem like an attractive option for setting up wireless TV speakers, but it’s not perfect and other solutions can provide a much better experience:

  • Sound sync A: Many Bluetooth TV adapters support a limited number of devices at the same time. Some support two pairs of headphones, so you and someone else can listen at the same time. While you can use this feature to try and set up two Bluetooth speakers, you may experience audio out of sync issues and may not be able to get proper stereo sound unless the speakers are designed to work together specifically for this purpose.
  • Sound quality. Quality sound by bluetooth, generally not as good as other solutions such as wired connections or other types of wireless audio . The level of quality loss depends on the supported Bluetooth codecs on both the transmitting and receiving sides.
  • Delay : Depending on the devices you use, there may be a significant delay, which means that the sound you hear may lag behind the images on your TV.
  • Wiring A: If you’re thinking about using Bluetooth because you want to avoid a lot of wires, it’s also worth noting that you’ll most likely be connecting the Bluetooth transmitter from the back of your TV to somewhere where its signal isn’t blocked by the TV. In other words, you will still be dealing with wires.

With that in mind, you might want to consider something like a soundbar to update your audio settings as well as support a fully wireless surround sound setup with seamless connection to remote TV speakers. Or you have the option to use a device such as Roku streaming player many of which support wireless audio when a pair of headphones is connected to the remote control.

Using a Bluetooth transmitter for TV

If you choose to add a Bluetooth transmitter to your TV to transmit wireless audio from TV for a pair of headphones or speakers, the basics are fairly simple.

  1. You can start by purchasing a Bluetooth transmitter that will work with your TV. Something like Audikast by Avantree is a versatile option as it can stream to two devices simultaneously, supports low latency audio, and can accept audio inputs from USB, optical, RCA and 3.5mm AUX outputs on your TV or computer monitor.

    Product Photo of Avantree Audikast Bluetooth Transmitter

    You can also find simpler and cheaper transmitters that use 3.5mm jacks such as Trond Transmitter, or check out our list best bluetooth audio receivers .

  2. In most cases, you will need to connect the transmitter to a power source if it does not have its own battery. You will then need to connect it to one of your TV’s audio outputs.

  3. To connect Bluetooth headphones or speakers, place them close to the transmitter and set each device to pairing mode. Activating pairing mode will be different for each device, so be sure to check the specific instructions that came with your transmitter, speaker, or headphones.

  4. Once paired, you are ready to listen.

    You may need to unplug the adapter to resume using your TV’s built-in speakers, though this depends on your TV and which audio port you’re using.

  5. This is it!

It really is that simple to set up, but getting a good experience with your TV’s Bluetooth adapter can be tricky. Lifewire has reviewed a range of adapters that can help you get better and smoother performance.

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