Trying to connect Bluetooth speakers to a projector? Check out our easy guide!
In recent years there’s been an influx of affordable, portable, and mid-range projectors well worth the cash. Projectors have never been so accessible and there’s a wide variety to choose from. However, to reach an affordable price tag, manufacturers need to cut a corner or two.
In many cases, it’s the speakers and audio quality of the projector. To make up for the lacking audio experience, you should connect your projector to a wireless Bluetooth speaker. So today, we’re showing you how to connect Bluetooth speakers to a projector.
But before we get to how to connect, we need to check if your projector has Bluetooth in the first place.
Do All Projectors Have Bluetooth?’
Unfortunately, not all projectors come with the Bluetooth feature. It’s become more common in recent years but if your projector is a model released 10 years ago, it might not be a Bluetooth-capable device.
The projector industry has heavily relied on wired connections and connect external speakers instead of wireless connections. But it’s starting to come around. Many soundbars and speakers already have Bluetooth for quick and easy wireless connection.
Bluetooth capability is also more common in portable projectors than in traditional home theater projectors. If you have a projector that you can fit into a backpack, it most likely has Bluetooth built-in.
Additionally, most projectors released in the last 4-5 years will have Bluetooth connectivity. It depends on the type of projector you have and if the manufacturer decided to add Bluetooth transmitters.
Typically, you’ll know if the projector has Bluetooth built-in as the Amazon page or product page will mention the feature.
That said, if you’re unsure if you can connect a Bluetooth speaker to a projector, here’s how you can check.
Check if your Projector Supports Bluetooth Audio
Thankfully it’s a simple process to check if your projector can connect to a Bluetooth device. First, you can look around the projector and the buttons. If you see a Bluetooth logo somewhere engraved on the projector, it has a Bluetooth transmitter.
If you don’t see a Bluetooth symbol, you can double-check the projector’s settings. Usually, it will be indicated right on the main page of the settings if you see the words “Bluetooth”. If not, it might be in the “Audio” or “HDMI” settings.
You’ll need to go through the settings if you don’t see it straight away.
Another method is by simply checking on the Amazon page you purchased it from, the model number online, or by checking the company’s website. If you still see no mention of Bluetooth, then sadly, your projector does not have Bluetooth built-in accessibility.
But worry not. We’ve got a couple of workarounds for that. Before that, we’ll show you exactly how to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your projector using Bluetooth.
How to Connect Wireless Bluetooth Speakers to a Projector
If you connect your Bluetooth to your car, speakers, or laptop, you’re already somewhat familiar with the process. Connecting a wireless Bluetooth speaker to a projector is as straightforward as on most Bluetooth electronic devices.
1. Find Bluetooth Setting on your Projector
First, you need to find the Bluetooth settings on your projector. It should be on the main settings page. If not, check the Audio, Connections, or HDMI settings on your projector.
2. Turn on Bluetooth on the Projector
After you find the settings, turn on Bluetooth on the projector.
3. Turn on Pairing Mode on your Bluetooth Speaker
Before you connect bluetooth, make sure to turn on your Bluetooth speaker’s Pairing Mode.
Most Bluetooth devices have a dedicated button for Bluetooth or you’ll need to hold the power button down for a few seconds. You’ll then see a small LED flashing light to indicate Pairing Mode.
4. Search for the Bluetooth Speaker
Hit “Search Bluetooth Device” or equivalent and wait for it to find your speakers. This step is where most people have problems. You may need to try a couple of times to find your speakers.
Bluetooth is great when it works but it can be confusing when it doesn’t. Be patient and repeat the steps if you can’t find the Bluetooth speakers.
5. Select your Bluetooth Speaker
Once your projector finds your speakers, just select them and they should be connected. To make sure it works, try loading up a video or audio to the projector. Try increasing the volume on both the speakers and projector if you can’t hear anything.
What if Your Projector Doesn’t Support Bluetooth Capability?
Once you’ve checked if your projector supports Bluetooth and you find it’s a non-Bluetooth projector, you may be disheartened. But don’t worry as there are multiple workarounds you can try to connect the same speakers.
It would be ideal if you purchased a projector with the functionality beforehand, but the alternative steps are just as convenient.
Other Bluetooth Processes
We’ve included multiple workarounds for connecting Bluetooth speakers to a non-Bluetooth projector. These include wired connectivity options and options for getting Bluetooth on your projector.
Some are easier than others so if you find a method you’re comfortable with, proceed with that option. Just like finding the right screen, finding the right Bluetooth connection process that works for your can take time.
There may be some discrepancy in audio quality depending on the method used so you might need to test things out for yourself. We recommend testing out each of the options to find the one with optimal sound quality and accessibility.
4. Use a Chromecast for Connecting Speakers
This is one of the easiest options especially if you already have a Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple TV. The methods are relatively similar and can be applied across most dongles/video-streaming box sets.
Since your projector doesn’t have Bluetooth, you need to use a Bluetooth-capable device. The Chromecast for example already has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter. However, don’t get confused and try connecting your speaker to the projector and using streaming devices.
This will create a discrepancy in audio fidelity. Since the processing is done on the Chromecast, you effectively screen mirroring onto a projector. If connected this way, the audio will lag, stutter, or buffer often.
This method is to connect Bluetooth speakers to a Chromecast on your non-Bluetooth projector.
With your Chromecast (or equivalent wireless streaming stick), go into the menu and click on the “Bluetooth” option. Make sure to turn on Bluetooth and start searching for your wireless speakers. Put your speakers into search mode and wait for a few seconds.
It may take some time for the two devices to recognize each other. If you still can’t find the speakers, repeat the steps again. Eventually, you’ll find the speaker and can select the option.
Now your Chromecast will connect to your speakers and you can watch content via the streaming device. However, since this is a workaround there are some limitations. You’ll only be able to use the speakers via your streaming device.
This means any other connection you use will not connect your Bluetooth speakers. For example, connecting your projector with an HDMI optical cable to your PC, DVD player, video game console, or laptop will not use the speakers connected to the Chromecast.
But we do have other methods you can use so this shouldn’t be a major problem. If you wanted to use the speakers for all content and connections on your projector, check one of the methods below.
3. Invest in a Bluetooth Adapter
Another way of getting built-in Bluetooth accessibility on your projector is by purchasing a Bluetooth adapter. They’re relatively cheap and do a good enough job for most people. You can find many options on Amazon like the GMCELL Bluetooth adapter.
They range from around $10 – $20 bucks so you can easily replace them if you’re not satisfied. They’re also useful for connecting to any non-Bluetooth device like your car radio, computer, TV, etc. You can even connect cell phones to your projector if it supports the functionality.
All you need to do is connect the adapter to your projector via the audio jack. Some adapters can connect via USB, so you can choose that option if you prefer it. The Bluetooth adapter will create a Bluetooth hotspot for your speakers to connect wirelessly to.
Here comes the tricky part. Since you need to rely on both the adapter and speakers to connect, you might have trouble pairing the two. Both devices don’t have a screen so you need to be patient when setting it up.
The methods might be slightly different so refer to the user manual if needed. You need to turn on the Bluetooth adapter and set it to Pairing Mode. Simultaneously, you should turn on your Bluetooth speakers and set them to Pairing Mode.
With some luck, the devices should automatically connect to each other when they’re both in Pairing Mode. If you’re not successful the first time, try repeating the process after turning both the speaker and adapter on/off. If you have problems starting search mode, refer to both device’s user manuals.
Doing this will transform your projector without Bluetooth capability, into one that connects to any device with Bluetooth capability. It’s an affordable and simple way of doing it so it’s one of our top recommendations.
The only downside is the reliability of these adapters.
Since they’re pretty cheap, there may be quality issues. You might even find the audio to be lacking if both devices are not on the same Bluetooth standard. Try to find an adapter that supports the latest Bluetooth 5.3 version.
Even though the setup can be a little complicated, once it works, it’s a seamless experience. We recommend this method to readers who are familiar with Bluetooth.
2. Use an AUX Audio Cable
If you prefer doing things the old-fashioned way, you can get an audio cable to connect directly to your speakers. This is another effective way of using your Bluetooth speakers without any Bluetooth.
Most modern speakers already have a headphone jack you can plug into.
Audio cables, also known as AUX cables are readily available at low prices. You can get a reliable cable for $5 – $10 bucks depending on the length of the wire. The length of the wire is an important consideration so figure out how you want to place the speaker.
Will it be next to the projector or closer to where you sit? Depending on how you set up the projector, get a wire accordingly. The standard lengths are 2ft, 4ft, 6ft, and 8ft. There are also longer cables available if you need them.
We’d recommend getting a cable that’s long enough to reach between where you sit and where the projector is placed. This makes it easier to project sound close enough to where you can hear it without losing sound volume.
If your speakers are close to the projector and far from where you’re watching, it may dampen the audio volume.
Once you’ve got an audio cable, simply connect one end to your Bluetooth speaker and one end to your projector’s audio jack. After you’ve done that, you’ve got yourself a brand-new sound system for your projector.
The only troublesome part is the wired connection. If you’re already accustomed to Bluetooth, you know wires can be a hassle. You can trip over them, it looks messy, and if you forget the cable, you won’t have any audio output.
But if you can look past that, this is the easiest way to connect a Bluetooth speaker to a projector without Bluetooth.
1. Connect Your Bluetooth Speakers to the Source
The simplest method of actually using Bluetooth with your Bluetooth speakers is to connect wireless speakers to the audio source. This means instead of connecting your speaker to a projector, you connect the speaker to your laptop, computer, or smartphone via Bluetooth.
This way you are hearing audio straight from the source rather than from the projector. In actuality, this is the best way to use your Bluetooth speakers. Since the audio is coming from the source, you’re less likely to notice distortion or lag.
This keeps your audio quality intact and is a fairly simple process to do.
First, you need to access the Bluetooth settings on your device be it a laptop, desktop computer, or smartphone. Turn on Bluetooth and start searching for devices. Then start search mode on your Bluetooth speakers and select your speakers on your laptop/smartphone.
Once that’s done, you’ve successfully paired your Bluetooth speaker to your projector. It’s a roundabout way but this method has its advantages. It’s a much easier process to connect a speaker to your laptop or smartphone since you can select the option.
Other methods relied on luck to pair the two, like with a Bluetooth adapter. This way it’s easy to manage your audio straight from your laptop. You can also check to see what’s wrong with the connection without wondering why you can’t hear anything.
The only way it’s limited is if you’re watching content from a non-Bluetooth device. Old laptops and computers may not have Bluetooth transmitters. If this is the case, we’d recommend an audio jack as the easiest method.
Another problem with this method is there might be a lag between your projector and the source of the video. Since the audio is coming from the source, it can sometimes load faster than images appearing on-screen.
This isn’t very common, but it can happen if your laptop/smartphone and Bluetooth speaker don’t support the same Bluetooth versions. Newer Bluetooth versions transmit data faster, making audio sync flawless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fix so you’ll either have to upgrade your device or Bluetooth speakers.
Otherwise, this is the best way to connect speakers to a projector. It’s fuss-free and you don’t need any additional gear to set things up.
Can You Connect a Bluetooth Soundbar to a Projector?
Yes, you can connect a projector to a Bluetooth soundbar if your projector supports Bluetooth. It’s a similar process to any other Bluetooth speaker. Start the search mode and select the Bluetooth device on your projector to connect them.
If your projector doesn’t support Bluetooth capability, you can connect a soundbar via an audio cable or via an HDMI cable or HDMI Arc cable.
Can You Connect a Projector to Stereo Speakers?
Yes, you can connect a projector to stereo speakers. This was the original method of projectors and home theater setups. You simply need to connect the projector and stereo speakers with an audio cable.
Is a Bluetooth Speaker the Best Option for Projectors?
A Bluetooth speaker is the best option when you don’t have the cash for a proper sound system. Modern Bluetooth speaker are fairly loud and have a pleasant sound quality so they’ll be better than most projector speaker systems already. A portable speaker is also a great companion if you have a portable projector.