It’s never too late to learn a new skill. If you find yourself asking how to stream music from your phone to your Bluetooth speaker for the very first time, then this post is here to show you how! With widespread Bluetooth compatibility and connections that are more stable than ever before, playing music from your phone on a Bluetooth speaker couldn’t be easier.
What is streaming?
Streaming music is a term that a lot of us use offhandedly, but it has a pretty specific meaning. When you stream music, you’re delivering music to a device without saving it to that device beforehand. If you play music on your phone from an app or site like YouTube or Spotify, that music is being streamed to your phone. You’re hitting “play” and the music is being played, but it isn’t being saved to a file on your phone that you can access later.
If you play a song on your phone that you have saved as a file—something that you own permanently and can access anytime, with or without a subscription or an internet connection—then that song isn’t being streamed to your phone. That’s just a file being played. However, when you wirelessly send that song from your phone to a speaker, then it is being streamed to that speaker. And, if you send a song from a streaming service on your phone to a wireless speaker, then that song is being streamed to your phone and being streamed to your speaker.
Where can you stream music from?
Popular music streaming services include Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora, and SiriusXM. These services offer content that can be pre-recorded or live, and are often subscription-based with monthly or annual subscriptions.
Subscription fees and in-app purchases for streaming services often give you access to streamed media content rather than the rights to a downloaded copy of that piece of media, so you don’t get to keep those songs if you cancel your subscription. For a service like Apple Music, your subscription fee gives you access to a whopping 90 million songs as of 2022.
You can stream many forms of media, including TV shows, movies, and podcasts, but music is a popular place to start. To stream music to your phone, all you need to do is get set up with a streaming service (most of them even offer a free trial period), then download the app to your phone.
How to play music from my phone on my Bluetooth speakers
Learning how to stream music from your phone to a Bluetooth device is easier than you might expect.
First, with any new Bluetooth device, set up a Bluetooth connection with your phone. Let’s learn how to set up a Bluetooth speaker here. The process for this varies by device and each one will come with its own instructions, but you usually just need to turn on your smartphone’s Bluetooth discovery mode and hold down the right button on the Bluetooth speaker until it enters discovery mode, too.
Then, you’ll need to find the new speaker in your phone’s Bluetooth settings, likely under “Other Devices.”
Once your phone and Bluetooth speaker have connected, your speaker will be listed under “My Devices” in your phone’s Bluetooth settings. You’ll be able to see your speaker listed there at all times, and when the speaker is turned on and in-range, you’ll be able to connect to it from your phone as long as both of them have their Bluetooth turned on as discoverable. If your speaker doesn’t automatically connect to your phone when it’s turned on, select it from your phone’s Bluetooth settings to pair.
Bluetooth connections can be interrupted, so it’s best to keep your phone near your Bluetooth speaker during use—within 33 feet with a clear line of sight is recommended. If you’re planning on streaming music from farther away within the same home or business, a multi-room Wi-Fi speaker might be a better choice for you, as they can maintain a reliable connection anywhere your Wi-Fi reaches.
Choosing a Bluetooth speaker or earphone to connect to
You can stream music from your phone (or any other Bluetooth device, like an iPad, tablet, computer, or laptop) to your Bluetooth speakers for easy listening. There are many different types of Bluetooth compatible products that are great for this.
For a basic speaker setup that’s easy to move around indoors or outdoors, portable Bluetooth speakers are a great place to start. Many of these offer features such as water resistance and multi-speaker use, which makes them popular for people who love to host parties. However, portable speakers usually sacrifice a bit of sound quality for portability, so some people like to opt instead for fixed devices.
If you already have a speaker system that you love, you can add a Bluetooth stereo receiver to convert your setup to Bluetooth. These stereo receivers offer the physical controls and crisp sound quality that you’re used to, but give you the added benefit of being able to stream music from your phone to your speakers through the receiver.
Another great Bluetooth option to add to your family room or home theatre is a Bluetooth sound bar, which you can set up to stream sound from your TV or phone. These low-profile, high-quality speakers integrate into your home theatre setup, and can be used to play music wirelessly without video, too.
Finally, on a much smaller scale, Bluetooth headphones give you the incredible sound quality you’re seeking along with the convenience of going wireless. They’re great for taking phone calls, listening to music while working out, and even dancing along to your favourite tracks while you cook dinner in a noisy kitchen.
Shop speakers online at Best Buy to make the most of your new streaming knowledge.