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How to connect Bluetooth speaker to Mac

Today I have a tutorial that will help you to pair your Mac with a wireless Bluetooth speaker. It is a very simple process that takes only a minute and I’m sure that this information will help a lot of people.

Before we start, quick information about Bluetooth speakers. You need to know that there are usually two modes that the speaker can operate. The first one is for pairing. In other words, in this mode, the wireless Bluetooth speaker can be seen by your Mac or other devices for the first time and secure connection is established and the details of if are stored on your Mac. The second mode is just for connecting the speaker to the Mac, but after the pairing has already taken place.

In other words, you need first to pair two devices for the first time. And then they connect almost automatically.

So even before you start the process, you need to check the speaker’s documentation on how to trigger these two modes. Perhaps it’s not necessary for new devices but there are plenty of wireless speakers that need to follow this procedure. After this short explanation, I can start the actual tutorial.

How to connect Bluetooth speaker to Mac

Switch on the speaker and put it into pairing mode

I have a Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker and the pairing mode is switch on when I press Bluetooth symbol. If the blue light flashes, this indicates that the speaker is in pairing mode.

Bluetooth speaker in pairing mode

Of course, in your case, it can be a different setup. Follow the official manual and start the pairing mode.

Let your Mac find the speaker

While the speaker is discoverable, head on your Mac computer to System Preferences > Bluetooth (have a look below to find it quickly, you can also use the search box).

Bluetooth speaker in pairing mode

If the Bluetooth is Off, switch this on by clicking on the Turn Bluetooth On button as indicated below. I like to display the Bluetooth options at the top of my screen in the menu bar without the need to going to System Preferences. If you would like to have them there too, mark the checkbox Show Bluetooth in menu bar.

Turn Bluetooth on

Connect Bluetooth speaker to your Mac

At this stage, your Mac should notice your Bluetooth speaker. If your speaker is not visible, double-check and make sure it is in pairing mode. My Mac has discovered the speaker very quickly.

Connect your speaker

It is self-explanatory, all you have to do now is to click the Connect button. The Mac should connect to the speaker and, if you happen to play some sound, you should hear it from the speaker. If you have another look at the options, you should see something similar to this:

Speaker is now connected

That is pretty much all the information you need to connect Bluetooth speaker to Mac. Every time you switch on your speaker and activate Bluetooth on your Mac, both devices should link automatically and you should hear the sound from the speaker.

However, occasionally there might be some issues with it so please find below a short Troubleshooting guide what to do if you cannot hear the sound.

Mac and Bluetooth speaker connection troubleshooting

1. First things first. Check if the speaker is powered and in connection mode. Also, very important, start a music file or YouTube video in the internet browser to hear any sound 🙂

2. Then check if the speaker is connected to your Mac. You can check the connection by going to System Preferences > Bluetooth (or by using Bluetooth icon in the menu bar). If the speaker is not connected, make sure that the Bluetooth on Mac is turned on, the speaker is powered and is in connection mode. If everything seems to be fine, but they still do not connect, you may delete the whole connection, set the speaker to the pairing mode and then pair both devices once again.

3. If both devices are connected but there is no sound, you need to double-check your Mac sound settings. Go to System Preferences > Sound > Output tab. Make sure that the Bluetooth speaker is selected and also that the volume is loud enough so you can hear the sound. This is indicated below.

Sound output options on Mac

4. If the Bluetooth speaker is connected to Mac, it is selected as an Output device and the volume is high, the only logical explanation left is the low sound volume of the speaker 🙂 Yes, seriously it is worth checking, it happened to me a few times before. Press the physical button to increase the volume and make sure that mute button is not pressed.

I am pretty sure that if you follow these few steps you will discover and solve any connection problems. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions regarding connection your Mac to wireless Bluetooth speaker.

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