How to Use a Bluetooth Speaker with Your Mac

This illustrated tutorial will show you exactly how to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your Mac.

  1. To start, let’s make sure your bluetooth settings are all ready to go. Open your System Preferences from the Apple Menu and select Bluetooth.
  2. First, make sure that bluetooth is turned on. Click the Turn Bluetooth On button if necessary. Now place a check in the box labelled Show Bluetooth in menu bar. You can disable the menu bar item when you’re done if you’d like – but it does make accessing your bluetooth devices very easy. Leave this window open for a moment.

  3. click to enlarge

  4. Now grab your bluetooth speaker and turn it on. Depending on your speaker, you’ll probably need to turn on bluetooth separately. Locate a ‘second’ button and turn it on as well – it’ll probably have a bluetooth icon (see image below) somewhere near it. The BeatsPill speaker, for example, does not have a bluetooth icon near the bluetooth button (which is the large “b” button on the front of the speaker). If your speaker only has one button, it’s probably some combination of holding the button down briefly and holding it down for a few seconds to turn on bluetooth – you’ll need to refer to the manual to figure that out.
  5. Again, this is true for most bluetooth speakers but not all – once bluetooth has been turned on, a small light will probably start blinking. This signals that bluetooth is on and sending out a “here I am” message. If your speaker doesn’t have a light, refer to the manual to see how to identify whether bluetooth is turned on and broadcasting the ‘here I am’ message.
  6. portable bluetooth speaker blinking

  7. Now back in the bluetooth window on your Mac the speaker will appear in the list of nearby bluetooth devices. Click the Pair button.
  8. Give your Mac a moment to connect to the speaker.
  9. When the pairing is successful you’ll see a Connected status in the bluetooth window, and your Mac will play the default ‘bing’ sound. You should also hear the volume coming out of your bluetooth speaker now – not the Mac’s internal speakers. Your speakers bluetooth ‘light’ will probably stop blinking at this point.
  10. If for any reason the pairing didn’t work, try turning the Bluetooth service on your Mac off and then back on again, and power your speaker off and on again.
  11. You can monitor your bluetooth connections via the menu bar icon, and it’s from here you can disconnect your speaker, turn bluetooth off and on etc.