What’s a projector without sound? It’d be something akin to the old-timey slideshow projectors of yore during the 19th and 20th centuries, of course. You know, the ones lit by gas lamps and require pitch-blackness to be seen clearly.
What’s the point of buying the latest 2021 projector available if you’re not going to get one that has its own speaker or can attach itself to an external sound system? With that said, a Bluetooth soundbar is a wireless soundbar that uses Bluetooth technology to interface with modern projectors.
You may also like: The 9 Best Soundbar for Projector
How to Connect Bluetooth Soundbar to a Projector
Connecting your Bluetooth soundbar to a modern projector couldn’t be simpler. First off, turn on your projector and press its menu button (if available). Select the settings menu in order to access the Bluetooth feature. Usually, you have to select the HDMI link first and press Enter or OK.
From there, select the Audio Out Device, select Projector, and press Escape or Cancel until you return to the settings menu. Now you can select Bluetooth and press Enter or OK. Some projector variants will have different interfaces available, so you’ll have to refer to their manual for more details.
Basically, you want to go to settings or system configuration and activate Bluetooth in order to allow the projector to recognize and interface with your soundbar. Don’t forget to turn on the soundbar to allow the connection to occur. Moreover, you need to activate your projector’s Bluetooth first.
Most smart devices can easily pick up Bluetooth signals from nearby speakers, earpods, headsets, and the like in order to give sound to your projection-based entertainment.
Further reading: How to Connect Audio to Projector
When Is It a Hassle to Connect a Bluetooth Speaker to a Projector?
Connecting speakers to the projector can be a huge hassle. If it works it’s pretty straightforward. If it doesn’t, you have to troubleshoot it. You have to check if the problem is with the Bluetooth device or the projector itself. Could it be a hardware or software problem?
The hassle from connecting a wireless speaker to your projector mostly roots from activating Bluetooth from your projector or making sure the signal from the speaker itself is working as intended. Wireless video is pretty effective, such as Fire Sticks or Roku Stucks and wireless HDMI kits.
Wireless audio might require more finagling compared to wireless video or even some wired audio. When Bluetooth works though, it is definitely superior to its wired counterparts. There’s less consideration for ports, adapters, wire length, cable management, and A/V receivers.
Where Did Bluetooth Technology Come From?
Bluetooth technology in the late 2000s, if memory serves correctly, was originally developed for cellular phone use. It’s a cellphone to cellphone universal connection tech that allows you to do things like interface between two devices without wires and transfer files from one device to the next.
You can swap images, music, videos, and messages to each other via Bluetooth with a more solid connection at the time that what you can get from circa 2000s wireless Wi-Fi Internet. It’s this wireless effectiveness that made Bluetooth such a viable connection medium for home theater projectors.
To be more specific, Bluetooth was popular among ultra-short-throw pico projectors so small they’re practically the size of mobile phones and tablets. The problem with Bluetooth even in 2021 is that not all projectors can interface with Bluetooth audio. You need to do a compatibility check first.
Get a Projector That Supports Bluetooth First and Foremost
A projector—most likely a smart projector—that supports Bluetooth ensures instant Bluetooth recognition of your speaker in a jiffy. Some projectors, ironically, have internal speakers so sophisticated that the whole device can double as a Bluetooth speaker all its own.
Yes, there are projectors that double as Bluetooth speakers and can connect to other Bluetooth speakers. In the 2020s, it’s becoming more and more common to interface your projector with a separate Bluetooth speaker in order to improve your video sound quality by leaps and bounds.
Actually, the trickiest part in connecting Bluetooth sound systems to your projector if it’s an older model made back in the 2010s and earlier. You’d think if a projector doesn’t have wireless Bluetooth tech built-in, then that means it’s precluded from Bluetooth speaker benefits.
However, there are actually dongle or adapter solutions available to allow you to link your Bluetooth speaker to these older projectors so you won’t have to put in TOSLINK ports, 3.5mm audio jacks, or HDMI for audio use in order to listen to high-definition, high-fidelity sound.
Further reading: The 9 Best Projectors with Bluetooth Audio
When Can You Connect a Bluetooth Speaker to a Projector?
Look for the Bluetooth logo on your projector or its software user interface in order to determine if you can use the Bluetooth speaker on it or not. It’s like the microwave-safe label on your plastic container. The logo gives you a helpful hint on compatibility.
Cheaper, portable-style projectors are more and more relying on Bluetooth to give you speaker functionality since they’re too small for even 3.5mm audio jacks. Certain budget models such as VicTsing use screen mirroring for video and Bluetooth for audio.
More expensive models like the Anker Nebula Capsule also have Bluetooth on top of traditional wired audio solutions. This way, you can connect your soundbar to it wirelessly or link up with an A/V receiver to allow for some hi-fi home theater sound system action.
The LG UST LED Home Theater Projector is also available with Bluetooth, but it’s not as portable as the rest of the projectors on this list. Bluetooth technology allows you to watch content on-the-go with pocket or pico projectors or link up wirelessly with high-end non-portable projectors.
At the End of the Day
At the end of the day, your projector should have its own instruction manual or online guide in order to show you how to go about connecting and using a Bluetooth speaker with your projector. Many of the modern projectors nowadays are of the smart device variety.
Furthermore, when push comes to shove and your projector’s Bluetooth receiver doesn’t recognize your soundbar’s Bluetooth transmitter, usually a good reset or power cycle is enough to solve the issue. Otherwise, you can always use a wired AV receiver or something to get sound.
- “Connecting to a Bluetooth Audio Device“, Epson.com, Retrieved April 27, 2021
- Jonah Matthes, “Can You Connect a Bluetooth Speaker to a Projector?“, TheHomeTheaterDIY.com, Retrieved April 27, 2021