Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sit back, find a tune on your mobile phone and use Bluetooth to transfer it to the 5.1 sound system you enjoy so much? You paid a fair amount of money for it. It works fine with your TV and other wired devices, you love and enjoy its sound, and all it lacks is a Bluetooth receiver to have it all. Should you sell it or throw it away and put yourself through a considerable amount of stress and expense to find and buy a new system with the Bluetooth receiver? Should you be risking not to find such a good sound again? Of course not. There is more than one way to convert your 5.1 speakers to Bluetooth. But, before that, let’s talk about what you can expect from this conversion.
What can you expect from converting your speakers to Bluetooth?
Since its introduction in 1999 to its current Bluetooth 5 iteration, this standard has come a long way regarding its capabilities. Back in the day, you were limited to only voice transfers over few feet, while now you can get to speeds of up to 3 Mb/s and send the signal to 250m away and two receivers from a single source. These updates made Bluetooth a widespread way of connecting various devices and exchanging data between them. So, by converting your sound system to receive Bluetooth data, you are upgrading it significantly. This way, you will be able to stream your favorite music or podcast from your speakers to your weathered 5.1 (or any other) system just by a few touches on your mobile screen.
The only downside from using Bluetooth to connect your mobile to your speakers is that Bluetooth can only transfer stereo signals. This limitation means you won’t be able to listen to separate rear/front and center channels, but only left and right.
Required conversion can be done by either doing a DIY project or buying some of the many off-the-shelf products created just for this purpose. Let’s cover them both.
DIY 5.1 speakers conversion to Bluetooth
In essence, all you need to convert your sound system into Bluetooth is a Bluetooth receiver that supports 3.0 or newer standards and has some audio output connector. Many USB receivers meet these requirements so, if you have one collecting dust or you can buy one secondhand online, you are good to go.
The next thing you will need is a 5V power supply. Almost any phone or universal charger will do the trick. Just check the specifications written on it before you proceed to make sure you got the correct one.
Besides the power supply and Bluetooth receiver, you will need a power cable to connect your charger and receiver. You will also need the correct audio cable to connect receiver output and sound system input.
To make it work, you will need to have some knowledge about soldering and electronics.
First, you need to disassemble the USB Bluetooth receiver and solder off the USB connector. You need to cut off the power cable’s end and figure out the correct polarity of wires. You can do this by using a universal multimeter. When you determined correct polarities, solder the wires to the receiver’s proper outer connections to provide it with power. If you did a good job, it should power up just like being plugged into the USB port.
All you have to do now is connect your receiver output with your sound system input. Ensure you are using the correct cable and place your receiver someplace where you can have unobstructed vision between it and the phone.
Buttonless receivers work best for this application because you won’t have to press some button on them every time you want to use Bluetooth.
Off the shelf Bluetooth receiver
If you are not willing or able to make a Bluetooth receiver yourself, but you want to enjoy its benefits, there are many different solutions on the market.
Receiver devices start from small, portable, and affordable car adapters that you can also use to turn your sound system into Bluetooth. But, if you want premium reception and won’t spare any money, they can go all the way. Find and buy dedicated and often pricey audio Bluetooth adapters. Premium products have additional antennas, every imaginable cable connector, and all other bells and whistles.
Here are some of our recommendations in 2021
If you are not willing to spend much, you should check out Esinkin W29-us Wireless Audio Adapter. It costs around 20-25 USD and provides all essential features. It has a reliable wireless connection up to 15 meters, and it’s easy to set up. It connects to the sound system via RCA or 3,5mm jacks. It’s a small, simple, and elegant solution.
For getting a bit more versatile connectivity and better reception, while paying only a bit over 25 USD, you should check out Besign BE-RCA Long Range Bluetooth Home Music Receiver.
External antenna and built-in support for low latency codecs will give you a long-range reception up to 30m and streaming performance without delay. It works on any 5V power supply and has the same RCA or 3,5mm connection choices.
Finally, for people who are unwilling to compromise regarding range, latency, sound quality, design, or any other features, there is Avantree Oasis Plus. It works both as a receiver and transmitter. The external antenna gives it a range of up to 300m in ideal conditions. It can transmit to two separate sources and supports all low latency codecs to ensure you won’t have any lip-sync issues. It also features pass-through support, allowing you to get the signal to both soundbar and itself via just one optical cable. Unlike the previous two, it has an LCD showing you all relevant information. It has a price range of around 80 USD making it not the most affordable option, but its features will make it worth your money.
Whether you choose to DIY or buy some Bluetooth receiver off-the-shelf, it will add a great new feature to your sound system. You can even take it one step further by purchasing a Bluetooth receiver/transmitter combo. This product will allow you to send the signal from your TV or other devices to the Bluetooth speakers or headphones/earbuds, up to two separate devices from one source.
Don’t throw away your excellent sound system just because it lacks Bluetooth support. Be smart and upgrade.