We’re living in a wireless world now.
Yet, think back to how a typical TV system looked ten years ago. Apart from the TV itself, there were countless cords tethered to various devices, creating quite a tangled mess!
Moreover, if you were using one of these devices, you were stuck there, chained to the TV, unable to move around freely.
Nobody wants that these days.
We all crave constant connectivity, but without sacrificing our freedom to move about, even when it comes to our home TVs.
Do Smart TVs have Bluetooth?
Indeed, many smart TVs do feature Bluetooth capability. Top-tier brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, Hisense, and Toshiba all offer smart TVs that come with Bluetooth functions.
However, it’s important to note that not all smart TVs have Bluetooth. Just because they’re branded “smart” doesn’t mean they automatically come with Bluetooth. But don’t worry, even if that’s the case, you can still add Bluetooth functionality to these TVs with a Bluetooth transmitter.
Why do some smart TVs lack Bluetooth?
Bluetooth isn’t a standard feature in all smart TVs because it costs extra to add it into the manufacturing process. Simply put, some manufacturers don’t see Bluetooth as an essential component for smart TVs.
Inclusion of a Bluetooth chip in every smart TV model can be pricey. To maximize their profit, manufacturers might decide to skip on features they believe aren’t absolutely necessary for a smart TV’s functionality.
Plus, the added manufacturing cost might lead to a price hike for smart TVs. And if smart TVs become more expensive, manufacturers may end up selling fewer units compared to those who offer more cost-effective options.
Additionally, some manufacturers question the actual benefits of Bluetooth for a smart TV.
Considering we typically don’t move around much while watching TV, and since a smart TV isn’t portable, they feel the utility of Bluetooth is less compared to its use in mobile devices like smartphones.
Despite this, there are numerous reasons why Bluetooth is a great feature for TVs.
What can a Bluetooth TV do?
1. Connect wireless headphones
Ever had to skip watching your favorite TV show because you didn’t want to disturb someone sleeping nearby?
With a Bluetooth-enabled smart TV, that’s no longer a problem. Just connect your wireless headphones and enjoy.
I recall a buddy of mine who worked night shifts. During the day, his family had to avoid watching TV to not disturb his sleep. Their solution? They bought a Bluetooth-enabled smart TV.
2. Use external speakers
Often, sound quality takes a backseat when people are in the market for a new TV. Naturally, most folks focus on the picture quality or the size of the screen. However, sound is a significant part of the total TV viewing experience.
The truth is, not all smart TVs come with top-notch sound quality – many feature just decent in-built speakers. To make up for this, folks usually connect external speakers.
But with a Bluetooth-enabled smart TV, you won’t have to deal with extra cables or wires. You just need to pair your soundbar or other external speakers directly with your TV. Within a minute or so, you’ll have them all hooked up.
3. Connect hearing aids
For people with hearing loss, having Bluetooth in a smart TV can be a game-changer. It enables them to link their Bluetooth hearing aids directly to their smart TV.
Consider this scenario: they’re watching a TV show with their family. Once their hearing aids are connected via Bluetooth, they can adjust the volume to their comfort level without impacting the sound the rest of the family hears from the TV’s speakers. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the show at their preferred volume.
4. Connect a wireless keyboard and mouse
I bet we’ve all felt the frustration of having to punch in a movie title on a smart TV, painstakingly selecting each letter with the remote’s arrow keys. It’s pretty exasperating and not particularly efficient.
But here’s where, if your smart TV has Bluetooth, things get easier. You can effortlessly link a wireless keyboard and mouse.
A wireless keyboard and mouse can notably enhance your navigation of apps on your smart TV. Not only can you search for TV shows or movies more swiftly, but you can also scroll faster through any list on your smart TV.
5. Project smartphone or laptop screens
Got a video on your smartphone or laptop that you’d love to view on a bigger screen?
That’s a piece of cake with a Bluetooth-capable smart TV. You simply pair your smartphone or laptop with your smart TV, and it won’t take much time at all.
In addition to displaying videos, you can also play your video games or browse through mobile apps on a larger screen, all thanks to your Bluetooth-enabled smart TV.
6. Use smartphones as the remote control
Aiming the remote at the TV sensor can sometimes be a hassle. You have to ensure there’s nothing in the way. Plus, there are moments when you might need to get closer to your TV just to press a few buttons.
With a Bluetooth-equipped smart TV, you can transform your smartphone into a remote control. The great thing about using your smartphone as a Bluetooth remote is that you don’t have to aim it directly at your TV.
And if you ever misplace your remote or its batteries die, your smartphone can serve as a handy backup.
How do I know if my smart TV has Bluetooth?
If you’ve recently snagged a smart TV and aren’t sure whether it’s Bluetooth-compatible, there are a few straightforward methods to find out.
The simplest approach is to consult the user manual. Flip through it to check if it mentions anything about connecting via Bluetooth or if there’s a Bluetooth symbol anywhere within its pages.
If you still have the TV’s packaging box (and haven’t discarded it yet), you can check that too. More often than not, smart TVs that come with Bluetooth will sport a Bluetooth logo on their boxes.
You can also use your smartphone to check for Bluetooth connectivity. Navigate to your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings and check if your smart TV pops up in the list of available devices.
Lastly, take a gander at your smart TV’s remote. If it possesses smart functionalities, there’s a good chance your smart TV is Bluetooth-enabled.
Which TVs have built-in Bluetooth?
Here are the smart TV models with Bluetooth capabilities:
|Brand||Smart TV models|
|Samsung||6, 7, 8, and 9 series|
Frame, Serif, Sero, and Terrace series
Q60T, Q70T, Q80T, Q90T, Q800T,
and Q900TS series
|LG||BX, CX, GX, WX, and ZX series|
Nanoclass 81, 85, 90, and 99 series
UN7300, UN7370, and UN8500 series
|Sony||All Google TVs and Android TVs |
released from 2017 onwards
(see Sony’s complete compatible
|Hisense||A6, A60, and A6G series|
H55, H65, H8, H8G, H8G1,
and H9 series
Laser TV, U6, U7, U8 & U9 series
|Toshiba||All Fire TV Editions|
How do I enable Bluetooth on my smart TV?
If it turns out your smart TV doesn’t support Bluetooth, no worries! There are multiple established ways to make your smart TV Bluetooth-ready.
1. Connect to your streaming box or console
If you’re using an external streaming box like an Apple TV, Nvidia Shield, or something similar, you’re all set. These devices allow you to connect headphones and other Bluetooth gadgets even if your TV itself doesn’t have this feature. Some newer cable TV boxes also have built-in Bluetooth.
My suggestion is to google the name of your streaming box along with “how to connect to Bluetooth”, and you should find step-by-step guides tailored to your specific device.
However, keep in mind that this method only works when you’re using the apps on your streaming box.
That means while it’s perfect for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, or any other apps on your streaming box, it won’t work if the audio is coming from other devices or from regular TV channels.
2. Use your TV manufacturer’s app
Another way to “enable” Bluetooth on a non-Bluetooth smart TV is through your TV manufacturer’s app. You link your wireless headphones to your smartphone and use the app to connect to your TV.
A prime example of this is the private listening feature on the Roku app.
Simply download the free app and make sure both your smartphone and Roku device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Once you switch on private listening, your TV’s sound is directed to the wireless headphones paired with your smartphone. You can even connect up to four smartphones at the same time for private listening.
This is a neat workaround, particularly since direct Bluetooth pairing on Roku TVs is only available when using Roku wireless speakers and soundbars.
Some smart TVs have hidden Bluetooth options within a “secret menu.”
All digital TVs come equipped with secret menus, which are advanced sections where you can toggle features on and off or adjust various settings.
This hidden menu can be accessed by pressing a specific combination of buttons on your remote. (Refer to this list for the codes applicable to your TV model, or do a quick Google search if your model isn’t listed.)
However, there’s a catch. And it’s a big one.
Accessing your TV’s secret menu is high risk.
Messing with the settings in this menu might damage your TV beyond repair if you make a wrong move. You wouldn’t want to render your TV useless just for the sake of enabling Bluetooth, right?
Plus, accessing this secret menu might void your TV’s warranty, which for many people, is too high of a price to pay.
4. Buy a Bluetooth transmitter
Another option is to purchase a Bluetooth transmitter to make your smart TV Bluetooth-compatible.
A Bluetooth transmitter is a separate device that plugs into the audio ports of your non-Bluetooth TV. This device allows your TV to send sound to your headphones or speakers via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth transmitters are typically used with TVs and other electronics like computers or car audio systems that don’t have built-in Bluetooth.
Interestingly, you can even use a Bluetooth transmitter with an in-flight entertainment system, which means you could use wireless headphones like AirPods on a plane!
Indeed, a good number of smart TVs come with Bluetooth, but it’s not a standard feature in all of them. Top brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, Hisense, and Toshiba offer smart TVs that include built-in Bluetooth functionality.
To determine if your smart TV supports Bluetooth, give the user manual a thorough read. If it’s not mentioned there, a glance at the TV’s packaging box might do the trick. Another approach is to check your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings to see if your TV shows up on the list of devices.
If, however, your smart TV lacks Bluetooth, don’t worry! Here are some ways to add Bluetooth connectivity to it:
- Using your smart TV manufacturer’s app on your smartphone
- Accessing your smart TV’s secret menu (high risk!)
- Buying a Bluetooth transmitter and plugging it into your smart TV
Does your smart TV have Bluetooth? If so, what Bluetooth devices do you typically pair with it? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below!