Bluetooth on the iPhone: How to Wirelessly Listen to Songs

Nyne Cruiser Bluetooth Speaker
Nyne Multimedia, Inc.

The default and traditional way of listening to your music library is to sync iTunes with your iPhone and then listen with headphones. However, an often overlooked but powerful feature found on most phones is the ability to connect the device to an external Bluetooth system.

Bluetooth lets you ditch the tangled mess of wires that usually pair your phone to a speaker system or set of headphones. Its popularity and ease of use is why there's a growing number of consumer electronic products that support the Bluetooth standard, like home stereos, in-dash car systems, computers, waterproof speakers, and more.

How to Make Your Bluetooth Device Discoverable

In this context, making the device discoverable just means that you're opening it up to accept connections with any Bluetooth device that's looking to be paired. This is why the act of connecting two devices together over Bluetooth is often called Bluetooth pairing.

By default, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch have Bluetooth functionality turned off to conserve battery life. Fortunately, it's really simple to turn it on.

Here's how to turn on Bluetooth for the iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Bluetooth menu near the top of the list.

  3. Tap the toggle button on the next screen to enable Bluetooth.

Now that the iPhone is in discoverable mode, make sure that it's within 10 meters of the device that you want to connect it to. Unlike Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices must be pretty close to each other in order to communicate and maintain a smooth, uninterruptable connection.

How to Pair Your Phone With a Bluetooth Device

Now that Bluetooth is turned on for the iPhone, you should see a list of Bluetooth devices that the phone can see.

Follow these steps to complete the pairing process:

  1. Tap on the device you want to connect to.

    If you haven't previously paired it with your iPhone, its status will say Not Paired. If you have, it'll read Not Connected.

  2. At this point, what you see on the screen will vary depending on whether this is a new device or one you've connected to before.

    • If it's new, a Bluetooth Pairing Request will appear on the phone asking you to confirm the code that's shown on the Bluetooth device that you're wanting the phone to connect to. If so, confirm that the characters are the same and then tap Pair.
    • You have to do the same thing on the other device too. If using a headset for example, the PIN is usually 0000, but you'll need to read the device's instruction manual to be sure of this.
    • If you're connecting to a device you've connected to before, you can just select it and then move forward.
  3. It should say Connected on the phone when the pairing is complete.

Having Problems With Bluetooth on Your iPhone?

Here are some things you should remember if you run into any problems trying to connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth device to listen to music:

  • If the device isn't listed as a Bluetooth device on your iPhone, you might be too far away to communicate with it. Another reason might be that the device isn't turned on or it's Bluetooth function is disabled/not working.
  • The volume on your phone must be turned up in order for the Bluetooth device to receive any sounds. Confirm that the Bluetooth speaker is turned up as well.
  • It can be easy to accidentally turn Bluetooth off on an iPhone. To turn it back on, either re-enter the settings as described above or swipe up from the bottom of the phone and toggle the Bluetooth icon on.
  • If you're still having problems, go to the Bluetooth settings on the iPhone and select the small "(i)" button next to the device in question. Choose Forget This Device to permanently remove the Bluetooth device from the iPhone and clear out any profiles that might be causing a conflict.