How to Play iPhone Music Over Bluetooth

Stream iPhone music over Bluetooth for wireless listening

A convenient way to listen to your iPhone music library is to connect to an external Bluetooth system. Bluetooth doesn't require wires to pair a phone to a speaker system or set of headphones. Its popularity and ease of use are why there are a growing number of consumer electronic products that support the Bluetooth standard, including home stereos, in-dash car systems, computers, and waterproof speakers.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 14 through iOS 12.

How to Play Music From iPhone Over Bluetooth

Playing sounds from your iPhone on a Bluetooth device is a three-step process: enable Bluetooth on both devices, pair the devices, and then start the music stream.

  1. On the iPhone, enable Bluetooth if it isn't turned on. Go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the on/off slider to the On position or open the Control Center and tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it on.

  2. On the Bluetooth device, turn on pairing mode. Either press the Pairing button or enable a setting from a companion app.

    If it's not obvious how to enable Bluetooth on the other device, contact the support team for the device or look through the owner's manual.

  3. Place the iPhone within 30 feet (10 meters) of the Bluetooth device.

  4. On the iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap the device to pair it with the phone.

    iPhone Bluetooth settings showing options for connections

    If you haven't paired the device with your phone, it is listed in the Other Devices section, or its status says Not Paired. If you have paired with this device before, it reads Not Connected.

  5. At this point, what you see on the screen varies depending on the Bluetooth device, how it pairs with devices, and whether it is a new device or one that you've connected to before.

    For a new device, a pairing request prompt asks you to confirm a code provided by the Bluetooth device. When the codes match, press Pair.

    For an existing Bluetooth device, the device plays a sound to indicate a successful connection. Once paired, the Bluetooth screen on the iPhone displays Connected next to the device.

  6. Play music on the iPhone to hear it through the Bluetooth device.

    Playing music over Bluetooth works no matter where the sound comes from—videos from YouTube, a music streaming app, a podcast, or online radio.

Having Problems Playing iPhone Music Over Bluetooth?

There are several things to check if the device has problems connecting to the iPhone or if the devices are connected but music doesn't play over Bluetooth.

  • The iPhone doesn't see the Bluetooth device: Move the phone closer to the device and make sure that the wireless function of the device is enabled and working.
  • Can't hear music from the Bluetooth device: The volume on the phone must be turned up to transmit sound to the device, and the Bluetooth device needs its volume set reasonably, too.
  • The Bluetooth device is turned off. Bluetooth must remain on during the entire music streaming session. The moment you disconnect Bluetooth or walk too far away from the device, the music stops.
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