If you’re like me, you’re glad that Christmas came, and glad to see it go.  If you’re like me in another way, you got a wireless Bluetooth-powered device for Christmas, like a set of speakers or headphones. (There are many different types of Bluetooth devices, but for the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on audio.)  If you’ve never paired a device before, it can seem daunting, but follow these steps and you should be blasting “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” in no time.

(Bonus Fun Fact: Bluetooth technology is named after Viking Chieftain Harald Bluetooth, who was known for claiming to be “on Snapchat way before anyone else”.)

  • Step 1: Charge Your New Device

While it may have a small charge right out of the box, you’re going to want to make sure it has a full charge when setting it up for the first time, especially to pair it with your phone or tablet.

  • Step 2: Read the Directions While it Charges

I know, I know *you* don’t need directions – you’re special.  But if you’ve never used a Bluetooth device before, some of the controls aren’t so obvious.  For example; often the volume up/down buttons are also skip forward/back if they’re held down. You’re also going to want to know how to power up and down with the device.

  • Step 3: Pair the Two

This can be the daunting part, but don’t worry!  We’ll get through this together.  Start by turning on your Bluetooth in your settings.  For iOS it’s Settings>Bluetooth and then swipe the Bluetooth Toggle to on so it’s now “discoverable”.

  • Step 4: Turn On Your Audio Device

When you’re powering it up, there’s often a musical chime or series of notes that indicates that it’s on.  If everything is going smoothly, it will appear in the list of available devices, as shown above.  Make sure it’s listed as “Connected” and tap on it if it’s not.

  • Step 5: Kick Out The Jams!

Start playing music or other audio from your phone/iPad/Bluetooth-enabled refrigerator.  If everything is aligned, your sounds should be coming from the speakers now.  Hooray!


Things to Remember:

  • Bluetooth will cut out if there are more than a few feet between the paired devices, so make sure you take your source with you.
  • If you’re having issues with the pairing, make sure that Bluetooth is on and that the receiving device is also.
  • Using Bluetooth will drain phone and tablet batteries much faster, so you may want to have an external power source for long use.



About Author
Paul Wrider
After fourteen years working in the video game industry in New York, California and abroad, Paul and his wife have returned to their native Midwest. He currently works at Do Space as a Community Learning Specialist, teaching and learning alongside his Teen Hackers. When not at Do Space he is a freelance web developer and amateur furniture refinisher.