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How to add Bluetooth to your home stereo system

Play music wirelessly with a home Bluetooth adapter

Audioengine B1 Premium universal Bluetooth® music receiver

The Audioengine B1 premium universal Bluetooth® music receiver boasts up to 100 feet of wireless Bluetooth range.

Want to play music from your phone through an old stereo system? Try a home Bluetooth adapter.

Bluetooth lets you play music wirelessly from your phone or tablet. Any audio that you can hear on your device, can play through your stereo speakers — including downloaded tunes, podcasts, Spotify®, Pandora®, or even audio from YouTube™.

Easy, simple setup

You’ll only need one wire to connect the compact adapter to your A/V receiver or amp. You’ll also have to plug the adapter into an AC outlet.

Diagram of bluetooth adapter for home stereo

Next, you enable Bluetooth on your phone or tablet and put it in pairing mode. Then you select the Bluetooth adapter from the onscreen menu. 

iPhone bluetooth settings

From there, you can walk around freely and enjoy wireless tunes from your phone. Some adapters, like the Audioengine B1, even offer an extended wireless range. 

Why I’m a Bluetooth adapter fan

I’ve been a big fan of Bluetooth adapters ever since I added one to my own home setup. The adapter was an affordable alternative to replacing my old receiver. And it got music flowing through my living room tower speakers again.

(In fact, I hounded my editors for the chance to write this article.)

For about two or three years, I rarely listened to music through my nice speakers. My Onkyo receiver worked fine for surround sound when I watched TV, but it didn't offer an easy way to play tunes from my phone.

I'll admit that I can get a little snobbish about my main entertainment system. I once tried a super-cheap Bluetooth "dongle." But I immediately returned it after I got shoddy sound and choppy wireless reception with tons of audio dropouts. 

Then I tried a premium Bluetooth adapter. It gave me reliable access to all my music downloads and Spotify. So now my 4-year-old could dance in the living room to her Disney playlists — and I could revisit classic albums, while reclined in my favorite chair.

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth adapter

The Audioengine B1 offers both digital and analog audio connections to your stereo.

And most importantly, the sound was full, powerful, and detailed. I never feel like I compromised audio quality for convenience. While these adapters may look small and unassuming, I learned that some perform like a top-notch audio component.

If you're ready to buy a new home stereo system, consider getting one with Bluetooth built-in. To learn more read our guide to Bluetooth home stereo.

Need help?

Our Advisors know home stereo gear inside and out. Contact us today.

  • Lowell from Roosevelt

    Posted on 2/24/2024

    Does it come with wiring

  • Ken from Wyoming, MI.

    Posted on 1/28/2024

    Great article, been wanting to do this!

  • Richard from Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Posted on 1/2/2024

    Thanks for the article. I've been missing my old stereo system and now I think I'll get a device to connect to my amp.

  • Darrel from Indianapolis

    Posted on 12/7/2023

    I like the Onkyo brand home theater sound systems. They remind of a once popular brand home stereo system Martanz in the 80's. But, I never would had thought about adding a bluetooth to my old stereo system. So, I think this is a cool article that would be good for our elder folks, who don't want to shell out cash for a more modern home stereo system. Thanks for the share!

  • David B from Dallas

    Posted on 12/6/2023

    I have been trying to find the right equipment to do this. Unfortunately most of my equipment is pre BT 5, thus it can not handle the full frequency modulation normally cutting off most of the bass. I like that BT 5 can do one to many transmissions unlike earlier versions, and has the bandwidth/compression to get down in the bass, but I think I will go with an FM transmitter that goes down to 20 hz for now. That way even my old boom boxes can receive the signal. When I have 3 devices in 3 locations all receiving the FM signal the sound stays in sync.

  • Darrell from Park Ridge

    Posted on 12/3/2023

    We have a new cable service and ever since our surround stereo sound doesn't work when we watch movies. Will this device work?

  • Ken from Odenton

    Posted on 11/6/2023

    Good simple article. However is there a simple way to make your older receiver/speakers Bluetooth

  • Brian

    Posted on 8/31/2023

    Will this let my receiver run Bluetooth speakers??

  • Don from Stow

    Posted on 8/19/2023

    Rocketing easy, sounds great

  • jojo from sacramento

    Posted on 7/29/2023

    what are the different bluetooth transmitter i could get to use in my 321 first gen. bose. help will be much appreciated.

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