I got a new audiophile bluetooth speaker and am eager to hook it up to my Apple iMac. What’s the fast, easy way to get them talking?
Bluetooth technology has come a long way in the last few years and now it’s surprisingly easy to get things to work and connect, whether you’re on an Android phone, a Windows tablet or a MacOS desktop system like an iMac. The latest generation of bluetooth devices even recognize when they’ve never paired with anything and automatically switch into what’s known as pairing mode so they’re quite literally ready to go out of the box.
Your Apple Mac system is also very bluetooth friendly too, particularly if you’ve enabled the menu bar icon. To start, make sure that bluetooth is enabled on your iMac: Go to System Preferences… from the Apple menu (top left of the screen), choose Bluetooth, then turn that puppy on! For bonus points, check “show bluetooth in menu bar” too. Close the System Preferences window.
Now we’re in the same state! Here’s how I quickly pair a new bluetooth speaker with my own Apple MacOS X system (it’s a MacBook Pro, but the process is the same). To start, a click on the new bluetooth icon on the menu bar reveals its menu:
Here’s a handy tip if you’re on a laptop: Bluetooth uses a fair amount of battery so if you’re not actively using a bluetooth device of some sort, I suggest you choose “Turn Bluetooth Off” on the menu. Ready to use it again? Simply choose “Turn Bluetooth On” and you’re ready for action.
You can see in the above that my system is paired with a lot of different devices, though none are currently connected. How can you tell? Connected devices are shown in bold on the menu.
To pair a new device, you’ll want to choose “Open Bluetooth Preferences…” or you can go to System Preferences > Bluetooth if you prefer. Either way, you end up here:
You might need to scroll down, but notice that my new bluetooth device, the Audioengine B1 music receiver, is already on the list with a button labelled “Pair”. If your device isn’t showing up, give it a few seconds to find it. Still not there? Check your owner’s manual for the device and make sure it’s in pairing mode.
With these speakers, pairing is as easy as clicking on the ingeniously labelled “Pair” button.
After a few seconds, it should switch to:
That’s it. You should be ready to push music to the new speakers. I usually turn the volume down, then click play on whatever audio source I’m using (it’ll obviously work with anything, from Sirius XM to Pandora to iTunes Radio).
Don’t like the stock name of the device from the vendor? You can change it! Just Control-Click on its listing in the bluetooth window:
If you aren’t getting audio, go back to System Preferences and this time click on Sound, then check to ensure that the Output is indeed the new device:
And finally, you can also use the menu bar shortcut to connect or disconnect once the device is known, as you can see here:
You can also zip straight to the Sound preferences as needed.
That’s it, that should get you up and running with your new bluetooth speakers and any other bluetooth devices easily!