How do I change Bluetooth audio settings on Android?

Bluetooth audio is a convenient way to stream music, podcasts, and other audio content wirelessly from your Android device to Bluetooth speakers, headphones, car audio systems, and more. However, you may need to change the Bluetooth audio settings on your Android device to get the best listening experience.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to change common Bluetooth audio settings on your Android smartphone or tablet. We’ll cover how to:

  • Enable or disable Bluetooth
  • Pair new Bluetooth audio devices
  • Connect to previously paired devices
  • Prioritize connected Bluetooth audio devices
  • Rename paired devices
  • Delete paired devices
  • Adjust audio quality settings

Follow the steps below to manage your Bluetooth connections and get the most out of wireless audio on your Android device.

Enable or Disable Bluetooth

Before you can connect Bluetooth audio devices to your Android phone or tablet, you need to ensure Bluetooth is turned on. Here’s how to check your Bluetooth status and enable it if needed:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Select “Connected devices” or “Bluetooth.” This may also be labeled “Connections” on some Android versions.
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch on or off. If Bluetooth is currently disabled, switch it on.

When Bluetooth is enabled, the switch will turn blue and your device will become discoverable to nearby Bluetooth accessories. Make sure Bluetooth is on before trying to connect any audio devices.

Pair New Bluetooth Audio Devices

Once Bluetooth is enabled on your Android, you can pair new wireless headphones, speakers, car audio systems, and other devices. The pairing process allows the two devices to find and connect to each other wirelessly. Here are the steps:

  1. Put your Bluetooth audio device into pairing mode by following its instructions. This usually involves pressing and holding a dedicated Bluetooth or Pair button until the device enters pairing mode.
  2. On your Android, access the Bluetooth settings from Settings > Connected devices > Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the “Pair new device” option.
  4. Select your audio device from the list when it appears on the available devices list.
  5. Confirm pairing on both your Android and the Bluetooth device if prompted.
  6. Once successfully paired, your Android will show the device as “Connected.”

The process above works for most Bluetooth accessories. However, refer to the manual for your specific audio device for detailed pairing instructions if needed.

Connect to Previously Paired Devices

Once you have paired a Bluetooth audio device with your Android phone or tablet, you can easily reconnect to it later. Follow these steps:

  1. Enable Bluetooth on your Android if it’s not already on.
  2. On the Bluetooth settings screen, you will see a list of previously paired devices under “Paired devices.”
  3. Tap the name of the Bluetooth audio device you want to connect to.

Your Android will connect to that Bluetooth device again. Most paired Bluetooth accessories will automatically reconnect to your Android once in range if Bluetooth is enabled.

Prioritize Connected Bluetooth Audio Devices

If you have multiple Bluetooth audio devices paired and connected to your Android, the phone will route audio to the device that was connected last by default. However, you can change which device gets audio priority:

  1. Go to Bluetooth settings and ensure the desired audio device is connected.
  2. Tap the settings icon next to the device name.
  3. Enable the “Media audio” option.

This will give that Bluetooth accessory priority for streaming music, podcasts, navigation guidance, and other audio. Disable “Media audio” on other connected devices to make this one your primary Bluetooth audio output.

Rename Paired Devices

If you want to customize the name of a paired Bluetooth device as it appears on your Android:

  1. Go to Bluetooth settings and locate the paired device.
  2. Tap the settings icon next to the device name.
  3. Tap “Rename.”
  4. Enter the new name you want to assign.
  5. Tap OK.

The renamed device will now appear with your custom name in the list of paired devices.

Delete Paired Devices

Over time, you may accumulate a lengthy list of paired Bluetooth devices on your Android. If you want to remove old, unused devices:

  1. Go to Bluetooth settings and find the device you want to forget.
  2. Tap the settings icon next to the device name.
  3. Select “Forget.”
  4. Confirm forgetting the device when prompted.

The device will be deleted from your Android’s paired device list. To reconnect in the future, you’ll have to re-pair it. This can help declutter your connections list.

Adjust Bluetooth Audio Quality

For supported Bluetooth audio devices, you can adjust the audio quality settings on your Android to optimize listening:

  1. Go to Bluetooth settings and tap the settings icon next to your connected audio device.
  2. Tap “Sound quality.”
  3. Select your desired audio quality mode: Low (saves battery), Medium, High (best quality), or Adaptive.

The best Bluetooth audio quality setting depends on your specific headphones or speakers. Try different quality modes while listening to music to pick the optimal setting.

That covers the core settings for managing your Bluetooth audio connections and quality on Android. With the steps above, you can stay wirelessly connected to your favorite Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and car systems.

Here are some additional tips for using Bluetooth audio with your Android device:

  • Stay within 30 feet of Bluetooth devices for best connectivity.
  • Avoid physical obstructions between your Android and the Bluetooth accessory.
  • For car audio, position your phone so the Bluetooth antenna faces your car speakers.
  • Update the firmware of Bluetooth accessories if connectivity issues arise.
  • Disable WiFi on your Android if you notice interference with Bluetooth audio.
  • Restart your phone and audio device if connectivity problems persist.

With good connectivity habits, Bluetooth provides an easy way to wirelessly stream audio from your Android smartphone or tablet. Change settings as needed to improve the listening experience.

Troubleshoot Bluetooth Connectivity Issues

Despite Bluetooth technology improving over time, you may occasionally run into connectivity issues. Here are some tips for troubleshooting common Bluetooth problems with Android:

Fix Issue: Bluetooth Won’t Turn On

If the Bluetooth toggle switch is greyed out and you can’t enable Bluetooth, try these steps:

  1. Restart your Android device – press and hold the power button and tap restart.
  2. Check if Airplane mode is on and turn it off.
  3. Open Settings > Apps and check for any updates to the Bluetooth app.
  4. Go to Settings > System > Reset options and reset app preferences or perform a network settings reset.

Fix Issue: Device Not Visible for Pairing

If other devices can’t find your Android to pair, try these fixes:

  1. Ensure Location/GPS is enabled on your Android. This helps with device discovery.
  2. Toggle Bluetooth off and on again.
  3. Verify the pairing device is in pairing mode when searching.
  4. Check the privacy settings on your Android and make sure it is set to be visible.
  5. Restart your phone and the Bluetooth accessory.

Fix Issue: Device Not Connecting or Disconnecting

For issues with connections dropping or devices not staying paired, try these steps:

  1. Delete existing pairings by forgetting the device and re-pair.
  2. Disable Dual Audio in Sound settings if enabled.
  3. Turn off nearby WiFi – it can interfere with Bluetooth connections.
  4. Update Android system software and your Bluetooth device firmware.
  5. Reset network settings under System settings as a last resort.

Fix Issue: Echo or Poor Audio Quality

For echo, static, or low audio quality over Bluetooth, check these items:

  1. Ensure your Android volume is turned up and try adjusting the volume on the Bluetooth device.
  2. Change Bluetooth audio quality settings on your Android and accessory to High.
  3. Try a different music app – some have better Bluetooth support than others.
  4. Rule out background noise or a bad microphone on the connected device.
  5. Reposition your Android closer to the Bluetooth accessory to improve signal.

Following device troubleshooting steps and toggling Bluetooth settings will resolve most connection issues. But if problems persist, your Bluetooth accessory may be defective.

Bluetooth Profiles for Audio

Bluetooth uses different profiles to stream different types of data wirelessly. For audio, the main Bluetooth profiles you’ll encounter include:

  • A2DP – Advanced Audio Distribution Profile for high quality stereo audio.
  • AVRCP – Audio Video Remote Control Profile for playback controls.
  • HFP – Hands-Free Profile for calls and basic controls.
  • HSP – Headset Profile for live call handling.

Most Bluetooth audio devices support A2DP for music streaming and AVRCP for remote control of playback from your Android. High quality headsets add HFP and HSP for call capabilities. Support for these profiles allows wireless audio integration.

Bluetooth Audio Codecs

In addition to Bluetooth profiles, the codec determines how audio data is encoded and transmitted between devices. Here are the most common Bluetooth audio codecs:

  • SBC – Mandatory standard codec with bitrates up to 328 kbps.
  • AAC – High quality codec used by Apple devices.
  • aptX – Low latency codec developed by Qualcomm.
  • aptX HD – High definition 24-bit aptX audio.
  • LDAC – Hi-res wireless audio developed by Sony.

Your Android and Bluetooth device need to both support a given codec for optimal compatibility. Newer Bluetooth versions and Android OS releases add more advanced codec support. Checking your phone and accessory specs helps identify the best available audio codec.

Bluetooth Antennas and Range

Bluetooth relies on low power, omni-directional antennas for wireless communication between devices. Antenna design and placement impacts connectivity range, which is an important consideration for audio.

Both your Android phone and Bluetooth accessory have built-in antennas. Standard Bluetooth range is up to 30 feet between devices before audio quality degrades or connections drop. Obstructions in the signal path will also reduce effective range.

Some tips to optimize Bluetooth antenna performance:

  • Avoid covering antennas with your hands when holding devices.
  • Don’t place phones and Bluetooth devices in pockets or bags.
  • Angle devices so the antenna faces the connected Bluetooth accessory.
  • Minimize obstructions between antennas like walls or people.

Placement and line-of-sight between Bluetooth antennas ensures the strongest wireless link for streaming audio.

Bluetooth Power Class and Range

In addition to antenna design, the Bluetooth power class also impacts connectivity range. Wireless devices are assigned a power class from 1 up to 4 indicating operating range:

  • Class 1 – 100m range with 20dBm power
  • Class 2 – 10m range with 4dBm power
  • Class 3 – 1m range with 0dBm power
  • Class 4 – 50cm range with -6dBm power

Most Android smartphones and wireless audio devices are Class 2 or 3. Checking your device specs reveals the Bluetooth power class support.

While Class 1 has the longest range on paper, the operating environment impacts real-world performance. Try to keep Android and Bluetooth audio paired devices within 30 feet for reliability.

Bluetooth Bandwidths and Audio Quality

In addition to range, the bandwidth allocated to the Bluetooth connection influences audio quality. Bluetooth uses a radio in the 2.4GHz ISM frequency band. This bandwidth is divided into 40 channels spaced at 2MHz intervals.

Bluetooth audio can use one, three, or all 40 channels depending on the protocol version and application. More bandwidth equals higher audio quality potential:

  • Bluetooth 1.2 – 1 Mbps throughput over a single channel
  • Bluetooth 2.0 – 2-3 Mbps with adapted piconets
  • Bluetooth 5 – 2 Mbps per channel for up to 40 Mbps

Complex audio like stereo requires more Bluetooth bandwidth. Simple headsets use less bandwidth. The version numbers indicate the maximum physical throughput, but the audio codec will dictate the actual audio bitrate.

Bluetooth Power Saving Features

Bluetooth communication does consume battery life on Android phones and audio devices. Here are some Bluetooth features that help conserve power:

  • Low Energy – Reduces power needs for periodic data exchanges.
  • Sniff – Lowers duty cycle when in idle listening mode.
  • Park – Further reduces duty cycle during idle periods.
  • Sleep – Puts dormant slave devices into deep sleep.

Newer Bluetooth versions optimize these power saving techniques even more. But you’ll still get longer battery life by turning Bluetooth off when not in use.

Bluetooth A2DP for High Quality Audio

The Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) is a key Bluetooth protocol for streaming high quality audio content.

A2DP carries two-channel stereo audio at up to 328 kbps. It transports encoded audio from media apps on your Android to your Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

In addition to music, A2DP supports audio from:

  • Video and movie apps
  • Gaming apps
  • Audio books
  • Podcast and radio apps
  • Navigation guidance

A2DP provides a wireless equivalent to wired audio connections. Most Android smartphones and Bluetooth devices support A2DP for flexible streaming.

A2DP Codecs

The audio codec used with A2DP determines sound quality and latency. Here are the most common A2DP codecs:

  • SBC – Mandatory baseline codec, up to 328 kbps
  • AAC – High quality codec, often 256 kbps
  • aptX – Low latency codec for better sync
  • LDAC – Hi-res codec for lossless quality

Both your Android OS version and the Bluetooth accessory need to support a given codec for optimal compatibility.

A2DP Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of streaming over A2DP:

  • Wireless convenience
  • Audio playback control from your phone
  • High fidelity CD-like sound
  • Reduced interference issues
  • Reliable 20+ foot connectivity range

A2DP provides an easy way to broadcast audio from your media library to wireless speakers and headphones.

Bluetooth AVRCP for Media Control

The Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) gives you playback control over Bluetooth audio.

AVRCP allows you to perform functions like play, pause, skip track, adjust volume, and view metadata for media streamed over A2DP.

Common AVRCP features include:

  • Playback buttons – play, pause, stop, etc.
  • Track navigation – next, previous, FF, RW
  • Shuffle and repeat modes
  • Queue management
  • Equalizer presets

AVRCP must be supported on both the Android phone and Bluetooth accessory. You can use basic buttons like play/pause on headsets without a display.

AVRCP Versions

AVRCP has gone through several version upgrades:

  • AVRCP 1.0 – Basic remote capabilities
  • AVRCP 1.3 – Added metadata for current track
  • AVRCP 1.4 – Album art, search features
  • AVRCP 1.5 – Advanced controls
  • AVRCP 1.6 – Broadened device support

Check your Android OS and Bluetooth accessory version for feature support. Both devices need the same AVRCP version for full compatibility.

AVRCP Benefits

Key benefits provided by AVRCP include:

  • Control playback without touching your phone
  • View track metadata like song title
  • Manage playlists and queue
  • Fine tune sound with equalizer
  • Saves battery life keeping phone asleep

AVRCP enhances the wireless listening experience by putting control at your fingertips.

Bluetooth Hearing Aid Profile

In addition to audio streaming, Bluetooth also supports special profiles for connectivity devices. One example is the Hearing Aid Profile.

Some key capabilities provided by Bluetooth hearing aid support include:

  • Connect hearing aids directly to phones for calls
  • Adjust hearing aid volume and modes
  • Stream audio directly to hearing aid speakers
  • Reduce background noise and feedback
  • Improve sound quality with binaural streaming

Bluetooth hearing aids typically support either HSP (Headset Profile) or HFP (Hands-Free Profile). Newer hearing aids with Bluetooth 4.2 can pair directly without an adapter.

Android and hearing aid makers continue improving Bluetooth integration for those with hearing impairments. This allows for small, convenient hearing aids without sacrificing sound quality.

Other Bluetooth Audio Devices

Beyond headphones and speakers, Bluetooth enables wireless audio connectivity with many types of devices, including:

  • Smart watches – Stream music and take calls from your wrist.
  • Fitness trackers – Listen to workout playlists without phones.
  • Smart glasses – Discreet audio paired with eyewear.
  • Helmets – Built-in audio for motorcycle rides.
  • eBooks – Audiobook playback without wires.

Bluetooth headphones get most of the attention, but the technology has also been adapted to many specialty audio products.

Any device with a Bluetooth radio and speaker can interface with your Android phone for wireless audio. Keep an eye on new Bluetooth audio gadgets and apps coming soon.

Frequently Asked Bluetooth Audio Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Bluetooth audio and Android:

Does Bluetooth Use Data?

Bluetooth uses the wireless spectrum to create a data link between devices. It does not use cellular data or WiFi data plans to transmit audio. Bluetooth audio streaming will not use up your mobile data allowance.

Does Bluetooth Drain Battery?

Yes, using Bluetooth radios and streaming audio over Bluetooth is more battery intensive compared to using wired headphones. However, modern Bluetooth devices utilize improved power saving techniques to minimize drain.

Can Two Devices Connect Simultaneously?

Most Bluetooth adapters only support connecting one audio device at a time. Some new adapters can maintain two audio links concurrently, but this capability is not widespread yet.

What Is Bluetooth 5.0?

Bluetooth 5 is the latest version of the Bluetooth wireless standard. It doubles data throughput speeds, extends range up to 800 feet, and adds functionality compared to older versions.

How Do I Check Bluetooth Version?

To check your Android phone’s Bluetooth version, go to Settings > About Phone > Bluetooth and view the version number listed.

The bottom line

Bluetooth provides a simple, convenient way to stream audio wirelessly from your Android smartphone or tablet. With a solid understanding of how to manage Bluetooth connections, audio profiles and codecs, and key features like A2DP and AVRCP, you can enjoy high quality sound without wires.

Investing in a good pair of Bluetooth headphones, a wireless speaker, or car audio kit unlocks new listening freedom. Setup and configuration on Android is straightforward once you learn the basic pairing and settings steps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *