Even though the PS5 has hit the market, don’t count the PS4 out just yet. This amazing little console still has plenty of life left in it; although the first exclusively next-gen games have begun to hit the market, plenty of gamers still can’t get hold of a PS5, so the PS4 is still a great way to experience games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. If you’ve got a PS4 and you’re experiencing FOMO because you can’t get hold of a PS5, we’d recommend spending a little quality time with your console, because it’s still a wondrous little machine.
Indeed, the PS4 and PS5 actually share a lot of features in common. One of these is the ability to connect certain peripherals to the consoles wirelessly, enabling you to enjoy true wireless gaming wherever you like to play. Many gamers will, therefore, be thinking that it’s possible to connect pretty much any Bluetooth peripheral or accessory to the PS4, but this, unfortunately, is not the case. With that in mind, you may need to ask some difficult questions regarding connecting wireless accessories to your console. Today, we’re asking whether it’s possible to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your PS4, or whether you’ll simply receive a “can’t connect Bluetooth speaker” error message.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. You can’t connect Bluetooth speakers to your console wirelessly. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive the aforementioned “cannot connect Bluetooth speaker” error message. More likely, the PS4 will simply say “accessory not recognised”, or similar. Only certain accessories can be connected to your console wirelessly, and they’re usually either official Sony peripherals or devices manufactured by Sony-approved companies. Even Sony’s own audio devices often won’t work with the PS4; they’ll give you that same pesky “could not connect Bluetooth speaker” message.
So, are there any ways you can connect Bluetooth speakers to your console? Well, yes, but you’re going to have to implement some workarounds. Here are some of the ways you can connect your speaker.
1. Connect Bluetooth speaker with aux cable
While we understand that this isn’t necessarily how you would want to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your PS4 – after all, you’re essentially bypassing the speaker’s wireless functionality – it is one of the only foolproof methods for doing so. Here are the steps required for connecting a Bluetooth speaker to your PS4 with an aux cable.
- Find a 3.5mm aux cable (any will do; Bluetooth speakers often come with them)
- Connect one end of the aux cable to your DualShock 4’s audio port, which is next to the “EXT” port underneath the PlayStation button
- Connect Bluetooth speaker with the other end of the cable
- Head to the “Settings” menu in your PS4, then “Devices”, then “Audio Devices”, and set the audio output device to “Headset Connected to Controller”
- Head down to the “Output to Headphones” option and enable it with “All Audio”
The PS4 should now be outputting audio via your Bluetooth speaker. Again, this is a bit of a workaround rather than a full solution, but the PS4 doesn’t support native Bluetooth audio, so you’ll need to be a little creative.
2. Connect your speaker to your TV
If you’re lucky enough to have a TV that’s compatible with Bluetooth, then you could connect your speaker to your TV and have the audio play through it that way. The process for doing this will differ depending on your TV, but the option is usually under a setting labelled “Network” or “Connections” or “Bluetooth”.
Find your TV’s Bluetooth connection system and fire up your speaker. Now, connect the speaker to the TV and make sure it’s set as the primary output device. Doing so should mean that all audio usually outputted by your TV will now be routed through the Bluetooth speaker.
There are some drawbacks to this method. You may find that Bluetooth causes a significant amount of audio lag between your TV and the speaker. Usually, this is not the case, but if it is, it could negatively impact your gaming experience. However, you may also find that your TV has an audio/visual sync option that will allow you to offset any potential delay caused by the wireless Bluetooth speaker connection.
3. Use a Bluetooth audio adapter
If you really want to use your Bluetooth speaker wirelessly with your PS4, then one option is to use a Bluetooth audio adapter. It’s worth noting here that a simple Bluetooth USB dongle may not get the job done; they often won’t recognise your speaker as an audio device due to the way the connection works, so it’s worth picking up a dedicated USB audio transceiver if you can. Simply connecting via Bluetooth dongle still won’t allow the PS4 to detect your device in many cases, because the console isn’t equipped with the right audio codecs to understand how to interpret Bluetooth audio.
Unfortunately, it’s more of a hassle to get Bluetooth speakers to work with the PS4 than it should be. Given how universal the technology is and how versatile the PS4 is as a console, you would think that there would be more options in place to allow people to use their devices with the PS4, but this simply isn’t the case. If you want the best audio experience with your console, we’d recommend picking up an optical cable and a soundbar or home entertainment system, but if you really do want to use your Bluetooth speaker, at least you have a couple of (admittedly less than ideal) options.