Bluetooth speakers are pretty magical things, producing gorgeous sound from tiny bodies. Depending on where they’re set up though, they can sound quite different. If you’ve noticed your Bluetooth speaker is sounding tinny, atonal or lacking in bass, then there are a few subtle changes you can make to improve things. Here are our tips for getting the most out of your Bluetooth speakers!
Positioning your speakers correctly can make them sound significantly better. Generally speaking, you’ll want your speakers to be facing directly towards you, and sitting on a hard surface about 24 to 48 inches high. Another good tip is to keep the back of your speakers a few inches away from a wall or another hard surface as this will improve bass response. If you get too close though, the mid-range can start to sound muddy.
Some readers have found that keeping the speaker in a nook or a corner can also improve sound quality and bass response, by letting sound reflect off hard surfaces behind and be redirected towards you. Don’t go too far though; keep some space around the speaker and don’t fully enclose it. Tiled rooms, like bathrooms, are particularly good at reflecting sound, but of course you’re unlikely to host a party in your bathroom even if it does have better acoustics!
The shape of your speaker also has an effect on its sound. Box-shaped speakers like the BoomBrick will work best placed facing their intended audience, while cylindrical speakers like the Veho 360 can be placed in the centre of a room to fill it with sound. While these cylinders can be placed on their side, generally you’ll get better sound when the cylinder is upright as intended. It’s also possible to find speakers in light bulbs, which are great for providing light background music. If you’re using two speakers together (e.g. stereo), then making an equilateral triangle with your position can be a great idea.
While we can provide general guidelines, every person’s environment and listening preferences will be different. The best thing to do is play a 30 seconds of a piece of music that you know well, then make a small adjustment in positioning (e.g. move it away from a wall). Listen again, and adjust again. Once the sound starts getting worse, return to the last good place that you had, and you should have found the perfect placement. You can also adjust the angle at which speakers face you, the surface upon which they rest, and other factors. Take a few minutes to experiment, and you should be able to improve your speaker’s audio quality, and benefit from that knowledge every time you use it going forward.
Bluetooth itself can also sound better or worse depending on the standards supported the speaker and your phone. Ideally, both devices will support aptX, which allows for higher quality music streaming. Unfortunately, the iPhone doesn’t currently support aptX. You can try connecting your phone via a 3.5mm port (which many but not all Bluetooth speakers have) to see if sound quality improves. If it does, then you might want to play music from a device that does support aptX instead.
Thanks for checking out our guide. Got your own tips? Share them in the comments below, or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun!