Get Connected with Bluetooth and AirPlay - Best Buy Canada

November 02, 2012
Pairing Up with Bluetooth

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth creates a wireless connection between compatible devices, which means you’ll never have to plug your devices into each other in order to transmit data, like audio or video, between them. It also allows you to use your devices hands-free, so you can stream music from your laptop to your wireless speakers and never get tangled up in wires!

How does Bluetooth work?

Bluetooth uses radio frequencies to transmit data and operates on the 2.4GHz band specifically, so you get little interference from nearby devices that may also use radiowaves. Your devices typically need to be within a 10m range of each other in order for Bluetooth to work; however, this can vary depending on the device, so be sure to check the instructions for the correct information.

When compatible Bluetooth devices, such as Bluetooth speakers and smartphones, are paired together they create a tiny network between them called a piconet. Your devices will then hop on random frequencies in unison so they can continue to communicate with each other while also avoiding other piconets in the area, thus reducing the chances of any interference in their connection.

Streaming with AirPlay

What is AirPlay?

Stream your music and movies from your Apple devices to different electronics, like your home theatre system or Apple TV, using AirPlay. With this technology, you only need to connect to a Wi-Fi network to be able to wirelessly send audio and video between your AirPlay-enabled devices.

Apple AirPlay allows you to use your devices hands-free and it also streams information about your tunes, such as the song title and artists, to devices with compatible displays. Connect to an Apple TV and you can use AirPlay Mirroring to watch HD movies, play mobile games, extend your desktop, and more on your big screen HDTV.

How does AirPlay work?

To set up an AirPlay connection between your devices, you need a Wi-Fi network, a source, and a receiver.

A source is any device that transmits a signal and a receiver is the device that receives that signal. AirPlay sources include the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV. All these devices must be running Apple iOS 4.2 or later. You can also activate AirPlay on your computer by using iTunes (version 10.2 or later). Some examples of receivers are the Apple TV, Airplay-enabled speakers, and AirPlay-enabled AV receivers.

Once you’ve enabled AirPlay on your source and receiver, you need to set them up with Wi-Fi. There are two ways that you can connect to a network:


  • Use an Apple AirPort Express, which is a portable wireless router that connects your Apple devices together regardless of whether or not you have an Internet connection.
  • Connect directly to your home network using a wireless router and connect all your AirPlay-enabled devices to that same network.
Once you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can use your iPhone to stream music to your wireless speakers or even stream them to multiple speakers around your home simultaneously for the ultimate house party! Connect the Apple TV to your HDTV and you can stream anything you see on your Apple devices to your big screen.

Bluetooth versus AirPlay

Bluetooth and AirPlay may seem like they’re different technologies, but both perform the same job of helping you wirelessly enjoy your music and movies. Use Bluetooth to take your music with you virtually anywhere as these wireless speakers are extremely portable, making it perfect for spontaneous beach parties. If you have an Apple device and Wi-Fi network, then AirPlay will make it extremely easy to build a wireless sound system that will follow you throughout your home.

To start rocking out to your music and breathing new life into your movie sound, check out Best Buy’s great selection of Bluetooth and AirPlay wireless speakers from brands like BOSE, Beats by Dr. Dre, Monster, Samsung, Gear4, Sony, and iHome.

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