Is it possible to send the same audio signal to two different Bluetooth speakers at once from a single source?

I remember reading somewhere that it's possible to send audio to two different sinks using PulseAudio, but I'm not sure if that applies to Bluetooth speakers or if Bluetooth has a built in limitation on something like this.

I want to be sure that I can actually accomplish what I'm setting out to do before I purchase Bluetooth speakers and a dongle.

  • Are these speakers are in set as one device (left right stereo for example) or are they 2 completely independent speakers (for example you are going to buy 2 sets of similar speakers)? – IBr Apr 24 '13 at 5:10
  • It is not possible unless the dongle supports it, bluetooth uses several mechanisms to make the signal harder to eavesdrop on, that requires it to send the signal twice and not the same signal. The best bet in my opinion would be to use two (preferably identical, to minimize lag differences) dongles and connect each one to one speaker. – Didi Kohen Apr 24 '13 at 5:22
  • Alright, so it's tough to do in Bluetooth, but some dongles are capable of it. Should I look for dongles that can support up to 7 devices (for up to 7.1 surround sound) or does supporting 7 devices not mean it will be able to connect to 7 of the same kind of bluetooth device? – Scott M Apr 24 '13 at 7:49
  • I've never heard of a dongle capable of connecting to 7 devices in parallel, but YMMV. – Didi Kohen Apr 24 '13 at 19:13
  • I have seen these devices. In my experience there was one Bluetooth stream from source to sink, but the sink then split it out and served it to its constituent channels via proprietary RF config. – mikeserv Mar 28 '14 at 1:30

You'll need to get a device made to do this. This is called multi-streaming (that keyword alone should get you far in your search) and there are a few vendors who sell dongles which do this. As an added bonus, this will also allow you to listen to two sets of headphones at once.

The devices are expensive and if you have even very basic electronics skills you should be able to come up with a solution that works just as good (in this situation) for next to nothing. Bluetooth suffers from trying to be everything to everyone and when it comes to audio you want something dedicated to this task if you're like most people and have the ability to hear sound.

Problem fixed but I still don't know what this has to do with Linux.

  • 3
    This has to do with linux because pulseaudio is very good at working with multiple audio sources/streams/destinations. You can use it to split and redirect audio streams. – Patrick Nov 10 '13 at 21:26

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