The Brennan B2 can receive music from bluetooth devices like mobile phones and tablets.
(B2 has a Bluetooth Out capability but see below).
You will need a Bluetooth dongle. You can buy one from Brennan but B2 works with any marked CSR 4.0.
I usually plug the Bluetooth dongle into USB C with the Wifi dongle in USB A - but you can use a powered USB hub and plug the dongles into that if you plan on attaching more USB peripherals - like a hard disk or wireless keyboard.
B2 should be powered off when you plug in the Bluetooth dongle. The OLED display will scroll a message that confirms the Bluetooth dongle is attached.
Playing Music from a Bluetooth Phone or Tablet
To make things easier B2 is always discoverable - what that means is you control pairing and music playback entirely from the Phone or tablet.
The procedure is very similar on Android and Apple.
- Tap on Settings
- Tap on Bluetooth
- Turn Bluetooth on if it isn’t already on.
The Brennan B2 will appear in a list of unpaired devices. On Apple tap once to pair and connect. On Android tap once to pair and a second time to connect.
Once you are connected any music you play on the phone/tablet - usually an App - will be sent to the Brennan B2 and will come out the Brennan Loudspeakers. The volume can be controlled by the volume control on the Brennan in tandem with the volume on the phone/tablet.
You can stop playing from Bluetooth by pressing stop or simply start playing another music source like a track from hard disk or internet radio. In fact Bluetooth remains connected behind the scenes and you can switch back to it by pressing the Bluetooth key on the remote control.
B2 has a Bluetooth Out function - it can play music to a Bluetooth speaker instead of the wired speakers. Early B2s had trouble with some Bluetooth loudspeakers. So if you have an early B2 you may need to get a new SD card. The software version on the info display shows B2B on the latest SD Card.
There may still be a few incompatible speakers out there - so no guarantees - check the forum for known good/bad speakers.
Playing Music to Bluetooth Speakers
Managing Bluetooth connections is easiest with Web UI. There is a Bluetooth control panel that you can find by first clicking on the cog on the main Web UI page and then the large Bluetooth button.
Before you can play music you must “pair” B2 with the Bluetooth speakers. You don’t have to do it every time - B2 and the speakers remember the pairing. Pairing is Bluetooth’s way of restricting who can play music into the speaker - otherwise anybody nearby could play music through your Bluetooth speakers.
The following steps apply to most Bluetooth speakers - check the instructions with your speakers if not.
- Press and hold the Bluetooth button on the Bluetooth speaker until the led pulses slowly.
- Press the Scan Bluetooth button on the Bluetooth panel.
After a few seconds you should see your Bluetooth speaker listed like this.
Press the button labelled “Pair”. And after a few more seconds you will see something like this.
The checkbox labelled “Output” is used to direct the B2 audio output to the Bluetooth speaker - instead of the B2 power amplifier.
The Checkbox labelled “Bluetooth and wired speakers together” will send audio to both the Bluetooth speaker and the B2 power amplifier - however there can be significant delays between the Bluetooth and wired speakers so it's only really useful if the speakers are in different rooms.
The volume on the Bluetooth speaker is not controlled by the B2 volume control but by the Bluetooth speaker volume controls.
Once you have paired and selected Bluetooth as output then B2 will usually reconnect automatically when it is turned on.
Also once paired - the Bluetooth button on the B2 remote control can be used to connect and disconnect from the Bluetooth speakers.
You may find that you need to turn the Bluetooth speaker and B2 on in a certain order for them to connect automatically.
Sometimes Bluetooth speakers get confused and need to be reset - not even turning off and on works - on the Bose Soundlink for instance you press and hold the mute button for about ten seconds.
Sometimes you may need to clear the B2 Bluetooth subsystem to start again - pressing the “Reset Bluetooth” button will clear all pairings and let you start again. This button will cause the B2 to restart so it takes a few seconds.
On mobile phones and tablets sometimes it helps to turn off Bluetooth and turn it on again.
On mobile phones and tablets sometimes it helps to tell the phone to “forget” a pairing and start again. You do this by tapping the cog icon or info icon next to the Brennan B2 in the phone Bluetooth dialog.
Tip from Bryan - "I had a problem with range sending to a Bluetooth receiver for another HiFi system: putting Bluetooth adaptor on the end of a 3m USB cable worked very well"