Exclusive: Bluetooth Audio and Peripheral support coming to the Amazon Fire TV

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The next Amazon Fire TV updated will be focused on expanding the device’s connectivity options. The biggest news is the expected addition of external storage support, which would finally allow consumers to increase the Fire TV’s limiting 8GB storage capacity. The awesome Fire TV team over at Amazon’s Lab126, who’s in charge of the device’s development, isn’t stopping with USB improvements. Bluetooth improvements are also on the agenda in the form of audio and peripheral support.

As it stands today, the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s bluetooth radios are only used to connect remote controls and game controllers. Multiple trusted sources at Amazon tell me the Fire TV will soon be able to connect to additional bluetooth devices. Included among the expansion is the ability to connect to audio devices like bluetooth headphones and speakers. This would theoretically allow you to watch content on your Fire TV without disturbing those around you through the use of bluetooth headphones, or wirelessly connect your Fire TV to satellite speakers like the Amazon Echo. The rooting community has long struggled to reliably connect unsupported bluetooth devices to the Fire TV. Their efforts have always resulted in audio syncing issues where the audio coming from a connected bluetooth device becomes out of sync with the video being played on the Fire TV. Having official bluetooth audio support should hopefully solve the audio syncing issues.

In addition to new bluetooth audio support, I’m told the Fire TV will be getting support for bluetooth peripherals like bluetooth keyboards. This will be especially nice for the Fire TV Stick which cannot connect to keyboards like my favorite Fire TV keyboard, Logitech’s K400, due to its lack of a full sized USB port. It’s currently possible to connect bluetooth keyboards to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick through a round about process involving the sideloading of a settings.apk file, but there’s nothing like official out-of-the-box support to make it easy for everyone.

My sources tell me the new bluetooth functionality is slated for the next Fire TV update, but may be pushed back to a different update in the future. I don’t know for sure if the bluetooth enhancements are also coming to the Fire TV Stick, but if I were to guess I’d say both devices will receive the improvements simultaneously.

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32 comments
  1. Bill says:

    Awesome. Any idea when they might roll out this upgrade?

    • Chris says:

      Bill, Don’t do that.

      • Bill says:

        ??? Don’t do what?

        • Chris says:

          Read the last paragraph. Plus these are rumors and not official statements from Amazon. If the author knew more, they would probably tell us. Sorry for the rant all good people here just know the frustration of questions when people might only read the title of articles (No way personally associated to this site or authors)

          • Bill says:

            Chris, if you are not associated with the site or authors, then perhaps you should not presume to speak for them. I did read the entire article. The last paragraph refers to bluetooth and I am more interested in external storage. All of my boxes are rooted with Stickmount, but. I believe opening up the USB port for storage would make the product a more complete solution. If the authors hasn’t heard a rumor of when the next firmware release is expected or cannot share that info he can simply say so. I believe the question was perfectly reasonable and there are probably plenty of other people would like to know.

          • David says:

            Chris,

            The first line of the article states that the USB storage feature will be part of the next update. I think it’s fair for Bill to ask when the next update is coming out. I don’t know if he’ll get an answer, but it’s not entirely uncommon for companies to give out this information, especially if the update has already been completed (not sure if that’s the case here, though).

  2. davr says:

    Good news. Do you think they will ever add vpn support to non rooted devices?

  3. JRH says:

    I already have my BT headphones connected to my FireTV. Sideloaded the Settings APK and went into BT and paired them.

    • Tim says:

      I tried this morning with some bluetooth headphones and while the settings.apk app did see and pair to the headphones, I can’t get sound to come out, still comes out the TV. Any ideas?

  4. John Ho says:

    Is it likely to be this month?

  5. Andy says:

    I was able to pair my Harmony Smart Keyboard (very similar to the K400) to my Fire TV Stick using bluetooth, and I didn’t have to sideload anything.

  6. awdahelwidit says:

    So eventually the device might have fully working software that can finally do most of what ever other machine running android 4.2 can do. I would expect this kind of wait on home brewed projects from community developers, but not a (relatively)major hardware distributer.

    Must be nice to be such a retail giant that you can release half finished products and take your sweet time getting them up to par with what all the unknowns have been putting out.

    • James says:

      While I agree with it being nice they are finally updating, the FTV was not half finished when released. It was a fully functional device with every function being advertised in operation. Just because they didn’t push the hardware capabilities doesn’t mean they put out a half finished product.

  7. Mark says:

    Accidentally posted this elsewhere but…
    Any chance of a future update incorporating USB audio? Unfortunately, AFTV currently resamples all audio to 48khz. It would be nice to have it supply an unaltered digital stream to an external digital to audio converter.

  8. Rock Hammer says:

    OKAY THIS IS GREAT BUT WHEN? GIVE US A DATE OTHERWISE IT’S JUST STUFF YOU MADE UP.

  9. Patt says:

    You can already do it with sideloaded settings.apk but this will make it easier.

  10. JC says:

    Side loading is easy with app agk fire on your phone or tablet. I loaded the settings.apk and picked up a cheap BT mouse. Does what I need in combination with the remote. I still prefer CC with Netflix and Google play music/YouTube. Fire stick for amazon prime and other movie apps.

  11. Reflex says:

    The keyboard mentioned does not appear to be a bluetooth keyboard. It seems to use its own proprietary dongle for wireless connection. How would this update help that keyboard? I considered buying it when it was on sale, but the use of a proprietary dongle made that seem not very useful since not all devices have USB ports.

    Am I incorrect?

    • DDee says:

      Reading comprehension involves looking at not only a couple words, but whole sentences and their context. Give it another shot.

    • tuxen says:

      Standard radio or ir (lol) connected keyboards with a usb proprietary dongle usually works fine. Incompatible ones probably do exist. But i have not found one that didn’t work yet.

  12. JMSBrasil says:

    I have settings.apk and i can pair my bluetooth headphone but it works very poorly (very out of sync and i gets worse with time) and only for some time and then it stops working.

    Really happy if this news is true. Altough it means i will need to update and maybe lose root…

  13. Johnnydub says:

    Is it possible to stream audio from a mobile phone to the stick using bluetooth?

  14. Ryan says:

    Has anyone figured out how to fix the audio syncing issues in Kodi? The new firmware has great bluetooth headset support on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, even YouTube but in Kodi there is a significant lag.

  15. AJD says:

    The settings.apk sideloaded app no longer seams to work on my new fire tv stick with voice remote running OS 5.0.3.2 – the app will open, but when any option is selected, it reverts back to the “managed applications” screen. Anyone else experiencing this problem or have a solution?

  16. Fabian says:

    Any update son this..? would like to be able to do whole home audio via bluetooth. Seems like this should have also been available on the Echo.

  17. fiona says:

    this worked great i conected my fire tv to my bluetoothadapter on my Pc wndows 7 no problems however now on wndwos 10 and it pairs and that it it won’connect. this is down to microsoft.

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