This Android 15 feature might finally fix my biggest Bluetooth audio pain point

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Android 15 is on its way to an Android phone near you, and while Google continues releasing early builds to developers, the latest Android 15 preview revealed a promising feature for music lovers like myself. It looks like Bluetooth audio sharing across devices might be available natively once the new platform update rolls out, and I couldn't be more excited.

Listening to music on a Bluetooth speaker is enjoyable, but it's not always ideal. Sometimes, you and your friend or partner might want to listen to the same audio and still want some privacy. In the days before the advent of TWS Bluetooth earbuds, such scenarios would usually involve sharing a pair of wired earphones or using an AUX splitter.

Unfortunately, the 3.5mm audio port is severely endangered at this point. This means watching the same movie or YouTube video on a phone or tablet with someone requires you to use the device's speakers or give one wireless earbud to each individual. And if you're wearing over-ear headphones, it's simply not possible.

I don't know about you, but I find this to be annoying time and time again. Every once in a while, my husband and I bicker over who gets which earbud when watching something or listening to music. This usually happens when we're traveling.

A look at the Sony WF-1000XM5 in silver and black.

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Samsung rolled out a nifty solution for this many years ago. The feature is called Dual Audio, and most of the brands' phones have it. You can connect two audio devices to a phone via Bluetooth and stream the same audio to both simultaneously. This can be headphones, earbuds, or speakers, as long as your Samsung phone and the audio gadget have Bluetooth 5.0 or higher. There's a two-device limitation, but it's still a great way to watch something or listen to something with someone.

Non-Samsung Android phones do not come with this feature. This got me thinking, and I found it strange that they don't because Multipoint connection has been around for several years now. Since you are already able to connect several devices to a single phone via Bluetooth at the same time, why not add the ability to push audio playback at once, too?

I was curious, so I did a little digging. Turns out things are a little more complicated than that. Multipoint revolves around the ability to receive audio from multiple sources. Being able to connect and output to several devices simultaneously requires different technical specs, which may explain why only Samsung phones have Dual audio. The exact working details of this are still fuzzy, and I've reached out to Samsung for more details on how the company is able to get Dual Audio working on its devices, but I did not receive a response in time for publication. However, I will update the article once I get more information. However, it's clear that compatibility plays a role here.

Samsung's Dual Audio is an algorithmic optimization that makes it possible for Bluetooth 5.0 and higher devices to stream audio output to two devices simultaneously. While it has been around from the era of the Galaxy S8, Samsung improved the feature and highlighted it more from the Galaxy S21 series onwards.

How to use Samsung Dual audio

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung isn't the only one with this feature though. Apple phones have a similar audio-sharing feature, and just like Samsung, devices must support Bluetooth 5.0 or above. iPhones can share audio to multiple audio devices via Bluetooth.

Now, as spotted in the Android 15 developer preview, it looks like more Android users will be able to share their phone's audio playback to multiple devices. Although the feature was not functioning in the preview at the time of writing, it did display an option to share the audio with "everyone," further leading us to believe that there might not be a mere two-device limit, which is very exciting.

Based on everything shown, I assume the feature is based on Bluetooth Auracast technology. Auracast was previously known as Audio Sharing, but it underwent a facelift very recently.

Bluetooth SIG launched the new and improved version of the feature in June 2022, but we had yet to see any devices launch with it until recently, again, thanks to Samsung and One UI 6.1, which recently rolled out to select Galaxy flagships. Auracast was also shown off at CES 2024, following which several Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, were updated to support it.

The best part about Bluetooth Auracast is that it has no device limitation; you can broadcast audio output to as many devices as you like with it. And since it requires Bluetooth LE Audio and Bluetooth 5.2 to work, it's safe to assume that it won't consume as much power as Bluetooth Classic.

Bluetooth Auracast audio sharing

(Image credit: Bluetooth SIG)

As we draw closer to the estimated July release of Android 15, my hopes are getting higher and higher. Google often picks up Samsung's most in-demand features and merges them into Android. Quick Share is one such example, and audio sharing over Bluetooth could be the next one to follow suit.

I'm banking on Google to popularize this feature and bring it to all Android users. If the audio-sharin feature is indeed powered by Bluetooth Auracast, it's going to be even more useful and versatile.

All the signs are there; I just hope it plays out as seamlessly as it did in my head. This could change the way we use our wireless audio gadgets in such a big way, so it would be a darn shame if incompatibility or other issues held it back.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Editor — Accessories, speakers, and tablets

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.