Bluetooth has been around for a long time. When feature phones were still a thing, Bluetooth was used as a medium to send/receive files wirelessly. Now, Bluetooth is more commonly used to connect peripherals like keyboards, mouse, speakers, and headphones. Bluetooth headphones and even some speakers allow you to control media that’s playing. Unfortunately, these controls don’t always work. If you listen to music or watch Netflix on Chrome, your Bluetooth headphones or speakers may not be able to play/pause the player. Here’s how you can control media in Chrome from Bluetooth headphones and/or speakers.
Chrome & Bluetooth headphones
Before we start, get a few basic things out of the way.
First, make sure you know which button on your Bluetooth device will play/pause media, and which will manage the volume.
Second, connect your Bluetooth headphones to a phone first and check if all the controls are working. Smartphones work exponentially better with Bluetooth devices and likewise, Bluetooth devices tend to play better with smartphones.
Last, and this one is a bit obvious, make sure your device is charged, Bluetooth is enabled/turned on on your system, and the device is properly connected.
Control media in Chrome
Out of the box, Chrome will not work with your Bluetooth headphones’ controls. If you’re watching media in Chrome, the sound will transmit but even with that, the quality may not be the same as it is when you play local content from a desktop player.
To control media in Chrome from Bluetooth headphones or speakers, install the Streamkeys extension from the Chrome web store. Once the extension has been installed, open a new tab and visit YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, or any other website where you watch media. Play something and use your Bluetooth headphones’ media control buttons to play/pause the player.
The extension doesn’t need to be configured, just installed. You will not be able to manage the volume of the player in Chrome. The volume buttons on your headphones will change the system volume and there is no way to change that. The OS takes precedence over apps in situations like this.
Streamkeys is a feature rich extension. You can use it to set website priority when controlling playback.
In addition to controlling media in Chrome via Bluetooth headphone and speakers, the extension can also add extensive keyboard shortcut support. A lot of the options are geared towards YouTube however, you will find they work with other websites as well.