With just about every electronic device in your home becoming connected, it can be easy to have too many accessories lying all over the place. Multiple TVs, video game systems, smart TV sticks/boxes, computers, and more. All of these devices support various controllers, keyboards, mice, headphones, and so on. Buying multiple of the same accessory can be costly, clutters your own, and may not be necessary. Some keyboards, mic, and even headphones, can support being connected to multiple devices.
So in this article, we are going to focus on how to achieve this (specifically, with keyboards). You can now easily find keyboards that can handle multiple devices (and switching between them is quite easy). “Back in the day” this used to require wires running all over with a manual switch (KVM) to click between devices. However, accessory devices are a lot smart now and none of that is needed.
So how do you manage multiple devices using the same keyboard? By using a multi-device keyboard that supports a combination of 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth wireless protocols.
Some of the most popular (commonly-used) options come from Logitech:
- K375s Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard (Logitech, Amazon, Newegg)
- K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard (Logitech, Amazon, Newegg)
While there are generic options as well for a little less that work well, like the Deeliva Multi-Function Keyboard. We have recently made use of this one and were quite impressed with how it competes against the Logitech models.
These keyboards support being connected to up to three devices, including one 2.4 GHz device via an included USB receiver/adapter, and two Bluetooth. You just have to determine how this combination of connectivity will be dished out to your devices.
If you have a PS4, a tablet, and a PC, then you would use the USB adapter on the PC, and Bluetooth to the PS4 and tablet.
If you have a PS5, Xbox Series X, and a PC, then you would want to use the USB adapter on the Xbox, and Bluetooth to the PS4 and PC (this is because Xbox consoles do NOT support Bluetooth). This comes with a slight limitation which is mentioned in a breakdown of devices below.
There are so many combinations you can use to find the best setup for your needs. Once you have found the right setup, now you have only one keyboard to rule them all, instead of multiple keyboards lying all over the place (and the price of one vs three).
These multi-device keyboards are absolutely awesome. You can really minimize the clutter by making use of them. You just have to keep in mind what your limitations are.
We will cover a few points to keep in mind when determining your setup:
- Xbox One/S/X or Series S/X consoles: As mentioned, these consoles do not support Bluetooth accessories. Their controllers support Bluetooth to other devices (ie, a PC), but the consoles do not have any Bluetooth support. This has to do with Microsoft’s strict requirements for reducing latency during gameplay. Sadly, this means non-gameplay devices are out as well. So you have to use a wired USB keyboard or in our case here, a 2.4 GHz USB adapter.
- PlayStation 4 or 5 consoles: These support both USB and Bluetooth keyboards. These consoles are very versityle, so you have options.
- Computers/Laptops: You can use the USB adapter, which is preferred. However, many computers and laptops do natively support Bluetooth now. If yours does not, you can easily find a Bluetooth USB adapter online to give your system Bluetooth support. You just have to keep in mind that Bluetooth keyboards are not supported by bios environments (it won’t work until you reach the login screen for your OS. So if you ever have to access your bios settings (during boot), you’ll have to use a USB-based keyboard (wired or wireless). Or, you can use your mouse if your bios supports it (many modern bios environments support mice now).
- Amazon Fire TV Sticks: These do support Bluetooth keyboards! They also support USB as long as the TV Stick is a model that has a micro USB port on the side of it — so you can use the keyboard’s USB adapter in most cases. However, you then would need a wired adapter for your Fire TV Stick as that USB port is usually used for power. The trick is to buy an adapter like this one, which turns that micro USB port into a normal USB port and another female micro USB for the power connection to run to. You can also do this for Ethernet, but that’s another tutorial.
- Roku Devices: Sorry, but no support is offered by these devices. For some reason, Roku seems to be behind the times when it comes to accessory connectivity. No Bluetooth keyboard support or anything. This is one of the reasons Fire TV Sticks scored our Editors’ Choice against Roku and other devices.
- Tablets: Almost every tablet in the market supports Bluetooth accessories. I can’t even think of a single one that doesn’t. At the same time, many of them support USB connectivity using an adapter or a dock. So it would depend on if you make use of one of these or not. If not, Bluetooth all the way!
- TVs: You won’t be using a keyboard on your TV unless you have a smart TV with apps. If you do, then USB almost always works. However, some of these TVs do support Bluetooth. Check with your specific model to determine if it does or not.