How To Pair Bluetooth Headphones To Your Apple Devices

Posted Mar 16, 2017 by  /  Comments  /  Back to Blog

Woman with bluetooth headphones

Bluetooth headphones make your Apple devices more functional. Get rid of that annoying earbuds cord and pair your devices to wireless headphones following the steps outlined in this post.

Bluetooth logo

How Does Bluetooth Pairing Work?

Your Apple device includes several internal components that help it function properly, such as a flexible printed circuit board, which is compatible with almost any type of connector. Your Bluetooth headphones include a computer chip equipped with a Bluetooth-compatible radio and necessary software. It allows the accessory to “talk” to your Apple device, which also relies on radio waves to communicate with other devices.

How can you get the two to communicate with one another? 

1. Access the Bluetooth Settings for Your Apple Device

Begin the process of getting your Apple device to recognize your Bluetooth headphones by tapping the Settings icon and going into the Bluetooth section. Once that screen has loaded, keep it up on your device through the rest of the steps. 

2. Put the Bluetooth Headphones in Pairing Mode

Refer to the documentation that came with your Bluetooth headphones to see if there’s anything specific you need to do to prepare the accessories to pair with your Apple product, or put it into “discoverable” mode. Often, you’ll notice a flashing blue light on the headphones that indicates it’s ready for pairing. 

3. Look for the Bluetooth Headphones in the Device List

Within the Bluetooth settings, you’ll see a list of devices you’ve previously paired with that Apple product, if applicable. You made the Bluetooth headphones discoverable, so they should also appear there. Once you see the headphones in the list, press the button on your Bluetooth headphones to pair them. 

It’s a good idea to have the instructions for your Bluetooth headphones easily accessible. Some manufacturers require entering a passcode to authorize the pairing. If you need help finding the passcode, check if it’s printed in the instructions. The code might also be found on a sticker attached to the headphones. After entering the passcode, you’ve made it through the final step of pairing your device.

Troubleshooting Tips

In most cases, pairing your Bluetooth headphones with Apple devices is a hassle-free affair that only takes a few minutes. If you encounter problems while following the steps above, there are several things you can do to resolve errors.

Verify your Apple device is running the latest operating system. Also, make sure it’s no more than five feet away from your Bluetooth headphones. If those steps don’t work, make sure both the Apple gadget and Bluetooth accessories are fully charged, then power them down and turn them on again. 

Your Wi-Fi router, USB 3.0 connections and other Bluetooth-enabled devices can sometimes cause interference when you attempt to pair an Apple product with something new. With that in mind, keep an appropriate distance.

Finally, if you can see the Bluetooth headphones in the device list but they won’t pair despite everything you’ve tried, delete the headphones from the list and try pairing them again.  

You should now be able to pair Bluetooth accessories with your Apple items. Simply follow the same steps you’ve just learned for any other Bluetooth products you buy. 

Image by Viktor Hanacek

Kayla MatthewsKayla Matthews writes about technology, data security and tech innovations for publications like VentureBeat, Motherboard and MakeUseOf. You can subscribe to her newsletter here.