How do you connect a Bluetooth headset?
If you haven’t joined the wireless headset/headphone revolution, you’re probably starting to feel as if the tech world is forcing you, with many new phones shipping without a headphone jack 5 mm. But is wireless audio just right for the tech-savvy, or can anyone pick up a pair of Bluetooth headphones and start enjoying some tunes? The good news is, it’s simple to use Bluetooth headphones, all you need to do is connect them, and you’re good to go. If you can use a cell phone, you can connect a pair of wireless headphones.
Connecting headphones via Bluetooth
While the actual buttons you press (and for how long) can vary by a headset, the pairing process is always as simple as this: First, go to your phone’s settings menu and tap it. In the Bluetooth menu, you want to make sure that Bluetooth is turned on. Then go to your headset or headphones and press the Bluetooth pairing button. If you’re not sure which button it is, your guide will tell you if there’s a dedicated Bluetooth button or if the power button doubles as a Bluetooth button. Some headphones automatically go into pairing mode when they are powered up.
Once you’ve held down the button responsible for pairing for a long enough time (usually a few seconds), the LEDs on the headphones will start blinking to indicate they’re ready to pair with your phone or other devices. Now go back to your phone, and on the same screen you used to turn on the Bluetooth function, you will see the headset’s name listed. Tap that, and you’ll be paired within seconds. If this doesn’t work (despite it), retry the whole process.
If you don’t see your headphones listed, that’s because manufacturers sometimes use abbreviated nicknames for their products, or scratchy codenames, or particularly vague names. Use the manufacturer’s name but not the product name. Usually, however, you’ll see the actual product name in the list of wearables. You may also notice other products you can pair with your computer display or the person’s phone sitting next to you. As long as you don’t tap on those device names, you won’t pair with them.
Once you’ve paired, start playing music, it will now stream through your headphones, and depending on the controls on your particular pair, you’ll be able to toggle playback, track navigation, volume, and phone calls management, directly through the headset. You can also summon Siri and other voice assistants with most pairs.
If you have an iPhone, some headphones equipped with Apple’s W1 chip, like AirPods or BeatsX, are even easier to pair. You don’t even have to go to the Bluetooth menu. On-screen notifications appear when the headphones are close to your phone, and they pair almost instantly.
So the bottom line is this: Regardless of whether they are wireless earbuds, headphones, or true wireless models, pairing via Bluetooth is easy. The whole process takes about ten seconds.
This part can be a bit difficult. Most Bluetooth headsets we test will automatically repair with the device they were most recently paired with (such as your phone) when powered on, as long as the phone is available for pairing connected and within Bluetooth range (that’s around 30 feet, by the way). However, it’s not uncommon for a device to need to be repaired manually every time you power it back on. Is this annoying? Correct. But it’s not difficult to manage.
Just open the Bluetooth menu on your phone and search for the headset’s name you want to pair. You usually don’t have to put the headphones in pairing mode to reconnect them once you’ve gone through the initial pairing process.
Unpair (or forget) Bluetooth Headset
There are many reasons you might want to unpair your headset from your phone or other connected devices. Maybe you’re having some connection issues, and the headset doesn’t seem to cooperate with that, and like so many tech-related problems, the answer is usually to reboot and try again. In this case, you may not only want to restart the headphones but also remove them from your list of Bluetooth devices and start the pairing process again.
On iPhone, tap the “i” icon next to the headset’s name to pull up the screen with the option to Forget This Device. Tap it, and it will be removed from your list. The process varies between different Android devices but usually follows a similar pattern. Next time you put the headphones in pairing mode, they will appear again on your phone menu.
It’s also worth noting that all of the advice above can also be applied to Bluetooth speaker pairing.
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