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Bluetooth Headphones Connected but Have No Sound – How to Fix?

This problem always has a habit of happening at the most inconvenient moment possible. You’re just about to go for a run, start a gym workout, or settle down to relax and listen to an audiobook; then there’s no sound.

You check that the headphones are paired, hold the volume button firmly in the up position, and still nothing. Therefore, we created this helpful guide, so you can be fully prepared with the knowledge you need the next time this happens to you.

Then you can get back to that run, gym session, or relaxation in no time at all, no matter what device you’re using.

So, let’s go through everything you need to know when you’re thinking, or you hear someone say, “Bluetooth Headphones Connected but Have No Sound?”

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

It’s the old IT adage, and that’s because it just so happens to work on many occasions. Try turning your iPhone off completely, and the same goes for your headphones. Give it 30 seconds or so and switch them both back on.

You’ll be surprised at how often this works and for how many issues this can be a successful fix. It’s so easy to forget because it’s so simple, but never forget to pull this trick out of your sleeve initially, no matter what the issue is.

When Bluetooth Headphones are Connected but No Sound on iPhone

No Sound on iPhone

Apple users are used to having things that just work. So when you follow the same steps you always do, and nothing happens, it can come as a bit of a shock. Well, don’t worry too much, because there are a few things that you can try.

Firmware Updates

Companies are constantly updating the software within their devices. This is for two main purposes; the first is staying up to date with any security issues, offering protection for your device. The second is to add or remove features to the device.

Sometimes without the latest update, certain features or functions will no longer work until they are applied. This is more often the case with security updates, as it then prompts you to complete the update offering further protection.

Update iOS on your iPhone

There are two different ways to update iOS on your iPhone. The first is wirelessly over Wi-Fi, and the second is by connecting your iPhone to a computer. With both methods, it is recommended to backup your device using either iCloud or a computer first.

Update wirelessly:

  • Plug your iPhone into a charger and ensure Wi-Fi is connected.
  • Go to [Settings] followed by [General] and tap [Software Update].
  • Tap [Download and Install].
  • To update now, tap [Install].
  • If asked, enter your Passcode.

Update using :

  • If on a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. If on a Mac with an earlier OS or PC, open iTunes.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using the USB cable.
  • Locate your device in the list on your computer.
  • Click [General] or [Settings], then click [Check for Update].
  • Click [Download and Update].
  • If asked, enter your Passcode.

iPhone Volume Level Limit

There is a setting tucked away in your iPhone that many people are unaware of. It is called “Volume Level Limit.” It is designed to protect your ears from loud music and may have accidentally been altered.

This is how to check on this setting:

  • On your iOS device, open the [Settings] App.
  • Tap on [Music].
  • Select [Volume Limit].
  • Slide the bar all the way across to the right.
  • Uncheck the option [EU Volume Limit].

Another setting worth adjusting while you are here is the “Sound Check” feature. It is designed to balance songs played on your iOS device, making quiet songs louder, and loud sounds quieter.

Here are the steps:

  • Open the [Settings] App.
  • Select [Music] from the settings list.
  • Toggle [Sound Check] to either ON or OFF.

When Bluetooth Headphones Connected but Have No Sound on Android

No Sound on Android

One of the appeals and benefits of Android is the levels of customization possible using this system. But, on the other side of this, it is always possible to accidentally change a setting and disable an item like your Bluetooth headphones. Here are a few things to check.

Turn up to correct volume level

This might sound obvious, but on Android devices, volume levels have been separated into categories. These include Ringtone, Media, Notifications, and System. You may find that you are trying to press the volume rocker, and it is adjusting the incorrect volume level.

Here are the steps to checking all the volume levels:

  • Open the [Settings] App on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Select [Sounds and vibration] from the menu list.
  • Next, choose [Volume] from within that menu.
  • Slide the bar on [Media] all the way to the right.

Ensure Media Audio is switched on

There is a setting within Android’s operating system that allows you to set what audio is received by each connected device. You may find that Media Audio has been switched off for your headphones.

This is how to check this setting:

  • Open the [Settings] App on your device.
  • Select [Bluetooth] from the menu list.
  • Tap on your headphones from the list of connected devices.
  • Ensure the toggle for [Media Audio] is switched on.

Reset network settings on your device

This usually becomes an issue when you have multiple devices that regularly connect to your device. For example, your car, computer, headphones, and portable speaker. Clearing any stored settings can refresh your device, fixing any conflicting issues.

The steps might vary slightly between devices, but here’s a guide:

  • Open the [Settings] App on your device.
  • Scrolling through the menu list, select [System] or [General management].
  • Select [Reset options] or [Reset].
  • Look for [Reset Wi-Fi, mobile, & Bluetooth] or [Reset network settings]
  • Hit the [Reset settings] button.

When Bluetooth Headphones Connected but Have No Sound on a Mac Computer

No Sound on a Mac Computer

Apple devices are known for their ease of use, especially when it comes to pairing devices. When problems occur, it can be tricky to troubleshoot, as some of the configuration settings are well hidden. Here are some options for you to try.

Make sure they are paired correctly

The light on your headphones might indicate that they are paired, but it might not be to your Mac computer. It is worth going into the Bluetooth settings and confirming that you can see the connection.

Just follow these easy steps:

  • Click on the [Apple] menu and then launch [System Preferences].
  • Find the [Bluetooth] menu and make sure Bluetooth is switched [On]
  • Make sure your headphones are in discoverable mode and click [Connect].
  • Find your headphones in the list, and select [Connect].
  • If Connect isn’t available, [Right Click] and then choose [Connect].

Reset sound preferences

You might even be running an older version of macOS, so the first thing to check is that your operating system is up to date. Do this by going to System Preferences > Software Update, or via the App Store if you’re using a really old version.

If that doesn’t help, then try following these steps:

  • In the menu bar, select [Go] followed by [Go to Folder] and type ~/Library/Preferences
  • You will need to locate two files in the list and delete them. Search for the following files: com.apple.preferences.plist and com.apple.soundpref.plist

If that doesn’t work, you can also try this process:

  • Open the [Applications] folder and launch [Activity Monitor].
  • Select the [CPU] tab and locate in the list [coreaudiod].
  • Quit the process and close the Activity Monitor.

When Bluetooth Headphones are Connected but No Sound on a Windows Computer

No Sound on a Windows Computer

Windows based computers have the widest range of settings available, which is great for customization and compatibility. The downside is there is a wider range of possibilities to check when troubleshooting issues. Here are the most common problems to take a look at.

Default playback device settings

It might be that your computer is trying to play sound through a different media output. For example, the sound could be directed towards the audio jack with nothing connected instead of your headphones.

Here is how to access these settings:

  • Click in the Windows search box, type [control panel], and press [enter].
  • Within the control panel, click on [Hardware & Sound].
  • On the next page, choose [Sound].
  • Find your headphones in the list of devices.
  • Click on [Select Default] followed by [Apply] then [OK].

Your Bluetooth driver might need updating

Like most hardware now, there are regular updates, and they don’t always apply automatically. This means that you might need to manually prompt your computer to update your Bluetooth drivers.

Follow these steps to update your Bluetooth drivers:

  • Right click on the Windows [Start] button and select [Device Manager].
  • In the list on the left, click on [Sound, video, and game controllers].
  • Look for your headphones in the list and Double Click opening a new window.
  • Click on the [Driver] tab, then click the [Update driver] button.
  • A new page will open. Select [Search automatically for updated driver software].
  • Windows will search for and install the new driver. Reset your computer once this process is complete.

Advanced volume settings

Have you been sliding the volume bar up, and still no sound is coming through your headphones? It is entirely possible that you have been adjusting the volume for a different output without realizing it.

Here is how to locate all the volume controls:

  • Right click on the [Volume icon] in the bottom right corner of the taskbar.
  • In the menu that pops up, select [Open Volume mixer].
  • Locate your headphones and slide the bar up to increase volume.

Check the headphones themselves

If you have tried all the suggestions we have offered you and still haven’t had any success, then the issue might be with the headphones themselves. These are the most common fixes you can try.

Update your headphones firmware

Due to there being so many different brands and types of Bluetooth headphones, the steps might be a little different for each. We recommend referring to your headphone manufacturer’s website for exact instructions.

These are the basic steps:

  • Connect your headphones to a PC using the included USB cable, or launch your headphones App on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Locate in the settings or control panel [Update Software] or [Update Firmware].
  • Wait for the file to download and install.
  • Restart your headphones.

Charge your headphones battery

This might sound a bit silly, but it can often be what’s causing the issue. Sometimes there will still be enough power to pair to your device, but not enough to provide any sound. Plugging them in and boosting the battery might just do the trick.

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Bluetooth Headphones Connected but Have No Sound – Final Thoughts

As you can see, for such a simple problem, there are many possibilities as to what could be causing it. Also, depending on if you’re using an iPhone, Android, PC, or Mac, the issues can vary. However, with a little practice and familiarization, you can actually troubleshoot rather quickly.

Until you are familiar with the processes, it might be worth bookmarking this page as a reference guide. Then next time you have any difficulty hearing your audio, you can have easy access to these handy steps instead of becoming frustrated.

Hopefully, now you can get back to enjoying your favorite songs through your headphones.

Happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what is what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear hear and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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