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Bluetooth Headphones Won’t Charge Or Turn On – What To Do?

Wireless connectivity has changed the way we use technology forever. One of the most common everyday uses is the wireless headset. Having the freedom to scoot around the flat in your PJs while your favorite song is blasting through your headset just makes your day sometimes.

However, it can ruin it as well when the headset just stops working for no reason. But nothing just stops working, right?

There must be a reason…

I recently helped a friend get his wireless headset fixed after a whole weekend of toil. So, I decided to do some more research and put together this guide on Bluetooth Headphones won’t charge or turn on. 

If you’re having problems getting Bluetooth headphones to charge, connect, or turn on, you might find a solution to your problem coming up soon… 

The Short Answer

Well, your Bluetooth headphones are probably not charging because either the USB cable is damaged or not properly connected. Try using another USB port or adapter, or try switching your cable to eliminate each component from the faulty list. 

In nine out of ten scenarios, this is likely to solve the problem. However, if you are still having trouble, keep reading… 

Bluetooth Headphones Won’t Charge Or Turn On

Bluetooth Headphones Won’t Charge Or Turn On – Main Causes

Before you can decide on the best course of action to take, you’ll need to know what is causing the malfunction. Let’s begin by looking at all the areas where we might have an issue.

Faulty Charging Cable

Cables should always be your first point of inspection. They account for more than half the malfunctions in these cases. This makes sense since they are constantly being twisted and turned, so wear and tear will set in there first.

Check the cable for damage. Especially where the cable meets the USB plug. If you can’t find any obvious exterior signs of damage, try checking the inside of the USB plug. The connector plates can get worn down after time and no longer conduct the charge as they should. 

If all else fails, try switching your cable and seeing if the problem persists. Additionally, if you are using a hub or laptop to charge your device, try switching to a different port. 

The Battery 

Batteries can be faulty for several reasons. If you are prone to leaving them exposed to sunlight, the batteries are bound to suffer some sort of damage. Likewise, batteries can simply get old and worn like laptop batteries. 

Finally, there may simply be some kind of factory fault with the battery in your device. If this is the case, and they are still under warranty, your solution is to get them replaced. 

The Battery Has Been Flat for an Extended Period

Batteries can get damaged due to under-use. Batteries can lose their charge if they are unused for long periods. Once this has happened, your only hope is to replace them. 

If you see a light come on, you can assume they still have some charge. So, try leaving them on the charger for several hours to see if it works. 

The Charging Port

This happens more often than you might think. Aside from the cable, the charging port is the most likely place where Bluetooth headphones charging and power problems occur. 

The metallic surfaces on the inside of the port conduct the current that allows for charging. If these surfaces are damaged, bent, or obscured from making contact, it will cause malfunctions. 

Furthermore, if you keep the headphones inside bags and pockets, they can pick up fibers, lint, and dust which can cause obstruction. We’ll get to taking care of this in a bit. 


Extreme temperatures are bad for electronics in general. But, heat is the first and foremost of your foes. Avoid overexposure to warm temperatures as this can not only damage batteries but other circuitry as well. 

Tips for When Bluetooth Headphones Won’t Charge Or Turn On

Tips for

The following list must in no way be considered a complete guide to every single Bluetooth charging-related issue. That said, you can perform these tips to try and gain an understanding of your problem and, hopefully, how to fix it.

Check the computer/laptop they are connected to

This might seem stupid, but it can happen. Some computers are set to deactivate power sent to their USB ports when they go into sleep or hibernation mode. 

This means that while you’re computer or laptop may be turned on; it won’t send power to the port where your headphones are plugged in. Check the settings of your computer to see if this is the case, and then change the setting if need be.

Remove the USB hub from the chain and go direct

If you are anything like me, you have many devices going back and forth between your laptop or computer. So, you make use of a USB hub to enable numerous connections without having to shift or unplug any of your stuff. 

As much as I hate to admit it, these things can be finicky. So, try removing the hub and plugging the headphones directly into your computer or a wall adapter to see if it works. If it does, you know the trouble lies with the USB hub.

Use a normal power socket to charge the device

To eliminate the cable and charging source from the list, you need to take your headphones and plug them directly into the wall socket. If you still can’t charge Bluetooth headphones, the problem is likely with an internal component. 

Check contact points on the headphones and charger

Closely inspect the USB, the jack, and all of the ports on the device for scratches or obstructions. If the metallic components are worn away or scratched, then you’ll need to take them in for a service. 

If they are dirty, you’ll need to clean them. But, hold off on that for now. I’ll get to how to do this a little later.

Check if the USB is inserted properly 

This one will sound stupid too, but you’d be surprised what could happen. Put the USB into the port and then try giving it a light nudge to see if it goes any further in. Don’t be forceful, mind you. Remove the USB and check if anything might be preventing it from being inserted properly.

Try a different cable

This one is a must, no matter what the situation might be. Cables are where wear and tear sets in fastest and easiest. So, this is always the first thing you should check and replace. Try to charge the device using at least two or three different cables to ensure that yours is not the problem.

Check the charging ports

Once again, you’d be surprised what could happen. Use a flashlight such as this LE LED Flashlight LE1000 High Lumens, Small and Extremely Bright, to look inside the ports on the headphones and see if anything has gotten in there and has perhaps caused damage. We rarely take into account the abuse electronics sometimes endure. 

Keep the headphones connected to the charging source for a while

Sometimes, batteries get so depleted that the device doesn’t even have the power to turn on the light that indicates its charging. Therefore, try leaving them on the charger for a bit longer to see if that unlocks any kind of response.

Charge your Bluetooth headphones in ideal temperatures

If you find yourself in a different climate, the temperature difference could have an effect on the batteries and their ability to engage the charge cycle properly. Try lowering or raising the temperature of the room using AC.

Install the latest firmware

If your device has firmware, it might be out of date, and that’s what’s causing the trouble. Therefore, you’ll have to check the manufacturer’s website for the specifics on how to install or update the firmware. After you’ve done this, try to see if the charging problem has been solved. 

Try a hard reset

Most headphones can be reset to their factory settings. This is built-in in case of software bugs causing the hardware to malfunction. Perhaps the problem has to do with the latest update for the firmware, and resetting it will therefore remove the problem. 

Brand Specific Fixes

Brand Specific Fixes

Now that I’ve covered some general quick fixes for Bluetooth headphones not turning on. Now, I’m going to take a look at some brand-specific quick fixes for wireless headphone problems. 

Quick Fixes for Bose Headphones

If you’ve got headphones from Bose, like the SoundSport, and they are giving you charging trouble, the best thing to do is a simple reset. Here’s how:

  1. Unplug the headphones.
  2. Press the power button until they power off.
  3. Plug your headphones back into the USB power supply and wait at least five seconds.
  4. Unplug the USB power cord and wait one minute.
  5. Turn on your Bose headphones and try to charge them to see if the problem is fixed.

Once you’ve performed the reset, charge the headphones for two hours and see if they function normally. If the problem persists, you might have to do an update. Otherwise, you’ll have to contact the manufacturer. 

To perform the update, go to the Bose website and download their official updater. Then, plug your headphones into the computer when you perform the update. 

Quick Fixes for Apple AirPods

One of the biggest reasons Apple’s AirPods cause problems is because users tend to charge them using non-Apple adapters. This can have a detrimental effect on the charging ability of the device. If this has happened to you, try these tips:

  • Check the cable. It’s recommended that you use the original Apple one that came with it or at least get another Apple cable.
  • Check the power outlet. If you are charging from a wall socket, try a different wall outlet. Likewise, if you’re using a USB hub, try switching to another source. And, if you’re using a port on your computer, try switching to another one. 
  • Test your wireless charging pad. If you’re using a wireless charging pad, then make sure that your AirPods version actually supports wireless charging. If they do, make sure they are securely in their cradles in the charging case, and then place the case on the charging pad. Try moving the case around on the pad to see if it helps. If that also doesn’t work, try charging the case with a cable to see if the wireless charging pad isn’t the problem.
  • Pair the charging case with the phone. This is for checking that they do charge. Your AirPods obviously need to be paired with your phone, so open the lid of the charging case and hover your phone nearby. There will be a battery percentage indicated. Now charge the AirPods for fifteen minutes and see if the level has risen. If it has, then all is well. 

Quick Fixes for Beats Headphones

If you’ve got a pair of Beats headphones, the simplest fix is a simple reset:

  • Hold down the power button for ten seconds to engage the reset.
  • Once you release the button, the LED fuel lights will blink white, followed by one of them blinking red.
  • When the lights stop flashing, the reset is finished. 
  • The headphones should be functioning normally now.
  • If you are still having issues, try using another power source for charging, swapping the cable, or troubleshooting the Beats Website. 

Why Won’t Bluetooth Headphones Turn On After Charging

If you are still not met with success, then the problem might be somewhere else, but you can start by cleaning all the important bits to make sure you’ve crossed everything off the list.

Clean the charging cable, case, and contact points

Make sure the device is turned off before you do this. Use a clean Cotton Swab and Isopropyl Alcohol to gently clean the contact points and exposed metal parts on the connectors. 

You can also use compressed air from a can or a compressor to blow away any dust and fibers. Don’t ever use any metal objects to clean the ports.

Charge the case with another cable

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it is that important. Try to switch your cable and power source to be double sure they are not the problem. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a friend.

Check that the buds are secured properly when you place them in the case

Don’t try and force anything; just gently move them around to see if there is any wiggle room. There shouldn’t be, and the contact points should, well, make contact. 

Clean the power button

Sometimes, the problem is not that they aren’t charging. It’s that the power button can’t is pressed properly. As a result, your Bluetooth headphones can’t be powered on

Try cleaning around the power button to remove any dust or fibers, and then try turning them on. If you’ve tried everything up until now, and nothing works, you’ll have to send them in for repair. 

How To Be Sure The Battery Is Dead

Battery Is Dead

Like all batteries, the lithium-ion batteries commonly found in Bluetooth headphones have a lifespan. If yours has reached its end, there are one or two things you can try. But let’s start by understanding how long they are supposed to last in the first place.

In perfect circumstances…

Good quality ion-lithium batteries should retain their full charge for around 500 cycles. Single-cycle being charging till full and using till depleted. 

Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. And, we don’t do a perfect cycle every time due to practical reasons and time constraints. This is not good for the battery, but life is life. 

When a battery has reached its allotted number of healthy cycles, it will begin to lose its ability to retain its charge. And it will deplete its charge faster and faster with every cycle. That being said, in most situations, it will be more affordable to replace the battery than the entire device. 

Is It Bad To Charge Bluetooth Headphones Overnight?

A normally functioning battery shouldn’t exhibit any problems. But, a faulty one might overheat if left on a charger overnight. 

Most new Lithium-ion batteries automatically switch themselves off when they are fully charged. So, if you’ve got an older model, you need to try and avoid leaving it on charge longer than necessary.

Need Help with Some Bluetooth Headphones?

We have you covered. Take a look at our detailed articles on Bluetooth Headphones Connected but Have No SoundWhy are my Bluetooth Headphones Flashing Red and Blue, and Does Dolby Atmos Work with Bluetooth Headphones for more information.

Bluetooth Headphones Won’t Charge Or Turn On – Conclusion

Whether it be the port, the cable, the heat, the age, or even a factory fault, Bluetooth headphones can act up for all kinds of reasons. Usually, a simple clean or reset should do, but make sure you always test multiple cables and adapters before moving on. 

However, if you are unable to fix the problem with resets, cleaning, or any of the other techniques I have explained, then it’s time to consider a replacement or repairs.

Until next time, happy listening.

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