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Why Won’t My JBL Headphones Connect to My iPhone?

I’ve had a pair of JBL headphones for a while now. They were a gift from a family member, and I’ve sworn by them since getting them. Well-made, comfortable, great-sounding, and above all, simple, fast, and easy to get connected to.

One of the things I love most about my JBL headphones is how seamlessly they connect between my iPad and iPhone. That being said, the other day, I woke to find myself unable to get the device to pair up no matter what I did. 

This was inexplicable and had never happened before. So, I started to dig for some answers to, “Why won’t my JBL headphones connect to my iPhone?” So, let’s take a look at what I found out…

Why Won’t My JBL Headphones Connect to My iPhone

The Short Answer 

There are plenty of reasons why your JBL headphones won’t connect to your iPhone or any other device for that matter. These can range from connection conflict to something as simple as hardware issues. Such as the battery or software requiring an update, for example. 

Among the myriad of reasons you could be having connection problems are:

  • Bluetooth on your iPhone may be disabled.
  • There is no charge in the battery of your headphones.
  • Your headphones may already be connected to another device without you realizing it.
  • There may be duplicate/double profiles of your headphones in the iPhone’s memory.
  • Your iPhone could be running on an outdated version of iOS.
  • The headphones were not properly disconnected from the last devices you used them with.

Let’s take a look at some JBL headphones troubleshooting tricks to fix any of these connection issues. 

Troubleshooting JBL Headphone Connection Problems

First, you need to start with the headphones and work your way from there. Begin by confirming that they are operating as they normally should. This may seem obvious, but it is logical. A failure to power up will prohibit a connection from taking place. 

This step is especially important if you’ve got an older pair of JBLs. They are simply more prone to malfunction or damage due to normal wear and tear over the years. Even if you’ve got a relatively new set, you still need to do this check because you just never know. 

If you’ve got an older set of JBL headphones…

Check to see if there is a charge in the battery. Some users have noted that older batteries become dysfunctional at higher percentages as they age. 

That means that you’ll still be able to connect your headphones when they have a full charge, but they’ll start glitching out sooner than they did when they were new. 

If you’ve got a newer pair of JBL headphones…

This should make little to no difference, but it’s good to check that your headphones and source device are charging and powering up correctly. 

Unfortunately, as all batteries are prone to do over time, the ability to hold a charge properly decreases as batteries age. Although, if your headset is new, the problem might be a factory fault, so you’ll have to contact support. 

If you’ve gotten this far and have determined that your JBL headphones are functioning correctly, then we need to start looking to other links in the chain for the source of the problem. 

Let’s take a look at the Bluetooth connection… 

JBL headphones only support a Bluetooth connection, and they don’t have multipoint pairing. That means they can only be connected to one source device at a time. 

Therefore, you have to reset the headphones. As well as remove the Bluetooth profile from the device they are connected to when you want to switch the connection. This might seem redundant, but in some cases, it will be necessary. 

Reset Your JBL Headphones

Reset Your JBL Headphones

Still asking yourself, “Why won’t my JBL headphones connect to my iPhone?” Well, sometimes, performing a simple reset of your JBL headphones will be enough to clear up most problems. 

And, I’m not just referring to connection problems. So, it’s well worth learning how to reset JBL headphones

  1. Start by ensuring that there is enough charge in the battery for the headphones to power on. If you are unsure, then try leaving them on the charger for fifteen to twenty minutes just to be sure. 
  2. Turn the headphones on, some will have a button, and others will have a toggle switch.
  3. Locate the Volume Up and Down controls (usually a Plus and Minus symbol).
  4. Press and hold down both volume controls.
  5. Keep holding the buttons down for at least ten seconds.
  6. Your JBL headphones should turn off and also emit a “ping” noise. This signifies that the reset has been successful. 

Now that the headphones have been reset, they will be recognized as a brand new device on your iPhone. Therefore, you need to navigate to your Bluetooth profiles and remove the old profile you had been using for your headphones. 

Check To Make Sure the Headphones are in Pairing Mode

The JBL headphones should automatically enter pairing mode when turned on after being reset. However, if yours does not, you can manually force the headset into pairing mode by finding the Bluetooth button located on the right ear cup. 

Press and hold the button for at least three seconds. The headphones should enter pairing mode after a few seconds. 

If you are still unable to find your headphones on the list of available devices, you may need to perform the reset a few more times. Remember to remove the Bluetooth profiles from the source device after doing the reset. 

Removing Bluetooth Settings/Profiles 

Doing this usually sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. But, it’s as simple as most things are with modern smart devices.

Essentially, a Bluetooth profile is how your smartphone keeps track of the devices it connects to. Whenever a device is paired with your smartphone or tablet, your device creates a profile that contains all the specifics about the connection. 

Sometimes, it will be necessary to remove these profiles. Here’s how:

  1. Start by navigating to the Bluetooth settings menu. You can do this from the main settings page (gears icon), asking Siri to take you there, or using the control center. For me, the latter has proven the fastest way. Simply swipe from the bottom of the screen upwards and then tap and hold the Bluetooth icon that appears in the tray.
  2. From the Bluetooth settings menu, scroll through the listed devices to locate your device. Tap the name of your JBL headphones.
  3. Among the options available will be one for removing the device from your paired device; select this. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion and select “yes.”
  4. You should now be able to re-pair the headphones to the iPhone or any other device. 

Why Won’t My JBL Headphones Connect to My iPhone? – Common Problems

Let’s now take a look at some common connection issues between JBL headphones and iPhones

I will be making a recommendation as to how to remedy each issue. But, please do not view this as an all-encompassing guide for iPhone and JBL connectivity setup. Just a few helpful hints and tips covering common issues.

JBL Headphones Don’t Appear on the Available Devices List

Probably the most common reason is that they are not in pairing mode. Double check that the headphones are in pairing mode. Or, manually place them in pairing mode by pressing the Bluetooth button located on the right ear cup for about three seconds. 

The second most common issue is that the JBLs are connecting to a device, just not the one you want them to be. If you have another device that you regularly use the headphones with nearby, it might be that the headphones are connecting to that instead of your iPhone. 

Try finding this device and removing the Bluetooth profile from the headphones from its memory. Also, you can try switching off the device’s Bluetooth. 

Still not seeing your JBLs on the list?

If there are no other devices on the list and the JBL headphones are still not showing up on the available devices list, try performing a factory reset. 

Power on the headphones and then hold down the volume up and volume down buttons for at least ten seconds. The headphones should turn off and then power back on. They will automatically be in pairing mode as there will be no more paired devices in the memory. 

If you’ve tried all this so far without success, you may have a faulty Bluetooth transmitter. Or, there might be some other issue with the headphones. You will have to seek help from the manufacturer to get this fixed. 

Audio Dropouts/Audio Coming In and Out

Audio Dropouts

There are several audio issues with JBL headphones that can occur, and there are a number of culprits. These can range from a faulty/bad connection, a low-quality audio source, or some kind of error in the audio compression. 

If the audio delivery is smooth and clear but with small interruptions here and there, then the problem is most likely the Bluetooth connection. If the sound is constant, but the signal has an unusual sound, then there may be problems with the audio compression. 

Finally, there is the problem of having a bad source. This can be in the form of a low-quality audio file downloaded from a website or copied from a friend. Sometimes, there are even similar problems with streaming services as well.

Another thing to consider… 

If you are experiencing audio breakups, some other device may be trying to connect to your device while you are attempting to play some audio. As mentioned, the headphones are meant to be used with only one device at a time. 

The Bluetooth range can also affect your audio. So, if you’re experiencing dropouts, try to take into account the space between you and your source device. Bluetooth has an effective rag of up to about ten meters. 

Distorted Audio

If you are experiencing a distorted audio signal, it is most likely some kind of error with the audio compression. Or there is an internal hardware fault that needs repairing. The type of distortion should give you an indication as to where the issue lies. 

A blown-out speaker will emit low-level noise with a lot of crackles and pops. Compression issues might result in higher levels of output, and the distortion will be more digital-sounding. Audio compression issues can be fixed, but a blown-out speaker can only be remedied by replacement. 

If you want to try and fix audio compression issues, you can perform a factory reset on your JBL Headphones. But remember that you’ll have to re-pair all your previously listed devices. 

JBL Headphones Working and Pair Up, But There is No Audio

Sometimes, you’ll find that your headset powers on fine; it even connects to the iPhone without a hitch. But, when you start playback, you hear nothing. Firstly, there is a dumb mistake. Check that your volume on the source device, as well as your headphones, isn’t muted or turned down. 

The next possibility to consider is the different audio outputs available to your source device, and which one is selected at the moment. Many Apple products allow you to seamlessly switch outputs in seconds. Just go to the settings and check that your output is indeed set to your JBL headphones. 

A shorter way to sort out this problem is to simply disconnect any of the other devices that may be causing problems with the connection. If the device that has priority gets disconnected, the iPhone will default to the JBL Headphones. 

Looking for Great Headphones?

We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best JBL Wireless Headphones, the Best Headphones for Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $100, and the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Commuting you can buy in 2022.

Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Bass Earbuds currently on the market.

Why Won’t My JBL Headphones Connect to My iPhone? – Conclusion

The odds that you’ll run across one or more of these problems will vary depending on your situation and setup, as well as the age of your equipment. 

For the most part, you should experience very few issues when using an iPhone and JBL headphones. Both are premium brands, and for very good reason. So, before you go writing off your JBL headphones, take some time to consider a few of these issues, and you might just find your solution quickly and easily. 

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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