How to Fix It When Bluetooth Headphones Keep Cutting Out in Windows 11

Check your signal strength, interference, and then drivers. If those aren't it, we'll dive in further

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When Bluetooth headphones keep cutting out on Windows 11, it’s usually due to interference from other wireless devices. This issue can also be caused by outdated drivers for the headphones, poor signal strength, low batteries, and choppy audio quality can even occur if you’re using the wrong Bluetooth profile.

What Causes Choppy Bluetooth Headphones Audio in Windows 11?

Choppy Bluetooth headphones audio in Windows 11 can be caused by a lot of things, but interference is the most common issue. Anything that causes radio interference can cause Bluetooth headphones to cut out, and you can also experience interference from Wi-Fi networks and other Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth audio problems can also be the result of driver issues, Windows 11 settings, and even the headphones trying to use the wrong Bluetooth profile. To determine exactly what is causing choppy Bluetooth audio, it’s necessary to check each of these potential issues.

How to Fix It When Bluetooth Headphones Keep Cutting Out

If you’re experiencing choppy audio from your Bluetooth headphones, or other Bluetooth devices keep cutting out, try these fixes:

  1. Turn your Bluetooth off and then back on again. If your computer is having a temporary issue with Bluetooth connectivity, switching it off and back on can fix the problem.

    Click the Battery, Network, and Volume icon on the taskbar, click the Bluetooth button to switch it off, then click it a second time to turn it back on.

  2. Turn your Bluetooth device off and then back on again. Switching your Bluetooth device off and then turning it back on will force it to reestablish a connection, which can fix problems where headphones are cutting out.

    You may also need to unpair the device and then pair it again.

    Have you paired your headphones to another computer or phone in the past? Unpair from that device, as it may be trying to connect and causing the choppy audio.

  3. Run the Bluetooth troubleshooter. Windows 11 has a built-in troubleshooter wizard that can fix a lot of Bluetooth problems, including connectivity issues and audio that cuts out.

    To run the Bluetooth troubleshooter: Open Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters, then locate Bluetooth, and click Run. The troubleshooter will automatically look for problems and fix them if possible.

  4. Run the audio troubleshooter. If your other Bluetooth devices work fine, and it’s just your audio that cuts out, then try the audio troubleshooter. This is an automatic wizard as well, and it’s found in the same place as the Bluetooth troubleshooter.

    To run the audio troubleshooter: Open Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters, then locate Playing Audio and click Run.

  5. Make sure you’re using the right Bluetooth profile. Some Bluetooth headphones are capable of functioning as headphones for listening to music, or as a headset for communication. When used with the latter profile, audio quality can be quite bad.

    To prevent your headphones from using the wrong Bluetooth profile: Open Settings > Bluetooth & devices > More devices and printer settings, then right-click your headphones and select Properties. Click the Services tab, deselect Handsfree Telephony, and click OK.

  6. Disable other Bluetooth devices. To check for Bluetooth interference from other devices, try switching them off or unpairing them from your computer. If that doesn’t work, try disabling Bluetooth on your phone and any other nearby devices.

    If switching something off causes your headphones to work correctly, the device you switched off is causing interference.

  7. Change to a different Wi-Fi band. If your router supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, try switching to that, as Bluetooth uses the same spectrum as 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. You can also try switching the channel of your Wi-Fi network, or even temporarily shut off your Wi-Fi network to see if your Bluetooth problem goes away.

  8. Remove other sources of interference. Anything that causes radio interference, even things like microwave ovens, can cause Bluetooth audio to drop out. Make sure there aren’t any sources of interference in the area, and check to see if your headphones work.

  9. Disable audio enhancements. Windows 11 is capable of enhancing audio in a few ways, which can sometimes cause problems with Bluetooth audio. Try switching off the enhancements, and see if that fixes the problem. You can then leave the enhancements off, or switch them back on to see if the problem comes back.

    To disable audio enhancements: Open Settings > System > Sound > More sound settings, then click your Bluetooth headphones > Properties > Enhancements > Disable all enhancements and finally click Apply.

  10. Reinstall your Bluetooth drivers. If you have a corrupt or bad Bluetooth driver, removing and reinstalling the drivers may fix the problem.

    To reinstall your Bluetooth drivers: Right-click the Start button (Windows icon), select Device Manager, then click the > next to the Bluetooth listing. Right-click on your Bluetooth headphones, and select Uninstall device.

    You can then restart your computer, and wait for it to rediscover your headphones. Alternatively, you can click Action > Check for hardware changes in Device Manager.

    You can also check for driver updates at this time by clicking Update driver instead of Uninstall device. If that doesn’t fix the problem, repeat these steps but uninstall and reinstall your Wi-Fi driver instead.

  11. Restart the Bluetooth Support Service. The problem may be with your computer’s Bluetooth connectivity, in which case restarting the Bluetooth Support Service can get things working again.

    To restart this: Press Windows key + R, type services.msc, and click OK. Then locate Bluetooth Support Service, right-click it, select Stop, then select Start. Then right-click it again, click Properties, and select Automatic from the Startup type dropdown menu.

  12. Lower roaming aggression. This setting adjusts the behavior of your computer’s Wi-Fi network adapter. Try setting it to the lowest value, and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn’t, or it adversely affects your Wi-Fi connectivity, set it back to a higher level.

    To adjust your roaming aggression: Right click Start (Windows icon), and select Device Manager. Then click the > next to Network adapters, right-click your Wi-Fi adapter, and click Properties. You can then select Advanced > Roaming Aggressiveness, set it to Lowest, then click OK.

  13. Reposition your Bluetooth adapter. If you use a USB Bluetooth adapter, use a USB cable to move the adapter away from your computer. It may be experiencing interference, or it might just be too far away from your headphones.

  • Why doesn't Windows see my headphones?

    Typically you just have to turn off your headphones and then back on and put the headphones in pairing mode. How to put your headphones in pairing mode varies by manufacturer, but most have a dedicated button you press and hold so that nearby computers can add them. If that isn't working, Check out our How to Fix It When Windows 11 Is Not Detecting Headphones article.

  • How do I turn off Airplane Mode on Windows 11?

    If your PC is in Airplane Mode there's a good chance all wireless activity is shut down. In that case, you won't be able to connect any wireless devices to your computer. Typically you toggle the Airplane Mode switch from Off to On, but if that's not working you have to do a little digging. Our Fix a Stuck Airplane Mode in Windows article will have what you need.

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