How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones With a Phone

Easy steps to connect Bluetooth headphones to your phone

What to Know

  • On Android: Go to Settings > Connected Devices > Pair New Device and choose your headphones from the list.
  • On iOS: Go to Settings > Bluetooth and choose your headphones from the list.

This article explains how to connect Bluetooth headphones to Android and iOS phones. The instructions should apply to all phone manufacturers.

How to Use Bluetooth Headphones With a Phone

These steps work with iOS 12 and up and Android 9.0 and up:

  1. Make sure to charge both your phone and your headset. A full charge isn't required, but you don't want either device to shut off during the pairing process.

  2. Enable Bluetooth on your phone if it isn't already on, and keep the Settings app open. Bluetooth options are generally found here, but see the first two tips below if you need specific help.

  3. Switch on the Bluetooth adapter or hold down the pair button on your headset (if it has one) for 5 to 10 seconds.

    For some devices, that means to power the headphones on since Bluetooth comes on at the same time as normal power. The light might blink once or twice to show power, but depending on the device, you may need to keep holding the button until the headset enters pairing mode.

    Some Bluetooth devices, right after being turned on, send a pairing request to the phone automatically, and the phone might automatically search for Bluetooth devices without asking. If that's the case, you can skip to Step 5.

  4. On your phone, go to Settings > Connected Devices > Pair New Device (Android) or Settings > Bluetooth (iOS).

    An Android user searches for new devices to connect via Bluetooth
  5. When you see the Bluetooth headphones in the list of devices, tap it to pair the headphones with your phone. See the tips below if you don't see the headphones or if you're asked for a password.

  6. Once your phone connects, a message on the phone or headphones will likely tell you the pairing was successful. For example, some headphones say "Device connected" each time they connect to a phone.

Bluetooth Connection Tips and More Information

  • On Android devices, you can find the Bluetooth option through Settings in a section called Connected devices, Bluetooth, Wireless and Networks, or Network connections. If your phone supports this, the easiest way to get there is to pull down the menu from the top of the screen and touch-and-hold the Bluetooth icon to open the Bluetooth settings.
  • If you're on an iPhone or iPad, the Bluetooth settings are in the Settings app, within the Bluetooth option. You can also turn Bluetooth on via Control Center.
  • Some phones need permission before they can be seen by Bluetooth devices. To do that, open the Bluetooth settings and enable discoverability.
  • Some headphones might require a code or password to pair, or even for you to press the Pair button in a particular sequence. This information should be in the manual, but if not, try 0000 or 1234 or refer to the manufacturer.
  • If the phone doesn't see the Bluetooth headphones, turn Bluetooth off on the phone and then back on to refresh the list, or keep tapping the Scan button, waiting several seconds between each tap. You might also be too close to the device, so give some distance if you still can't see the headphones on the list. If all else fails, turn off the headphones and start the process over; some headphones are only discoverable for 30 seconds or so and need restarting for a phone to see them.
  • Keeping your phone's Bluetooth adapter on automatically pairs the phone with the headphones each time they're close, but usually only if the headphones aren't already paired with another device.
  • To unpair or permanently disconnect Bluetooth headphones from a phone, go into the phone's Bluetooth settings to find the device in the list, and choose the unpair, forget, or disconnect option. It might be in a menu next to the entry for the headphones.
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