Bluetooth pairing (establishing a connection between two Bluetooth devices) can sometimes be tougher than it looks.
Although this simple technology is widely available, many people occasionally experience a hiccup in their Bluetooth experience.
Have a look at our four Bluetooth episodes or try one of these eight tips to help you manage possible Bluetooth issues!
- [VIDEO] Bluetooth Series - How to pair devices
- [VIDEO] Bluetooth Series - Pairing devices with NFC (Near Field Communication)
- [VIDEO] Bluetooth Series - Connecting to a Windows PC or Mac
- [VIDEO] Bluetooth Series - Essential troubleshooting
1. Make sure both devices are ready to go!
Your smartphone or laptop uses more energy when Bluetooth is ON, so verify if you are not in any battery saving mode in which Bluetooth is disabled.
Moreover, make sure that the audio device (headphones, speaker, etc.) you are trying to connect to is set to "Bluetooth" as source input.
This tip is especially helpful when connecting to computers.
2. First time pairing is not the same as second time pairing!
Many new devices immediately and automatically go into pairing mode the first time you turn them ON, fresh out of the box.
However, the second time you are pairing a device, it is highly likely you have to set your device to pairing mode manually!
This procedure is to avoid that your headphones start connecting with every random phone in the street.
3. The 7-second rule
Point 2 seamlessly brings us to a fundamental rule: check the second-pairing procedure of your product!
Do not assume your device automatically starts pairing when you turn it on or select Bluetooth as the source input: you might have to press and hold the pairing button for an extended amount of time: our rule of thumb is 7 seconds. You will often hear an audio cue or see flashing lights to inform you that your device has entered pairing mode.
Be sure to check your manual or help guide (available on this website) to find out exactly what your products second-pairing procedure is!
4. Have you tried turning it OFF and ON again?
Sometimes you have both devices right next to each other, confident that both devices are actively scanning and trying to connect; still, nothing appears on your smartphone or computer list. A simple trick to fix this is to disable and re-enable Bluetooth on your phone/computer and see if the target device appears in the list. If this doesn’t solve your issue, also try restarting your phone/computer.
5. Maybe your Bluetooth device is cheating on you?
If you have connected your Bluetooth device with many other devices around, it is possible that it is automatically connecting to a previous device!
Make sure you disable that connection before attempting a new one.
6. Avoid menus, use NFC!
If you don’t like going through the Bluetooth settings menu, or are experiencing troubles with scanning and finding the target Bluetooth device, NFC might offer an easy alternative. If your smartphone is equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication), hold both devices close to each other: it might simplify the connection process. Moreover, it is a cool gimmick at parties!
7. Mind the gap
Bluetooth is nifty technology, but it has its limits. You can take this quite literally because the connection strength between your Bluetooth devices will gradually lessen due to distance and obstacles. If you cross a certain threshold, you will get disconnected. Just picture your Bluetooth signal as an invisible cable and take the length of that cable into consideration. As a rule of thumb, 10 metres is your maximum limit, without obstacles of any kind between the connected devices. Also, remember that pairing requires you to be close to the target device, preferably right next to it.
8. Make sure it’s a profile match!
It is a bit technical, but there are various Bluetooth profiles that can cause mayhem if they are not aligned. For example, there are transmitting and receiving Bluetooth devices (your phone can send music to a speaker, but not the other way around). Always consider the purpose of the device you’re trying to pair.
Alternatively, if a device allows for more than one mode of connection—phone, music, messages, and address book,—try disabling certain modes on either connected device to see if that helps your problem.
Secret tip 9: Make sure your device is sufficiently charged before pairing
If your headphones are insufficiently charged, pairing can sometimes go awry, even if you use NFC.
Don't forget to use the USB cable that came supplied with your product!