How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones or Headset to Mac OS 2021 [Updated]
I am not sure about you, but I personally haven’t seen wired headphones for ages, all my acquaintances use AirPods and other Bluetooth devices. New Apple devices don’t even have jacks in them. However, this is not a problem thanks to wireless accessories and devices. Choose the one you like and connect it to your Mac or iPhone, and even to your car, by Bluetooth. What’s more, such things are very lightweight and don’t take much place in your pocket - very convenient! The only shortcoming is that all these devices should be charged from time to time.
Well, everything seems to be perfectly, still, not every set of headphones can be connected to your Mac in a couple of seconds. This process may be tricky, as the connection may be interrupted.
Let’s find out how to safely connect your AirPods or any other Bluetooth device to your Mac and enjoy the best sound ever!
The Reasons Why Bluetooth Headphones Can’t Connect to Your Mac
There can be some common problems users often face:
- Bluetooth headphones need to be configured before connecting to a Mac.
- Pairing the device to Mac may seem different from doing the same with an iPhone or a player in your car.
- There are problems when connecting several Bluetooth devices to one Mac.
I’ll use AirPods as an example for this article, anyway, you can replace them by any other Bluetooth headphones and try how everything works.
Let’s Pair Headphones to Your Mac
Here is a step-by-step instruction, follow it and you’ll connect your wireless device to the Mac:
- Open your Mac, go to the Apple menu, select ‘System Preferences’.
- Visit the ‘Bluetooth’ menu and turn it on. Find all the available wireless devices around you.
- Check whether your wireless headphones are well-charged and are visible to the Mac.
- See your new headphones in the list of available devices.
- Click ‘Connect’.
- In case you are going to reconnect the already existing device, right-click and select ‘Connect’ from this menu.
Once you have successfully connected your new wireless headphones to your Mac, they should be always automatically reconnected when you are in the Bluetooth range again. This range is usually around 10 meters or 33 feet.
If you don’t like the sound in your headphones, try adjusting the device in the ‘Sound’ menu, which can be found in ‘System Preferences’. For instance, visit the ‘Output’ tab and select ‘Show volume in the menu bar’, where you can set the balance between left and right.
What I’ve described here is an ideal script for connecting your AirPods to Your Mac. Nevertheless, things don’t always go as planned, and some issues may appear.
How to Connect Your AirPods to Mac
If you’re interested in connecting specifically AirPods to your Mac, I have some good news! The connection between them and your Apple devices may be really handy. What’s more, there is software which can automate this flow. Still, here is a step-by-step manual for you:
- Go to ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac.
- Select ‘Bluetooth’.
- Make sure that it is turned on.
- Hold the round button on your AirPods until it blinks.
- Find your new headphones in the list on your Mac.
Once you pair your AirPods headphones with one of your Apple devices, others will recognize them immediately thanks to the same Apple ID. Connect them to your iPhone, and your Mac will automatically find AirPods!
If you want to simplify this process (though, it’s simple enough, as for me), get the ToothFairy app, which pairs Bluetooth devices with your Mac just in one click. Get AirPods, click on the ToothFairy’s icon and let it connect your headphones!
How to Fix Possible Wireless Headphones issues
Well, not always going through all the setup steps guaranteed the proper connection between your Mac and headphones. There may be problems with connecting or disconnecting, and even with the sound itself!
This can be solved by resetting your Bluetooth headphones or cleaning preferences on your Mac. But this can be also annoying!
Restart Your Headphones
If you have problems with not only connecting headphones to your Mac, but to other devices, that might be some settings glitch. A reset may help. Check the device’s manual to do that properly. For example, here’s how you can reset AirPods:
- Put them into the case. Keep the lid open.
- Hold the setup button. Wait until the light becomes white - this takes around 10 seconds.
The settings are now reset and you can try to connect your AirPods to your Mac once again. If there are problems, then Mac might have issues with preferences. Let’s check them out too.
How to Reset Mac’s Sound Preferences
Check whether your Mac has Sierra OS or a newer one (High Sierra or Mojave). If it runs an older version, upgrade it to the latest version.
Go to ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Software Update’ or find the update in App Store. After that, reset the sound preferences on your Mac:
- Select ‘Go’ > ‘Go to Folder’ in the Menu bar.
- Type: ‘~/Library/Preferences’
- Find and delete the following line: ‘com.apple.preferences.plistand com.apple.soundpref.plist’
After deleting these preferences, your Mac will create new ones. So, if there were some broken algorithms, which interfered with your Bluetooth connection, they’ll be fixed.
If that doesn’t help, try to relaunch the whole audio process:
- Go to the ‘Applications’ folder.
- Launch ‘Activity Monitor’.
- Visit the ‘CPU’ tab, fund the ‘coreaudiod’ process.
- Quit this process.
- Close the app.
Now, your Mac will create new processes without mistakes and glitches.
There’s No Audio From Bluetooth Headphones
Some users face the next issue: they connect the device to a Mac but there’s no sound at all! I have two ways of solving this problem.
First, make sure that a correct audio output is selected on your Mac.
- Go to ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Sound’.
- Find the ‘Output’ tab and double-click on your headphones in the list of available devices to make them active.
If nothing works, do the next steps:
- Reset your wireless headphones.
- Open ‘System Preferences’.
- Select ‘Bluetooth’.
- Right-click on the name of your headphones.
- Choose ‘Remove’ and confirm this choice.
- Connect your headphones to your Mac once again.
This should fix this ‘no-sound’ problem.
Mac Can’t See Two Bluetooth Headphones
Usually, Macs allow connecting as many wireless devices as you need, whether these are headphones or keyboards. When you are connecting two Bluetooth headphones at a time, Mac can face problems. To fix that, follow this instruction:
- Reset each headphones pair.
- Remove each of them from the ‘Bluetooth’ menu on your Mac.
- Try reconnecting the devices once again.
How to Use Several Audio Outputs Simultaneously
Almost all Mac users think that they can use only one audio output via one wireless device at a time: internal speaker, headphones, or any other amplifier. Still, Mac CAN play music on different devices simultaneously with a great utility ‘Audio MIDI Setup’ which is built in every Mac.
Here’s how to use it:
- Go to ‘Applications’.
- Run ‘Audio MIDI Setup’.
- Create a multi-output device by clicking the icon with the plus on it - at the bottom left.
- Mark all the devices you need to play at the same time.
- Go to ‘System Preferences’ and to the ‘Sound’ menu.
- Choose ‘Multi-output device’ in the tab called ‘Output’.
- Done! Enjoy the sound from several devices!
This can be a great trick for a party or some other event.
How to Choose a Software to Fulfill All Needs
Audio on Macs is not an issue most of the time. Still, if you have problems, there is a software which can help you in troubleshooting. ToothFairy is a great app for managing wireless software. It does everything in one click and lets you connect any device without a great headache. This app also allows you to easily switch between your wireless devices.
To use ToothFairy, you need to:
- Launch the application.
- Click on the icon with the plus on it.
- Find your device in the list.
- Click ‘Connect’.
You also can assign your custom icons to wireless devices you frequently use so they will show in the menu bar. It will show which of your devices are connected to your Mac at the moment and how well they are charged.
What’s more, this application can increase the quality of the sound in your Bluetooth headphones with an audio-codec.
Finally, I have to note that wireless headphones are obviously becoming more and more popular. So, controlling your Bluetooth devices with one master app can be very convenient.
Use my tips to quickly connect your Bluetooth headphones to a Mac, and don’t forget to take advantage of using a high-class app to do everything in one click!