As the owner of an Apple Watch, you probably know that you can pair bluetooth headphones with it and sync a music playlist so that you can enjoy music without being near your phone. This is particularly handy if you want to go for a walk or run without your iPhone since the newer Apple Watch Series 2 includes GPS. What happens if you can’t pair bluetooth headphones with an Apple Watch?
I recently ran into this issue. I previously used the Beats Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones without a problem, but more recently I tried pairing other brands of headphones and would always run into a problem. While the headphones would show up on the Apple Watch, it would try to pair them then show the message “Make sure headphone_name is turned on, in range and ready to pair”.
Step 1: Turn Off Bluetooth On iPhone
If you have your headphones paired with your iPhone, turn off bluetooth on your iPhone so that the headphones don’t automatically pair with it. You can also turn on Airplane Mode on your iPhone. Head over to Settings > Bluetooth > Turn Off Bluetooth or go to Settings > Turn On Airplane Mode. You can also slide up on your screen and turn it off from the Control Center.
Step 2: Turn On Airplane Mode On Apple Watch
This may seem odd, but if you’re having difficulty pairing your headphones with your Apple Watch, turn on Airplane Mode. On your Apple Watch, push the Digital Crown > Click Settings > Click Airplane Mode > Turn On Airplane Mode.
Step 3: Turn On Bluetooth On Apple Watch
While still having Airplane Mode on, head back into Settings on your Apple Watch > Click Bluetooth > Click Turn On Bluetooth.
Step 4: Pair Your Bluetooth Headphones
Now that you turned on bluetooth on the Apple Watch, turn on your bluetooth headphones into pairing mode and they should appear on the watch. Follow the normal instructions to pair the headphones. Once they’re successfully paired, you can turn off Airplane Mode.
In my experience, sometimes I’ll continue to have issues connecting the headphones to the Apple Watch, even after they’re successfully paired. If you follow these same steps, you should be able to successfully connect the bluetooth headphones. Turn off bluetooth on your iPhone if the headphones are paired with it, then turn on Airplane Mode on your Apple Watch and turn on Bluetooth on your Apple Watch. Since the headphones are already paired, just tap them and they should connect. Then you can turn off Airplane Mode again.
It can be a bit tedious, but it has worked for me every time with multiple brands of headphones.
Have you had problems pairing your bluetooth headphones with your Apple Watch? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
Thank you!!! That worked perfectly!
Didn’t work for me. Very frustrating. Apple watch 3, just searches, never finds or pairs.
I have Apple Watch 3 with Galaxy Buds, and to make it work I followed through step 3. Then, I had to put the headphones in my ears (both) and press both at the same time, then let go. I heard a sound (then did it once more because it was my first time doing it!) then looked at my watch screen and clicked connect. They are connected this very second listening to music using my watch.
Thank You it’s working great !
Not working for me. Apple Watch 3 just searches but never pairs.
Same problem with the Apple Watch 3. Still will not find the headphones
I’ve got a similar problem with a Windows Laptop. Airplane mode doesn’t change anything. The computer pairs with the headphones, but doesn’t connect with them. My Android phone connects flawlessly. And for the record, other audio Bluetooth devices are working just fine with the computer. Any help would be appreciated.
Using Samsung Level U Pro with Apple Watch 3 series, it connects initially and says the pairing is connected but fails whenever music playback is attempted.
Same problem.. with Powerbeats2 it was auto disconnecting in watch . Do you found any solution ? Kindly let me know
I have jaybirds and they will not pair no matter what I do
unable to connect my sony WH CH500 :( any other tips?
Wow thank you for these instructions! I was finally able to pair a cheap pair of Otium Bluetooth earbuds IPX7 that I got on Amazon. I’ve owned my Apple Watch 4 for a month and it was driving me crazy that Incoildnt figure it out. This article was such a blessing!
This isn’t working. I have a new Series 5 and am trying to pair w/ a 6S Plus. All the watch can do is search. But I appreciate your efforts.
Won’t work for me just searches and searches. Thanks for the info though.
Can’t get it to work either. Watch and Beats are both paired but when I turn on Pandora, it plays through my phone, which isn’t currently paired with the Beats. Tried turning on Airplane Mode but it did not help. Very frustrating!
very useful thank you. followed your advice to pair some bone conductive sports headphones to Watch series 5.
Thanks for the instructions but unfortunately its not working for me. I have a Series 5 watch & Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones. My watch is constantly searching. On 2 occasions the watch has discovered the headphones but only to tell me the ambient sound is on. The two will still not connect. I turned off ambient sound on the headphones to see if that made a difference but the watch is still searching. Any suggestions?
Not working for me but I have a different issue. I have a pair of Westone W40 earphones. It connects to my apple series 5 watch and shows that it is connected in the bluetooth settings but when playing music or calling it doesn’t see the device at all. It sees my samsung soundbar, iphone, echodot but not the earphones. I have tried several times and still no luck.
Series 5 and Sony MDR-XB80BS IEM’s. Pairs fine with my iPhone 8, won’t pair at all with the watch. Restarted, followed all of the steps here, nothing works, just ‘searching…’ on the watch.