When using an external speaker or using a headphone, at the time, it gets annoying because they don’t work. It worked before, but it’s not working the next day. In this post, I will show what you can do if your Bluetooth Headphones are not working on Windows 11 or Windows 10, and finally, make it work.
Bluetooth Headphones not working on Windows 11/10
The good thing about headset issues is they are temporary unless the headphone is broken. However, make sure they are charged as some of them often disconnect when low on battery.
- Is the audio muted?
- Reconnect or Pair the headphones again
- Change the audio output device
- Change the Audio format for headphone
- Hearing static noise on headphones?
- Reinstall drivers
- Run Audio troubleshooter
- Restart Audio Service
- Try a different headset/device
- Bluetooth headphones working only from one side
Every time you try one of these, make sure to check if the headphones are working as expected. It will help you understand what caused the problem. So the next time it happens, you can fix it quickly.
1] Is the audio muted, or hardware mute button is pressed?
Some of the Bluetooth headphones come with a hardware mute button. It can be for a microphone or audio or can be for both. Check if there is such button yours, and toggle to check if you can listen to the sound.
Do you mute and forget? It happens with me all the time. I have a multimedia keyboard that comes with a mute key. If a video starts playing at high volume, I use the silent key, pause the video, and then lower the volume. If you are in a similar situation, check if the audio is muted. Take a look at the volume icon on the system tray, if you see a cross next to it, then unmute, and everything should be fine.
2] Reconnect or Pair the headphones again
Since its a Bluetooth headphone, you may want to reconnect. At times even though the headphone is connected, I have seen it not working.
- Open Windows Settings (WIN + I)
- Navigate to Devices > Bluetooth and other devices
- Select the Bluetooth headphone
- Click on the Remove device button.
On your Bluetooth headset, long press on the power button, and wait for a few seconds. When you see the LED light changing colors or show up differently compared to when it’s connected, the headset has been reset.
You can then reconnect the headphones again using the standard Bluetooth method. Once done, the Bluetooth headset should start working again.
3] Change the audio output device
If you are connected to the right port and do not have the Bluetooth issue, then it could be the wrong default output. To resolve this follow the steps
- Play audio on your computer at a volume level which is just audible to you.
- Put on the headphones.
- Click on the Volume icon visible on the system tray.
- Then click on whatever is listed as default and change it to what should be your headphone.
- If that doesn’t work, try switching to each of them, and if you hear the audio, then that’s your headphone.
Windows should usually change headphones as default audio device whenever you connect, but if it doesn’t, then manually adjust it.
4] Change the Audio format for headphone
- Right-click on the volume icon in the system tray and select “Open Sound Settings.”
- Select the headphone from the output device.
- Click on Device Properties > Additional device properties.
- Switch to the Advanced tab.
- Change the default format to something else, and click on the test button.
- Check if you can hear the audio through your headphones.
You can also use the Restore Defaults button to check if it fixes the headphone audio issue.
5] Hearing static noise on headsets?
It usually occurs when you start moving out of range, i.e., away from the source device, which can be your phone or your laptop. The distance is such that sometimes it can connect, while other times, the data is not received correctly, and hence results in garbage audio aka static noise. When using a Bluetooth headphone, make sure to be in the range, else it will not work as expected.
6] Reinstall Bluetooth Headphones drivers
If you are using a headphone that comes with generic drivers, later try reinstalling the driver offered by the OEM. It is possible that the generic driver isn’t working well.
- Use WIN + X, and then M key to open the device manager
- Expand Audio inputs and outputs
- Locate your headphone, and right-click on it
- You have two options here
- Uninstall the driver, and then install it again.
- Update driver, and let Windows search for the driver or install if you have a specific one from the OEM
7] Run the audio troubleshooter
Windows 10 comes with its own set of audio troubleshooter to fix Headphones not working problem.
- Go to Windows 10 Settings (WIN + I) > Update and Security > Troubleshoot
- Locate the “Playing Audio” troubleshooter
- Select it, and click on the Run the Troubleshooter button
- Follow the wizard, and either it will fix the problem or suggest what you can do to fix it.
7] Restart Audio Service
If you are not able to listen to system audio as well, it’s probably the Audio service that has the problem. You need to open the Windows Services and restart or enable the Audio Service.
8] Try a different headset or computer
Last but not least, if nothing is working, try the headset on a different computer or try a different to figure out of its device issue eventually. If it works on a different computer, then you need to run through the previous steps once again. If not, you may need a new one. You can also test it on the phone, and see if the audio works fine. That is the fastest check you can do to find if the headphone is the problem.
9] Bluetooth headphones working only from one side
It happens with both wired and wireless headphones. While you can move the wires a little to see if you can hear audio now and then, but when it happens on Bluetooth headphones, there is nothing you can do. In this situation, you need to change your headphones.
I hope the tips were easy to follow, and you were able to resolve the headphones not working on Windows issue.