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When your headphones keep disconnecting (whenever you are in the middle of an intense gaming session or enjoying some good music,) it can be a real downer. Sudden blackouts like these can put you out of your element and affect the entire match or the rest of your day.
An isolated incident where your headphones would have connection issues would be no big deal. However, if it keeps disconnecting over and over, there might be something wrong with your headphones or the input device.
If this is you, you might be wondering: why do my headphones keep disconnecting while I’m in the middle of listening to music?
In most cases, your headphones will disconnect when you are too far away from the source device (phone, tablet, PC, or Mac). Other than that, your devices can also disconnect because of interference, low battery, incompatible devices, and even software glitches.
Thankfully, there are several things we can do to troubleshoot the issue and get it fixed. So to learn how to rectify this situation, we will talk about topics such as:
Why do my Bluetooth headphones keep disconnecting?
Why do my streaming devices keep disconnecting my headphones?
Common questions regarding wired/wireless headphone connectivity
Table of Contents
Why Do My Bluetooth Headphones Keep Disconnecting?
If your headphones disconnect from your device automatically, you can try to repair the device via Bluetooth. However, if the headphones keep disconnecting even after that (and keep disconnecting continuously), you will have to do some troubleshooting to figure out the cause of the problem.
The first step in troubleshooting Bluetooth headphones that keep disconnecting is to connect to a different streaming device (phone, tablet, laptop, PC, or Mac) and see if you can play music continuously with a stable connection for more than five minutes or so.
Regardless, if the headphones keep cutting out, even if you attempt the same thing with a handful of other devices, there’s a very good chance that the issue lies within the Bluetooth headphone itself.
Here are some possible causes and fixes that will get your wireless headset or headphones working as usual.
Wireless Headset has Low Battery
One of the most common (and often overlooked) issues plaguing most Bluetooth headphones is the battery. Although you will be notified whenever the battery is running low on some devices, this notification is easy to miss. (Some low-end devices do not have a notification at all.)
You might be trying to reconnect the headset to your phone or computer, and since it has a low battery, it will shut down or disconnect automatically. So when troubleshooting this, check the battery levels and give it a good recharge for fifteen minutes or so before attempting to connect via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth Connection Out of Range
The range is another (overlooked) reason why Bluetooth connections will automatically disconnect.
The latest version of Bluetooth (Bluetooth 5.0) has a maximum range of around 800ft (240 meters). It is quite impressive, but unfortunately, we have to consider obstacles such as walls and floors; hence, the effective range of Bluetooth 5.0 (although much more impressive than its predecessors) is limited to a couple of rooms and floors. (Where you won’t have any lag or interference issues.)
Although you would already know when you are moving out of Bluetooth range as the audio would start to lag, cut in and out, etc., it can also disconnect instantly. So make sure you are close enough to your streaming device when trying to reconnect.
Bluetooth Headset Running into WiFi Interference
Thanks to modern shielding materials and improvements in how devices transmit and receive radio waves, most wireless headsets do not have this issue.
That said, in some cases, especially when you have older Bluetooth devices or a Wifi router nearby, your Bluetooth headset can run into trouble transferring data back and forth.
After checking for the issues mentioned above, you can start troubleshooting this. Take your smartphone and Bluetooth headphones to another room (ideally, the mountains where there are fewer radio waves and wireless devices), switch off cellular data on your smartphone and try to pair the headphones onto it.
Wireless Headsets with a Weak Bluetooth Signal
Similar to the above issue, the Bluetooth headphones or headset you are using might not be able to maintain a steady wireless connection with your streaming devices. It can be due to hardware issues such as damage to the Bluetooth receiver or having an inferior Bluetooth module.
You can diagnose this issue if you have another Bluetooth headset with similar Bluetooth versions or specs. Here’s how:
First, pair your faulty headset with your phone or another input device
After that, keep the input device in your room and move away until the headset disconnects.
Switch off the faulty headset and try this again with the other “good” headset
If you get more range with the “good” headset than with the faulty device, it means the headset has a weak Bluetooth module.
If you are still within warranty, you might be able to get a replacement. Otherwise, you will have to get it repaired or replaced.
One of the reasons your Bluetooth headphones or headsets might have a weak Bluetooth signal is because they might have dust inside.
Even though you may not see it from the outside, headphones and other electronic devices can collect dust when you keep using them for long periods. If you are a smoker or have dust coming in (when the windows are open, etc.), headphones can accumulate a significant amount of dust in a short time.
You can easily clean the outside of your headphones using a can of compressed air, some cotton swabs, and alcohol wipes. However, if you need to clean the internals, lookup for a guide online regarding your exact model.
I don’t recommend disassembling your headphones by yourself. Instead, try taking them to a service center or the store you bought them.
Bluetooth Headset trying to call Duplicate Contacts
If you’ve got duplicate contacts on your smartphone or tablet either due to contacts syncing or restoring an old backup, your Bluetooth headset might run into a glitch, causing it to disconnect.
It usually happens when receiving a call from the said duplicate contact. It’s very subtle and can be annoying, especially when you have duplicate contacts from friends or family members who would call you more frequently. (I know because I’ve got three duplicate contacts for mum.)
Outdated Firmware on the Bluetooth Headset
This is relevant to high-end gaming headsets and headphones, which do all kinds of post-processing to the audio, such as EQs, noise-canceling, reducing lag, surround sound, etc. Usually, these devices have a dedicated PC or mobile app which allows them to update the software, remap buttons, and customize EQs to name a few.
If you use these headsets on newer devices or applications without updating them, there can be some conflicts where your headphones keep disconnecting. So make sure to keep the Bluetooth or USB headset drivers frequently updated.
Bluetooth Headsets Have Faulty Hardware
The Bluetooth functionalities of your headset might be limited because of other hardware failures. It can be due to a manufacturing defect (although quite rare and covered by warranty) or damage to the internal components because of water or a short circuit.
Depending on the headset quality, most devices have short-circuit protection and IP ratings to prevent this from happening, but you can never be too careful.
So if you’ve tried troubleshooting the issue using all the above methods and nothing seems to work, it’s high time you get it repaired or replaced with a high-end wireless headset.
Why Do My Streaming Bluetooth Devices Keep Disconnecting My Headphones?
During the initial troubleshooting phase, If you’ve figured out that the problem is with your source device and not the headphones, the problem might be with your phone, tablet, laptop, PC, or Mac you are streaming from.
In this section, I’ll talk about how you can troubleshoot a faulty streaming device and try to get your headphones working again with it.
Broken USB Ports
If you already understand the difference between headsets that use a USB input device and ones that utilize the conventional headphone jack, you know that USB headsets are always better than 3.5mm jacks. Therefore, most gamers and audiophiles prefer to use the USB headset option whenever gaming or working on the computer.
Although a typical USB port won’t get damaged easily, it can happen with time. So if your daily driver is an old laptop, you might have a hard time finding a good USB port.
A broken USB port on a laptop can mean a death sentence for some people, especially when the other ports get occupied. (Usually with a USB mouse or keyboard.)
If you find a faulty USB port, you might be able to get it repaired using the help of a local repair shop. However, if you are looking for a short-term solution, you can also use a USB hub, preferably from a well-known brand such as Anker.
Also, if the USB port seems fine, but your operating system gives an error message saying it might be broken, updating the USB headset driver can sometimes resolve the issue.
Incompatible Bluetooth Versions
Despite having backward compatibility, a Bluetooth device will not play well with other Bluetooth headsets and headphones when they have a different Bluetooth version. Old Bluetooth devices will lag, have less range, and cause disconnections very frequently.
If the Bluetooth capabilities on both devices are the same, i.e., the same Bluetooth versions, they will have less trouble maintaining a stable connection.
Streaming Device is in Power Saving Mode/Airplane Mode
When your phone or laptop is low on battery, it might switch on power-saving mode automatically to save power. Most smartphones, especially older models tend to switch off the Bluetooth settings, so don’t forget to check this out. Also, check for airplane mode.
For example, your AirPods will switch to your iPhone (as the default device) whenever you receive a phone call, even if you were using the AirPods on your iPad or Mac. However, unlike the phone app on iOS or Android, third-party apps can also hijack the Bluetooth connection and pause your phone automatically.
Issues with the Playback Settings on PC
Windows OS can be messy at times, and when you connect a new pair of headphones (Bluetooth or wired), the operating system may not switch to that device right away.
Here’s how you can manually change the sound output device.
Type “Sound Settings” on the search bar
Open the sound control panel
Select the Playback tab
Pick out the device from the list and right-click on it.
Select properties from the drop-down menu
Click on the advanced tab
Uncheck the box titled: “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device”
Click on Apply and ok.
Issues with the Power Management Settings
On laptops, the Windows operating system can disable USB memory ports in an attempt to save power. Therefore, if your wired headset doesn’t connect when you plug it in via USB, you can try to use a different power management profile. Here’s how:
Search for a setting called “Edit Power Plan” or right-click on the battery icon on the bottom right of the taskbar.
Click on the advanced power setting and look for “USB Settings”
After that select “USB selective suspend” settings.
Disable or uncheck both options called “On battery” and “Plugged in”
Save it, and then, right-click on the start button
Choose Device manager
Inside the devices list, look for a sub-list called “human interface devices.”
Click on the small plus icon and expand this sub-menu
Right-click on “USB input device” and select properties
After that, open the “Power Management” tab and disable the setting called “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”
Apply the settings and click “Ok.”
Headphones disconnecting while you are listening to music can be annoying. In most cases, it happens because of low range or interference with another Bluetooth device. Thankfully, if you troubleshoot the issue as soon as it happens, you will be able to pinpoint which device, app, or function is at fault.