Why Won’t My JBL Headphones Connect to My iPhone?


I’ve used my JBL headphones (awesome) on the go, paired with my iPhone dozens, maybe hundreds, of times.

The other day, for seemingly no reason, I couldn’t get my JBLs to connect to my iPhone. 

Faced with the prospect of a music-less day, I took to the Internet to figure out how to reconnect my JBL headphones to my iPhone.

Why Won’t My JBL Headphones Connect to My iPhone?

The most common reason your JBL headphones may not be able to connect to your iPhone is that your headphones were not properly disconnected from the last device they were paired with. Other reasons include hardware issues (low/dead battery) or software issues (update required).

There are a few different reasons your JBL headphones can’t connect with your iPhone

  • Your iPhone’s Bluetooth feature may be disabled.
  • The headphones may be out of battery power.
  • Your headphones may be connected to another device already.
  • Your iPhone could have duplicate Bluetooth profiles for your headphones.
  • Your iPhone may be running an outdated version of iOs.
  • Your JBL headphones were not properly disconnected from the last device they were paired with.

Keep reading for how to figure out why your JBL headphones cannot connect to your iPhone and, more importantly, how to fix it.

Troubleshooting JBL Headphone and iPhone Connections

First, make sure that your JBL headphones are operational. 

If they cannot power on independently, the issue may be a hardware malfunction. 

Older headphones are more likely to have taken damage over time due to the wear and tear of frequent use. 

It doesn’t hurt to plug the headphones into the charger and see if gathering a full charge helps them to perform better.

Unfortunately, after a long enough period or reaching a high number of recharge cycles performed, the internal battery of the headphones will eventually fail to hold a charge. 

If you’re savvy enough to crack open the headphones and find a replacement battery, kudos to you. 

For the rest of us, this means the headphones have come to the end of their life.

It’s time to look into new earphones.

If your JBL headphones seem to be in working order, then it’s time to look further into what’s going wrong with your Bluetooth connection.

JBL headphones only support a Bluetooth connection to one device at a time. 

This means that when you want to pair them to another device like your laptop or desktop computer, you’ll need to reset the headphones and remove the Bluetooth connection profile from the current device they are connected to.

Resetting Your JBL Headphones

  • Ensure the headphones are charged and powered on. Some JBL Headphones have a power switch instead of a button, slide the button to the on position.
  • Locate the volume down and volume up buttons. 
  • Hold both buttons for ten seconds.
  • Your headphones should turn off and make a ‘ping’ sound to signal they have been reset.

You will also need to remove the Bluetooth profile settings from the device you paired the headphones with. 

The old profile will no longer work and the headphones will need to be paired as if they were a new device. 

Make sure your headphones are in pairing mode.

If you are unable to locate the name of your headphones in the Bluetooth available connections list, it is likely that they are not in pairing mode. 

To manually force the headphones into pairing mode, locate the Bluetooth button on the right ear cup. 

Press and hold this button for three seconds. 

The headphones should now be in pairing mode. 

If you are still not seeing the headphones on the available devices list, you may need to reset your headphones and remove any Bluetooth settings profiles for them on your device.

How to Remove Bluetooth Settings Profiles

It sounds more complicated than it is. 

When you pair a Bluetooth device to your smartphone or computer, the smartphone/computer creates a specific information profile for the connection settings that the device sends to the smartphone/computer.

This profile is created automatically and is what you are viewing when you manually pair a Bluetooth device from the Bluetooth settings menu.

To remove a profile, navigate to the Bluetooth settings menu. 

You can do this from the Control Center, the Settings icon in the app tray, or by asking Siri to take you there. 

I recommend using the Control Center. 

Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center menu. 

Then tap and hold the Bluetooth icon. 

The Bluetooth settings menu should pop up on the screen. 

Locate the device’s name in your paired devices list. Then tap it. 

Tap the options to remove the device. It will ask if you are sure, tap yes.

Now you can re-pair the headphones to your iPhone or a new device.

Common JBL Headphone and iPhone Issues

Here I will list some of the issues you may experience if your JBL headphones are improperly paired or faulty. 

Each issue will be followed by a quick fix or recommendation. 

This is not a comprehensive repair guide for your JBL headphones, but rather a few helpful tips to avoid some common problems.

JBL headphones do not appear on the available devices list in the Bluetooth settings. 

The most common reason your headphones will not appear in the Bluetooth devices list is that they are not in pairing mode. 

Check to see if the headphones are powered on. 

Then hold the Bluetooth button on the right ear cup for three seconds to switch to pairing mode. 

If the headphones appear to pair to a device and It’s not your iPhone, they may be paired to another device within Bluetooth range. 

If you use the headphones with another Bluetooth device in your home, you will need to remove the connection and reset your JBL headphones.

If the headphones are not pairing to anything and not showing the Bluetooth settings available devices list, try a factory reset on your headphones. 

You can perform this by powering the headphones on and holding both the volume up and volume down buttons for ten seconds. 

Your headphones should power down and back on in pairing mode. 

If none of these solve your issue, your JBL headphone’s Bluetooth transmitter may be faulty. 

This will require that you seek help from the manufacturer or replace the headphones when possible.

The audio is breaking in and out. 

Audio issues can result from a faulty connection, bad audio source, or an error in audio compression.

If the audio is mostly smooth and clear with a few interruptions, your Bluetooth connection is likely faulty. 

If all sound emitting from the headphones is unusual, it is a problem with audio compression. 

Sometimes, audio sources on the internet are the culprit.

To repair a faulty connection, make sure no other devices are attempting to connect to your headphones as well. 

JBL’s Bluetooth headphones are only meant to be used with one device.

Another device may be attempting to connect to your headphones and disconnecting from your intended device. 

An audio breakup can also be a sign that you are too far away from your device. 

Bluetooth signal is only meant to work within a thirty-foot range or around ten meters.

If all the audio coming from your headphones is distorted, either the device is having trouble with audio compression or a speaker has blown out. 

You will be able to tell by the type of sound the speakers make. 

A blown speaker will quiet and sometimes push out crackles and pops. 

Audio compression issues usually result in digital sounding distortions. 

Audio compression can be fixed. A blown speaker needs to be replaced.

To fix audio compression issues, reset your JBL headphones to factory settings and completely remove the Bluetooth settings from your iPhone. 

JBL headphones are properly paired and working but no audio is coming out of them. 

If you can connect your headphones to your iPhone and no audio is playing, make sure you have your audio output set to your headphones. 

If you are an Apple fan who owns products like the HomePod, Beats, AirPods, iMac, MacBook, and others then you’ll likely have access to multiple audio outputs throughout your home. 

With so many options, It’s possible to forget that you need to tell your iPhone which speaker to play sound out of.

You can find the settings for which audio output in your iPhone’s settings.

The easier method is to disconnect the Bluetooth connection from any other audio device. 

Your iPhone will default the audio output to your JBL headphones if another device is not already prioritized.

Conclusion

There aren’t many people who will run across these problems. 

If they do, it will most likely be the issue with JBL needing to be reset and removed from previous devices to pair with a new one. 

When in doubt, reset your devices.

It may seem silly but with modern technology, the hardware is less likely to be the culprit than the software. 

It’s a bit like kicking a speaker to fix a fuzzy audio connection. 

It’s mundane and seems to be ridiculous but more often than not, it works.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I don’t have the device my JBL Headphones were previously paired to?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to remove the Bluetooth settings profile if the device will never attempt to connect to your headphones again. 

Removing the Bluetooth settings profile is to help your headphones stay connected to the intended device and prevent signal interruptions.

If you no longer have the old device, just resetting your JBL headphones should do the trick.

I bought a new iPhone and transferred all my information to the new iPhone. Do I still need to reset my JBL Headphones?

Yes. It may seem inconvenient but the Bluetooth profile settings may need to be specialized by your updated phone. 

If it is not paired properly, some of your JBL headphone’s functionality may not work.

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