Sony Headphones Won’t Connect? (Here’s the Fix!)

Sony headphones won't connect fix

Sony headphones are known for their high-quality sound output, noise-canceling technology (especially the WH-1000XM series), adaptive sound control, spatial audio, and reliable wireless connections. But, sometimes the headphones won’t connect (pair) with a device. So, how to fix it?

To fix Sony headphones that won’t connect, enter pairing mode, unpair from other devices, perform a hard reset, or delete pairing information from the audio source device.

You must try different fixing methods until you find the one that works. It’s a trail and error process.

How To Fix Sony Headphones That Won’t Connect?

To fix Sony headphones that won’t connect, do the following things.

  1. Enter Pairing Mode.
  2. Unpair From Other Devices.
  3. Reset the Headphones.
  4. Delete Pairing Information.
  5. Upgrade the Firmware Version.
  6. Avoid Bluetooth Interference.
  7. Replace the Audio Source Device.
  8. Fix the Faulty Hardware.

1. Enter Pairing Mode

Pairing mode refers to a mode where Bluetooth is activated and the headphones can pair with an audio source device. You can’t connect headphones with an audio source device if both devices aren’t in pairing mode.

Sony headphones will enter pairing mode automatically when turned on. But, Sony headphones will exit pairing mode if they aren’t connected to a device within 5 minutes.

To manually activate pairing mode, press the Bluetooth button for 5 seconds or turn off the headphones and turn them back on.

The power LED light will have a slow flashing (2 times) blue light when in pairing mode, and a fast blinking blue light when they are connected (or connecting) with a device. After a few seconds, the LED light will turn off.

2. Unpair From Other Devices

Sony headphones can connect to 2 devices simultaneously, but if you want to pair with a new (third) device, you must un-pair one of the devices.

Since the headphones enter pairing mode automatically once turned on, they will also automatically pair with the two closest known devices (that they have paired before).

To know if the headphones are already paired with a device, check the power LED light. Sony headphones will have a slow blinking (2 times) blue light when in paired mode, and a fast blinking blue light when paired with a device for a few seconds.

If the headphones are already paired with a device, un-pair them by turning off the Bluetooth in the audio source device (e.g. smartphones, TV, Laptop), move the headphones out of the Bluetooth range (10 meters or 30 feet), or reset the headphones.

3. Reset the Headphones

If Sony headphones aren’t pairing because of a software bug (or glitch), a hard reset will fix it. A hard reset will restore the original factory settings, remove the Bluetooth pairing information, clear the internal memory, and fix software bugs.

To reset most Sony headphones, do the following things.

  1. Power off the headphones by pressing the power button.
  2. Press and hold the power and noise-canceling buttons for 15 seconds, or until the indicator light flashes 4 times.
  3. Turn the headphones back on.

To reset Sony WH-1000XM4 do the following things.

  1. Power off the headphones by pressing the power button.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Custom buttons simultaneously for 7-10 seconds or until the indicator light flashes 4 times.
  3. Release the buttons and press the power button to turn them on.

To reset other Sony headset models, read the manual or check for online guides.

Note: After a hard reset, custom modes and pairing information will be erased, you must manually choose the custom mode and pair with known devices again.

4. Delete Pairing Information

If the audio source device retains the pairing information of the headphones after repairing or resetting them, you won’t be able to connect. You must remove the pairing information from the audio source device, and then try to pair both devices.

To remove pairing information from iPhones do the following things.

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  2. Press the ‘i’ () next to the “Sony Headphones” name.
  3. Press “Forget this Device“.
  4. Restart the iPhone (optional).

To remove pairing information from Android smartphones do the following things.

  1. Go to Settings > Connected devices > Connection preferences > Bluetooth.
  2. Press the gear (settings icon) next to the  “headphones name”.
  3. Press “Forget“.

After removing the pairing information, both devices will create new pairing information and will connect as they have never connected before. This means they won’t connect automatically, you must manually do it.

5. Upgrade the Firmware Version

An outdated firmware version can cause connectivity, compatibility, and performance issues. Manufacturers release updates to fix software bugs or other issues. So, it’s always recommended to upgrade the firmware to its latest version.

Before upgrading the firmware version of Sony headphones, do the following things.

  1. Download the Sony | Headphones Connect app (iOS & Android).
  2. Connect the headphones to the application.
  3. Turn off the “Auto-off” feature in the application by pressing “System > Automatic Power Off > Do not Turn Off”.
  4. Turn off the Google Assistant on the iPhone.
  5. Fully charge both devices. Don’t charge the devices during the update, only before.
  6. Don’t start the update near wireless devices operating at 2.4 GHz to prevent Bluetooth interference.
  7. Don’t start the update if the Wi-Fi is inconsistent.
  8. Disconnect (un-pair) the headphones with other connected devices, except for your smartphone.

To upgrade the firmware version of Sony headphones, do the following things.

  1. Open the Sony | Headphones Connect app on your smartphone.
  2. If an update is available, a yellow banner will appear at the bottom of the application with the text “The latest headphones software is available.”
  3. Press “More Info” next to the yellow banner.
  4. Press “Start” if you want to upgrade the firmware version. You can also see all the improvements and changes before you upgrade.
  5. Wait until the update is completed. The headphones will disconnect and turn off multiple times, don’t touch them. Keep them close to your smartphone.
  6. For iOS users, press “Pair” if the notification for pairing appears.
  7. You will see an “Update Completed!” text when it’s done.

If you don’t see a yellow banner at the bottom of the page, your headphones have the latest version.

You can see the firmware version of the headphones, by opening the Sony | Headphones Connect application > pressing the “three dots” (top left) > “Sony Version”.

6. Avoid Bluetooth Interference

Bluetooth interference refers to the distribution of the Bluetooth signal by wireless devices operating at the same frequency 2.4 GHz. The headphones and the audio source device may not pair if there’s an interference with the connection.

Common causes of Bluetooth interference are Wi-Fi Modems, multiple devices connected to the same source, outside of the Bluetooth range, and low battery.

To avoid Bluetooth interference do the following things.

  1. Ensure both devices are in the Bluetooth range (10 meters or 30 feet).
  2. Remove nearby Radio devices.
  3. Ensure Your Headphone isn’t Connected to Another Device.

If the battery of the headphones or audio source device is low, charge it before re-trying to pair them.

7. Replace the Audio Source Device

To know if the headphones or the audio source device is faulty, change one of the devices. For instance, pair your headphones with another device or pair the audio source device with other headphones.

If Sony headphones pair with other devices but won’t pair with a specific one, then that audio source device is faulty.

8. Fix the Faulty Hardware

A faulty internal hardware part, such as the Bluetooth antenna, will prevent the headphones from connecting to a source. You can damage the internal hardware by physical wear and tear, or mishandling, because of environmental conditions, etc.

To fix internal hardware parts, contact Sony Support (if you have an active warranty) or send the headphones to a local electronic repair shop (if you don’t have a warranty).

The Sony Support Offers the following things.

  1. Live Chat.
  2. Text with an Agent.
  3. Request for them to call you.
  4. Call them.
  • The support works from Monday – Friday 09:00 – 21:00 ET, and Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 20:00 ET.
  • Phone / Text Number: 239-245-6366

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top