Article ID : 00274970 / Last Modified : 18/02/2022

Tips on Bluetooth sound settings and sound issues

    IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check Applicable Products and Categories for details.

    Solving your Bluetooth sound issues and explaining Sound settings 

    First, let's verify the Bluetooth issue you’re experiencing: 

    1. I've successfully paired two devices, but the sound gets disrupted, I can’t hear anything (on both sides or one side), or people can’t hear me during a call. Please continue reading. 
    2. I'm struggling to connect two Bluetooth devices for the first time. Linking two devices for the first time is called Bluetooth Pairing.
      Please visit our How to pair and connect Bluetooth devices article for help.    

    I experience sound disruptions: keep distance and obstacles in the environment in mind 

    Once you've paired and connected your devices, distance and any obstacles can affect the Bluetooth connection. Picture your Bluetooth signal as an invisible cable of about 10 metres (33 feet). This 10-metre range decreases if obstacles (e.g. metal objects, concrete walls or other wave-emitting devices) get in the way between your Bluetooth devices.  

    Other times, you can experience sudden sound drops when the scenery changes from a closed to a wide outdoor area because the Bluetooth signal suddenly starts to bounce all over the place. For example, you can experience this when exiting a tunnel or leaving a wooded area for a wide and open area. If you’re using earbuds, keep in mind that the left and right earbuds communicate through Bluetooth, so they’re especially prone to this phenomenon. This should be intermittent, and although inconvenient, it’s no reason for concern.  

    If sound drops and doesn’t come back automatically, try the following:  

    • Earbuds: Put your earbuds back in the charging case for a few seconds. 
    • Other headphones: Turn your headphones off and on again.  

    I can’t hear anything during phone calls, or there’s a lot of noise 

    Phone calls & Output settings 

    Check what Bluetooth devices are currently connected to your smartphone. If you’ve paired your smartphone with several Bluetooth devices, sound might be coming out of a different device. Usually, your phone gives you several sound output options: you can choose between your phone speaker, the phone loudspeaker, or other Bluetooth devices that support phone calls. Make sure you have the right one selected!  

    Sound options to select on a smartphone during a phone call (connected device WH-1000XM4, Speaker or Phone)

    Screenshot showing where to change Sound output options during a phone call (Phone icon is highlighted)

    How do I know if an Xperia (Android) smartphone is already connected via Bluetooth? 

    Phone calls & Noise-cancellation  

    Although Noise cancellation creates a quiet environment for you during phone calls, the person you’re talking to can still hear all the surrounding noise. Noise-cancellation reduces environmental noise that you can hear, but it doesn’t reduce the noise the headphones’ microphone can pick up.  

    Two things that might also affect your headphones’ speaker are wind and fabric. If you’re wearing a hoody or a scarf, it might rub against the microphone, resulting in an unpleasant sound for the person listening. Wind can also cause this effect if it’s blowing straight in the microphone.  


    I can’t hear anything through my headphones connected to the computer 

    If you’ve successfully paired your headphones with the computer, but you still can’t hear anything, you need to check your computer sound settings. Your computer might still use the speakers by default. In the sound settings, you can change the default sound output (i.e. the channel you play sound through). Select your headphones instead of the default speakers.  

    Windows 10 steps 

    1. Right-click the Speaker icon Speaker icon Windows 10 in the bottom right corner of your screen.  
    2. Click on Open Sound settings.  
    3. Under Output, select the output device you want to use (e.g. Headphones or Speakers). 
    4. Under Input, select the input device you want to use (e.g. Microphone or External microphone). 
      • Note: Certain apps may be set up to use different sound devices than the one selected here. Even if you’ve set Headphones as your output device here, you might have to do it again in the video conference app you’re using (e.g. Microsoft Teams or Zoom).

    Windows 10 sound settings: Choose your output device (headphones)

    If you’re struggling to pair your headphones with your computer, please visit our dedicated article: How to connect your Bluetooth headphones to a laptop/desktop computer

    There’s no sound during my video conference call 

    Certain video conference apps might require you to set up sound settings, even if your headphones are connected. The app might not select the right output device by default. Furthermore, your headphones might have two different options available, and only one of them is meant for video conference calls. You can play around with the settings to see what works for you because depending on your computer brand, headphones or the app you’re using, it might be a little different.  

    In short, do three checks: 

    1. Make sure your headphones are connected to your computer 
    2. Check your computer sound settings (Speakers versus Headphones) 
    3. Check the video conference app sound settings (Headphones versus Headset).  

    Example Device settings in Microsoft Teams for WH-1000XM4

    Example Device settings in Microsoft Teams for other headphones

    If you can head sound through your headphones when using your computer, but not during video conference calls (e.g., Microsoft Teams meeting), chances are you need to change your Device Settings.  


    I experience sound disruptions: Charge your devices sufficiently before connecting 

    Charge your Bluetooth devices using the supplied USB charging cable. To find out why you should use the provided cable, visit the article: Headphones won't charge with third-party USB cables
    First-time pairing or connecting devices might fail if one of the two devices is insufficiently charged. The device might not show up in the Bluetooth list.  


    Turn Bluetooth OFF and ON again 

    Turning Bluetooth OFF and ON again is especially useful when you can't find the device you want to connect to in your Bluetooth menu list. It's a simple trick that refreshes the Bluetooth list and applies to both smartphones and computers. 
    Bear in mind that your device can try to connect to other surrounding Bluetooth devices. 

    Xperia (Android) smartphone: How to turn Bluetooth ON/OFF 

    Windows 10 laptop: How to turn Bluetooth ON/OFF


    Check the list of paired Bluetooth devices

    Pairing and connecting devices may fail if your device is near other Bluetooth devices you had paired it with before. Usually, Bluetooth devices automatically connect with the last device they linked with. Once a Bluetooth connection between two devices is active, a third device won't be able to pick them up (unless they have the multipoint feature). In that case, you can either disconnect the connection or completely remove the pairing information of the device.  

    How do I know if an Xperia (Android) smartphone is already connected via Bluetooth? 


     

    What's the difference between disconnecting a Bluetooth device and removing/forgetting it? Which option should you use? 

    When to disconnect a Bluetooth device 

    When to remove/forget a Bluetooth device 

    Xperia (Android) smartphone: How to disconnect a device or delete its pairing information

    Windows 10 laptop: How to disconnect a device or delete its pairing information


    Restart both devices 

    If changing the settings doesn't help, restart both devices (turn them off and on again) and try to connect them again. 


    Reset & initialise both devices 

    Headphones, soundbars, wireless speakers and other Bluetooth devices have a Reset function, which you can find explained in their manual. Manuals are posted on our support website

    If you've tried everything and Bluetooth still isn't working, Reset your device first, then Initialise it. Keep in mind that initialising your device will restore factory settings. After you initialise your device, it will automatically go into pairing mode when you turn it on, as if it were brand new.