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How to Pair Sony Headphones to iPhone, Laptop, Mac, …

Last updated: 6 months ago
13 min read

To pair your Sony headphones, first initiate pairing mode by holding the power button (headphones) or the charging case button (earbuds).

There are other ways, too, and we’ll cover them all in this article. We’ll also show you how to pair your Sony headphones or earbuds to iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and TV.

Sony headphones pairing
CONTENTS (show more)

    Step 1: How to Activate Pairing Mode on Sony Headphones & Earbuds

    Activating the pairing mode is different on Sony headphones than on earbuds.

    Steps to activate pairing mode on Sony headphones (over-ear, on-ear)

    These are steps for Sony headphones like Sony WH-1000XM5 or Sony WH-1000XM4:

    1. Before activating pairing mode, ensure the Sony headphones are turned OFF.
    2. Locate the power button (typically under the right ear cup).
    3. Press and hold it for at least 5 seconds or until you hear “Pairing” or some other sound from the headphones. If there’s a small LED on the headphones, it should be blinking.
    Sony WH-1000XM5 pairing
    1. Your Sony headphones are now in pairing mode.

    Note that some older headphones, like Sony WH-1000XM4, also have a NFC pairing option. It offers instant pairing with devices that support NFC (usually smartphones).

    1. Enable NFC on a supported device.
    2. Turn your Sony headphones ON. Lean your smartphone next to the ear cup with a NFC logo.
    3. Soon, your smartphone should vibrate, asking you to pair it with the headphones.
    Sony WH-CH710N NFC logo
    NFC logo on the left ear cup of the Sony WH-CH710N.

    Steps to activate pairing mode on Sony earbuds (in-ear, true wireless)

    There are 2 methods to activate the pairing mode in Sony true wireless earbuds. It depends on whether the charging case has a button or not.

    Let’s start with the charging case WITH a button (Sony WF-1000XM5):

    1. Place both Sony earbuds into the charging case and close the lid.
    2. Locate the button on the charging case and reopen the lid.
    3. Press and hold the button until the LED on the case starts blinking blue.
    Sony WF-1000XM5 button pairing
    1. Your Sony earbuds are in pairing mode.

    Now, steps for a Sony charging case WITHOUT a button (Sony WF-1000XM4):

    1. Take both earbuds from the charging case and place them in your ears.
    2. Hold touch controls on both earbuds for at least 5 seconds or until you hear a voice saying, “Bluetooth pairing.”
    Sony WF-1000XM4 pairing mode
    1. Your Sony earbuds are now in pairing mode.

    Now that you’ve successfully activated the pairing mode, here are the steps on how to connect your Sony headphones and earbuds to different devices.

    Click on the device you want to connect for specific instructions:

    Step 2: How to Connect Sony Headphones to an iPhone, iPad (iOS)

    There’s no pop-up message when connecting Sony headphones to iOS, so you need to take a few more steps.

    Here are detailed instructions on how to connect Sony headphones to any iOS device:

    1. On your home screen, find and click on “Settings” (gear-looking grey icon).
    iOS Settings
    1. Click on Bluetooth and swipe the toggle to the right to turn it ON.
    2. Activate pairing mode on your Sony headphones or earbuds following the instructions above.
    3. Soon, your Sony headphones or earbuds should appear in the “Devices” list. Click on them.
    iOS pairing Sony
    1. Your headphones are successfully connected when it says “Connected” next to their name.
    iOS Sony connected

    Step 2: How to Connect Sony Headphones to a Windows Laptop & PC

    Before connecting your Sony headphones to your Windows PC, ensure your computer supports Bluetooth.

    • All laptops should have Bluetooth support.
    • Desktop computers lack Bluetooth (unless it’s built into a more expensive motherboard). You need to buy a Bluetooth dongle to pair your Sony headphones with a desktop PC.

    It’s worth noting that sometimes Google Fast Pair also works on Windows PCs. It lets you quickly pair with your headphones by clicking “Connect” in a pop-up window.

    Windows 11 fast pair
    Screenshot taken on Windows 11.

    Here’s how you connect your Sony headphones to Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers.

    Windows 11

    1. In the bottom corner, left-click the Wi-Fi/Volume/Battery group icon, which opens quick settings.
    2. Click on the Bluetooth icon to turn it ON.
    3. Right-click on the Bluetooth icon and select “Go to Settings“.
    Windows open bluetooth settings
    1. In the Bluetooth settings, click on the big “+” or anywhere where it says, “Add device“.
    Windows 11 Bluetooth settings
    1. In the new “Add a device” window, select the first “Bluetooth” option. Windows will now start searching for your Sony headphones.
    Windows 11 choosing what to search
    1. Activate pairing mode in your Sony headphones or earbuds by following the instructions above.
    2. Your Sony headphones should appear in the “Add a device” list. Be patient, as it might take up to 10 seconds or more.
    3. When you see your Sony headphones’ name, click on it.
    Windows 11 device found
    1. Your headphones are successfully paired when you see “Connected mic, audio” written underneath.
    Windows 11 device connected

    Windows 10

    1. Open the “Notifications” quick settings menu by clicking the “boxy” icon next to the clock & date.
    2. Click on the Bluetooth icon to turn it ON.
    Windows 10 open notifications
    1. Make a right click on the Bluetooth icon and select “Go to Settings“.
    Windows 10 go to settings
    1. In the Bluetooth settings, click on “Add Bluetooth or other device“.
    Windows 10 add Bluetooth device
    1. Select the first “Bluetooth” option in the new “Add a device” window. Windows will now search for your Sony headphones.
    Windows 10 Bluetooth add new device
    1. Activate pairing mode in your Sony headphones or earbuds by following the instructions above.
    2. Be patient, as it might take 10 seconds or more for your Sony headphones to appear in the “Add a device” window. Once they appear, click on them.
    Windows 10 Sony connect
    1. They’re successfully connected when you see “Connected voice, music” written underneath.
    Windows 10 Sony connected

    Step 2: How to Connect Sony Headphones to a Mac, MacBook (MacOS)

    MacOS operating system doesn’t support seamless connectivity with headphones that aren’t made by Apple (and have A1, A2, or W1 chips).

    Here’s how you pair your Sony headphones and earbuds to a Mac or MacBook:

    1. Find the Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the screen and click on it.
    2. Select “System Preferences…“.
    Mac system preferences
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. In the new window, find the Bluetooth and click on it.
    Mac find Bluetooth
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. In Bluetooth settings, click “Turn Bluetooth On” for a computer to start searching for devices.
    MacOS turn ON Bluetooth
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. Activate pairing mode in your Sony headphones or earbuds by following the instructions above.
    2. Your Sony headphones should appear under “new devices“. Click “Connect” next to them. Sometimes, the name of the headphones is presented with their MAC address (series of digits and letters), but you can tell they’re headphones as they have a headphones icon next to the MAC address.
    Mac finding AirPods
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. Your Sony headphones or earbuds are now connected. You should also see the full name now.

    Step 2: How to Connect Sony Headphones to an Android Phone

    Connecting Sony headphones to an Android device can work in 2 ways. One involves connecting them using a standard method, while the other uses Google Fast Pair (if supported).

    Let’s first start by using a standard method:

    1. Unlock your Android device and swipe from the top to access the notifications and quick settings.
    2. Click on the Bluetooth icon to turn the Bluetooth function ON.
    Android enable Bluetooth
    1. A Bluetooth searching widget should automatically appear. If you accidentally close it, simply reopen the notification bar from the first step and tap & hold the Bluetooth icon. It will open Bluetooth settings.
    2. Now, enter Bluetooth pairing mode in your Sony headphones by following the instructions above.
    3. In Bluetooth settings, scroll to the bottom to see new “Available devices“.
    4. When you see your Sony headphones, click on them.
    5. Click “Pair” when the “Bluetooth pairing request” shows up.
    Android Bluetooth searching
    1. Your headphones are successfully connected when you see a volume bar popping from the sides.
    Android volume bar

    Another method involves using Google Fast Pair. However, your Sony headphones need to support this feature (usually, you see the “OK Google” logo printed somewhere on the packaging).

    1. Unlock your Android device and swipe from the top to access notifications and quick settings.
    2. Enable Wi-Fi or mobile data and Bluetooth by clicking on their icons.
    3. Now, activate the pairing mode in your Sony headphones by following the instructions above.
    4. Wait a few seconds for a pop-up message to appear, asking you to connect your Sony headphones to your Google account. Click on “Connect“.
    5. Your Sony headphones are now paired to your Android device (and your Google account; find more about the benefits of Google Fast Pair).
    Android Google Fast Pair Sony WF-1000XM5

    Step 2: How to Connect Sony Headphones to PlayStation (PS5, PS4)

    Connecting Bluetooth headphones to a PlayStation console involves more steps (and extra equipment) for everything to work as it should.

    Most importantly, you need to buy a USB Bluetooth Pairing dongle, which is not the same as a Bluetooth dongle for a computer. What’s the difference?

    • Bluetooth dongle makes a computer Bluetooth-capable, so you do all the pairing inside the operating system. The dongle doesn’t have any buttons.
    • Bluetooth Pairing dongle connects straight to your Bluetooth headphones and then communicates with the PlayStation. The dongle has a button to initiate pairing (and to switch between different Bluetooth codecs).
    PlayStation Bluetooth pairing dongle button

    Remember that Bluetooth Pairing dongles only support audio and not a microphone. Be sure to buy a dongle with a 3.5mm microphone add-on if you want in-game chat capabilities.

    Connect to PlayStation 5

    Here’s how you pair your Sony headphones or earbuds to PlayStation 5:

    1. Turn ON your PlayStation 5 and insert the USB Bluetooth Pairing dongle into one of the available USB sockets.
    2. Press and hold the button on the dongle until you see a small LED flashing (or read the dongle’s user manual on how to set it in pairing mode).
    PlayStation Bluetooth pairing dongle pairing
    Source: YouTube/Octorius
    1. Now, activate the pairing mode in your Sony headphones following the instructions above. Ensure no other Bluetooth device in the vicinity is in pairing mode.
    2. Sony headphones are connected when you hear an audible confirmation or when the LED on the dongle stops blinking.
    3. On your PlayStation 5, go into “Settings“.
    PlayStation settings
    Source: YouTube/Semi-Comprehensive Guide
    1. Find and select “Sound“.
    PlayStation sound
    Source: YouTube/Semi-Comprehensive Guide
    1. Under “Audio Output“, turn off the “Switch Output Device Automatically” feature (this step is crucial if you also want to use the included microphone dongle).
    PlayStation switch automatically off
    Source: YouTube/Octorius
    1. Then, click on “Output Device” and select “USB Headset (*NAME OF YOUR DONGLE*)“.
    PlayStation audio output
    Source: YouTube/Semi-Comprehensive Guide
    PlayStation audio output to USB dongle
    Source: YouTube/Semi-Comprehensive Guide
    1. Now, go down to the “Headphones” section to ensure that “Output to Headphones” is set to “All Audio“.
    PlayStation all audio
    Source: YouTube/Semi-Comprehensive Guide
    1. OPTIONAL: You can also enable “3D Audio for Headphones” and select your favorite 3D Audio preset in “Adjust 3D Audio Profile“.
    2. You should now hear audio coming from your Sony headphones.

    Note that you might experience some audio delay.

    If you also want to have a chat option:

    1. Plug the included 3.5mm microphone add-on on the bottom of your controller.
    2. In “Settings” > “Sound“, click on “Microphone“.
    3. Under “Input Device“, select the “Controller Headset” option.
    PlayStation microphone
    Source: YouTube/Semi-Comprehensive Guide

    Connect to PlayStation 4

    Here’s how you pair your Sony headphones or earbuds to PlayStation 4:

    1. Turn ON your PlayStation 4 and insert the USB Bluetooth Pairing dongle into one of the available USB sockets.
    2. Press and hold the button on the dongle until you see a small LED flashing (or read the dongle’s user manual on how to set it in pairing mode).
    3. Now, enter pairing mode in your Sony headphones following the instructions above. Ensure no other Bluetooth device in the vicinity is in pairing mode.
    4. Sony headphones are connected when you hear an audible confirmation or when the LED on the dongle stops blinking.
    5. On your PlayStation 4, go into “Settings“.
    6. Scroll down a bit and click on “Devices“.
    PlayStation 4 devices
    Source: YouTube/Mobile Fun
    1. Select “Audio Devices“.
    PlayStation 4 audio devices.
    Source: YouTube/Mobile Fun
    1. In Audio Devices, click on “Output Device” and set it to “USB Headphones (USB Audio Device)“.
    PlayStation 4 input output
    Source: YouTube/Mobile Fun
    1. Also, in Audio Devices, click “Output to Headphones” and set it to “All Audio“.
    PlayStation 4 uncheck
    Source: YouTube/Mobile Fun
    1. You should now hear audio coming from your Sony headphones.

    Note that you might experience some audio delay.

    If you also want to have a chat option:

    1. Plug the included 3.5mm microphone add-on on the bottom of your controller.
    2. On your PlayStation 4, go into “Settings” >” Devices” > “Audio Devices“.
    3. Click “Input Device” and set it to “Headset Connected to Controller“.
    4. Turn OFF “Switch Output Device Automatically” to receive sound and mic audio from different devices.

    Step 2: How to Connect Sony Headphones to Nintendo Switch

    Unlike PlayStation consoles, Nintendo Switch has a built-in Bluetooth module for connecting headphones directly to the handheld console. 

    Before starting, ensure that your Switch has the latest software update. Check that by going into “System Settings“> “System“> “System Updates“.

    Here’s how you connect Sony headphones or earbuds to Nintendo Switch:

    1. In the “Home screen”, go into “System Settings“.
    Switch settings
    Source: YouTube/Nintendo Life
    1. Click on “Bluetooth Audio“.
    2. Before selecting “Add Device“, you should activate the pairing mode on your Sony headphones or earbuds following the instructions above.
    Switch add device Bluetooth
    Source: YouTube/Nintendo Life
    1. Now you can press “Add Device” on your Switch. It takes a few seconds for your Sony headphones to appear in the “Add Bluetooth Audio Device” window.
    2. Once your Sony headphones appear, select them and press “A” on the controller.
    Switch Nintendo find headphones
    Source: YouTube/Nintendo Life
    1. When a small window pops up, select “OK“. Your Sony headphones are now connected.

    If your Sony headphones seem quiet even at 100% volume, go to “System Settings” > “System” and turn OFF the “Lower Maximum Headphone Volume” feature. Be careful not to damage your hearing.

    Switch lower max volume
    Source: YouTube/Nintendo Life

    Remember:

    • You can’t use a built-in microphone on your Sony headphones.
    • Only 2 controllers can be connected to your Switch while using Bluetooth headphones.
    • You can’t use Bluetooth headphones when playing multiplayer games locally.

    How to Connect Sony Headphones to Any TV

    Before we go into detailed instructions, note that different TV manufacturers use various operating systems. Therefore, the steps might be slightly different on your end.

    We’ll focus on three major TV operating systems:

    Tizen OS (Samsung)

    We’ll show you how to connect Sony headphones and Sony earbuds to a Samsung Smart TV running Tizen OS.

    1. Press the button with the “house” icon on the TV’s remote controller to open Tizen’s user interface. Click on “Settings” in the bottom left corner.
    Samsung TV settings
    1. In Settings, select “Sound” and then “Sound Output“.
    Samsung TV sound
    1. Move down and click on “Speaker List“. Your TV will start searching for nearby Bluetooth devices.
    2. Activate the pairing mode on your Sony headphones following the instructions above.
    3. Look back to the TV screen. Your Sony headphones should soon appear in the Speaker List.
    4. When they appear, click on them and select “Pair and Connect“.
    Samsung TV connect
    1. Your Sony headphones are fully connected when you get a Connect message. Select “OK“.
    Samsung TV earbuds connected

    Android TV

    If you’re using a smart TV with Android, here are all the steps:

    1. Enter your Android TV interface and go into “Settings” (located in the upper right corner of the screen).
    Android TV go to settings
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube
    1. In Settings, under “Remote & accessories“, select “Add accessory” (with a big Bluetooth logo on the left side).
    Android TV Add accessory
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube
    1. While TV searches for Bluetooth devices, activate the pairing mode in your Sony headphones by following the instructions above.
    2. Your Sony headphones should soon appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Select them when they do.
    Android TV device found
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube
    1. Sony headphones are connected when it says “Paired” underneath, and you see a volume bar on the right side of the screen.
    Android TV headphones paired
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube

    If you have issues with Bluetooth finding your Sony headphones, download the “Bluetooth Pair” app from TV’s Google Store. It bypasses the TV’s buggy Bluetooth and finds and pairs your headphones.

    webOS (LG)

    Here are the steps if you’re using a smart TV from LG:

    1. Press the “Settings” button on the remote and enter “Sound.”
    2. In Sound, select “Sound Out“.
    LG sound out
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. Next, select “Use Wireless Speaker“.
    LG use wireless speaker
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. On the right side of the “Bluetooth Device“, click on the 3 vertical dots.
    LG click 3 dots
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. While TV searches for Bluetooth devices, activate the pairing mode on your Sony headphones by following the instructions above.
    2. When you see your Sony headphones’ name under “Connectable Devices“, click on them.
    LG connectable devices
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. At the bottom of the screen, you should receive a message that your Sony headphones are connected.
    LG headphones connected
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant

    How to Verify the Earbuds/Headphones are in Pairing Mode

    You can verify Sony headphones or earbuds are in pairing mode by observing 2 things:

    • Audible feedback: Most Sony headphones emit audible feedback when going into pairing mode. You either hear it as a beep or a voice saying, “Bluetooth pairing.”
    • Blinking LED: When in pairing mode, all Sony headphones and earbuds have a small LED light that blinks in different colors. On the Sony WF-1000XM5, it blinks in blue.

    Connecting Sony Wireless Headphones After Pairing

    Once you connect and pair your Sony headphones to a device, the latter should remember them and reconnect automatically during the next listening session.

    However, if that doesn’t happen, you must reconnect them manually. Here’s how you do that on an Android smartphone:

    1. Swipe from the top of the screen to access the notifications and quick settings. Click the “Bluetooth” icon to turn it ON. A new Bluetooth widget should appear, showing you remembered connected devices.
    2. Ensure your Sony headphones are turned ON and aren’t connected to any other device.
    3. Find the name of your Sony headphones in the Bluetooth widget and click on it.
    Android Sony manually reconnect
    1. A smartphone should reconnect with your Sony headphones.

    Troubleshoot Pairing Issues on Sony Headphones & Earbuds

    Here is troubleshooting advice if you have issues establishing a Bluetooth connection between Sony headphones and your desired device.

    Before going through these troubleshooting steps, ensure that the problem actually originates from Sony headphones.

    • Try pairing them to a different device. If they refuse to pair, there’s something wrong with them. Otherwise, there’s something wrong with the device you want to connect them to.

    Software glitch

    Since all digital devices run on software (including your Sony Bluetooth headphones), occasional bugs and glitches are inevitable. In that case, the best you can do is to:

    • Reset your device: Reset your Sony headphones and the device you plan to connect to. That resolves random glitches.
    • Update your device. See if your Sony headphones or the device you plan to connect to run on the latest firmware. If not, update them. That resolves continuing glitches.
    Windows 11 updates

    Turn Bluetooth OFF & ON and reactivate pairing mode

    Sometimes, a glitch is temporary and is easily fixed. All you need to do is:

    • Turn OFF & ON the Bluetooth on the device you want to connect your Sony headphones to.
    • Also, turn your Sony headphones OFF & ON and reactivate the Bluetooth pairing mode.

    Low battery charge

    If you last charged your Sony headphones a while ago, they might have low battery. That might be why they refuse to go into pairing mode.

    To check the battery charge on Sony headphones:

    • Press the “Power” button, and the voice should tell you the remaining battery percentage.
    • Using earbuds like Sony WF-1000XM4 tells you the battery percentage of each earbud when you place them in your ears.
    • With newer earbuds like Sony WF-1000XM5, you must place them in the charging case and close the lid. If the LED doesn’t light up, the case’s charge is less than 1%.
    Sony WF-1000XM5 green light
    Green light means the battery is way above 50%.

    How to Reset Sony Headphones & Earbuds

    Sony had to make it unnecessarily complicated to reset your Sony headphones and earbuds. Also, some offer a “soft” reset, while some make a factory reset.

    • Soft reset means you don’t lose pairing information.
    • Factory reset erases all data except registration information.

    Since all Sony headphones use a slightly different approach, we’ll cover only a few:

    This is how to (soft) reset Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones:

    1. Make sure to charge the headphones via a USB-C charging port.
    2. Press the “Power” and “NC/AMB” buttons simultaneously.
    3. Your Sony WH-1000XM5 should reset immediately.
    4. OPTIONAL: If you want to perform a factory reset, unplug the USB-C cable.
    5. Press the “Power” and “NC/AMB” buttons simultaneously. Hold for a few seconds or until you see a small LED rapidly flashing blue.
    6. Sony WH-1000XM5 are now factory reset.

    This is how to reset Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds:

    1. Place both earbuds into the charging case and leave the lid open.
    2. Press and hold the button on the back of the case for at least 20 seconds.
    3. You will see the LED in front of the case start blinking orange. When it stops, release the button on the back.
    4. Your Sony WF-1000XM5 are now reset.
    Sony WF-1000XM5 button pairing

    This is how to reset Sony WH-1000XM4:

    1. Ensure that your Sony WH-1000XM4 are turned OFF and aren’t charging.
    2. Press and hold the “Power” and “Custom” buttons simultaneously for around 7 seconds.
    3. A small LED should rapidly flash in blue 4 times. Then, you can release the buttons.
    4. Your Sony WH-1000XM4 are now reset.

    This is how to (soft) reset Sony WF-1000XM4:

    1. Make sure you’re charging the charging case via a USB-C port.
    2. Place ONLY one earbud into the charging case and close the lid.
    3. You now have 20 seconds to open and close the lid 5 times.
    4. Upon closing it the fifth time, the LED strip turns red.
    5. Keep the lid closed until the LED turns green.
    6. Repeat the process with another earbud.
    Sony WF-1000XM4 soft reset
    1. OPTIONAL: If you want to perform a factory reset, place both earbuds into the case and hold the touch-sensitive area on both earbuds for around 10 seconds.
    2. LED strip in the front should start flashing in red color. Now, you can release your fingers.
    3. Your Sony WF-1000XM4 are reset when the LED strip flashes in green 4 times.
    Sony WF-1000XM4 factory reset

    FAQ: Questions About Connecting Sony Headphones

    How do you put Sony headphones into pairing mode?

    To put Sony headphones into pairing mode, turn them OFF and then press and hold the power button until you see the small LED flashing blue 2 times. You’ll hear “Pairing” from the headphones.

    Why are my Sony headphones not pairing?

    Your Sony headphones are not pairing because of a software glitch (resolved by resetting or turning them OFF & ON again), low battery charge, or due to an actual malfunction. Or the same can be wrong with the device you want to connect them to.

    Why are my Sony headphones not showing up on Bluetooth?

    If your Sony headphones aren’t showing up on Bluetooth, you might have a software glitch (reset them), or they’re low on battery. Rarely there’s an actual malfunction. While at it, reset the device to which you are trying to connect your Sony headphones.

    Conclusion

    Hopefully, our guide helped you pair Sony Bluetooth headphones to your device. If any steps are hard to follow, please let us know. And if you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment.

    Is it time to replace your Sony headphones? Check the currently best Sony models here.

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