How to Connect Wireless Heaphones: Step-by-Step Instructions

Wireless headphones are a godsend for music-loving runners. You can finally say goodbye to tangled cords and buds that get pulled out of your ears every time you turn your head. However, connecting your headphones to your phone or music compatible running watch can sometimes be confusing. Because Bluetooth can be a fiddly and fickle beast. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s everything you need to know to pair, connect and unleash the performance-enhancing power of music while you run.

Bluetooth pairing vs connection

The terms pairing and connecting are often used interchangeably to describe how to connect your headphones to a device. But there is a difference.

A bit like the formal introduction, pairing happens when your device first encounters your wireless headphones. Your phone, watch, and headphones will note each other’s names and save that information for next time.

Preview for HDM All Sections Playlist – Runners World US

Connect is like the second or third meeting. Your two devices already know each other. They remember that past encounter and can connect faster – often automatically – or at least with a little less tapping. Ideally, you pair once, but connect frequently.

Jabra pairing

The Jabra smartphone app provides helpful hints during the initial pairing process of your earbuds.

jabra connect

Once paired, Jabra earbuds like the Elite 7 Active connect instantly when in range.


How to pair wireless headphones

The process for pairing headphones with smartphones and GPS running watches is different. Some Bluetooth headphones will helpfully guide you through the initial pairing process in the sample app. Others leave you to your own devices.

In any case, there are two things you need to do: put your headphones in pairing mode and make sure Bluetooth is on for your watch or phone.

1) Put your headphones in pairing mode

Again, there is no standardized way to put Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode. But all good headphones offer simple instructions in the owner’s manual, and instructions are easy to find online.

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However, in most cases you will need to do one of the following to enter pairing mode:

  • Take the earbuds out of the charging case.
  • Open the charging case but leave the buds inside.
  • Hold down the power button on the buds.
  • Press a specific pairing button on the charging case.
  • Press a specific pairing button on the headphones.

It is common for the case and/or headphones to have a flashing LED light indicating they are in pairing mode. The headphones can also play an audio message or tone to let you know they’re on, but you’ll have to wear them to hear those alerts.

2) Activate Bluetooth

When you’re done putting your headphones into pairing mode, the next step is to turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone or GPS running watch, find your headphones, and confirm the pairing. Here’s how it’s done on some of the most popular devices.


iPhone and iOS

  1. Go to settingsbeat Bluetooth, and make sure Bluetooth is on. Below that, you’ll see a list of the devices you’ve previously paired with and are currently connected to.
  2. Scroll down and you will find an additional section called other devices. Here you will automatically see all headphones that are in pairing mode and within range.
  3. Locate your headphones (they are often shown with the model name, e.g. Jaybird Vista 2) and Tap them to pair them. After successful pairing, the headphone’s name will be moved to the top of the connection list and it should say “Connected” next to the name.
iphone how to settings bluetooth


iphone other devices settings


Now that you’re paired, the name should appear in this list even if you turn off the headphones, even though it says “Not Connected”. Should you ever want your iPhone to forget (aka unpair) your headphones, you can also tap the “i” in the blue circle to bring up that option. This can sometimes come in handy when you’re having trouble reconnecting your headphones.


    1. Go to settings and select Bluetooth.
    2. Make sure Bluetooth is on, then tap Pair a new device. This will take you to a list of nearby devices in pairing mode. Your headphones should appear here.
    3. Choose your headphones and once “connected” appears in the Bluetooth device name, you’re good to go.
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    Many of the latest Garmin watches now offer on-watch music storage and offline playback. This means you can connect your running headphones directly to your watch and listen to music while you run without carrying your phone. Not sure if your Garmin watch supports music? Check out this complete list Garmin watches with music functions.

    To pair your Bluetooth headphones with a Garmin watch:

    1. When your headphones are in pairing mode, press and Hold down the up button on your Garmin (the middle of the three on the left).
    2. Scroll down to music and select this option with the Start/Stop button.
    3. Next, scroll and choose headphones and then Add new.
    4. Garmin is looking for nearby headphones and you can Choose your headphones as soon as they appear on the list.

    Note: After the initial pairing, subsequent runs will require you to navigate to the music settings and reconnect your headphones each time. There is no automatic connection.

    garmin forerunner music

    Gear editor Amanda Furrer uses Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music, which can store around 500 songs.

    Trevor Rab


    The Coros Vertix 2 is currently the only Coros watch to offer 32GB of music storage for your favorite tracks. If you’re wondering how to download music to your Coros watch, this explanatory video provides a great guide Blow-by-blow instructions. To pair your Bluetooth headphones with the Coros Vertix 2:

    1. Press and Press and hold the back button (bottom right).
    2. Navigate to music icon in the tool box.
    3. Next, Press the digital dial to start searching for nearby headphones.
    4. Select your headphones to connect.

    Apple watch

    1. Go to settings and select Bluetooth.
    2. On this screen you will see devices you are already paired with along with a button to do so Turn on Bluetooth and from. Make sure it’s turned on.
    3. Check if your headphones are in pairing mode, and then Choose your headphones from the list.

    Note: With the Apple Watch, your headphones should automatically reconnect every time you plug them in to run.

    How to switch between devices

    Okay, so you’re back from your run just in time to jump on that Zoom call. But you need to quickly switch from pairing your headphones with your phone or watch to your laptop. Should be easy right? Not always.

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    Apple devices

    If you’re a fully paid member of the Apple ecosystem with an Apple iPhone, Macbook, and Airpods, it’s pretty much seamless. Other headphones can sometimes be fiddlier.

    1. Navigate to menu bar on your MacBook.
    2. press the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.
    3. choose yours AirPods.

    other devices

    Headphones, as a rule, do not support simultaneous connection with two devices. Depending on the headphones, running watch, and laptop you’re using, you may need to disconnect your headphones from one device before they connect to the other. This is how you will do it.

    1. Navigate to settings
    2. Choose Bluetooth
    3. Decide separate
    4. Return to Settings and select Bluetooth
    5. Choose your headphones from the list of previously paired devices.

    Having trouble connecting?

    Once you’ve paired your running headphones with your phone for the first time, they should connect automatically when you take them out of the case or turn them on. (The good guys do anyway.) That’s not necessarily the case with your running watch.

    As mentioned, Bluetooth can also be temperamental. If you’re having trouble connecting, try the following:

    • Check if your buds have juice and are turned on.
    • Turn your headphones off and on again.
    • Turn off Bluetooth on your phone or turn the watch off and on again.
    • Place your headphones back into the charging case and remove them.
    • Make sure the headphones are not currently connected to another device.

    Still no joy? You may have to force your smartphone or watch to do this Forget the pairing and go through the initial setup process again. We’re sorry.

    This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may find the same content in a different format or more information on their website.

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