Fix: MacBook Air / Pro Not Detecting AirPods or Bluetooth Headphones

Many MacBook Pro/Air owners couldn’t connect AirPods and Bluetooth headphones. Some MB owners shared their frustrations online by questioning the macOS compatibility with the wireless headphones. Apple uses the traditional BT technology installed in Windows, Linux, and Android devices. Let’s dig deeper and find out why the AirPods or wireless headphones find it hard to connect with the macOS machine.

Fix: MacBook Air / Pro Not Detecting AirPods or Bluetooth Headphones

Why is my Mac rejecting my AirPods or Bluetooth headphones?

Bluetooth technology supports reverse compatibility. A BT 4.0 device can connect with BT 5.0 device. Your MacBook (BT 4.0) wireless supports headphones (BT 5.0) without complications. You may encounter signal issues or minor latency, but it won’t reject the connection. I have listed valid reasons we have connectivity issues between macOS and AirPods or headphones.

Bluetooth Technology Limitations:

My headphones have BT 4.0 version, and the Linux laptop has BT 5.1 version. I never encountered connectivity challenges with the lower version because the transmitter is reverse-compatible. The makers designed the Bluetooth 5.0 module to support BT 4.0 devices. However, the BT 5.0 module has next-gen features, and you can’t unleash the technology’s full potential.

Bluetooth Module Bugs:

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Forget about MacBook Pro/Air. Take an Android phone, and you will encounter multiple bugs from time to time. I noticed bugs and glitches while transferring files or connecting wireless headphones. I got my hands on a BT device in 2007, and the technology has come a long way. There are bugs and glitches in the latest BT technology.

Dual Connections:

Manufacturers have taken wireless headphones technology to the next level. Connect one headphone to the smartphone and MacBook at the same time. You can switch between devices with one click. Check the settings whether you allowed the device to connect with MacBook.

No Juice Left:

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Wireless devices have a setting to disconnect all connections to conserve energy. The battery degrades faster when you push the charge below 10%. The headphones might have disabled the functions due to low battery levels. Never leave the headphones charged overnight because overcharge degrades the battery.

Slow Functions:

My headphones take ten seconds to prepare the BT module for the session. I don’t know why the wireless devices take time to load the BT module. I own JBL-manufactured headphones. Your product might be taking time to load functions.

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Hygiene:

Millions neglect the AirPods or wireless audio products sanitary. Dust is the natural enemy of electronic products. Water damage is another possibility for the BT module failure, but we can’t conclude. I have provided a guide on how to clean the AirPods or wireless headphones. We don’t want you to damage the internal components while cleaning the product.

macOS Bugs and Glitches:

Apple releases a new macOS edition each year. No one can argue that twelve months is not ample to release a stable macOS build. It’s not surprising to find Bluetooth connectivity issues on the latest macOS edition. I have spoken about how you can counter macOS bugs and glitches below.

Fix: MacBook Air Pro Not Detecting AirPods or Bluetooth Headphones

I request readers to avoid using third-party tools to resolve macOS problems. Never fall for unknown Chinese programs because they can breach security. Meanwhile, you can focus on finding the root cause of the Bluetooth connectivity problem.

Sleepy MacBook Air or Pro

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Electronic goods don’t get enough sleep because they don’t want to load programs, files, documents, etc. The sleep mode has changed the trajectory of the MacBook’s sleep hours. The software and hardware need a few hours of shut-eye for optimal performance.

1. Click the Apple icon.

2. Select Shut Down from the Apple menu.

3. Click on the Shutdown button.

4. Let the Pro model sit there for twenty minutes.

The macOS system files, drivers, and services restart in the next session. You removed bugs and glitches in the macOS by shutting down and powering on the MacBook notebook.

Turn off Bluetooth Devices

I have spoken about the Bluetooth bugs and glitches. Turn off the wireless headphones or AirPods for a few minutes. Turn off the MacBook wireless module.

1. Turn off the headphones.

2. Restart the notebook.

3. Wait one minute.

4. Turn on both devices.

Be patient because I have solved BT issues by restarting the module after a minute.

Clean Wireless Headphones or AirPods

Cleaning the AirPods or electronic goods increase the lifespan and decreases the damages. I have laid down a few rules when cleaning wireless devices. Read the entire tutorial twice, then start applying the steps. I request readers to read the guide twice, then take action because I don’t want you to damage the fragile components.

Exterior:

1. Pick up microfiber cloth.

2. Clean the exterior using a dry cloth.

3. Use a dry cloth to rinse the stains and debris.

I forbid the readers to apply water drops or liquid cleaners to remove the stains.

Charging Case:

1. Pick up cotton buds.

2. Clean the internal parts using the cotton buds.

3. You can reach tricky spots using cotton buds.

I forbid the readers to apply water drops or liquid cleaners to remove the debris.

Earpiece and microphone:

1. Pick up cotton buds.

2. Clean the earpiece & microphone using the cotton buds.

3. Clean the debris gently.

4. Kindly don’t apply force while cleaning the earpiece because it bents.

Don’t do this:

1. Do not dump the AirPods or wireless headphones in the water. The goal of the water-resistant technology was never to be used for cleaning.

Don’t push your luck, or you may end up with water-damaged AirPods.

2. Don’t think about using a blunt object to remove the debris in the corners. Using sharp objects increases the damage to delicate internal components. Use cotton buds and take five minutes to clean the touch debris.

Never use liquid cleaners and blunt objects to remove tough stains or debris from the wireless headphone.

Reset AirPods

Restarting the AirPods is not equivalent to resetting the wireless device. Apple has added physical button functions to reset the Bluetooth earphones. Learn how to reset the AirPods and fix the connectivity problems.

1. Return the earphones to the charging case.

2. Turn off the AirPods.

3. Press and hold the Setup button for fifteen seconds.

4. Wait for the LED light to blink.

5. Pair the wireless device with MacBook Air or Pro model.

The AP will delete the connected devices’ data. Pair the AP with other devices again.

Disconnect Other Bluetooth Devices

How many wireless devices are connected to the Mac? Disconnect all wireless devices in the MacBook, and connect AirPods or headphones only.

Kill Bluetooth Driver

We cannot fix driver bugs since they are closed sources. MB owners can kill the drivers from the Terminal and restart the driver. The Apple computer loads the driver and services resolving minor issues temporarily. Killing the driver through the Terminal won’t harm the software or hardware.

1. Click on the Launcher icon.

2. Find and open Terminal from the menu.

3. Type (sudo kill bluetoothd) command.

4. Press the Enter key to register the command.

5. Enter the system password.

6. Press the Enter key to confirm the command.

7. Click on “Terminate” to end the Bluetooth module driver.

8. Wait for a minute.

macOS software disconnects all connections and reconnects the BT devices. Restart the Mac if the BT doesn’t connect the devices again.

Delete MacBook PLIST Preference files

The Bluetooth PLIST file contains the process and preferences. Delete the PLIST file from the MacBook Air and Pro model. The system creates a new file in the next boot, so don’t worry about losing macOS system files. Access the administrator account because we are going to delete a file.

1. Turn off Bluetooth.

2. Launch Finder.

3. Click on “Go” from the top menu, and select Go to folder option.

4. Search for (/Library/Preferences), then press the Enter key.

5. Search for (com.apple/Bluetooth.plist) from the folder.

6. Drag the file to the trash can.

Shut down your MacBook. Give two minutes rest and turn on the Apple computer. Turn on the computer, and connect the wireless device.

Reset SMC in Mac

Apple released MacBook models with the T2 Security Chip in 2018. All MacBooks released in 2018 or later supports the latest security chip. The earlier doesn’t have the security chip, so you have to follow a different set of instructions to reset the SMC.

Notebooks with T2 Security Chip:

1. Turn off the MacBook.

2. Press and hold the left Control key, left Option key, and right Shift key for seven seconds.

3. Press and hold the Power button with the other three kets for another seven seconds.

4. The MacBook will restart continuously, but you keep holding all keys.

5. Release all keys after a few seconds.

Turn on the MacBook Air or Pro model after a minute. The macOS software creates a new SMC file in the next boot.

Bottom Line

MacBook Air or Pro models have high-grade components, including a Bluetooth module. You should visit the Apple service center if the Mac is not connecting with AirPods. Connect the wireless headphones to other Windows, Android, or Linux machines. Reach out to the wireless device manufacturer for further support. You can claim a warranty and get a replacement wireless unit. Let us know which solution resolved AirPods or headphones issues in the MacBook.

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