Spotify users get to enjoy an enormous catalog of music to dive into and explore, and this music streaming giant is no stranger to connectivity and compatibility, so naturally, Spotify works with headphones too.
However, some users have found that there are occasional issues nonetheless.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the problems that cause your headphones to stop working with Spotify and how to solve them.
1. Eliminate Bluetooth Interference to Ensure your Headphones Work with Spotify
Headphones have been evolving over the years and one of the most significant changes that have occurred is the move to wireless connections.
Wireless headphones offer users more physical freedom when listening to music or podcasts and Spotify has ensured that users who prefer to go wireless are fully supported via the app.
However, despite Spotify’s compatibility with wireless devices, sometimes issues do occur.
It’s important to understand that wireless headphones rely on Bluetooth to connect to your device.
Once a Bluetooth connection has been made between your device and your headphones, Spotify can play music through them.
The problem is that Bluetooth connections can be prone to interference by a number of factors and, when this happens, your headphones may stop working when you are listening on Spotify.
Here are a few examples of the interference that can play havoc with your headphones and Spotify listening experience:
- Wi-Fi Routers
- Other Bluetooth devices, such as speakers
- Baby Monitors
- Microwave ovens
- Bodies of water & large metallic objects
- Too great a distance between your device and headphones
Signal interference from other devices is a fundamental flaw that all Bluetooth devices are susceptible to. The reason for this is, as HeadphoneHonesty.com explain is:
“Bluetooth operates on the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The ISM frequencies are unregulated, and an FCC license isn’t needed to operate a device on them. This makes it exceptionally appealing to manufacturers. That’s why these frequencies are overloaded with all sorts of devices.”
The problem is, that in a world of wireless technology, there are a lot of signals all competing for space. For example, your Wi-Fi router at home is using the exact same frequency to make its connection, too!
If you’re finding that your headphones are cutting out when listening on Spotify, check to see if you have any objects or devices nearby that may be causing interference. Once you’ve identified what the cause is, you can put distance between your headphones and the disruptive element or switch off the device that is causing the problem.
If it is not possible to reduce or eliminate Bluetooth interference, then it may be worth switching to a wired connection for the time being.
Why Distance Matters with Bluetooth Headphones & Listening to Spotify:
You may have noticed that we mentioned that another source of interference can be caused by your Bluetooth headphones being too far away from the source device.
If you listen to Spotify on your wireless headphones, but walk away from your computer or phone on which you are running the Spotify app, the Bluetooth signal will be weaker.
The result of this weakened connection can take the form of playback issues such as audio stuttering or pausing altogether.
Remember, Bluetooth devices work best at close range. Keep the source device close to you and your headphones to ensure smooth and uninterrupted playback when using Spotify.
2. Ensure that your Windows PC does not have the Spotify App Set to Mute
If you use Spotify to listen to music or podcasts at work in the office, then the chances are that you need to use headphones in order not to disturb your coworkers.
Moreover, many PC users prefer to use headphones to listen to Spotify because they allow for a higher-fidelity listening experience.
However, if you’re not getting any sound at all from your headphones whilst Spotify is playing, then the problem may be solved by checking your Volume Mixer settings in Windows.
The Volume Mixer is an important factor to consider when playing audio on your Windows computer and, as MakeUseOf.com explains:
“You can also use it to change the volume level for specific apps and devices. If the volume level for the Spotify is on mute or at an inaudible level, you will not hear the sound when playing audio.”
This is why it is so important that you familiarize yourself with the Volume Mixer to ensure that Spotify can play through your headphones and is not set to mute.
Here’s How to Access & Adjust the Volume Mixer & Ensure Spotify Plays through your Headphones:
- Open Spotify and start playing a track.
- Open ‘Settings’ from the Start menu.
- Navigate to ‘System’ and then ‘Sound’
- Select the ‘Volume Mixer’
- Ensure that your headphones are selected in the ‘Output’.
- Now scroll down to where the apps are listed and locate Spotify.
- Adjust the slider for Spotify and ensure that it is not set to mute.
Please also read our article about common headphone problems with Windows 11.
3. Disabling Audio Enhancements can Fix Headphone Issues on Spotify
While we’re on the topic of using Spotify on a Windows PC, it’s worth taking a look at a common problem that has affected many headphone users.
Windows has a feature called ‘Enhanced Audio’ that should theoretically do precisely what you’d hope – make your listening experience even better.
However, not all headphones play ball with this feature, as some models of headphones will actually experience static when trying to listen to Spotify with this feature turned on.
This is due to the fact that high-end headphones come with their own built-in enhancements and any external input from your computer is actually interfering with the quality of sound that your headphones are producing.
Thankfully, disabling Audio Enhancements is straightforward, just use the steps found below:
- Open ‘Settings’ on your PC by pressing the Windows and ‘I’ keys.
- Navigate to ‘Sound’ and select your headphones.
- Toggle ‘Enhance Audio’ to its OFF position.
- Return to the Spotify app and play a track to check that this solution has worked.
4. ‘Forget’ and Re-pair your Headphones so that they Work on Spotify Again
Your phone and tablet are very capable when it comes to connecting with Bluetooth headphones and ensuring that you can listen to apps such as Spotify.
However, they also have the habit of connecting to the last device previously used automatically – sometimes, that’s not always the headphones you are attempting to use.
Moreover, the list of previously connected Bluetooth peripherals can grow over time, and your device may list your pair of headphones more than once.
All of these Bluetooth connections listed on your device can create some confusion, both for the user and the source device. The result is a lack of connectivity and/or the wrong Bluetooth headphones connecting. If this happens, Spotify won’t be playing on the headphones you want it to.
If you’re having problems connecting your Bluetooth headphones to use on Spotify, or your mobile device keeps connecting to the wrong pair of headphones, then it’s worth learning how to ‘forget’ Bluetooth devices.
How to Forget a Bluetooth Device & Re-pair on iOS:
- Open ‘Settings’ on your iOS device.
- Tap ‘Bluetooth’
- Locate all and any Bluetooth devices that you wish to remove.
- Tap the info icon beside any Bluetooth device.
- Tap ‘Forget this Device’
- Ensure that your Headphones are switched on and Bluetooth is enabled.
- Find your Headphones at the bottom of the screen and tap to connect.
With your headphones now properly connected again, Spotify should have no problem playing music or podcasts through them.
5. Check the Volume on your Device
Sometimes trying to diagnose the problem can be rather tricky. When I had a headphone issue, I realized the problem was in my device’s output volume.
This is something many users overlook.
If the output volume on your phone or tablet is too low, then Bluetooth headphones or speakers can cut out.
The headphones/speakers need a greater volume output from the Spotify source to recognize the signal.
I recommend that you ensure the output volume on your device is turned up a little more. This could solve your problem.
General Pros & Cons of Using Headphones with Spotify
Listening to music with a pair of headphones is as much a pleasure as it is sometimes a necessity.
Decent headphones allow listeners to fully immerse themselves in a track, and, moreover, the use of headphones allows for greater freedom to listen when and where we want, all without disturbing others.
Spotify allows users to use headphones to enjoy an enormous selection of songs and podcasts on the go or at home.
By connecting headphones to the source device, Spotify’s library can be discovered and listened to in complete privacy.
- Bluetooth interference will cause playback issues on Spotify.
- PC Volume Mixer settings may need to be adjusted for the Spotify app.
- Windows ‘Audio Enhancements’ can create distortions in playback on Spotify.
- Sometimes Bluetooth Headphones need to be re-paired to establish a connection for Spotify to play through them.
- Bluetooth headphones or speakers won’t always play Spotify tracks if the device output volume is too low.