7 Typical Problems With Beats Headphones & Earbuds

Are you planning on jumping on the Beats hype?

It would be good to know what possible problems you can encounter with this headphone brand.

Here are some of the problems you can encounter with Beats headphones:

1. Beats Headphones Won’t Turn On

Are you finding yourself not being able to turn on your Beats Headphones?

First of all, make sure that your headphones have power. It need not be fully charged, but there must be some power to test.

If your headphones still don’t turn on, you can try doing a reset.

For those using the PowerBeats 3 and BeatsX:

  • Hold the power button and volume down for 10 seconds.
  • Wait for the LED indicator to flash, then release the buttons.
  • Your headphones should be reset.

For PowerBeats 2:

  • Plug your headphones into a power source, such as a DC charger or a power bank.
  • Hold the power/pair and volume down button for 10 seconds.
  • Your headphones should be reset after this step.

Resetting your Beats headphones is the last solution for any issues you may encounter with Beats headphones.

It’s important to know how to do it, as they can solve many of the drastic problems you may get along the way.

And unlike resetting computers or smartphones, resetting your Beats headphones won’t be as tedious. You don’t need to reinstall apps and login credentials, which makes resetting easier.

Another possible solution is to check for firmware updates for your Beats headphones.

If you use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, having the latest firmware installed on your device keeps your headphones updates.

For those using Android, you can download the Beats app to update your headphones’ firmware.

The Android Beats app needs at least Android 6 or Marshmallow to work. Linking your Beats headphones to the app allows you to get firmware updates, which are pushed through the app.

For those who want to update their Beats headphones through your computer, you can download the Beats Updater app and connect your headphones with a micro USB to USB cable that can do data transfers.

2. Beats Updater on my Computer Does not Recognize my Headphones

You can use your computer to update the firmware of your Beats headphones.

Unlike your smartphone or tablet, which supports wireless connectivity and updates, you can only update the headphone firmware on a computer via a wired connection.

In case your computer doesn’t recognize your headphones for the firmware update, here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure that you are using a cable that’s compatible with data transfers. Cables that come default with smartphones are data transfer compatible.
  • To check if the cable is data-transfer compatible, try plugging in another device and see if you are prompted for action (e.g., read files, charge-only, tether, etc.).
  • If you are asked to select an action or a window opens with the contents of your device, then the cable is capable of data transfer.
  • Plug your Beats headphones and the cable into a USB port. Refrain using a USB hub for this purpose.
  • Turn off, then turn on again your Beats headphones.
  • Reset your Beats headphones and restart your computer.
  • Unplug your cable, then plug it again and see if the updater recognizes your headphones.

3. One side of Beats Headphones is Not Working

One of the most annoying things that can happen when listening to your Beats headphones is that one side goes dead.

It happens, whether you use Bluetooth or a wired connection.

So how do you solve this problem?

For wired headphones: 

  • Make sure that the cable is connected on both ends. Unplug and re-plug the cable until it locks or clicks in place.
  • If there is still one side missing, try using another cable.
  • If your headphones can be used wirelessly, try connecting without cables and see if there’s any sound.
  • If there’s sound on both sides, it means the cable is faulty. Otherwise, try checking for a firmware update.
  • Should there be no sound on one side after a firmware update, it means there’s a hardware issue, and you may need a replacement for the damaged side.

For wireless connections:

  • Try updating the firmware of your Beats headphones.
  • If it does not work, try resetting your headphones.
  • Should that not work, it’s likely that one side is damaged and needs to be checked.

4. Beats Cable is Not Working

As a wired connection has less latency than a wired connection, it makes a good choice to use, especially if you’re relaxing in one place.

And if you’re watching a movie on your tablet or computer, latency matters because it will cause a delay in the audio vis-à-vis the video.

Another advantage of using the cable of your Beats headphones is the built-in remote and microphone.

Now, if you think you’re having trouble with your cable, here’s what you can do:

  • Unplug and re-plug the cable and make sure it clicks or locks into place.
  • If there are issues, try using another cable.
  • For those whose connections get interrupted when using a wired connection, the damage is likely in the middle of the cable.
  • You can try looking for the disconnection and solder it or get a replacement cable. The latter is a more practical solution and is not tedious.
  • If the damage is on the plug, you can opt for a new cable or get a replacement TRRS 3.5mm plug.

5. Beats Headphones are Not Pairing

One of the most problematic issues with any Bluetooth headphones is pairing.

There are times that you’re able to see your headphones in the list of available devices, but you’re not able to pair them.

If you’re facing this issue with your Beats headphones, here’s what you can do.

Check the Location

  • Your device and Beats headphones should be within 30 feet of each other if you can keep them closer, the better.
  • Move your device and headphones away from other Bluetooth devices, microwaves, wireless routers, and other devices that emit radio waves.

Forget Device then Re-Pair your Beats Headphones

  • For iOS devices, disconnect your Beats headphones, then open the Settings on your device. Tap the “i” or Info button beside your headphones, then select Forget This Device.
  • For Android devices, open the Settings and go to Connectivity. Click on Bluetooth, then look for your headphones on the list. Click the gear icon and select Unpair.
  • For Mac, open the System Preferences and select Bluetooth. Look for your Beats headphones in the list, then select Forget Device.
  • For Windows computers, open the Settings and go to Devices. Open Bluetooth and select your headphones in the list. Click on the Remove button and confirm the action.

After you do this, try pairing your Beats headphones again.

If that does not work, reset your Beats headphones.

6. Paired, but no Sound is Coming Out

You’ve managed to pair your Beats headphones, but you notice there isn’t any sound coming out.

How do you solve this problem?

Check the sound settings:

  • For iOS phones and tablets, open your Settings and open the Bluetooth menu. Select your Beats headphones from the list.
  • For Mac computers, open the System Preferences, select Sound, then make sure your Beats headphones are the selected output and input for sound.
  • For PCs, open the Sound Settings and click on your Beats as the preferred playback and recording device.
  • For Android Devices, open the Connections settings in the Menu. Select Bluetooth and click on your Beats headphones in the list.

Check the Volume levels:

Many people overlook the Volume level and don’t realize it immediately:

  • Make sure that your headphones and device are turned on.
  • Play any song or video that’s stored locally on your device. Avoid using streaming services for this test.
  • Adjust the volume on your headphones and device.

7. There’s Latency on my Beats Headphones

Latency is unavoidable, unfortunately.

No matter what you do, you are bound to get latency or that delay in the audio.

But you can do something to make it less noticeable.

To give you an idea of latency for headphones, a wired connection has around 5 – 10 ms of latency, making it barely there. Meanwhile, wireless connections will have around 34 – 300 ms of latency.

That’s why, if you’re using a wired connection with your Beats and you’re experiencing latency, the problem lies with the video itself. It could be the streaming or the actual rendering of the video that was uploaded.

But for wireless Beats headphones, you can still make some fixes.

You should also be reading our article which talks about How Durable Are Beats Headphones?

To help you understand the latency problem, four factors contribute to it:

  • Interference
  • Distance between devices
  • Bluetooth codecs
  • Bluetooth version.

The first two points have been explained earlier.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth headphones run best when used with a codec certified for it.

And since Apple owns beats, it works best when using the AAC and SBC codec. Thus, you get the best results when using Beats headphones with Apple devices.

Meanwhile, if you use your Beats headphones with non-AAC or SBC codec devices, you can expect them to work, but there will be latency.

The aptX codec on Beats headphones will yield a latency of 165 ms to give you an idea.

When it comes to the Bluetooth version, if your devices have two versions of Bluetooth, you will only get the benefits of the lower version.

Thus, if Beats Solo Pro headphones use 5.0 and pair it with a smartphone that only uses 4.1, your headphones will only perform at the latter level.

But it’s not always that you get to have a compatible codec or the same Bluetooth versions.

Here are other ways to deal with latency with your Beats headphones.

Fixing Beats Headphones Latency on Windows:

Assuming you have reset your headphones, you can try installing any compatible codecs that Beat headphones work best with, although it already supports SBC.

Luckily, one of the more recent updates of Windows 10 rolled out with support for Bluetooth AAC.

Before trying other fixes, it’s highly recommended to try getting the AAC support.

You should also update the drivers of your Bluetooth system. Outdated drivers are also a cause of latency.

  • You can update the Bluetooth drivers by going to the Device Manager and right-clicking the arrow beside Bluetooth. 
  • Look for your headphone name, right-click, then click on Update Driver. 
  • Follow the prompts to proceed.

If you use Windows 10, you can take advantage of its troubleshooter to correct common problems, including Bluetooth-related issues. 

  • Right-click the speaker icon in the lower right corner of the taskbar and click on the Troubleshoot Sound Problems.
  • Choose your Bluetooth headphones in the list that appears.
  • Follow the prompt to initiate the troubleshooting.

Fixing Bluetooth Latency on Mac computers

You shouldn’t have any problems with Bluetooth latency when using Beats with your Mac computer. 

For one, Macs have native support for AAC codec, which Beats headphones work best with. 

But, if, for some reason, you’re still experiencing latency, here’s what you can do. 

Delete old Bluetooth Files

Purging your system of old Bluetooth files will help your Mac perform better when it comes to Bluetooth connectivity:

  • On the Finder, click Go and choose Go to Folder.
  • Type /Library/Preferences, then click Go.
  • In the window that appears, look for com.apple.Bluetooth.plist then right-click and select Move to Trash.
  • Repeat this process, but instead, type ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost after selecting Go to Folder.
  • Look for the file com.apple.Bluetooth.xxxxxxxx, where “xxxxxxxx” is a unique alpha-numeric code that differs from each computer and Move to Trash.
  • After deleting the said file, restart your Mac and try re-pairing your Bluetooth Headphones.

Mac Bluetooth Module Reset

Here’s another option for fixing Bluetooth-related issues for Mac computers.

  • Press and hold the Shift and Option keys at the same time. The Menu bar will appear with the Bluetooth menu.
  • Click on Debug, then select Remove all Devices to unpair Bluetooth devices currently paired with your Mac.
  • Repeat the process, but instead of clicking Remove All Devices, select Reset Bluetooth Module.  
  • Try re-pairing your Bluetooth headphones and other devices.

Note that iOS devices already have native AAC support, so you’re pretty much set there. 

Android Devices 

The newer Android devices now have better support for the AAC codec that Beats headphones support best.

But, should you still encounter latency, the only solution is to increase the performance setting.

It may cost more power, but it will mitigate latency problems.

General Pros and Cons of Beats Headphones:

An Impressive Noise-Canceling Feature:

If you want some peace of mind while listening to your favorite songs, the noise-canceling feature of Beats headphones will allow you to zone out and immerse yourself into the music or video game you’re playing.

If you’re trying to study and need music to concentrate, Beats won’t let you down.

Impressive Battery Life:

You won’t have a problem with power as Beats headphones boast longevity.

You can get as much as 22 hours with the noise-canceling feature on. You can take them on long trips, and you may have power left when you get to your destination.

Just don’t forget to follow travel regulations concerning the use of wireless devices.

Louder than Usual When Compared to Other Headphones:

This is a strong feature that allows you to take off the stress on your smartphone or laptop as the headphones do the amplification.

Your phone uses less power as most of the driving is handled by the headphones.

Disadvantages of Beats Headphones:

  • They have too much bass.
  • The build isn’t the best.
  • It costs more than other headphones.
  • Full potential is realized only when using Apple products.


The True Value of Beats Headphones

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