Can You Use Any Headphones With Mac (Easy Guide!)

Are you unsure how to Use Any Headphones With Mac? We've got your back! And if you run into connection issues, here's what you can do.

Can You Use Any Headphones With Mac
Can You Use Any Headphones With Mac

Bluetooth headphones connecting to Mac problems are uncommon. But they continue to do so. And in these rare cases, non-technical people and those who have recently switched from Windows to Mac may be unsure what to do.

Worse, these malfunctions frequently have multiple causes. These can easily leave anyone in the dark about the best course of action.

That's why we've put together this guide on how to connect or use any headphones with Mac. We also included a list of potential problems and their quick fixes.


If you purchase a headset with a 3.5 mm connector, you can use a headset with headphones and a microphone with a MacBook. You can also buy a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter to convert a headset with a 2.5 mm connector to work with your MacBook system.

Headsets – 3.5 mm

To connect a 3.5 mm headset to your Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro, find the “Audio line out” minijack on the side of your computer and plug the headset's connector into it. Your Mac will detect the headset and make it available to applications automatically.

Using a Headset with an Adapter

If you want to use a 2.5 mm headset with your MacBook or MacBook Pro, plug the headset's connector into the adapter's 2.5 mm port, then into your computer's “Audio line out” minijack. Your Mac will detect the headset and adapter automatically.

Alternative Video: How to connect ANY Bluetooth earbuds/headphones with Macbook Pro

How to connect ANY bluetooth earbuds/headphones with Macbook Pro


Bluetooth Headphones

Through their built-in Bluetooth technology, newer MacBook and MacBook Pro systems can also use a Bluetooth-enabled headset. Bluetooth-enabled headsets can also be purchased from computer and electronics stores, online retailers, and authorized Apple resellers. The headsets come with a USB adapter that plugs into the USB port on your MacBook as well as software to enable Bluetooth control on your computer. You can also enable Bluetooth control via the Apple menu's System Preferences utility.

Furthermore, unlike Bluetooth headphones for TV, which require a separate audio transmitter, connecting Bluetooth headphones to a Mac computer is simple and straightforward. Whether you're using true wireless headphones or standard Bluetooth headphones, a few clicks and you're on your way to an exquisite acoustic experience.

How to Use Any Headphones with Mac in ‘Pairing Mode'

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How to Use Any Headphones with Mac

This varies depending on the brand and model of your headphones. Taotronics SoundLiberty 79, for example, only requires you to open the charging case, whereas other headphones require you to press and hold specific buttons. However, most Bluetooth headphones adhere to the following simple steps:

  • Find the Bluetooth pairing button on your headphones. Some headphones have a dedicated button for this, while others use the power button. To be certain, please consult the owner's manual for your headphones.
  • To make the device discoverable, press the button for a few seconds or until the LED light begins to blink.

How to Enable Bluetooth on a Mac

Now that the Bluetooth on the headphones is in ‘pairing mode,' enable the Bluetooth function on your Mac.

  • Navigate to the Apple menu.
  • Choose System Preferences.
  • To check the status of Bluetooth, click on it.
  • Switch it on.
  • Prepare to pair the devices now!

How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones with a Mac

Once both devices' Bluetooth functions are enabled, the headphones should appear in the list of available hardware on your Mac. To check and initiate pairing, do the following:

  • Navigate to System Preferences.
  • Select Bluetooth.
  • A list of hardware can be found under Devices.
  • Pair the device by clicking the Pair button next to it.

Finally, if there are no connection issues, the devices should pair immediately. However, for a more detailed guide with images, please see our guide on how to connect SONY WF-1000XM3 to Mac.

As you can see, pairing Bluetooth headphones with a Mac is simple. However, if you are unable to establish or maintain a stable connection, read on for step-by-step instructions on troubleshooting Bluetooth headphones and Mac connection issues.

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How to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Connection Issues on a Mac

While connecting Bluetooth headphones to Mac is usually a simple process, there are times when it can be extremely difficult. Mac users are not immune to the common Bluetooth problems.

You will eventually encounter connection issues ranging from difficult pairing to constant disconnections.

The good news is that these concerns are easily addressed. We've included the steps below so you don't have to worry when it happens.

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How to Use Any Headphones with Mac

Bluetooth headphones should be reset

Resetting your headphones clear off problematic connections and solves many other issues. It enables you to start a new configuration and refresh the connections so that the devices can pair faster.

However, to give you a general idea, we have listed the general steps for resetting most Bluetooth headphones.

  • Locate the power button.
  • Hold down the button.
  • Continue pressing until the LED indicator on the headphones flashes blue or red.

If none of these work, your headphones may necessitate a more specialized approach.

Reset the Sound Preferences on your Mac

Personal computers have systems that manage the audio configuration of the unit. This is known as Sound Preferences on Mac computers. It contains several functions that control the audio-related features of the computer.

There are three tabs in it: Output, Input, and Sound Effects.

  • The Output tab lets you choose which audio player (both built-in and installed) to use.
  • The Input tab allows you to specify an input source.
  • The Sound Effects tab allows you to control volume and alerts.

Take note that the Output feature in Sound Preferences manages audio players, including your Bluetooth headphones.

What to Do if Bluetooth Is Not Working on Mac

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Can You Use Any Headphones With Mac
  • A dark Bluetooth icon means the Bluetooth is ready, but no peripherals are connected.
  • If the icon has three dots across, it entails that the Bluetooth function is on with one or more devices linked to the computer.
  • A clear icon signifies that the Bluetooth feature on your device is turned off.
  • If the icon comes with a low battery symbol, it tells you that a device connected to your Mac is running low on battery. Note that you will not see this on all devices.
  • Moreover, an icon with a zigzag line represents an unavailable Bluetooth feature.

Hitting an unavailable Bluetooth issue can be upsetting, but it is not as bad as it seems. You can remedy this glitch by utilizing the subsequent steps.

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Turn the Bluetooth off and on again

  • It’s surprising how merely restarting the Bluetooth feature on your Mac can resolve widespread connection issues. But it sure does!
  • It renews the scanning process and uses a fresher mode to accelerate the search for new devices.
  • Simply toggle off and on the Bluetooth button. This will help you start with a “cleaner” and a faster connection.

Unplug all paired devices

Although Bluetooth is considered advanced technology, it still has significant limitations. One of these is the limited number of devices that can be supported.

Bluetooth specifications state that you can connect up to seven devices to a Mac computer. However, there is a catch.

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How to Use Any Headphones with Mac

You can only connect the maximum number of allowed devices if they are all low data consumers. However, once you connect data-intensive peripherals, the hardware limit drops, allowing you to connect only four or five devices in total. If you believe your Bluetooth has reached its limit, unpair all paired devices and reconnect your Bluetooth headphones.


The MacBook and MacBook Pro systems have a single audio line out minijack that can send both digital and analog audio to headphones or standalone speakers. The minijack is 3.5 mm in diameter and will not accept connectors smaller or larger than that size. Newer MacBook systems can transmit audio through the audio line out minijack as well as accept microphone input.

FAQs About Using Any Headphones With Mac

Can any Bluetooth headphones be used with a Mac?

Mac can connect with non-Apple Bluetooth headphones in the same way that AirPods connectivity isn't limited to Apple devices.

Why aren't my Bluetooth headphones connecting to my Mac?

Select the Apple menu > System Preferences, then Bluetooth. Check to see if your headset is listed. If your headset isn't listed, try connecting with it again. For information on connecting your headset to your Mac, refer to the documentation that came with your headset.

How do I pair Bluetooth headphones with my MacBook Pro?

Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar at the top of your Mac screen and select the headphones you want to pair from the drop-down list. 2. A new menu will appear. Select Connect.

Trina Oralde

I'm a tech writer and contributor who covers the latest in gadgets and technology. I keep my finger on the pulse of the tech world, so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date on the latest with me!


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