On OSX Sierra, I can no longer select a Bluetooth Audio device for sound output. I can see the Bluetooth head set is connected and I can select momentarily under Sound Output (see attached screenshot). However, within a few seconds, the Bluetooth device de-selects itself and reverts back to Internal Speakers.

A few notes:

  • I have tried a few different Bluetooth headsets and none pair with my Mac. They pair with my iPhone and other Macs so I can rule out an issue with the headphones
  • I have tried deleting Bluetooth plists and re-pairing. That did not work.
  • I have tried deleting plists related to audio with no luck
  • yes, I've rebooted my computer.

This strikes me as an issue with core audio but I'm not sure how to address this without re-installing the entire OS


  • are you sure that the headset doesn't connect to your iPhone instead? I had this problem with one and I had to disable blutooth on my iPhone when I wanted to use it with my Mac, otherwise it would always prefer to connect to the iPhone... – Gio Valerio Apr 4 '18 at 0:19
  • 2
    Yeah, positive. The bluetooth headset does connect to osx but it loses the connection soon after – mcranston18 Apr 4 '18 at 0:52
  • This is crazy. I have a brand new Yamaha Bluetooth receiver - paiurs perfectly with the iPhone, iPad ... but High Sierra reports that it cannot be used for audio output. Looks to be connected, but iTunes takes a while to try and then fails. Anyone having any good luck? – perkiset Jun 26 '18 at 18:49
  • @perkiset this was a nightmare to fix. There was something out of sync between high sierra, the blue tooth driver, and audio driver. I tried re-installing with no luck. I ended up re-formatting my comp. – mcranston18 Jun 26 '18 at 21:22
  • Did anyone found a solution to this? – Atul Vaibhav Dec 8 '18 at 16:31

I will add the answer.

Looking through discussions.apple.com, as usual, yields bad advice: reset, reformat, disk cleanup. Essentially do a bunch of random nonsense until the problem sorts itself out.

Before you do anything overly-complex or even irreversible. I recommend you try what I call the monkey's gambit:

  1. Unpair
  2. Forget Device
  3. Pair
  4. Repeat steps 1, 2, 3 a lot

(Look through comments for specific instructions)

Even when it seems like it's doing nothing, keep doing it. It took me 4 or 5 tries. I was nearly convinced it was the hardware, but then all of a sudden I'm back to listening to mediocre music on a pretty good bluetooth speaker.

This might have been expedited if I rebooted my computer, but I really didn't feel like doing that.

TL;DR please do not reformat or reset your computer without running the monkey's gambit for a while; it might save you a more major headache.

To be fair, this worked for me, but it is entirely possible your system is in a state where this will not help it. I do feel compelled, however, to claim that if you can see the device connected in the bluetooth menulet then it is probably not a hardware problem.

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  • I wish I could upvote once for the answer and once for the writing style :) – Billy Moon Aug 30 '19 at 9:25

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