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When I pair my bluetooth headphones (Bose QC 35) to my MBP running macOS Mojave, they sometimes disconnect a few seconds later. I try turning them off and on again, turning off bluetooth on my phone (in case it's competing for a connection or something), but none of that helps. The only solution I've found is to restart my computer which is really not ideal.

Ideally I'd like to find the cause of this, but it would also be really helpful to find a workaround. For example, is there some kind of driver I could try restarting without having restart my whole computer?

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  • 1
    Just a friendly reminder - if you have an answer or a troubleshooting step - make that an answer please. Comments are for clarifying the question and not for floating potential answers or actual answers.
    – bmike
    Dec 2, 2018 at 22:24
  • @bmike, And if it turns out to be a completely incorrect answer? Should we delete it afterwards? Feb 7, 2019 at 13:22
  • @IulianOnofrei that would be an excellent question on Ask Different Meta
    – bmike
    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:18
  • I have the same problem on Catalina. Before upgrading to Catalina it was working fine. Ufter uğgrade there were glitches and now it started to disconnect after 15-20 seconds. Nov 11, 2019 at 8:32
  • 1
    For additional information in trying to narrow down the issue, when mine "disconnects", it still shows as connected to my MacBook, but attempting to select it from the output devices list does nothing. The sound icon does a kind of searching animation, but that's it. discussions.apple.com/thread/250793838
    – mix3d
    Nov 18, 2019 at 18:55

16 Answers 16

49

Try resetting the Bluetooth module.

Shift-Option click the BT menu bar item > Debug > Reset the Bluetooth module.

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  • For me the reconnection of the headset from Bluetooth -> Bose QC35 -> Connect is enough.
    – onik
    Feb 20, 2019 at 15:03
  • 1
    Didn't work on cataline with Sony WH-CH500 headphone. Nov 11, 2019 at 8:34
  • 12
    On Catalina, it still disconnects after a longer timeout now, like 2 minutes.
    – Peter
    Nov 14, 2019 at 9:56
  • Clicking Connect again on the device in the bluetooth application worked to resolve the issue for a single session, but if it went into idle or reconnected the device later the same issue would happen. Resetting the module had a more lasting effect. It still disconnects occasionally but much less often. Aug 21, 2020 at 16:57
  • Worked for me on Catalina. The only bluetooth device I have connected is my magic mouse.
    – RogerW
    Sep 18, 2020 at 8:44
42

I found that Bluetooth actually works for all devices but for the audio ones. Rebooting the Bluetooth module didn't do anything, but killing coreaudiod solved my problem for good.

sudo kill -9 `ps ax | grep 'coreaudiod' | grep -v grep | awk '{print $1}'`
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  • Bluetooth would for a few seconds and then disconnect, never showing my headphones under the Sound menu bar icon. This finally fixed it for me. Thanks! Apr 26, 2021 at 19:02
  • Worked great for me. After killing the process it immediately restarts and works as intended. You cal also kill it from activity monitor by searching for coreaudiod
    – Cole
    Jul 7, 2021 at 22:17
  • Worked for me :) Oct 14, 2021 at 8:57
  • This worked unlike the suggestion to reboot the Bluetooth module, and should be the accepted answer Nov 9, 2021 at 15:10
19

I also had no success with the other answers mentioned here. Found this suggestion on Reddit to kill the coreaudiod process and it finally solved the problem without having to restart my computer.

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    Is there a way to know via system logs or something to know coreaudiod has to be killed so it can be automated?
    – drfence
    Sep 2, 2020 at 22:44
  • This worked perfectly for me. After killing it, the process immediately restarted and then everything worked fine.
    – Cole
    Jul 7, 2021 at 22:15
9

None of the above mentioned worked for me, and then I tried this:

  • Go to System Preferences > Network > From the side pane, Delete Bluetooth PAN using the minus sign (-) at the bottom.
  • Then use the Plus Sign (+) to create a new one using the drop-down menu.

The system will re-apply profile settings and you should be good to go after that.

7

I had the same problem after upgrading to Mac OSX Catalina with my Sennheiser HD 4.0 BT. I followed this guide and it worked for me.

  1. Delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.Bluetooth.plist
  2. Clear PRAM according to Apple's instructions by rebooting and holding down Command + Option + P + R for roughly 20 seconds until either the second startup sound plays or Apple logo appears and disappears for a second time.
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  • 3
    Links may break, rendering your answer useless. Please edit the relevant parts of the linked page directly into your answer so it stands on it own.
    – nohillside
    Jan 29, 2020 at 6:36
  • AirPod Pros were immediately disconnecting on reconnect. Only thing I could do was Pair again. Resetting BT module didn't work. Resetting the PRAM here did work for me.
    – nitsujri
    Apr 1, 2020 at 8:33
  • This worked for me. thanks!
    – SyncMaster
    Jun 13, 2020 at 5:39
6

Had same issue while using Bowers&Wilkins PX7, couple of days everything was fine, then connected/disconnected hell started.

None of the provided solutions would solve issue for Bowers.

Turned out that a solution was from the other side: forgetting all devices from the headset itself restored the sound, hooray!

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    This! To factory reset JBL speakers hold [+] and [|>] buttons till the speaker shuts down, then re-pair it again.
    – Benny K
    Jun 6, 2020 at 14:54
  • Yes, this is the only thing that really helped! Thanks a lot!
    – mvp
    Jul 16, 2020 at 18:32
  • same here with me
    – Dom Barker
    Apr 28, 2021 at 11:48
  • That did the trick for me as well.
    – Nighto
    Aug 11, 2021 at 18:03
5

I tried all these things, but they didn't work. Eventually switched my wifi to 5GHz and the problem went away. Ref: Bluetooth and WiFi interfering with one another since Yosemite

2
  • I have my wifi off and it's still not working.
    – O.rka
    Feb 21, 2020 at 23:26
  • In my case this was very helpful. I have switched my fews WiFis to 5Ghz at home and issue disappeared on Macbook 2019. Approved answer to reset Bluetooth didn't help. So to summarise main problem is that Bluetooth uses almost same frequency band in 2.4GHz range as your WiFi at 2.4GHz (if not switched to 5GHz).
    – laimison
    Aug 20, 2020 at 23:23
2

The Bose Connect app on iPhone is my go-to for this situation. Typically the issue is that my QC 35's are connecting to other devices (Apple TV, iPad, etc.) instead of my Mac and the app allows me to disconnect the headphones from that device and then connect them to my Mac (all from within the app!).

0
2

What worked for me:

  • Hold Option + Shift
  • Click the Bluetooth menu bar icon
  • Go to Debug
  • Click Remove all devices

Reconnect your Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth menu bar icon > Debug > Remove all Devices

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    Nope. Does not working. On MacOS Catalina, every 5 mins or so, the bluetooth always disconnected, even after removing all devices and then connecting that one device via bluetooth. The device stay connected, I still can see it in the Audio devices, I can select it as preferred output, but the Mac keeps playing the audio through default audio. I have to turn bluetooth off, turn it on again, and then reconnect to the device. And then 5 mins later, Mac will route the audio through default audio output again. Mar 19, 2020 at 5:55
2

I know this is an old thread but this might be an answer to those that have already tried resetting the BT module, disconnecting and reconnecting all devices, factory resetting the devices, resetting the SMC.

To start with, I was completely outraged that all the bluetooth headsets that I own weren't disconnecting at all from the Windows machines that I own but ALWAYS were disconnecting from my Macs and when I was near my Mac with my iOS devices (3 iphones (1 x SE, 2 x 11 Pro) which are connected to 2 iWatches which I use for testing software I was a little inspired and moved all of my apple devices from my workspace area and had a pair of cheap BT headsets paired and connected with my Mac and they haven't disconnected at all in more than 24 hrs.

TL;DR: If you have keyboards or watches or other wireless BT devices connected to iOS devices (phones, tables, other) keep them away from the MacOS device you have connected with your headsets or headphones and I guarantee that they won't get disconnected.

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    So the choice is BT keyboard/mouse combo or BT earphones? Wow cheers apple, I guess I have to buy airpods now. Feb 2, 2021 at 16:47
2

I have the same problem with momentum 3. There is no luck after resetting the BT module, disconnecting and reconnecting all devices. Then I power off it and power on, then the problem gone.

1

In my case I had my headphones connected to charge via the keyboard despite the lack of power. I think this may have confused the blutooth as once I connected back to the keyboard and disconnected after the low power warning went away then it could connect as normal?

I hope this helps someone else.

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  • I think the error has something to do with the headphones connecting to charge via USB at some point. If anyone else can confirm let me know, but I seem to be able to re-create the error now at will. Feb 20, 2019 at 6:07
  • The QC35 disconnects when charging. I don't have an USB-cable in mine except for actually charging. Feb 12, 2020 at 14:34
1

Tried all of the options described here but none of them helped. My problem was that I tried to improve sound quality by modifying bluetooth audio options using Bluetooth explorer from additional tools for Xcode. Suddenly it stopped working after some update to Mac OS and the tool itself was crashing when I was trying to access it. Solution was to download additional tools for Xcode with lower version then 11.4 (version 9 worked for me) and then resetting it from there. Some more details here

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In Activity Monitor double click the bluetoothaudiod process and Force Quit it

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I restarted my computer and it worked.

1

My problem resolved after:

  • Fully quit itunes/spotify both mac and iphone (quit and swipe up)
  • Remove device from bluetooth prefs on mac
  • Reset bluetooth module (from the answer above, "Shift-Option click the BT menu bar item > Debug > Reset the Bluetooth module")
  • On other devices (iPhone, iPad), go to Settings > Bluetooth > Tap the "i" next to 1 or 2 connections for the same device and tap forget the device. In my case it was "Bose NC 700" and "LE-Bose NC 700"
  • Hold the pairing button to reset bluetooth on my headphones (in my case they had to be charging and hold for 30 seconds)
  • Re-pair them to iphone, re-pair them to mac
  • Success

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