Fix problems with using your Surface Headphones

If you run into problems when using your Surface Headphones, here are some steps to try to get things working again.

For problems setting up your headphones, see Fix problems with setting up your Surface Headphones.

Audio problems with Surface Headphones

Try the following steps if you've already paired and set up your headphones, but you're having problems when listening to music or making calls. Start with the Things to try first, and then try the next steps depending on the specific audio problem you're having.

1. Things to try first

After you restart your PC or phone, restart your Surface Headphones. To restart your headphones, press and release the power button to turn them off, wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn them back on.

Connect the 3.5mm audio cable to your headphones and your PC or phone, and then see if audio is working.

  • If audio isn't working, try other steps listed below in this article.

  • If audio is working, the problem is likely to be related to your Bluetooth connection. Try to remove your headphones from your PC or phone, and then pair them again.

1. Remove Surface Headphones from your PC or phone

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.

  2. Select Surface Headphones > Remove device > Yes to confirm.

On iOS:

  1. Open Settings, and then tap Bluetooth.

  2. Tap the i icon next to Surface Headphones, and then tap Forget This Device.

On Android:

  1. Open Bluetooth settings, and then tap the Gear icon next to Surface Headphones.

  2. Tap Unpair.


2. Pair your headphones

After you remove your headphones from your PC or phone, pair them again. For more info, Set up Surface Headphones.

In the Surface Audio app, check to see if a firmware update is available for your headphones. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

For more info about how to reset your headphones, see Reset Surface Headphones. After you reset them, try to pair again.

2. Try to fix specific audio problems

Try the following steps—depending on the specific problem you're having.

On your PC or phone, make sure your Surface Headphones are set as the audio output device.

Set your headphones as the audio source

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the Audio icon on the right side of the taskbar.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re listening to music, make sure Surface Headphones Stereo is selected.

    • If you’re making calls, make sure Surface Headphones Hands-Free is selected.

On iOS:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center.

  2. Tap and hold the Music control.

  3. Tap the icon in the upper right corner > Surface Headphones.

On Android:

  1. Open Bluetooth settings, and then check to see if multiple devices are listed for calls and music.

  2. If Surface Headphones are not listed at the top, select the other devices, and then disconnect them until Surface Headphones appears at the top.

If the steps above don't work, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

  • Press the mute button on your headphones to make sure they're not muted.

  • Check to see that the Surface Headphones Hands-Free audio profile is set as the default audio profile on your Windows 10 PC.

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > System > Sounds .

  2. Under Choose your input device, select Headset (Surface Headphones Hands-Free).

Next, check the app's audio setting in Windows to see if the Surface Headphones Hands-Free audio profile is set.

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > System > Sounds.

  2. Under Advanced sound options, select App volume and device preferences.

  3. In the list of apps, find the app that you’re using.

  4. Make sure the Input for that app is set to Default.
    This matches the setting in the procedure above where the default audio input device was set to Headset (Surface Headphones Hands-Free).

  • Check the settings for an individual app and see if the microphone can be set there. In an app, look for a menu that has Settings or something similar.

If the steps above don't work, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

On your phone or Windows 10 PC, make sure your Surface Headphones are set as the audio output device and check your equalizer settings. Also, check to see if audio is playing on another paired device.

Set your headphones as the audio source

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the Audio icon on the right side of the taskbar.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re listening to music, make sure Surface Headphones Stereo is selected.

    • If you’re making calls, make sure Surface Headphones Hands-Free is selected.

Make sure your Surface Headphones can be used for both calls and music.

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.

  2. Under Surface Headphones, make sure Connected voice, music appears, and not just “Connected voice”.

Check your equalizer settings

On Windows 10:

  1. Select Start button, then select Surface Audio in the app list.

  2. Under Devices, select Surface Headphones, then select Equalizer.

  3. On the Equalizer screen, select a preset or create your own.

On iOS or Android:

  1. Open the Surface Audio app.

  2. Tap Settings next to Surface Headphones , and then tap Equalizer.

  3. On the Equalizer screen, tap a preset or create your own.

    If the steps above don't work, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

Problems with touch controls and noise cancellation

If you're having problems with touch controls or noise cancellation, try the following depending on the specific problem you're having.

Before you begin

To use Cortana, first update your Surface Headphones. After that, allow voice prompts and turn on touch control. (For info about how to do this, see Manage Surface Headphones settings.) Check to see if this fixes the problem you’re having. If it doesn’t, continue and try the following steps.

I can hear music, but noise cancellation and touch controls don't work

Problem:
When my Surface Headphones are connected using Bluetooth, I can hear music. However, these problems occur:

  • Nothing happens when I turn the dial on the left to adjust noise cancellation.

  • I don’t hear a beep when I tap the touch area on either ear.

  • When I take off my headphones while music is playing, music doesn’t pause automatically.

Try this:

  1. Put your headphones on your head and play some music.

  2. Take off your headphones and look at the LED light next to the mute button.

    • The light is on

      • If the light is on, then your headphones detected that you removed them from your head. Put your headphones back on and tap the touch area on the either ear. Listen for a beep.

        • If you hear a beep, but music doesn’t pause, you might be using an app that doesn’t support automatically pausing music when you take off your headphones. Continue by trying the steps listed for the other problems described in this section.

        • If you don’t hear a beep, make sure you tap the middle of the touch area on either ear—not the edge. If you still don’t hear a beep, try the following:

          • Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones

            • If you don’t hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

              After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still occurs, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

            • If you hear "Goodbye", wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on. You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

            1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

            2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

            3. If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

  • The light is off

    • If the light is off, then your headphones didn’t detect that you removed them from your head. Do the following:

    1. Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones.

    2. Wait 10 seconds and then press the power button to turn them back on.

    3. Place the headphones directly over your ears, remove any hair that might be between your ears and headphones, and then press the earcups in towards your ears.

    4. Keep your headphones on your head for about 10 seconds, and then take them off to see if the light is on.

      • If the light is on, then they should be working now where your headphones detect that you removed them from your head. Check to see if the other features are working, such as the touch areas on either ear and the noise cancellation dial on the left. Continue by trying the steps listed for the other problems described in this section.

      • If the light is off, then put your headphones on the table with the earcups facing towards each other for 10 seconds. Put your headphones back on your head for 10 seconds, and then remove them again to see if the light comes on.

        • If the light is on, then they should be working now where your headphones detect that you removed them from your head. See if the other features are working as well, such as touch controls on either ear and the noise cancellation dial on the left. Continue by trying the steps listed for the other problems described in this section.

        • If the light is off, then try the following:

          • Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones.

            • If you don’t hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.
              After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still happens, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

            • If you hear "Goodbye", wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on. You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

              1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

              2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

              3. If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn't fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

Active noise cancellation doesn't work, but other things work

Problem:
Active noise cancellation doesn’t work when you turn the dial on the left, but other things do work. For example, the touch areas on either ear are working and music pauses automatically when you take off your headphones.

Try this:

  1. Put your headphones on your head and turn the dial on the left to adjust noise cancellation.

  2. Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones.

    • I didn't hear "Goodbye"

      • If you don’t hear the message and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

      • After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still happens, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

    • I heard "Goodbye"

      • If you hear the message, wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on.

      • You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

        1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

        2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

          If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

The touch area controls don't work, but other things do

Problem:
The touch areas on either ear aren’t working, but other things do work. For example, noise cancellation works when I turn the dial on the left, and music pauses automatically when I take off my headphones.

Try this:

  1. Put your headphones on your head and listen to some music.

  2. Tap the touch area on either ear and listen for a beep.

    • If you hear a beep, but music doesn’t pause, you might be using an app that doesn’t support pausing music from your headphones

    • If you don’t hear a beep, make sure you tap the middle of the touch area on either ear—not the edge. If you still don’t hear a beep, try the following:

      • Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones.

        • I didn't hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play

          • If you don’t hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

            After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still happens, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

        • I heard "Goodbye"

          • If you hear "Goodbye", wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on.

            You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

            1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

            2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones. If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

Related topic

If you run into problems when using your Surface Headphones, here are some steps to try to get things working again.

For problems setting up your headphones, see Fix problems with setting up your Surface Headphones.

Audio problems with Surface Headphones

Try the following steps if you've already paired and set up your headphones, but you're having problems when listening to music or making calls. Start with the Things to try first, and then try the next steps depending on the specific audio problem you're having.

1. Things to try first

After you restart your PC or phone, restart your Surface Headphones. To restart your headphones, press and release the power button to turn them off, wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn them back on.

Connect the 3.5mm audio cable to your headphones and your PC or phone, and then see if audio is working.

  • If audio isn't working, try other steps listed below in this article.

  • If audio is working, the problem is likely to be related to your Bluetooth connection. Try to remove your headphones from your PC or phone, and then pair them again.

1. Remove Surface Headphones from your PC or phone

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.

  2. Select Surface Headphones > Remove device > Yes to confirm.

On iOS:

  1. Open Settings, and then tap Bluetooth.

  2. Tap the i icon next to Surface Headphones, and then tap Forget This Device.

On Android:

  1. Open Bluetooth settings, and then tap the Gear icon next to Surface Headphones.

  2. Tap Unpair.

2. Pair your headphones

After you remove your headphones from your PC or phone, pair them again. For more info, Set up Surface Headphones with Cortana (United States only) or Set up Surface Headphones (outside of the United States).

In the Cortana or Surface Audio app, check to see if a firmware update is available for your headphones. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

For more info about how to reset your headphones, see Reset Surface Headphones. After you reset them, try to pair again.

2. Try to fix specific audio problems

Try the following steps—depending on the specific problem you're having.

On your PC or phone, make sure your Surface Headphones are set as the audio output device.

Set your headphones as the audio source

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the Audio icon on the right side of the taskbar.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re listening to music, make sure Surface Headphones Stereo is selected.

    • If you’re making calls, make sure Surface Headphones Hands-Free is selected.

On iOS:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center.

  2. Tap and hold the Music control.

  3. Tap the icon in the upper right corner > Surface Headphones.

On Android:

  1. Open Bluetooth settings, and then check to see if multiple devices are listed for calls and music.

  2. If Surface Headphones are not listed at the top, select the other devices, and then disconnect them until Surface Headphones appears at the top.

If the steps above don't work, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

  • Press the mute button on your headphones to make sure they're not muted.

  • Check to see that the Surface Headphones Hands-Free audio profile is set as the default audio profile on your Windows 10 PC.

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > System > Sounds .

  2. Under Choose your input device, select Headset (Surface Headphones Hands-Free).

Next, check the app's audio setting in Windows to see if the Surface Headphones Hands-Free audio profile is set.

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > System > Sounds.

  2. Under Advanced sound options, select App volume and device preferences.

  3. In the list of apps, find the app that you’re using.

  4. Make sure the Input for that app is set to Default.
    This matches the setting in the procedure above where the default audio input device was set to Headset (Surface Headphones Hands-Free).

  • Check the settings for an individual app and see if the microphone can be set there. In an app, look for a menu that has Settings or something similar.

If the steps above don't work, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

On your phone or Windows 10 PC, make sure your Surface Headphones are set as the audio output device and check your equalizer settings. Also, check to see if audio is playing on another paired device.

Set your headphones as the audio source

On Windows 10:

  1. Select the Audio icon on the right side of the taskbar.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re listening to music, make sure Surface Headphones Stereo is selected.

    • If you’re making calls, make sure Surface Headphones Hands-Free is selected.

Make sure your Surface Headphones can be used for both calls and music.

  1. Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.

  2. Under Surface Headphones, make sure Connected voice, music appears, and not just “Connected voice”.

Check your equalizer settings

On Windows 10 (in the United States):

  1. To open Cortana, select the search box.

  2. Select the Devices tab, and then select Manage my Surface Headphones.

  3. In the Equalizer section, under Choose a preset, select a preset or create your own.

On Windows 10 (outside the United States):

  1. Open the Surface Audio app.

  2. Select Equalizer.

  3. Select a preset or create your own.

On iOS or Android (in the United States):

  1. Open the Cortana app.

  2. Tap the Devices icon at the bottom, and then tap Devices > Surface Headphones > Equalizer.

  3. On the Equalizer screen, select a preset or create your own.

On an iOS or Android device (outside the United States)

  1. Open the Surface Audio app, then tap Settings next to Surface Headphones.

  2. Tap Equalizer.

  3. Tap a new preset.

  4. To create your own custom preset, adjust the sliders, select Save as, enter a new name, then tap Save.

If the steps above don't work, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

Problems with touch controls and noise cancellation

If you're having problems with touch controls or noise cancellation, try the following depending on the specific problem you're having.

Before you begin

To use Cortana, first update your Surface Headphones. After that, allow voice prompts and turn on touch control. (For info about how to do this, see Manage Surface Headphones settings in Cortana.) Check to see if this fixes the problem you’re having. If it doesn’t, continue and try the following steps.

I can hear music, but noise cancellation and touch controls don't work

Problem:
When my Surface Headphones are connected using Bluetooth, I can hear music. However, these problems occur:

  • Nothing happens when I turn the dial on the left to adjust noise cancellation.

  • I don’t hear a beep when I tap the touchpad on either ear.

  • When I take off my headphones while music is playing, music doesn’t pause automatically.

Try this:

  1. Put your headphones on your head and play some music.

  2. Take off your headphones and look at the LED light next to the mute button.

    • The light is on

      If the light is on, then your headphones detected that you removed them from your head. Put your headphones back on and tap the touch area on the either ear. Listen for a beep.

      • If you hear a beep, but music doesn’t pause, you might be using an app that doesn’t support automatically pausing music when you take off your headphones. Continue by trying the steps listed for the other problems described in this section.

      • If you don’t hear a beep, make sure you tap the middle of the touch area on either ear—not the edge. If you still don’t hear a beep, try the following:

        • Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones

          • If you don’t hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

            After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still occurs, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

          • If you hear "Goodbye", wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on. You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

          1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

          2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

          3. If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

    • The light is off

      • If the light is off, then your headphones didn’t detect that you removed them from your head. Do the following:

        1. Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones.

        2. Wait 10 seconds and then press the power button to turn them back on.

        3. Place the headphones directly over your ears, remove any hair that might be between your ears and headphones, and then press the earcups in towards your ears.

        4. Keep your headphones on your head for about 10 seconds, and then take them off to see if the light is on.

          • If the light is on, then they should be working now where your headphones detect that you removed them from your head. Check to see if the other features are working, such as the touchpads on either ear and the noise cancellation dial on the left. Continue by trying the steps listed for the other problems described in this section.

          • If the light is off, then put your headphones on the table with the earcups facing towards each other for 10 seconds. Put your headphones back on your head for 10 seconds, and then remove them again to see if the light comes on.

            • If the light is on, then they should be working now where your headphones detect that you removed them from your head. See if the other features are working as well, such as touch controls on either ear and the noise cancellation dial on the left. Continue by trying the steps listed for the other problems described in this section.

            • If the light is off, then try the following:

              • Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones.

                • If you don’t hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

                  After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still happens, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

                • If you hear "Goodbye", wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on. You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

                  1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

                  2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

                  3. If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn't fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

Active noise cancellation doesn't work, but other things work

Problem:
Active noise cancellation doesn’t work when you turn the dial on the left, but other things do work. For example, the touchpads on either ear are working and music pauses automatically when you take off your headphones.

Try this:

  1. Put your headphones on your head and turn the dial on the left to adjust noise cancellation.

  2. Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones.

    • I didn't hear "Goodbye"

      • If you don’t hear the message and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

      • After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still happens, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

    • I heard "Goodbye"

      • If you hear the message, wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on.

      • You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

        1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

        2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

          If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

The touchpad controls don't work, but other things do

Problem:
The touchpads on either ear aren’t working, but other things do work. For example, noise cancellation works when I turn the dial on the left, and music pauses automatically when I take off my headphones.

Try this:

  1. Put your headphones on your head and listen to some music.

  2. Tap the touchpad on either ear and listen for a beep.

    • If you hear a beep, but music doesn’t pause, you might be using an app that doesn’t support pausing music from your headphones

    • If you don’t hear a beep, make sure you tap the middle of the touchpad on either ear—not the edge. If you still don’t hear a beep, try the following:

      • Press and release the power button to turn off your headphones. You should hear “Goodbye” on your headphones.

        • I didn't hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play

          • If you don’t hear "Goodbye" and music continues to play, reset the firmware on your headphones. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones.

            After you reset the firmware, press and release the power button to turn on your headphones. If the problem still happens, start at the beginning of this article. If it still happens, it might be a different problem.

        • I heard "Goodbye"

          • If you hear "Goodbye", wait 10 seconds, and then press and release the power button to turn your headphones back on.

            You should hear a message about much battery you have and which devices you’re connected to. If the problem continues, try the following:

            1. Make sure your Surface Headphones are up to date with the latest firmware. For more info, see Update Surface Headphones.

            2. If you update your headphones and still have the problem, reset your headphones to the factory settings. For more info, see Reset Surface Headphones. If resetting your headphones to the factory settings doesn’t fix the problem, it might be a problem with your headphones. Head over to Device Service and Repair so we can help.

Related topic

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