Cannot select Bluetooth device from Sound Output


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


Best Answer

  • I will add the answer.

    Looking through, 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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