How to Hook Up Wireless Headphones to a PC
By Jeff Grundy
Modern PC sound systems pack a lot more punch than they did during the 1990s and early 2000s. These days, many PC speaker systems crank out the decibels at levels higher than home stereo systems. Consequently, if you typically listen to your PC music or game audio loud, you may have to exercise a bit of restraint to avoid offending your neighbors or others in your home. Standard computer headsets are fine for controlling the noise level if you are just sitting at your computer. However, if you need some mobility while jamming to your favorite tunes or playing your favorite game, wireless headphones are the only way to go.
Charge the wireless headphones according to the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended period -- 4 to 12 hours for most models. If the headphones come with a cradle, connect the power cord to rear of the headphone cradle and plug the other end into an electrical outlet. Place the headphones in the cradle according to the instructions in the user guide or manual. If the headphones come with a USB charging cable, connect the small end of the cable to the headphones and the large end to a free USB port on your computer. Install batteries in the headphones if required.
Connect a USB Bluetooth adapter and install the driver from the installation disc if you're using a desktop computer. If you're using a notebook with integrated Bluetooth, press the appropriate button or keys on the notebook to power on and enable the adapter.
Set the "Discovery," "Locate" or "Broadcast" switch on the headphones to "On" if they have one. Some models of Bluetooth require that you enable Discovery mode manually with a switch, while others enable the mode as needed automatically. Consult your product's manual for details.
Click the Windows Start button, then "Devices and Printers." Click "Add a Device" in the Devices and Printers window.
Highlight the device name of your Bluetooth headphones in the Add a Device window that appears, then click "Next." Wait a few seconds for Windows to initialize a wireless connection with the Bluetooth headphones.
Enter the pairing passcode for the Bluetooth headphones when prompted. If you don’t know the pairing password for the headphones, refer to the user guide or manual. Common default pairing codes for Bluetooth devices are "1234," "0000" and "password," but the passcode for your device may differ. After entering the pairing passcode, click the "OK" button.
Open Windows Media Player or another audio application. Put on the headphones and press "Play" in the audio application.
RF Wireless Headphones
Insert the installation disc for the wireless headphone set into the optical drive of the computer. After the setup wizard window appears, click "Install," "Setup" or another similarly named button or link. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the driver for the wireless headphones in Windows. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so.
Connect the USB cable from the wireless adapter base station to an empty USB port on the computer. Connect the charging cable on the base station to the wireless headphones or install batteries in the headset if required. Wait a few seconds for Windows to detect the wireless adapter base station and configure it for use automatically using the driver you installed from the wireless headphones setup disc. Allow the wireless headphone set to charge if necessary.
Press the "Power," "Connect," "Sync" or other similarly named button on the wireless adapter base station. Wait a few seconds for the base station to locate and establish a wireless radio frequency connection with the headphones. After they establish a connection, the indicator light on the base station stops blinking and remains steady.
Launch an audio application or game with sound. Use the headphones to listen to audio from the application as you normally would.
- If you have an RF headphone set designed for a home stereo, you can connect it to your computer using a 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter cable. Plug the RCA plugs on the adapter cable into the "Audio Out" ports on the base station for the wireless headphones, and then connect the 3.5mm end to the headphone jack on a laptop or speaker port on the rear of a desktop. After charging the wireless headphones, open a media player application or launch a game to stream music or audio to the headset.
- If the RF wireless headphone set includes a microphone, you can use it to record audio or for in-game chat just as you would a wired microphone.
- If your wireless headphones require batteries, you should purchase and use rechargeable ones. Wireless headphones drain standard alkaline batteries fast. A set of rechargeable batteries pays for itself quickly if you listen to a lot of music or play games often on your computer.
Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.