Common Bluetooth Pairing Problems

December 19, 2017 2 min read

If you recently purchased a new car or motorcycle stereo system, chances are it's equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. Managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), this popular wireless technology standard is used to exchange data over short distances using UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz. Technical jargon aside, it allows users to connect smartphones, MP3 players and other portable devices to their motorcycle stereo system wirelessly.


While Bluetooth is effective for this purpose, some users have reported “pairing problems.” In order for Bluetooth to work, the device must “pair” with the stereo system. This is essentially the device connecting to the stereo system. If your device doesn't pair with the stereo system, you won't be able to play music from it through your stereo. So, what should you do if your device isn't pairing with your stereo system?


First and foremost, check to make sure Bluetooth connectivity is enabled on the device. When activated, most devices display a Bluetooth icon at the top of the screen, indicating that it's working. If you have an Android smartphone, you can enable Bluetooth by accessing Settings > Bluetooth (tap the button next to Bluetooth).


Depending on the specific motorcycle stereo system you own, it may feature discoverable mode. This mode allows the stereo to “discover” new Bluetooth devices. To use this feature, simply toggle Bluetooth on using the steps mentioned above, after which the stereo system should automatically search for the device.


It's also worth mentioning that distance can affect Bluetooth pairing between a device and a motorcycle stereo system. Bluetooth technology was specifically designed for short distances, usually between 10 and 100 meters. If your device is far away from the stereo, it may fail to pair. To see if this is the cause of your pairing problem, place the device alongside your stereo system and try again. If it successfully pairs, then distance is to blame. If it doesn't pair, there's probably some other underlying problem, in which case you'll have to continue troubleshooting.


Of course, sometimes all it takes to fix Bluetooth pairing problems is a hard restart. If you haven't done so already, go ahead and power down your device, wait a few seconds, and then restart it. This clears temporary memory (cache), which may fix some pairing issues. Hopefully, one of these solutions will fix your pairing problem, allowing you to enjoy the wireless connectivity of Bluetooth technology.

These tips and more brought to you by the Steel Horse Audio Blog. Check us out for motorcycle and biker news as well as the best in motorcycle speakers and audio products!