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How To Make Notifications Play Through Headphones On An iPhone?

How To Make Notifications Play Through Headphones On An iPhone?

Have you ever had your headphones plugged in or your AirPods paired with your iPhone, yet the notification sounds still play through your phone’s external speaker?

iPhones are designed in a way to make app notifications play through the headphones, while phone call ringers and alarm clock ringtones play through the phone’s external speaker, even when your headphones are connected)

This article will explain what the problem could be and how to fix it. It will also show you how to stop notifications from interrupting your music and how to listen and respond to messages with Airpods.

How do I get notifications to play through my headphones on my iPhone?

By default, when your headphones are connected to your iPhone, alerts play through the headphones, while phone calls and alarms play through the phone’s external speakers.

To hear phone calls and alarms through headphones, you’ll need to jailbreak your iPhone to remove software restrictions set by Apple. Note that this will cancel the warranty.

As for alerts (SMS alerts, app notifications, etc), If you can’t hear them on your headphones, it could be due to low-quality, non-MFi headphones.

MFi (Made For iPhone) headphones normally play notification sounds through the headphones. If you’re using low-end third-party headphones, you may experience problems with the notifications playing through them. 

Whether you’re using Bluetooth headphones or wired headphones, here are a few methods to try that can often the issue:

Method #1: Restart your iPhone

If your headphones are original MFi ones, then the problem will mostly be due to bugs and glitches, restarting your iPhone could solve that. Here’s how: 

  1. Press and hold the “Power” button until a slider pops up
  2. Move the slider to the right
  3. Wait for 30 seconds
  4. Press and hold the “Power” button on till the Apple logo shows up and the phone starts

Method #2: Re-enable notifications

At times, disabling and re-enabling notifications could get your headphones to play the alerts through them. 

Unlike on Android, Apple devices do not have a one-click setting to turn off all notifications. 

However, you can disable (or rather silence) all notifications temporarily through “Do Not Disturb” mode. To turn this on:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Focus”
  2. Tap “Do Not Disturb”
  3. Toggle on “Do Not Disturb”

Keep this mode on for about 5 minutes, then following the same steps above, toggle it off.

When using Bluetooth headphones, a trick that you can do to outsmart your phone is changing your Bluetooth device in the “Settings” to “Car Stereo.” 

“Car Stereo” Bluetooth devices play notification sounds through them regardless of their model. 

Changing your device type to “Car Stereo” classifies your headphones as car speakers and makes the notifications play through them.

Here’s how to change the Bluetooth device type:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Bluetooth”
  2. Tap on the info button (“i” button) next to your Bluetooth device
  3. Tap “Device Type”
  4. Choose “Car Stereo”

Phone calls on iPhone don’t ring on Bluetooth headphones?

Though iPhone alerts are designed to play through Bluetooth (or wired) headphones, alarms and phone ringers don’t play on them by default. 

If you’re sleeping, your AirPods (or headphones) can fall out of your ears, and an alarm playing through your fallen headphones would mean getting late for work.

Similarly, if your headphones are connected to your iPhone, but you’re not using them, you can miss out on calls. 

This is why Apple made alarms and phone ringers play through the phone speaker by default. 

This setting can only be changed if you jailbreak your phone – which is not recommended as it voids your warranty. 

Jailbreaking your phone also makes your iPhone prone to viruses.

Why can’t I hear notifications on my iPhone when connected to Bluetooth headphones?

Why can't I hear notifications on my iPhone when connected to Bluetooth headphones?

Notifications on iPhones, unlike alarms and phone call ringers, are designed to play through the audio device connected by default. 

Notifications not being heard on your iPhone could be due to glitches. Here are some fixes that could solve the problem:

Fix #1: Turn Bluetooth off and then on

Disabling and enabling Bluetooth will solve most of your Bluetooth-related problems. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Bluetooth”
  2. Toggle off “Bluetooth”
  3. Wait for 30 seconds
  4. Toggle on“Bluetooth” again

If the problem isn’t solved, move on to the next fix.

Fix #2: Re-pair your Bluetooth headphones

Disconnect your Bluetooth headphones, and pair them again with your phone. Here’s how 

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Bluetooth”
  2. Tap on the info (i) button next to your device
  3. Tap “Forget This Device”
  4. Find and tap on your Bluetooth device again 
  5. Tap “Pair”

Fix #3: Restart your iPhone

Before proceeding, make sure to disable Bluetooth. 

  1. Press and hold the “Power” button until a slider pops up
  2. Drag the slider to the right, and the phone will power down
  3. Wait for 30 seconds, then press and hold the “Power” button again until the Apple logo shows up and the phone starts
  4. When the device loads, the problem will most likely be solved
  5. Turn Bluetooth back on and pair your headphones with your phone 

In most cases, these fixes will solve your problem. You will receive notifications through the phone, even when connected to your Bluetooth headphones.

Why can’t I hear SIRI notifications on my AirPods?

If you can’t hear SIRI notifications on your AirPods, make sure that:

  • You’re using compatible AirPods
  • Your AirPods are paired to your device 
  • Announce Notifications is turned on
  • Your iPhone is locked and its screen is dark. 

Compatible AirPods

Not all AirPod models are compatible and can receive Siri notifications through them. Some of the compatible ones are: 

  • AirPods Max
  • AirPods (2nd generation and later)
  • AirPods Pro

You can get the complete list of compatible headphones on Apple’s website.

Paired AirPods

Ensure that your AirPods are paired and connected with your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Bluetooth”
  2. Locate your AirPods
  3. Make sure that they are “Connected” 

Announce Notifications turned on

“Announce Notifications” is a feature that allows “Siri” to read the notifications out loud. Make sure that feature is toggled on. Here’s how:

  1. Open “Settings” > Tap “Notifications” 
  2. Tap “Announce Notifications” > Toggle on
  3. Open “Settings” again > Tap “Siri & Search”
  4. Tap “Announce Notifications” > Toggle on 

You also need to toggle on “Headphones” in “Announce Notifications.” To do that: 

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Siri & Search”
  2. Tap “Announce Notifications”
  3. Toggle on “Headphones” under “ANNOUNCE WHEN CONNECTED TO” 

Note that the “Headphones” is an advanced setting that will show up only when “Announce Notifications” is toggled on. 

Screen is locked

If you’re using your iPhone, Siri will not announce notifications. Make sure that your device is locked and its screen is dark.

How do I get my iPhone to read notifications?

To get your iPhone to read notifications through the phone’s speakers, you need to run iOS 16 or later. iOS 15 or lower does not support this feature. 

If your iPhone is older than iPhone 8, you can’t get your phone to announce notifications through your phone’s external speaker.

To check your iPhone’s iOS:

  1. Open  “Settings” > “General” 
  2. Tap “Software Update” and ensure your iPhone has iOS 16

Make sure to have “Announce Notifications” toggled on. See section “Why can’t I hear Siri notifications on my iPhone” to learn how to do that. 

To have the notifications read on your iPhone’s speaker, here’s what you should also do: 

  1. Open “Settings” > “Accessibility”
  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Siri”
  3. Toggle on “Announce Notifications on Speaker”

How do you listen and respond to messages with AirPods?

If you have AirPods (2nd generation or later), you can listen and respond to messages with them. 

To listen to messages with AirPods:

  1. Open “Settings” > “Notifications”
  2. Tap “Messages” and enable “Announce Notifications”

To respond to messages with AirPods:

To respond to messages with AirPods, say the word “reply” followed by your response. For example:

“Reply: I’m on my way!”

Siri will ask for your confirmation before sending the message. To send replies without having to confirm every time:

  1. Go to “Settings” > Notifications 
  2. Under “Announce Notifications,” turn on “Reply Without Confirmation”

How do I stop notification sounds from interrupting music on my iPhone?

To stop notification sounds from interrupting music on your iPhone, you can do two things:

Put your iPhone on silent mode

Putting your phone on “Silent” mode will eliminate all notification sounds and won’t interrupt music on your iPhone.

To put your iPhone on ”Silent” mode, move the switch (located on the upper right side) so the orange color is displayed.

You can also put your phone on “Silent” mode from the “Control Center” by tapping the bell icon to silence your iPhone.

  • On iPhone X and newer devices, swipe down from the top-right corner to open the “Control Center”
  • On devices older than iPhone X, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the “Control Center”

Putting your device on “Silent” mode is the only way to stop notifications from interrupting audio. Lowering the notification sounds will still interrupt the audio.

How do I get Siri to announce notifications louder in headphones?

You can’t increase Siri’s volume from the “Settings” app. You can, however, ask Siri to increase the volume when speaking by saying: 

“Hey, Siri. Speak louder.”

You can also press the “Volume” button while Siri is speaking to change the volume.

How to get notifications through Bluetooth earphones instead of on the phone (Android)?

Just as with AirPods, only some Bluetooth headphone models announce notifications. Headphones with built-in Google Assistant will do so automatically. 

If you have compatible headphones:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Bluetooth”
  2. Tap on the info (i) button next to your Bluetooth device
  3. Toggle on “Spoken Notifications” and “Google Assistant”

If “Spoken Notifications” and “Google Assistant” don’t show up in your headphones’ Bluetooth settings, your headphones do not have Google Assistant built into them, and you can’t get notifications to play through them.

On Samsung devices specifically, you can use a third-party app called SoundAssistant to get notifications to play through Bluetooth earphones.  Here’s how:

  1. Install “SoundAssistant” from the “Galaxy Store”
  2. Tap “Continue” in the “Permissions for SoundAssistant”
  3. Under “External audio devices,” go to “Advanced Settings”
  4. Tap “Alerts through headphones”
  5. Enable “Notification”