How to classify Bluetooth device type on iOS

Sometimes, your iPhone or iPad may incorrectly identify the type of connected Bluetooth audio accessory, which can in turn prevent hearing health audio notifications from showing up. We show you how to manually classify your Bluetooth accessory as a specific type of device.

Why correct Bluetooth device type is important

All Apple accessories, including AirPods, are correctly identified in your Bluetooth settings. But if you have a non-Apple Bluetooth accessory, and it isn’t correctly classified, issues are bound to occur. An incorrectly classified Bluetooth device can prevent the handy audio notifications from showing up. Worse, it can incorrectly measure your headphone audio level.

A photograph showing a young man wearing Pro Pro headphones and holding an iPhone 11 in his hand

You can fix that by manually labeling a Bluetooth accessory as a speaker, headphone, etc. This feature requires the iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 update or newer, both of which released to the public on January 26, 2021. In this quick post, we show you how to classify your Bluetooth device type for the correct identification of headphones for audio notifications.

How to label Bluetooth devices on iOS

To label your device as one of the accessory types that your iPhone or iPad recognizes, you’ll need to choose a dedicated option in your Bluetooth settings.

  1. Turn on and connect your Bluetooth accessory to your iOS device.
  2. Open Settings on the iOS device.
  3. Touch “Bluetooth” in the root list.
  4. Touch “i” next to your connected Bluetooth accessory.
  5. Choose the option “Device Type”.
  6. On the Device Type screen, pick a category for your Bluetooth device.

You can choose between the following five categories of Bluetooth devices:

  • Car Stereo
  • Headphone
  • Hearing Aid
  • Speaker
  • Other

And this is how the interface around this feature looks like.

An iPhone screenshot showing classifying a Bluetooth device as a headphone in Settings

Apple says specifying the correct type of a non-Apple accessory can ensure your headphone audio level measurements are accurate. It also helps make sure that the device accurately counts towards your 7-day exposure limit. We have a separate tutorial explaining how to configure the headphone audio level measurement tool to protect your hearing.