Connect Bluetooth headphones to playing device

Hi all,

I’ve got a pair of Sony WH-XM5 headphones. They work really well, but I use them across multiple devices, specifically, iPhone, iPad, personal Mac and (non-iCloud connected) work Mac.

The headphones are paired, but every time I want to switch device, I need to go into Bluetooth settings and connect. On Mac this can be solved using Tooth Fairy, but on iPhone and iPad I can’t figure out a shortcut or workflow that connects the headphones.

My idea would be to connect to a specific Bluetooth device when opening a certain app (e.g., if I open Overcast on my phone, automatically kick off the same process that would replicate me going through the settings menu).

Does anyone know a more efficient way than me going through the menus?

I have had a pair of XM5s for a while now and really like them. Here are my two thoughts to your question:

  1. They support pairing to two devices at once so you could have them paired to both iPad and iPhone and they will switch inputs depending on what device you are using automatically.

  2. I long press the Bluetooth icon in control center and pair them from that menu instead of going into settings. Not sure if you are doing that already or not. It’s a few swipes and presses more than AirPods for sure, but it’s not too bad for me.


Assuming your devices remember the headphones, you should be able to do this with Shortcuts I think, and you could create them as automations rather than shortcuts you have to run yourself.

E.g. opening Overcast automatically runs an automation which connects to the headphones and does any other actions you fancy. There’s an action called “Change playback destination” which may switch bluetooth device for you (I’ve not tested it so I cannot report, but I do have a “change playback destination” shortcut that moves music to a HomePod under certain circumstances and that works fine).

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These shortcuts can be quite nifty, e.g. mine for moving audio around also resets volume so that the volume is suitable for the new speaker (rather than inheriting the settings used previously) and I often end up pairing it with other actions, e.g. change screen brightness on my device, switch to Do Not Disturb, etc.

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Oh I’ll try the output destination shortcut! I tried it before but I thought it was limited to the actual device (iPad, iPhone, etc.).

Clearly I tried it when by headphones weren’t connected!

You can start with a simple shortcut like this that simply changes the audio source, adjusts the volume, plays overcast and opens the overcast app so the controls are on screen.

I take this a little further and have setup a menu the I can setup all kinds of actions for, that I activate with the double tap back of iPhone accessibility feature. It’s really simple and effective:

Here is the menu setup

Any an example of how to setup actions per menu item

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It’s crazy that I’ve never heard of this. This makes my life easier. :smiley: Thanks!