If you’re investing in a Sony product, you’re likely investing in a high-quality product. But just because a product is from a reputable brand doesn’t mean it won’t have its fair share of problems.
This guide will tell you how to fix Sony headphones that aren’t charging. Specifically, we will look at ultra-popular models including the Sony XM3, XM4, and XM5.
Sony WH-1000XM3 & Sony WH-1000XM4
Here’s a comprehensive look at how to fix both the WH-1000XM3 and the WH-1000XM4 when they’re not charging.
Check the power supply
Your first step should always be ensuring that there’s nothing wrong with the power supply.
If you charge your Sony headphones via a computer, ensure that the computer is actually supplying enough power. You also need to ensure the computer is turned on and not in sleep or hibernation mode, as this could prevent charging.
If charging via an AC adapter, ensure the outlet has enough power. Plug the same AC adapter into another outlet or plug another adapter into the same port, to test the power output. Or, you can see if you can charge another device with the same adapter.
Check the charger or cable
If the power supply is functioning as it should, check the charger or supplied USB cable. Try using the supplied USB cable to charge another mobile device or product. If you have a different USB charger, use it on the Sony headphones.
Next, inspect the connection to ensure the cable fits properly into the port. When charging ports get dirty, a device may be unable to charge. If charging with a USB AC adaptor, make sure it’s firmly connected to the outlet. Also, check your USB cable to ensure it’s not bent or frayed.
Ensure the firmware is up to date
Firmware simply refers to the software installed on a device. It ensures the device works properly and responds to commands. Damaged or outdated firmware can cause issues with your device, including it being unable to charge.
Follow the steps below to check the firmware on your Sony headphones:
- Download the Sony Headphones Connect Application on your mobile device.
- Ensure your headphones and device are on the same WiFi and connect to the application.
- After they’ve connected, click the three dots in the upper lefthand corner.
- Choose your connected device from the menu. If you can’t see your connected device, update the application.
- Check the firmware version installed on your headphones.
If the firmware isn’t the latest, a banner will state that. When you connect your headphones to the app, it will say that there’s an update available. Start the update and after it’s completed, check to see if your headphones will charge.
Reset the headphones
Restoring a device to its factory settings is a good way to fix issues, especially when an issue is not resolved after a firmware update.
Here’s how to reset the headphones:
- Disconnect the USB cable and power off the headphones.
- Press the ambient button and power button at the same time, and hold the two buttons down for about seven seconds.
- Wait for the blue indicator lights to flash four times.
After seeing the indicator flash, all your device’s settings have been reset to factory settings. If your device doesn’t charge after this, it’s likely a problem with the battery.
Inspect the battery
If you can’t take your headphones to a qualified technician, then this is how you can inspect the battery. Do bear in mind that this could void your warranty:
- Remove the padding off the right ear next to the charging port to expose the speaker.
- Use a Philips head screwdriver to remove the four screws.
- Flip the headphones over and remove the cover to reveal the battery.
Thankfully, there are a number of teardown videos for different models of Sony headphones.
Try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery to see if this resolves the issue. If the battery looks faulty in any way, then it may need to be replaced.
Hold Power Button During Plug-In
This is a peculiar fix that is often successful.
If you have checked all the above and they didn’t help, try holding the power button while plugging in the charger. Once the charger is plugged in, you can release the power button and allow the headphones to charge as normal.
Again, we don’t know why this works, but it often does.
Is the Battery Actually Full?
Before we move on, there is one last consideration.
Are you sure that your headphones actually won’t charge? Or is the battery status giving you an inaccurate reading? It is common for 1000XM4’s to show a low battery (such as 10%) when in actuality they are 90%-100% charged.
This is worth considering before panicking about headphones that “won’t charge.”
The procedures when diagnosing the WH-1000XM5’s charging issues are pretty much the same. But, if you’re unsure of how to carry out any of the outlined fixes, get in contact with Sony or a qualified technician.
Make sure the charger is correct
Ensure that you’re using the supplied USB type C cable that the WH-1000XM5 comes with. Also, use the same AC adapter that you’ve used before. Try the cable with a different mobile device or product. If the cable can charge a different mobile device or product, then the problem may be with your headphones.
You also have to connect your USB cable to a powered-on computer to see if there’s a fault with the adapter. If your headphone’s indicator flashes, you’ll have to get replace the adapter.
Inspect the charging port
People often neglect to clean charging ports, resulting in them getting blocked and ceasing to function.
Do the following:
- Take a working USB-C cable and plug the other side into a working AC adapter or USB port on the computer you generally use.
- See if the battery indicator light turns on.
If the headphones don’t turn on, attempt to clean the port using a cotton swab or brush. Inserting metal into the USB port could cause further damage.
Indicator lighting up
The indicator lights can tell you a lot about the status of your device. So always refer to your manual to see what certain flashes from indicator lights may mean. If the indicator flashes but the device isn’t charging, you may have to reset the headphones.
Before doing this, connect your headphones to your mobile device to see if they need a firmware update. If not, or if updating doesn’t work, proceed with the steps below.
- Remove the USB cable from the headphones.
- Press the noise cancellation or ambient button and power button at the same time. Hold the two buttons down for about seven seconds.
- Wait for the blue indicator lights to flash. Once the indicator flashes blue four times, indicating that the process is complete.
Wait around 10 minutes before testing the charging on your headphones again.
Only usable when the charger is connected
If your headphones can only be used when the charger is connected, then the battery is the problem. Inspecting or tampering with the battery can be quite risky, so we recommend handing the device over to Sony. If you can’t for whatever reason, then you can follow the same battery inspection steps for the WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4.
Technology can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when in the form of wireless earphones. However, when something breaks or doesn’t work as it should, all hope is definitely not lost. If our guide hasn’t resolved your issue, then get in touch with Sony as soon as possible. Also, avoid trying to fix complex problems yourself, as you could simply worsen your problem.
How do I check the warranty on my Sony earphones?
To check the warranty status of your Sony device, you can call their toll-free number. Or you can visit your nearest service center or use their online warranty checker page.
Are USB-C cables universal?
Unfortunately, not all USB-C cables are the same. They have different charging speeds and data transfer rates. This is why using a USB type C cable that didn’t come with your device may not be as effective when it comes to charging it or transferring data. Additionally, the more expensive ones tend to have more shielding capabilities and thicker wires.
Where possible, avoid using a supplied USB type C cable with a different device.
Can Sony headphones use a wireless charging pad?
Select Sony headphones are indeed compatible with a wireless charging pad. You can confirm which models are compatible on their website. Be sure to read the charging pad manual beforehand and position the charging case on the wireless charging pad properly.
If the indicator flashes slowly on the case of your headphones when charging wirelessly, connect them to a USB port with the supplied USB type C cable.
Why does the indicator flash red on my Sony headphones case?
If the indicator repeatedly flashes red on your charging case, then the temperature inside the charging case is too high, and charging has stopped to protect the battery. The indicator lights will always flash either red or orange if an abnormality is detected.