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How to use Sibelius with AirPods + Bluetooth Headphones

Wondering how to use Sibelius with AirPods or Bluetooth headphones? Look no further.

As long as your AirPods or other Bluetooth device is connected to your computer before you open Sibelius, using AirPods with Sibelius is easy!



IMPORTANT: Connect Headphones First!

You MUST connect your AirPods or other bluetooth headphones to your computer BEFORE starting your Sibelius software.

The hardware must be connected to your operating system before you open Sibelius. When the Sibelius software starts up, it scans your system for audio output devices.

If your AirPods or headphones aren’t connected, Sibelius won’t be able to find them, and you won’t be able to add them later.

In that case, you’ll have to quit Sibelius, then connect the headphones, then restart Sibelius.

If you missed this note initially, there’s no need to disconnect and reconnect the headphones. Just quit and relaunch Sibelius, and you should be all set.


How to connect Sibelius to your AirPods + Bluetooth Headphones

It looks like this:

How to use Sibelius with AirPods or Bluetooth Headphones.

Here’s how to do it.


Step 1: Navigate to Sibelius’ “Play” menu.

Step 1: Navigate to Sibelius'

Find Sibelius’ “Play” menu up top and click to open that menu tab.

When you get to the Play menu, look for the first section. There are probably other ways to get to the option we need, but the top Play menu is the easiest for our purposes.


Step 2: Open Sibelius’ “Playback Devices” menu.

Step 2: Open Sibelius'

Sibelius AirPods Bluetooth: Headphones Playback Devices Menu.Once you’re on Sibelius’ Play menu, you have open the “Playback Devices” window.

For some reason, the button to open this window is tiny and kinda hard to find.

It’s this little guy right here.


As it turns out, that little “extra” button, or “show more options”—or whatever you’d call it—hides a lot of really useful info, on the Play menu and every other menu.

Sibelius has a ton of options, obviously. Check out those extra buttons sometime, just to see what’s in there.



Step 3: Open Sibelius’ “Audio Engine Options” menu.

Step 3: Open Sibelius'

Once you’re on the Playback Devices screen, you need to hit the “Audio Engine Options” button to open that menu.

At least this button is large enough to see with the naked eye.

This step is simple. Click button. Get menu.


Step 4: Expand Sibelius’ “Audio Interface” dropdown menu.

Step 4: Expand Sibelius'

And once you’re on Sibelius’ Audio Engine Options screen, you can finally select your AirPods or headphones from the “Audio Interface” dropdown menu.

Don’t see your bluetooth headphones on the list?

If you don’t see your AirPods or bluetooth devices on that dropdown list, it means Sibelius can’t find them in your computer’s hardware list.

You have to connect your AirPods or bluetooth headphones to your computer BEFORE you open Sibelius.

You probably just need to quit and restart Sibelius.

See the explanation above for more details.


Step 5: Select your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones.

Step 5: Select your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones.

Select your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones from the list.

Again, if you don’t see your device, you probably just need to restart Sibelius.

See the note above for more detail.


Step 6: Close Sibelius’ Audio Engine Options menu.

Step 6: Close Sibelius' Audio Engine Options menu.

Hit the Close button. Home stretch.

End of step.


Step 7: Close Sibelius' Hit another Close button.

That’s it! You’re done. Happy AirPodding.


Why use AirPods with Sibelius?

Well, for one thing, it’s easier. Anyone who’s been writing/arranging/mixing music for more than a few minutes knows that standard computer speakers just won’t cut it—like, ever.

And, if we’re being honest, AirPods aren’t really good enough either. But a lot of people own them and want to use them.

We’re actually working on a list of the best headphones to use for arranging music with Sibelius. But, in the meantime, AirPods are sorta the default.


Do you use Bluetooth headphones with Sibelius?

What about you? What type of Bluetooth headphones do you use with Sibelius? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll update this post!

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Using Sony WH-H910N bluetooth Headphones with Surface 7 ntel(R) Core(TM) i7-1065G7 CPU @ 1.30GHz 1.50 GHz with 16 GO, running Sibelius Ultimate latest version. It’s a mess. First to get it running, load headphones first in Windows, then open Sibelius, should be running. For no reason it will stop playing in Sibelius issuing a lousy arpeggio has a sign of ending transmission. Note from the headphone point of view, or from Windows point of view, the headset is still running, but for Sibelius, it’s dead. Most of the time, I can get it back without closing Sibelius, fooling around in Audio Engine from normal DS to WH-910N till I get a strange noise in headphones meaning they are back on. For a sophisticated and costly audio Software from a top audio company, it’s very annoying and very poorly implamented…

    1. Agreed on all points, Claude! It shouldn’t be this hard.

      We lowly marching percussion arrangers (especially battery writers) have it a little easier, since our sounds don’t have to be as intricate as wind/string sounds, or even mallet/pitched percussion.

      But still…. it shouldn’t be this hard!

  2. Wow you really have to dig into the settings for this! Thanks so much for the graphics, cleared it right up and I finally managed to change the playback to headphones ! Another Sibeli-crisis averted lol

  3. Thank you for this very good explanation (with a nice touch of humor, too). Agreed…it shouldn’t be this hard…

    1. Thanks, Mara- glad it helped. Don’t tell my wife that I’m funny. She won’t believe you.

      And if I had a nickel for every time I’ve shouted at Sibelius for something that shouldn’t be this hard…

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