JBL Bluetooth Speaker Connected to Mac But No Sound? (Quick Fix)

I got a brand new portable JBL Flip Essential Bluetooth speaker. I have no problem connecting with my iPhone, playing music and the sound quality is really awesome. 

But when I connected it to my MacBook Pro, trying to play some YouTube videos. Something weird happened: there is no sound!

I did everything right. Pressed the JBL power button and it showed blue (which means on), I then pressed the Bluetooth button on the device.

And on my Mac Bluetooth app, I was also able to find the device and I can again confirm it’s properly connected because Mac Bluetooth shows this:

Now I opened a YouTube episode, something strange happened: the sound actually came from my Mac’s internal speakers (which is okay sound, but I’d prefer to listen to it from my new portable speaker, that’s why I bought it, right?)

The Solution: It’s Actually a Quick Fix

Initially, I thought there was something wrong with my Mac, so I restarted the computer and tried again, nope, the issue still persists.

Long story short, it turns out to be the Sound output issue. And it was a simple fix.

Here’s how: 

Step 1: On your Mac, move the mouse cursor to the top left corner and click on the Apple logo icon, then select System Preferences…

Step 2: In the new System Preference panel, find Sound and click on it.

Step 3: In the Sound window, make sure you’re under the Output tab. 

Most likely, you’ll see the default sound output is: Internal Speakers (Built-in), even though the external Bluetooth speaker (i.e. JBL Flip Essential) is detected and showing here.

What you need to do is: select the external speaker! (don’t see it here? Check the solution below)

Once I clicked on JBL Flip Essential, the sound immediately switched from my Mac internal speakers to be from the bluetooth speaker. 


What if My JBL Bluetooth Speaker is Not Showing in Sound Output?

It’s probably time to upgrade the firmware, this video shows you how:

Note that it requires you to have a phone that can download the JBL app, and it will take you a bit of time to do so. Be patient.

Anyway, I hope this helps. If you found another solution to fix this kind of bluetooth speaker sound issue on Mac. Please let me know and I’ll consider updating this post to make it up to update.

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  • genia

    OMG… Thank you so much…. A million years later. You are the best

  • Harry

    Thank u Sir,

    I cant even tell, how many videos/troubleshooting docs i watched to find a fix for it. I thought there was some problem with my bluetooth, didnt realise the fix was so simple 🙂

    Thanks again!

  • Masha

    I was super confused why wasn’t it working, I thought it’s a problem with the MacBook already. But your guide was so easy to follow and literally fixed the problem in seconds. Thank you!!

  • Juan Carlos

    BRO…… you saved me! God i dif everything else but this.

  • Maria

    It worked perfectly, thanks for that!!!

  • grace

    had my speaker for a year. been searching for an anwser every since. ONLY JUST FOUND THIS I LOVE YOU SO MUCH THANK YOU

  • Christian

    Thank you for this, worked perfectly!

  • Haastrup

    it worked thank you

  • JAY

    I have a JBL Boombox 1 and it doesn’t show in the sound output section although it’s connected via bluetooth on my Mac Pro. Have checked for an update of firmware for the boombox but there isn’t any at the moment. Does this mean I can never connect the Jbl boombox 1 to my Mac until there is an update from Jbl?

  • Brent Brown

    I have a new MacBook Pro. I was surprised to find out it would not work with my old JBL Flip. I would think it would be backward compatible with a speaker. The firmware update resolved the problem.
    Thank you for your article.

  • Jas

    Thank you! Mine actually was being muted. I don’t know how that happen…

  • Tina

    THANK YOU!!!
    I was so close to giving up on this lol

  • Brigitte

    Fantastic! I had been grappling with this issue for months! Your post has saved me!!! I was already negotiating with my son to take his JBL extreme to my next workshop instead of my JBL flip 4!!! Thank you very much! Brigitte

    • Jerry Romero

      Great to hear that, and you’re very welcome!

  • Ovuoke

    Thank you for this.

  • Anna

    thank you so much I have been stucked with this issue for ages!

  • Christian

    Awesome thanks

  • agent p

    super helpful, thanks a million!

  • Mariana

    Thank you so much!!! I was even thinking of returning the speaker!

  • Eith

    Thanks for taking the time to share this; very awesome!!!!

  • Theresa

    Thanks for taking the time to share this very simple solution in a very simple way, AND with very clear pics.. I agree also, This little JBL speaker is fantastic !! Thanks again.

  • aimee

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I was about to give up.

  • Petko Petkov

    Perfect and highly professional!
    I was extremely satisfied with your professional advice!
    Sincerely, P. Petkov!


    Thanks you for you help. fast and effective

  • Teresita

    You’re awesome!!! Thank you so much, I was going crazy not knowing how to fix this.

  • Jenny

    Thank you soooo much! Although connected by blue tooth I couldn’t get any sound out of my flip player till I did as you suggested. Your instructions were extremely clear. I’m very grateful. I’ve been pressing buttons all morning! Jenny x

  • kiri

    I screamed out loud with joy because of your solution! Thank you so much!!!

  • Andrew

    Many thanks for that very straightforward advice, like you I have had no trouble linking my JBL with iPad and iPhone but MacBook generally unsuccessful. despite linking happily with a Bose speaker. Problem now solved thank you, what a great relief!

    • Jerry Romero

      You’re welcome. Glad that you fixed it.

  • Ale

    Wow this totally fix my issue 10 out of 10! Superb post!

  • SueN

    Thanks. Pricing up a new speaker after my Flip 4 suddenly stopped working and would not reconnect. Speaker not initially in any lists but played about and it worked.

  • Simone

    This was a perfect fix! This happens a bit too often between my JBL Xtreme and Macbook Air (esp. after an update to the firmware) and your great explanation outlined the right steps to get my sound back on track. Thanks!!

    • Jerry Romero

      No problem! Glad that you fixed it and found our guide helpful.