How to Fix: Powerbeats 3 Won’t Turn On

You probably love your Powerbeats 3 and why not. The high-quality sound they produce allows you to enjoy your favorite music while exercising, working, riding the bus, or almost any other activity. Suddenly you can’t get them to turn on. What can you do?

While this can be a very worrisome problem, there’s no need to panic. This is a somewhat common problem and has a couple of easy solutions. Yes, they may be defective or damaged but you should first try some simple solutions before replacing them.

My name is Eric and I love technology but it can be very frustrating when our high-tech devices fail or stop working. As an electrical engineer, I have learned how to troubleshoot issues like this and I would love to share the information with you.

If you are having trouble with your Powerbeats3, keep reading and maybe one of the simple solutions I have listed below can help you to get yours back in working order.

Why Won’t My Beats Turn on?

Our audio devices, especially headphones and earphones have come a long way. In the past, they were just tiny speakers that we attached to our ears, but with the advances in technology, this is no longer the case. They just aren’t that simple anymore.

These devices now have their own processors, which means they have tiny little computers inside them. This gives them the ability to do much more, but it also provides them more opportunities to fail. Even with that, there are only two main areas to cause failure.

Problems can be categorized as either software or hardware failure.


As mentioned above these devices do have software running on them. Fortunately, they can’t get a virus, and you cant change or mess up the code in any way, but they do have glitches every once in a while. No software is perfect and just about all contain bugs or inefficiencies.

Unlike your computer or phone, these do not get rebooted too often and a glitch can possibly affect them. When we look at the solutions below, we will talk about a very simple one that can quickly fix this issue.


These issues can be a little more difficult to deal with because they have something to do with the physical properties of the device. Something has failed, broken, or been damaged and if this has happened internally to the device you may not be able to fix it.

On the other hand, if it is a cable or cord or something external to the device it’s possible you can replace the part and the device will be good as new. When we look at the solutions below we will discuss some of these possibilities in a little more detail.

Possible Solutions

Here we will look at the most common solutions starting with the easiest. Let’s get started.

Solution1: Powerbeats3 Reset

If your problem is being caused by a software glitch, this might sound bad, but actually, you may be in luck. This issue essentially has the easiest and quickest solution. All you will need to do is simply reset them. Follow the steps below to get them back into working order.

Step 1: Press and hold down the power button and the volume down button at the same time for 10 seconds.

Image courtesy of Apple Support

Step 2: Once you see the LED indicator flashing, you can release the buttons and they will be reset.

Step 3: You will need to set them up with your devices once again.

Once completed, this reset can fix your Powerbeats. This can also fix problems with charging and Bluetooth connections.

Solution 2: Charge Your Device

It may sound obvious, but sometimes things are so obvious we neglect to check them. Make sure your beats are charged. Plug them in with the cable and charger. If they need to be charged you will see the LED blinking red.

Let them charge for a while and then see if they will turn on. If they still won’t turn on, try resetting them with the steps shown above. If you already tried resetting them and it did not work, it could have been because they did not have enough charge. 

Now that they are charged you may be able to reset them.

If you plug the headphones in and they show no signs of charging, it may be that your cable or charger has been damaged and is not working. Try another charging cable and see if it can charge the device. If so, you will know your cable is bad.

If you suspect the charger is bad, you can try plugging your cable into a USB port on your computer or another charger that you know is working. If they start charging with one of these other options you will know that your charger is bad.

In either of the cases of a bad cable or charger, you can easily purchase new ones to replace the bad units and you will be able to charge your beats and get them to turn on once again.

Solution 3: Update Your Software

There is one other software problem that you could run into and it is your headphones need a software update. Also known as a firmware update, it is an update to the code that runs your Powerbeats. This is similar to an OS update on your phone or computer.

If you use your Powerbeats with your iPhone, you won’t need to worry about this. The firmware update is done automatically whenever new ones are available. If you don’t use yours with an iPhone you may need to do the update manually.

To update manually you need to connect them to a Mac or PC that is connected to the internet. Once connected use the following steps.

  • Step 1: Go to the Beats Updater website
  • Step 2: Download the updater software to your computer.
  • Step 3: Make sure your Beats are plugged into your computer.
  • Step 4: Run the downloaded software and follow the onscreen instructions.

Solution 4: Repair or Replacement

If the suggestions above have not worked, it could be that your Powerbeats have a defect or have been damaged in some way. We often put devices like this through a lot and it is not uncommon for them to fail, but factory defects are also a possibility.

If you use your Beats around water or use them to work out and sweat a lot, they may have some type of water damage. If you have stepped on them or sat on them or caused some type of hard impact to them this could also be the culprit.

This means it might be time to replace them. If they are fairly new and within the warranty period or you have AppleCare you may be in luck and get them repaired or replaced for free. Apple support can help you to determine your next steps. They can also determine if you are covered.

Heavy users can also see their batteries wear out and these can be replaced for a small fee or even for free depending on whether or not you have an AppleCare plan that covers battery replacement.

Final Words

Your Powerbeats3 are awesome for listening to music during any activity, but if they won’t turn on it can be a real bummer. In most cases one of the options above can help you to get them back up and sounding great once again and if not hopefully your warranty will cover them.

As usual, let us know about your experiences with your Powerbeats, we would love to hear from you!

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