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My PC and 2 computers can detect bluetooth device. The device is already paired with one of my smartphone.

The other smartphone cannot see my bluetooth device. Is this normal?

So once a headphone is paired with a cellphone, I need to unpair that headphone before I can use it on other smart phone?

What about if I no longer have access to the original smart phone (say I factory reset the phone). What would happen?

I unpair one of my headset. Now it shows up on my other cellphone. I paired with one and now it's not seen again. It's as if paired headset is invisible.

Update, I cannot pair my headset with one phone if it's paired to another. If I unpair from a previous phone, I can pair it with another phone.

  • What device? Most manufacturers do not implement the full capabilities given in the answers below. Most headsets allow only one or two pairings, but placing the phone in pairing mode and pairing to a new device usually over-writes the previous ones. I know most Plantonics devices you can clear all previous pairings, but I have had my headset paired to dozens of different devices with no issues. – acejavelin Feb 23 '16 at 14:54
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The other smartphone cannot see my bluetooth device. Is this normal?

A phone that isn't already paired can only see the device while the device is discoverable. This is a special mode you put the device into (usually with a button or combination of buttons on the device). The manual for the device probably describes this as part of the pairing procedure. If you repeat this procedure, your new phone should be able to pair just fine.

So once a headphone is paired with a cellphone, I need to unpair that headphone before I can use it on other smart phone?

Not usually. The pairing process just allows the two devices to swap special data (encryption keys) to allow them to recognise each other in future. After pairing, both devices remember the key. It's no different from saving the key for a Wi-Fi network in your phone, except it works both ways.

While phones can remember lots of pairings (and show you a list of paired devices), devices like headsets are a lot simpler, and can only remember a few. Exactly how many is different from headset to headset. Once it's reached this limit, most likely pairing a new phone with the headset just makes it forget the first phone you paired. Unpairing just means forgetting the key: it's something either side (the phone or the headset) can do without the co-operation of the other side.

What about if I no longer have access to the original smart phone (say I factory reset the phone). What would happen?

Nothing happens, just like if you lose or factory reset the phone after giving it the key to your Wi-Fi network. Your headset will still remember its half of the key, but that half won't do anything any more. If you pair the headset with enough other phones, it'll probably overwrite that key with a newer one eventually.

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A master Bluetooth device can communicate with a maximum of seven devices in a piconet (an ad-hoc computer network using Bluetooth technology), though not all devices reach this maximum

Having said that, it seems to be device specific (as also pointed out in above link). I have a Bose WiFi speaker that can pair only 5 devices

  • The other smartphone cannot see my bluetooth device. Is this normal?

Shouldn't happen unless the device / second smartphone limit has been reached. Can be checked by deleting unnecessary / unused pairings on both devices (by wiping cache partition of your smart phone and resetting device as per instructions provided)

Seeing is different from simultaneous working. Simultaneous pairing is not always possible. See this good answer

  • So once a headphone is paired with a cellphone, I need to unpair that headphone before I can use it on other smart phone?

Not necessary. Previous answer explains

  • What about if I no longer have access to the original smart phone (say I factory reset the phone). What would happen?

Pairing info of smartphone would remain on the device and would be of no use. Harmless, unless you reach the limit and future pairings are denied on this account

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