Author Topic: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac  (Read 10403 times)

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Offline techfresh

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Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« on: Tue, 25 October 2016, 00:39:04 »
Hi Cynthia,

I received my VB87M from massdrop a few days ago and love the build quality and feel of the keyboard.  Even though I was able to pair successfully and use the core features I did notice a few issues on my Macbook Pro (El Capitan).

1. The keyboard will not pair when I'm at the FileVault login screen (before the OS loads).  I will either have to connect a USB keyboard or use the built-in laptop keyboard to enter my password - both are a pain since my laptop is normally closed and connected to an external monitor.  Apple Bluetooth products (like Magic Mouse and Apple wireless KB) pair successfully at this screen so I know it can be done.  If this can't be fixed it would be great if I could just connect the VB87M via USB, but it seems to be for charging only and will not treat it as a normal USB keyboard (can you confirm?)

2. May be related to issue #1 but the VB87M is only detected as a generic bluetooth device which prevents me from setting up Keyboard preferences like Modifier Keys.  This would probably also allow Mac OS to detect battery life too maybe?

In general, will Varmilo provide a way to update the keyboard firmware to fix issues like the Bluetooth ones above?

There are other issues some of the Massdrop community is reporting, you may want to check it out: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/varmilo-vb87m-bluetooth/talk

Thank you for your time and consideration! 

Offline techfresh

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 27 October 2016, 01:37:32 »
I've now tried pairing on my Win 7 machine and it will not work.  I see the device and attempt to pair, I'm given a 6 digit code by Windows to enter on my keyboard.  Per the Varmilo instructions I type in the code and press "Enter" but nothing ever happens and the bluetooth pairing times out.

The bluetooth I'm running is 4.0 and is on my Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE motherboard.  I've downloaded the latest drivers and still no luck.

Any help would be appreciated!

Offline techfresh

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 02:13:19 »
I was able to successfully pair with my Win 7 machine after downloading the latest driver direct from the Bluetooth manufacturer (Broadcomm).  Apparently ASUS has very old drivers on their site.  I can now leverage the VB87M on both my PC and Mac. 

Now the issue I have is being able to switch between both of them easily.  I know BT is not really meant for this, but it would be awesome if it could.  The keyboard can store up to 7 paired devices, so I've tried using Fn+→ to try to cycle through the devices, but it seems like it mostly pairs back to the most recent device.  Randomly it would pair with the second device, maybe 1 out of 15 times.  I thought maybe there was some other way to indicate which device to pair with using Fn+→+[# key like 1, 2, 3, etc.]  That would be a great feature to add in future releases!

Turning BT off is not really an option since I need the keyboard to be connected in order to type in my password.

If anyone (or the Varmilo contact) has any creative ideas I would love to hear them.

Offline Dominathan

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 31 October 2016, 02:48:28 »
I've had my VB87M for over a year now, and I've had nothing but problems with it.  It would randomly drop characters on my mac, and randomly disconnect on my Windows 10.

Check out https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/  That will help you switch the keys around

Offline tooki

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 05 November 2016, 08:18:04 »
I received my VB87M from massdrop a few days ago and love the build quality and feel of the keyboard.  Even though I was able to pair successfully and use the core features I did notice a few issues on my Macbook Pro (El Capitan).



2. May be related to issue #1 but the VB87M is only detected as a generic bluetooth device which prevents me from setting up Keyboard preferences like Modifier Keys.  This would probably also allow Mac OS to detect battery life too maybe?

As far as I know, battery life indication isn't part of the generic Bluetooth standards, so I doubt that'll ever come. But indeed it's maddening that it doesn't show up as a distinct keyboard in System Preferences, since this means we can't switch option and command on the Bluetooth without swapping them into the wrong positions on any other keyboards…

Check out https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/  That will help you switch the keys around
FYI, Karabiner is now completely broken in macOS Sierra, thanks to Apple making major changes to the keyboard driver stack (the nature of which I don't know). They're working on a new version, tentatively called Karabiner Elements, that works on Sierra. I just installed it and it does recognize this as a separate keyboard, so you can tell Karabiner Elements to leave Apple keyboards alone!
« Last Edit: Sat, 05 November 2016, 08:23:25 by tooki »

Offline Varmilo MNF

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 07 November 2016, 06:33:54 »
Hi I'm so sorry for seeing this problem so late. I will feedback your questions to our engineer tomorrow and get back to you soon. Just for your reference, I do have a customer had problem on pairing since his dual OS can not distinguish the bluetooth device, finally we found out the problem, because our keyboard is NKRO, and some OS only can recognize six key no rush, so we send a software to this customer, his problem was solved by upgrading the keyboard. I don't know whether your problem is same as his, anyway, i will cehck tomorrow. could you pls drop me an email so that I can reach you by the first min, my email address is zhh19@zhihaihe.cn  tks


Hi Cynthia,

I received my VB87M from massdrop a few days ago and love the build quality and feel of the keyboard.  Even though I was able to pair successfully and use the core features I did notice a few issues on my Macbook Pro (El Capitan).

1. The keyboard will not pair when I'm at the FileVault login screen (before the OS loads).  I will either have to connect a USB keyboard or use the built-in laptop keyboard to enter my password - both are a pain since my laptop is normally closed and connected to an external monitor.  Apple Bluetooth products (like Magic Mouse and Apple wireless KB) pair successfully at this screen so I know it can be done.  If this can't be fixed it would be great if I could just connect the VB87M via USB, but it seems to be for charging only and will not treat it as a normal USB keyboard (can you confirm?)

2. May be related to issue #1 but the VB87M is only detected as a generic bluetooth device which prevents me from setting up Keyboard preferences like Modifier Keys.  This would probably also allow Mac OS to detect battery life too maybe?

In general, will Varmilo provide a way to update the keyboard firmware to fix issues like the Bluetooth ones above?

There are other issues some of the Massdrop community is reporting, you may want to check it out: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/varmilo-vb87m-bluetooth/talk

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Offline Varmilo MNF

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 08 November 2016, 05:35:37 »
Hi good to hear everything goes fine on the connection. The function you mentioned is Bluetooth Memory function, it will be realised in our coming new product. Anyway, thank you for your suggestion, if you had any problem, pls feel free to let me know


I was able to successfully pair with my Win 7 machine after downloading the latest driver direct from the Bluetooth manufacturer (Broadcomm).  Apparently ASUS has very old drivers on their site.  I can now leverage the VB87M on both my PC and Mac. 

Now the issue I have is being able to switch between both of them easily.  I know BT is not really meant for this, but it would be awesome if it could.  The keyboard can store up to 7 paired devices, so I've tried using Fn+→ to try to cycle through the devices, but it seems like it mostly pairs back to the most recent device.  Randomly it would pair with the second device, maybe 1 out of 15 times.  I thought maybe there was some other way to indicate which device to pair with using Fn+→+[# key like 1, 2, 3, etc.]  That would be a great feature to add in future releases!

Turning BT off is not really an option since I need the keyboard to be connected in order to type in my password.

If anyone (or the Varmilo contact) has any creative ideas I would love to hear them.

Offline Varmilo MNF

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 11 April 2017, 21:22:27 »
Hi I'm so sorry for seeing this problem so late. I will feedback your questions to our engineer tomorrow and get back to you soon. Just for your reference, I do have a customer had problem on pairing since his dual OS can not distinguish the bluetooth device, finally we found out the problem, because our keyboard is NKRO, and some OS only can recognize six key no rush, so we send a software to this customer, his problem was solved by upgrading the keyboard. I don't know whether your problem is same as his, anyway, i will cehck tomorrow. could you pls drop me an email so that I can reach you by the first min, my email address is zhh19@zhihaihe.cn  tks


Hi Cynthia,

I received my VB87M from massdrop a few days ago and love the build quality and feel of the keyboard.  Even though I was able to pair successfully and use the core features I did notice a few issues on my Macbook Pro (El Capitan).

1. The keyboard will not pair when I'm at the FileVault login screen (before the OS loads).  I will either have to connect a USB keyboard or use the built-in laptop keyboard to enter my password - both are a pain since my laptop is normally closed and connected to an external monitor.  Apple Bluetooth products (like Magic Mouse and Apple wireless KB) pair successfully at this screen so I know it can be done.  If this can't be fixed it would be great if I could just connect the VB87M via USB, but it seems to be for charging only and will not treat it as a normal USB keyboard (can you confirm?)

2. May be related to issue #1 but the VB87M is only detected as a generic bluetooth device which prevents me from setting up Keyboard preferences like Modifier Keys.  This would probably also allow Mac OS to detect battery life too maybe?

In general, will Varmilo provide a way to update the keyboard firmware to fix issues like the Bluetooth ones above?

There are other issues some of the Massdrop community is reporting, you may want to check it out: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/varmilo-vb87m-bluetooth/talk

Thank you for your time and consideration!
VB87 is only working after entering the OS, currently USB cable is only for charging but not for transfering the data.

Offline mrjsykes

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  • Location: Long Beach, Ca
Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 19 April 2017, 03:06:18 »
Is there any word on possible support with MacOS Sierra? I was forced to upgrade for work and now my keyboard doesn't pair.

I've had the keyboard for a while and it's just perfect, so the lack of Sierra support is a real bummer. :(

Offline Varmilo MNF

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 08 May 2017, 02:47:07 »
Hi, it should be OK to work with Mac OS, have you try to reset the keyboard?

Offline killtw

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 09 June 2017, 02:36:12 »
I've had my VB87M for over a year now, and I've had nothing but problems with it.  It would randomly drop characters on my mac, and randomly disconnect on my Windows 10.

Using VB87M with MBP 2015 late, have same issue.
When I'm coding, it drives me crazy :mad:

Offline techfresh

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 09 August 2017, 00:11:56 »
Any update on whether the VB87M will pair with Mac OS Sierra?

Offline fancy_pantser

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 28 August 2017, 15:31:42 »
I'm using a VB87M on 3 laptops (only one at a time of course, switching a few times a week): 2015 Macbook Air, 2013 MBP 15, and a new 2016 MBP 15. They're all running Sierra. I also use the Magic Trackpad 2 alongside it. I rearranged the keys to match the original Apple layout on the bottom row.

I haven't had any issues with it at all. I turn it on and it pairs within a second. If I'm switching to pair it on a different device, I force BT search by hitting fn+→ and away we go! No need to use a pairing code again once it has paired once with a device previously. I installed Karabiner-Elements on all the macbooks to swap cmd/opt keys. I also used it to remap the function keys to map the media functions on the legends I have (i.e. F9 = mute).

In the past I've had some bluetooth keyboards that cut out or repeated keys and it was super frustrating. However, the Varmilo has never done that on any 3 of the devices so far. I've used it about 300 hours so far. I charge it as soon as the power light starts flashing because I am not sure how long before it will die. With the stand I generally use, the laptop is never more than 20" away from the keyboard, but I have picked it up and walked around the room with it to see if it "stutters" and didn't see any issues.

Can you check the area for strong BT signal interference? Usual culprits are listed here.

General English instructions: http://i.imgur.com/nNyrDBj.jpg

Offline techfresh

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 29 August 2017, 10:29:27 »
It was pairing OK on this laptop in the same position when I was on Yosemite.  I would swap between my MBP 2016 and Win7 PC without any issues using the same method you do.  Once MBP went to Sierra it no longer connects.

I have a new BT speaker next to the laptop.  I'll test out moving it later today, but not sure that is the issue since I have no problems currently connecting to my PC, which is further away.  Hopefully that fixes it, would be nice - I never liked that BT speaker anyway.

Thanks for the help!

Offline fancy_pantser

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 01 September 2017, 13:35:05 »
techfresh: did you get it working yet?  :)

Offline Varmilo MNF

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Re: Varmilo VB87M Bluetooth issues on Mac
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 01 November 2017, 02:03:19 »
I'm using a VB87M on 3 laptops (only one at a time of course, switching a few times a week): 2015 Macbook Air, 2013 MBP 15, and a new 2016 MBP 15. They're all running Sierra. I also use the Magic Trackpad 2 alongside it. I rearranged the keys to match the original Apple layout on the bottom row.

I haven't had any issues with it at all. I turn it on and it pairs within a second. If I'm switching to pair it on a different device, I force BT search by hitting fn+→ and away we go! No need to use a pairing code again once it has paired once with a device previously. I installed Karabiner-Elements on all the macbooks to swap cmd/opt keys. I also used it to remap the function keys to map the media functions on the legends I have (i.e. F9 = mute).

In the past I've had some bluetooth keyboards that cut out or repeated keys and it was super frustrating. However, the Varmilo has never done that on any 3 of the devices so far. I've used it about 300 hours so far. I charge it as soon as the power light starts flashing because I am not sure how long before it will die. With the stand I generally use, the laptop is never more than 20" away from the keyboard, but I have picked it up and walked around the room with it to see if it "stutters" and didn't see any issues.

Can you check the area for strong BT signal interference? Usual culprits are listed here.

General English instructions: http://i.imgur.com/nNyrDBj.jpg

Hello, thank you very much for this information.