Can't pair AirPods Max to new iPhone

I recently retired my iPhone 7 Plus and got an iPhone 12 Pro Max. I just tried to pair it to my Airpod Max headphone and could not get a connection.

Theoretically, pushing and holding the power button on top of the right-side ear cup is supposed to put the Max into pairing mode as indicated by a white light on the bottom of the cup.

This does not happen; all I see is a light that flashes quickly between red and blue.

If I power on the Max and hold it close to the iPhone, the Max window does eventually appear, showing a 77% charge. The Max also appears in the list of Bluetooth devices in Settings, but never shows connected. It is possible that this listing carried over when copying the contents of the iPhone 7 Plus to the iPhone 12 Pro Max when tranfering data and accounts back when I first got the new iPhone.

Any tips or clues as to how I can move forward with this situation would be most appreciated.

Do you still have the 7 plus? You could try setting that phone to forget the AirPod Max and then retry connecting to your new phone.

Turn off the old phone and the AirPods. In bluetooth settings on the new phone, tap the circled ā€œIā€ (info) for the AirPods. In the resulting screen, tap Forget This Device. Turn Bluetooth off, wait 30 seconds, then on. Now try reconnecting the AirPods.

No need to remove AirPods from settings on old phone if you leave it turned off.

Thanks! That method worked!