Are you angry because your brand new pair of AirPods keep disconnecting while streaming music or during calls? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and the problem is easily solved in most cases.
The AirPods have been having connection issues in different stages since they were launched back in 2016 and every time there’s a new iOS or Mac OS update, some bugs tend to come back but they can be squashed quickly if you use this guide.
Lately, there’s been a bug about the new automatic switching feature which can be turned off as well, if that’s what you’re dealing with. The automatic switching feature auto-detects which device you’re using at that exact moment between iPhone, iPad, or Mac and tries to connect automatically to that active device.
That can be a problem if you’re using them at the same time yet you want to keep your connection to 1 device only. If your problem isn’t the new automatic switching feature, keep reading and we’ll help you solve it.
Why do my AirPods keep disconnecting?
Believe it or not, there are many reasons that can be causing connection issues with your AirPods. It could be a hardware problem, a software problem, or even signal interference.
A hardware issue is easy to fix as there can only be a couple of possibilities. Either your AirPods are not charged for a few reasons, or they’re defective and you need to take them to an Apple Store.
Software issues on the other hand are easy to fix but require a few minutes and some patience as well. The good thing about software issues is that you won’t need a new pair of AirPods soon.
Signal issues are harder to detect and fix, but usually, it comes down to a device creating noise around the same area, such as a microwave oven or a big metallic device between your AirPods and the source. Baby monitors, radios, and cordless phones are other devices known to create interference.
Sometimes even the WiFi connection is an issue and the more devices you have working in the 5GHz band instead of 2.4GHz, the better as it will free some space for regular 2.4GHz devices.
Let’s go over all of the problems and how to fix them.
Problem 1: Battery life
I know. I know…
You’ve probably charged your AirPods before using them, but it’s always good to ask as sometimes it happens that only one AirPod is charged while the other isn’t. Other times you know you were definitely charging them inside the case, but you didn’t realize the case’s battery was empty or there was a problem that didn’t allow it to charge your AirPods.
Whatever it is, make sure your case is charged (preferably connect it to a USB cable) and also put back your AirPods and see if the charging light turns orange. If that happens, leave them for 5 minutes and try again. You might be surprised at how many times the problem was the battery somehow.
Check the battery level in the widgets area or by opening the case lid while placing it near your iPhone/iPad and you’ll be able to confirm the battery levels and charging status.
Problem 2: Bluetooth is off
For some reason, the Bluetooth connection might be off in your iDevice. Perhaps you switched to airplane mode before and forgot to turn it off, or perhaps you accidentally disabled your BT connection while pressing your phone inside your pocket.
Just go to your Settings -> Bluetooth and make sure the green indicator is on and also make sure your AirPods are properly paired to your iDevice.
If your Bluetooth connection is acting weird or you have many devices, try turning it off on purpose and turn it on 20 seconds later. That should help to reconnect to all nearby devices.
Problem 3: Selected Audio Device
Sometimes it could be that your AirPods are connected yet your output device is assigned to a different source. This problem is more common on the Apple TV or a Mac, where you can switch between many different connections easily, yet it’s possible to do so in the iOS ecosystem as well.
It’s worth a look, perhaps the call or music you have is being streamed in the regular iPhone speaker or on another sound device placed in another room of your house.
Now that we’ve talked about the regular problems that can be solved just by checking things and are common human errors, let’s move to the solutions when nothing helps.
Solution 1: Connect your AirPods as if it was your first time
Sometimes you need something more extreme than just turning them off and on again. Take off your AirPods and put them back in the case. Make sure they’re disconnected everywhere and if needed, wait 10-20 seconds to confirm this.
Go to your Bluetooth settings and select the device and click “forget” to erase it from your iCloud profile.
Now it’s like you didn’t have any AirPods and you are pairing them for the first time. Make sure the AirPods have some charge and open the lid.
Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the led flashes from amber to white color to put reset them. Now that you’ve done a hard reset, it’s time to pair them again.
Open the lid near your iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions. Needless to say, your iDevice needs to have the Bluetooth connection enabled while doing it. Your device will automatically be synced in all of your Apple devices as long as they share the same iCloud ID.
Solution 2: Turn off Automatic ear detection
Sometimes your AirPods just work better without it. You can find that option inside your Bluetooth settings and then selecting the “i” next to your AirPods.
Solution 3: Turn off Automatic switching
As we explained t the beginning of this article, this new feature introduced in iOS14 and Mac OS Big Sur is great when it works, but can be problematic when it doesn’t. Turn it off if you’re using many iDevices at the same time.
AirPods keep disconnecting from Mac
If the only device you’re pairing your AirPods with is a MacBook or iMac, the problem might be easier to solve.
Usually, the problem is that your AirPods are connected via Bluetooth yet the output source is different. Go to System preferences -> Sound and then to the “Output” tab. Select your AirPods and if they are already selected try switching back to the computer audio and then select the AirPods again after 10 seconds.
If this doesn’t help, go to your Bluetooth settings and delete the AirPods profile from there. Now pair your AirPods again as every new Bluetooth device and they should work as long as you make sure you don’t have any of the problems mentioned above.
If you’re having problems connecting your AirPods to another device (such as a PS4), feel free to leave a comment below.
Finally, if your AirPods don’t work after doing all this, perhaps it’s time to visit the Apple Store and see what a Genius has to say about your AirPods. Good luck!