This guide will show you how to fix common AirPods problems so that you can get back to enjoying your music. We’ll help you fix AirPods connection issues, AirPods charging problems and other issues like bad audio quality or problems switching them to another Apple device.
Apple’s short delay in releasing the AirPods helped iron out many issues, but there are still some problems that users run into while switching between the iPhone and a Mac. It is very easy to fix most AirPods problems and it is unlikely that you will need to return or exchange your AirPods. Don’t worry, AirPods 2 are on the way with new features.
Here are the most common AirPods problems;
- How to Fix AirPods That Won’t Connect
- How to Fix AirPods That Won’t Connect to Mac
- How to Fix AirPod Call Disconnect Problems
- How to Fix Bad AirPods Battery Life
- How to Reset AirPods
We’ll show you how to fix AirPods problems below, including what to do if you need to reset them, which can solve many AirPods problems.
How to Fix AirPods That Won’t Connect
If your AirPods won’t connect to the device that you normally use them with, the first thing to try is very simply.
Put the AirPods back in the case. Wait about 10 seconds and then take them both out and put them immediately in your ears.
After 3-5 seconds the AirPods should now connect to the device you primarily use with them. We find that if one AirPod won’t connect, adding the second to the mix is an excellent way to get them connected.
Another thing that you can try is turning Bluetooth off on your iPhone or iPad and turning it back on. Swipe up to open the Control Center, tap on Bluetooth, wait 20 seconds and then tap on Bluetooth again. Once Bluetooth is back on you can try again.
If this fails you may need to Reset the AirPods. Click here to jump to that section.
How to Fix AirPods That Won’t Connect to Mac
If you have an older Mac, it can be tougher to connect the AirPods to it. We occasionally run into issues with the Mac Pro. The steps are similar to those listed above, but you may not want to turn Bluetooth off on your Mac if you only have a Bluetooth mouse.
Instead, let’s unpair the AirPods from your Mac and then re-pair them directly to that Mac. From there, iCloud will connect them back to the other devices.
Go to System Preferences -> Bluetooth on your Mac and click on AirPods. Click on the X to unpair them. You can unpair them from any other device that you connect them to including your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. If possible turn off all the other devices after you unpair them.
On the Mac, go into the Bluetooth settings again and pair the AirPods. From there iCloud should sync the connection to your other devices again. In many cases, this will fix your Mac AirPods connection issues.
How to Fix AirPod Call Disconnect Problems
Some users report the AirPods disconnect on calls. This is especially annoying during important calls and while you are driving or walking. There are a lot of potential factors that can cause the AirPods to disconnect while on a call, so there are many steps you can try taking.
The first thing to try is taking a call with just one AirPod in. This is the primary way we make calls, and it usually works without any problem.
Set the AirPods to always use the right or left AirPod for the microphone. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth -> Tap on the i to the right of AirPods. Tap on Microphone and then choose left or right.
You may also want to try turning off Automatic Ear Detection. This means the AirPods won’t know if they are in your ear, so you lose some features, but it could help you nail down why your AirPods are disconnecting during calls. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth -> Tap on the i to the right of AirPods. Tap on the toggle to the right of Automatic Ear Detection.
You can also try restarting your iPhone completely and by making sure your AirPods are fully charged. If that doesn’t fix the issue you may want to try a complete reset of AirPods.
How to Fix Bad AirPods Battery Life
AirPods battery life should be about five hours on a charge, another 3 hours with just a 15-minute charge and about 24 hours total using the case to charge in between sessions.
If you are experiencing bad AirPods battery life you should make sure that the automatic detection is on. This will pause the AirPods when you remove them and it will help save battery life in the long run. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth -> Tap on the i to the right of AirPods. Tap on the toggle to the right of Automatic Ear Detection. Green is on.
Avoid constantly flicking the case open and closed near your iPhone. We don’t know for sure that this is draining battery life, but it is triggering an AirPods animation on the iPhone so it would make sense that some kind of Bluetooth handshake is happening.
One battery life issue that we’ve run into after a year of use is that battery life is lower than it was when we first got them. There is no quick fix for this, since the battery has degraded over time. If it gets too bad you can see if Apple will replace it under warranty.
Some users report that the AirPods case is draining fast without any use. If this happens you can try resetting the AirPods. If that fails, you should contact Apple and go into a store to exchange for a new pair of AirPods.
How to Reset AirPods
It takes about 15 seconds to reset the AirPods and this will solve many of the AIrPods problems listed above as well as general connectivity issues and glitchy AirPods behavior.
- Put the AirPods in the case.
- Find the button on the back and hold it for about 15 seconds.
- When the small LED flashes orange it is complete.
- Open the case next to your iPhone and reconnect.
- iCloud will then sync the connection to your other devices.
We found that after we reset the AirPods they connected faster and more reliably. This is worth trying if you have annoying AirPods problems that you can’t fix any other way.
Buy AirPods 2 for Hands Free Hey Siri
If you use Siri all the time, you should buy AirPods 2 so that you can stop tapping your ear like it's 2001. With the AirPods 2 you get the H1 chip that enables "Hey Siri" control.
When the AirPods are in your ear, all you need to do is say, " Hey Siri" and you will be able to control the volume, make a call, send a text message and any other Siri feature that you use.
This is even more of a benefit if you use Siri Shortcuts. With these, you will be able to control many more things and you can even control Spotify with Siri shortcuts -- at least in small ways.
The "Hey Siri" feature is a major convenience upgrade for Siri users, and it's one of the biggest reasons to buy the new AirPods, even if you own the existing model.
Now that Spotify works with Siri, you can even control your Spotify listening with Hey Siri on your AirPods, and it's a major upgrade.
If you buy the older model, you need to tap on the AirPod to start Siri control. This isn't a great way to use Siri. Even with "Hey Siri" on your iPhone and Apple Watch, using the AirPod to get Siri without taking your phone out of your pocket or raising your wrist is a great upgrade.
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