Why Do My AirPods Keep Cutting Out?

Apple’s AirPods have become the gold standard for true wireless speakers. No matter how good they are, there are some definite caveats. For example, AirPods disconnecting during calls, listening to songs, and streaming movies. If you have faced it, you’re not alone.

We’re sad to inform you that the problem is not only with your unit but can also be found in the other ones. Many AirPod users have complained in Apple’s support forums regarding the disconnecting issue of their Airpods. So, this problem is quite common. 

But don’t worry. You can fix these issues. If one method does not work for you, another one will. This article has rounded up all the reasons why your AirPods keep cutting out and how you can fix them. So, read along and get your AirPod woes sorted!

Reasons why AirPod keep cutting out

AirPods and all other Bluetooth devices can get disconnected while you’re using them. There are different reasons for that. Sometimes, it’s because of a hardware problem. Signal issues and the specific versions of the OS can cause problems too.

  1. IOS is known for providing a clean and simple user experience without any bloatware. It’s quite common to have bugs in the initial stages of a new IOS release. Your AirPods can get disconnected because of the bugs. 

2. In 2016, 2017 & 2018, AirPod disconnections were causing quite a dissatisfaction among the users. IOS 10.1 annoyed a lot of users because of untimely AirPod disconnections. The problems were fixed for a while, only to emerge again on IOS 11.2.6. Users faced it again with the IOS 12.1 update! 

3. These issues might reappear in future updates as well. You can make complaints on Apple’s support forums regarding this. So, bugs in software updates can disconnect your AirPods. Keep it in mind.

4. Sometimes, there are problems with AirPod sensors. The sensors are designed to detect when they’re in your ears and when you’re using the mic. If there is a problem with the sensors, you will have disconnection issues. 

5. Another annoying problem we personally experienced is Bluetooth connection switching back and forth. This can be solved by contacting Apple’s support forums though. If there is a problem with your unit, you can get it fixed or replace it at an Apple store.

We have compiled a collection of solutions to AirPods getting disconnected below. Whatever your problem is with the AirPod, hopefully, one of our methods will get it fixed.

What to do when my AirPod keeps cutting out?

You might have different issues on different devices with your AirPods. So, we have suggested solutions for each device, i.e., iPhone/iPad, Macbook, Windows pc. 

Remember, some of the solutions are applicable to other devices, such as cleaning your AirPods, recharging them, checking the Bluetooth connection, etc. We will start off with connection issues on iPhone/iPad.

AirPods keep disconnecting on iPhone or Ipad

Solution 1: Check battery levels of your AirPods

Insufficient power is one of the most common causes of AirPods’ disconnection. When your earbud’s battery dies, your connection will automatically be cut off. The audio won’t be cut off, but the Bluetooth connection will.

So, you need to check your AirPods’ battery status. This can be done following some really simple steps.

  1. Place your AirPods inside the case and bring them close to the phone.

2. Open the lid of the case and a popup will appear on your iPhone screen showing the battery level of the AirPods. It will show you the battery level of the case as well.

You can check it from the widget’s section of your phone. If you haven’t added the battery widget yet, here’s how to do it.

  1. Swipe left to right from your home screen and scroll down.
  2. Keep scrolling until you find an Edit button. Tap on it and add the Batteries widget. 

The best thing about this widget is it will show you the battery levels of all the associated Apple devices.

Pro tip: Charge your AirPod case regularly, and don’t use your AirPods/AirPods pro or any other AirPod model too much on a low battery. It reduces the battery life of your Bluetooth device.

Solution 2: Keep your phone and AirPods close

Bluetooth headphones are easy to use. But they have a certain range. This is quite obvious. If you take your AirPods too far away from the iPhone or iPad, it will get disconnected or sound patchy. It’s best to keep your AirPods within 15 feet of your Apple devices. Apple says 30 feet distance is fine, but we don’t recommend that as it does not provide the best experience.

Solution 3: Check your Bluetooth connection

Wireless headphones are convenient because you can use them while sitting, lying, and standing without worrying about the wire wrangling you up or disconnecting. But as they rely on Bluetooth connection, they are prone to more disconnection issues and interferences. Sometimes you can accidentally turn off the Bluetooth of your iPhone/iPad. If the Bluetooth is turned off for any reason, your AirPods will be disconnected. 

  • Just swipe down on your screen to open Control Center on your iPhone and Ipad. Check whether or not Bluetooth is activated. Tap to make the slide option green.
  • You can go to settings to access the Bluetooth options. Follow the same procedure as before and turn on the Bluetooth if it’s been turned off.

Solution 4: Choose the correct audio setting

You need to make sure AirPods are selected as your audio device. If you haven’t done it already, follow the simple procedure mentioned below.

  1. Play some music from your iPhone/iPad. You will see an AirPlay button below the track (if it’s selected). Tap on it. Choose AirPod from the options.

2. When you’re calling, ensure you have picked AirPods as your default audio device. You can simply tap on the speaker icon and choose AirPods from it.

Solution 5: Disconnect AirPods and reconnect

Turning off and on works with most electronic devices. You can try it for your AirPods as well. Follow these simple steps and check again. Sometimes reconnecting the AirPods will fix the cutting-off issue.

  1. Disconnect the Bluetooth connection of your iPhone/iPad.
  2. Put the AirPods in the charging case and close the lid.
  3. Leave it like that for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Now, on the back of the charging case, you will find a setup button. Press and hold it for a few seconds.
  5. The light will flash amber and then white. It indicates your AirPods have been reset.
  6. Now turn on the Bluetooth and open the lid of the case. Keep your iPhone/iPad and the case close.

Solution 6: Clean the AirPods

It’s quite common to see Apple AirPods malfunctioning because of dirt. So, you might want to clean them every once in a while. You have to clean your AirPods delicately, or you could scratch or damage them. Apple recommends cleaning your AirPods with a soft, dry, and lint-free cloth. Just give the case and the AirPods a gentle rinse. You could fix AirPods like this if they were malfunctioning because of dirt. If it doesn’t, you have a different problem.

Solution 7: Use a single AirPod instead 

Yeah, it’s funny and weird. But it works sometimes. Many users claim they got better results when they used a single AirPod. You can follow that as well. Use an AirPod you’re comfortable with (left/right) and leave the other one in the charging case.

You can also set up your AirPods in a way that only a single AirPod microphone is used. If you don’t know how to do that, follow these steps.

  1. Open the AirPods charging case, go to Settings/tap on the Bluetooth icon from the Action Center by swiping down on the home screen.
  • Tap on the i icon next to the AirPods and got to the Microphone setting.
  • Both earbuds of the AirPod come with a microphone. So. the option is automatic by default. You can change it according to your preference- Always right/Always left.

Solution 8: Turn off Automatic Ear Detection

Apple AirPods and AirPods pro come with an automatic ear detection option. But the feature can cause troubles as well. This is something you should definitely consider. If your AirPods are having connection issues, try turning off the automatic ear detection feature. Follow this process.

  1. Go to Settings and tap Bluetooth on your ios device.
  2. Choose the i button next to your Airpods. You will find the Automatic Ear Detection Feature. Disable it by switching the slider.

The feature is included to divert the audio automatically once the AirPods are in your ears. But sometimes it can have some issues. Try turning it off.

Solution 9: Turn off Wifi on your iPhone and Ipad

This doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. But we have fixed our AirPod disconnection issue by switching the Wifi off and on in the past. It may have to do with Wifi interferences. In the next solution, you will learn how to fix Wifi interference problems with your AirPod.

Solution 10: Check sources for Bluetooth and Wifi interference

There are so many devices that can cause interference. You probably use a lot of devices with the same Wifi, so do we. It’s possible that some of those devices are responsible for audio drops. Here’s what you can do to avoid the problem.

  • If you are having issues when you’re in calls, move closer to your iPhone/iPad if you aren’t.
  • Move away from other interfering devices such as microwave ovens, wireless phones, home security systems, Bluetooth speakers, wireless cameras and so on.
  • Allow devices to use the 5 GHz band that are compatible with it. It will free up the devices that use the 2.4 GHz band. It will reduce the interferences.

So, these were the solutions you can try out on your iPhone and iPad when your AirPods start cutting out.

AirPods keep disconnecting on Mac (fixes)

Unfortunately, you can experience cutting off problems of your AirPods across all devices. If you’re on a Mac, you can try out the following solutions. 

Check for updates for the macOS

The first thing you should do is check if your Mac is running on the latest OS.

  • Click on the Apple icon from the top left of your screen and select About this Mac.
  • You will find a Software Update option. Click on it.
  • If you have any pending updates available, follow the instructions and update your macOS.

Unpair your AirPods

If updating the macOS doesn’t solve your problem, try unpairing your AirPods. It can solve the problem sometimes. Then, you can pair your AirPods again.

Click on the Apple icon from the top-left corner and go to System Preferences.

  1. Go to the Bluetooth section.
  2. Select your AirPods from the Devices list.
  3. Right-click on the AirPods and choose Remove to unpair the AirPod.
  4. Click on Remove once again to confirm unpairing your AirPods.

Now your AirPods are disconnected from your Mac. Here’s how to pair it again.

  1. Keep the Macbook open and within the range of your AirPod. Now open the AirPod case while keeping the earbuds in. Now press and hold the white button until it flashes up.
  2. Go to System Preferences like before. Then, go to Bluetooth and choose AirPods from the devices. Make sure the Bluetooth on your Mac is turned on. 
  3. Finally, press Connect to confirm pairing your AirPods.

Forget the paired device

If your AirPods keep cutting out and the previous method hasn’t solved your problem, you can try this method.

  1. Forgetting a device is fairly simple on a mac. Just go to Bluetooth like before and you will see a circular ‘X’ button beside your connected AirPods. Click on it and your Airpods will be forgotten.
  2. Not just your AirPods, we recommend forgetting all other connected devices using the same method.
  3. Then, you should turn on the Bluetooth again, select your AirPods from the available devices and pair it.

Remove harmful/unwanted apps

Sometimes some apps can cause problems with your AirPods. Check and make sure the apps you use are safe and don’t interfere with your AirPods. If you have apps like this, remove them.

Clean up your Mac

Caches can disrupt your AirPods connection. If you haven’t cleaned your Mac for a while, you might want to give it a look. You can clean your computer with a cleaning app more efficiently. 

We recommend the app called CleanmyMacX. You can download the app for free. The free version will let you do some light troubleshooting. We recommend getting the paid version though. It will help you clean up the following things.

  • Apps that use audio outputs
  • Junk files
  • Extensions

After installing the app, go to system junk and clean your system. Hopefully, it will solve the problems.

Resetting the PRAM and SMC

If you cannot connect your AirPods to the Macbook, the previous methods will not work. You will need to reset the PRAM and SMC settings of your computer. SMC controls your system management. It handles your Bluetooth connections as well. You can search for how to reset SMC in Mac. You will get plenty of resources.

AirPods are great and connect automatically when they’re close to your Apple device. But things can go wrong sometimes and your AirPods may start glitching. If any junk files or extensions cause trouble, you can use Cleanmymac X to fix it.

AirPods keep disconnecting on Apple Watch

If you are having trouble connecting your AirPods to the Apple Watch, there are some easy fixes for it. 

  • Start by turning off your Apple Watch and iPhone chronologically.
  • Turn on your iPhone first so the fix works properly. 
  • When both of the devices are turned on, connect the AirPods and check performance.

If it still doesn’t work, you can reset your AirPods.

AirPods keep disconnecting on Windows PC

AirPods work well with most modern-day Bluetooth devices. It works well with Windows PCs as well. However, we prefer wireless Beats headphones on Windows PCs. But they can also have disconnection issues. So, if your Bluetooth devices keep cutting out on your Windows PC, try out the following methods.

Turn off Power Management

If you have used AirPods with a Windows PC, you may have noticed that when you pause a song, the AirPods can be turned off automatically in an attempt to save power. You need to disable the Power Management setting to fix this.

Step 1: Go to the search button in Windows and search for Device Manager.

Step 2: Click on view and tick on the Devices by type like shown in the screenshot.

Step 3: You will find a Human Interface Device option. Expand it and you will see two options- AirPods Audio/Video Remote Control HID and AirPods Hands-Free Call Control HID. 

Step 4: Right-click on each of the entries and go to Properties.

Step 5: After that, go to Power Management. You need to untick the option- Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option and click Ok to confirm.

If you don’t find the AirPods under the HID section, look for them in the hidden devices section, like shown in the picture.

Utilize the Services App

Step 1: You can find the Services app by searching from the taskbar.

Step 2: Open the Services app. Scroll down and find Bluetooth Audio Gateway Service and Bluetooth Support Service.

Step 3: Double click on the Bluetooth Audio Gateway Service and change the Startup type to Automatic. Repeat the process for Bluetooth Support Service as well.

Step 4: Restart your computer after the changes have been applied. If your problem still persists, you can try uninstalling the Bluetooth drivers. 

Uninstalling the Bluetooth drivers

If you have tried the Device Manager and Services method already and your problem still persists, you can try reinstalling the Bluetooth drivers. It should remove the bugs. Follow along with us to do it.

Step 1: Just like before, go to Device Manager by searching it in the taskbar.

Step 2: Click on Bluetooth to expand the Bluetooth settings and uninstall all of the drivers by double-clicking on the devices you have there.

Step 3: After you have uninstalled all of the drivers, restart your computer.

If none of the previous methods worked for you, this should work for you.

Using a Bluetooth Dongle

This is the last solution we have for you to simplify things. You can get one fairly cheap from Amazon. AirPods use Bluetooth 5.0 version as of now. If your Windows PC has a different version, you will have connection issues.

Note: If your Windows PC and AirPods have different Bluetooth versions, you cannot use your AirPods. You cannot upgrade the Bluetooth version of your computer. So, use a Bluetooth dongle instead.

FAQs

Why do my AirPods keep cutting out music?

If you are surrounded by a lot of Bluetooth devices using the same Wifi, your AirPods may cut out during playing music. Bluetooth and Wifi use the same frequency 2.4 GHz. Try changing the Wifi frequency. Like we said earlier, it will reduce the interference.

Why do my AirPods keep cutting out on my laptop?

We have discussed the reasons in detail throughout this article. Let’s summarize it here for you. The most common cause is the Bluetooth interference of other devices.

Hardware defects, different laptop settings and battery levels are some of the other notable reasons behind your AirPods cutting out.

Why does my AirPod keep cutting out on Android?

First of all, AirPods are not designed for Android devices but they can be used on them. If your AirPods are cutting out on Android, you can try unpairing the device, forget the device or resetting it and re-pair it.

Why does my laptop keep cutting out on Spotify?

Many users have claimed that Spotify has been cut out too many times on their laptops. There are some fixes you can try. Uninstall the app and re-install it. 

Another method you can try is going to Windows Explorer and locating %AppData%. Then delete all the Spotify folders in Local and Roaming folders.

Final Words

AirPods are excellent Bluetooth devices. But it can yield some unexpected experiences sometimes like cutting out while using them. AirPods may have sound problem and become quiet. It can happen on any device. 

Though AirPods can be used in any supporting Bluetooth devices but we recommend using them on Apple devices for getting the best experience. When used on other devices, AirPods disconnect more often.

Hope you are having an interruption-free AirPod now. Let us know if you found this article helpful. You have the knowledge now to fix disconnection issues. Share it with friends and family so they can be benefitted too.