The AirPods are Apple’s version of Bluetooth headphones. Since its release in 2016, there have been four major models—with the latest, third-generation AirPods having the new and patented, MagSafe charging case. Most AirPods have an optimal reception range of 30-60 feet.
However, users have reported a connection-related problem on their AirPods. Some AirPods are frequently disconnecting from the Apple device; some of them can’t even connect at all. There are several reasons for this issue and we’re here to help you solve just that.
In this article, we’ll show you all you need to know about why your AirPods keep on cutting out. The fixes on this guide can be applied to various models of the Apple AirPods: second-generation, Airpods Pro, and AirPods Max; as well as Beats, and Bluetooth headphones in general. So, if you’re experiencing connectivity issues on your AirPods, read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why are my AirPods Glitching or Cutting Out?
- 2 How to Fix AirPods that Keep Cutting Out
- 2.1 Fix #1: Improve your Bluetooth Connection
- 2.2 Fix #2: Unpair your AirPods and Pair Them Again
- 2.3 Fix #3: Check the AirPods’ Battery Level
- 2.4 Fix #4: Update the Firmware of your AirPods
- 2.5 Fix #5: Disable Automatic Wear Detection
- 3 Final Thoughts
Why are my AirPods Glitching or Cutting Out?
Before going into the fixes, it is important to know that the AirPods’ working principle revolves around Bluetooth technology. It is a wireless, short-range, radio wave that is used on various devices, including wireless headphones.
Although wireless headphones—like the Apple AirPods—are convenient to use, they are also prone to connectivity issues, due to the nature of the connection. The problem may come from the source (computers, laptops, smartphones), or the AirPods themselves. Here are some reasons why your AirPods are going in and out:
- Lack of power – The AirPods, and Bluetooth headphones overall, are known to consume more power to sustain a stable connection. If you’re constantly experiencing this problem even if you have just charged your AirPods, it might be a clear sign of a faulty battery.
- Software or Setting issues – Setting up your AirPods only requires you two steps: opening the top lid and pressing the Setup button on the back of the case. After doing this, your AirPods should be ready to use. However, in some cases, the AirPods suddenly disconnect or glitch due to an update or an altered setting.
- Signal Interference – Your AirPods are prone to interference from other Bluetooth devices nearby. Environments that have radio waves close by—Wi-Fi, microwave ovens—and poorly shielded cables can also cause signal interference.
- Hardware issues – When your AirPods were previously damaged, submerged in water or fluid, or just were not used for a long time, chances are your device must have significant hardware damage on its internal parts. This will cause your AirPods to behave improperly.
How to Fix AirPods that Keep Cutting Out
Now that you know all the possible reasons why your AirPods keep on getting disconnected, here are some fixes that you can apply. Most of them will involve the source of your connection (laptop, smartphone, computer).
Also, make sure to go over every fix and see which one works well for you.
Fix #1: Improve your Bluetooth Connection
If you’re listening to streamed audio content, your headphones might lose their connection more often. Try troubleshooting your device by doing the following:
- Turn on your AirPods and connect them to your device via Bluetooth.
- With the device within feet away from your AirPods, try to listen to music or audio content that is saved on your device using your headphones.
- If you’re listening on an Apple device, open the Music app or iTunes and play a song that does not have the Download button (cloud with a downward arrow) next to it.
- On Android devices, try playing downloaded music from your default music player and see if your AirPods work normally.
Another thing to avoid when using Bluetooth devices is interference. This results in distortions of audio and sudden disconnection from the source. Here are things that can improve your Bluetooth connection:
- Keep your iPhone, computer, Android device, or laptop at an optimal distance. Ensure that there are no obstructions, such as thick walls and floors, that are in between you and your device.
- Move away from busy environments—places full of Wi-Fi activity, microwave ovens, cable connections, and other wireless devices. This kind of surroundings is not ideal for your AirPods and may lead to further damage to internal components.
It is also importand to have a good bluetooth connection in case you need to find your AirPods when dead or offline.
Fix #2: Unpair your AirPods and Pair Them Again
This will work well, particularly if you’re constantly having connectivity issues—Airpods cutting in and out and keeps disconnecting. One trick is to unpair your AirPods to the device and pair them again. Here’s how you can do it:
To Unpair your AirPods from an iPhone:
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth. Alternatively, swipe up to open the Control Center, then, press and hold on to the Bluetooth icon. Select Bluetooth Settings.
- Select the AirPods and press the Info button.
- Tap Forget This Device.
- Next, restart your iPhone.
To Unpair from an Android device:
- Go to Settings > Connected Devices > Connection Preferences.
- Select Bluetooth and find your AirPods from the list of paired devices.
- Tap Unpair and restart your device.
To Pair your AirPods back to your iPhone:
- With your iPhone on the Home Screen, open the AirPods charging case and hold it near to your iPhone. A setup animation will appear.
- Tap Connect and follow the on-screen instructions. Depending on the model of your AirPods, you may be asked to sync Siri to your AirPods as a part of the setup process.
- Next, tap Done.
To Pair your AirPods back on an Android device:
- Swipe down to open the notification panel. Tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it on.
- Open the AirPods charging case and hold it close to your phone.
- Then, press the Setup button at the back of the case until the status light flashes white.
- Find your AirPods from the list of nearby Bluetooth devices, and tap to Pair.
Fix #3: Check the AirPods’ Battery Level
After not using your AirPods for a long time, you may need to charge them first for them to work normally. Once the AirPods have a low battery level, it can lead to disruptions and sudden disconnections.
To check the battery level of your AirPods via the Battery Widget, do the following:
- Apply the widget to your screen from the Widgets page. Tap and hold on to a part of your Home Screen until you see a Plus button on the top-right corner of the screen.
- Tap it and using the search bar, type in Batteries and select Add Widget.
- You can use the widget to view your AirPods’ battery level.
Fix #4: Update the Firmware of your AirPods
Your AirPods need to run with updated firmware for a seamless wireless connection to your device. To check if your AirPods run on the latest firmware available, follow these steps:
- Ensure that the AirPods are inside their charging case and connected to your iPhone.
- Go to Settings > General > About.
- Select the connected AirPods. It will display the device information including the firmware version. If it is 4C165, your AirPods should be up to date.
Currently, there are no methods to manually update your AirPods, since they update automatically when there’s a new firmware version.
Fix #5: Disable Automatic Wear Detection
One of the unique features of your AirPods is Automatic Wear Detection, where the AirPods will automatically detect if it is plugged into your ear or not. Although this might be a handy feature, it can also be the cause of disconnection issues.
To disable Automatic Wear Detection on your iPhone, do the following:
- Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
- Select your paired AirPods and tap the Info icon.
- Set the Automatic Ear Detection setting to Off.
Apple’s AirPods is one of the best with regards to sound quality, ease of use, and portability. Whether you’re using an Apple device or not, they can be easily set up as long as your device has a working Bluetooth feature.
However, nothing is more infuriating than playing your favorite music while being disconnected once in a while. So, if you’re annoyed at your AirPods or AirPods Pro cutting out every few seconds, try these fixes out and see which one will work best for you. Also, if your AirPods are suffering from hardware defects, it’s best to consult Apple Support or just buy a brand new one.