Why Do My AirPods Keep Cutting Out?

Written by Ivana Kotorchevikj Apple Airpods

Linkedin - 10 min read

There’s nothing more frustrating than when you are listening to music on your AirPods and they keep cutting out.

The wireless AirPod earbuds have become really popular ever since their launch in 2016. However, just like any other piece of technology, people have been constantly reporting problems with their AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Some of the most common issues are AirPods flashing white and not connecting, their sound is muffled, or one AirPod is louder than the other.

But, AirPod users have also noticed that sometimes their AirPods are cutting out and are confused about what might be causing the issue.

Below, we’ll explain what might be causing the AirPods to cut out and how to fix the issue.

Why do my AirPods keep cutting out?

Sometimes AirPods can experience problems and keep on disconnecting from the Apple device they are connected to, whether iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, Apple Watch, or Windows laptops.

Before presenting some solutions to the AirPods cutting out the issue, let’s explore the reasons for this problem.

  1. Software issues - Your iPhone may have had a software update that accidentally changed some settings with your device.
  2. Hardware issue - There may be a physical defect with your AirPods.
  3. Signal issue - Wireless headphones are prone to signal interference.
  4. Low battery power - Low battery level is a typical reason for the audio to cut out on Bluetooth headphones. AirPods have a fairly long battery life of up to 5 hours of listening time or 3 hours of talk time on a single charge. However, if you forgot to charge your AirPods and their battery is low, it will cut the Bluetooth connection, causing the audio interruption.
  5. Bluetooth interference - Bluetooth connection and consequently audio can switch off due to incorrect Bluetooth scanning, or because of no app permissions to modify your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings.
  6. Bluetooth device incompatibility - Some iOS devices may operate on the latest Bluetooth version and be connected to other headphones or other devices. This may also cause connectivity issues and can cause AirPods audio to cut out.

So, troubleshooting solutions can vary from simple to complex depending on the issue. Keep on reading to discover how to fix your AirPods cutting out.

Why do my AirdPods keep cutting out

How to fix AirPods cutting out

We’ll start exploring from the simplest to the more complex solutions about how to fix if your AirPods are cutting out.

Check the AirPods battery level

The most common reason for the disconnects is the low battery level of your AirPods. If you are using iPhone, you check the AirPod battery via the Battery widget:

  1. Open the Battery widget: Tap and hold on to the home screen until the icons start to wiggle.
  2. Tap on the ‘+’ icon in the upper left corner to access the widget page.
  3. Scroll down and select the battery widget, then select ‘Add Widget’.

Now, you will be able to keep track of your AirPods battery life and make sure it doesn’t get too low to affect the audio and connection.

Alternatively, you can put the AirPods back in the charging case with the lid open. Then bring your iPhone near the headphones, and you’ll see a notification window on your phone showing the charging status of the case and the individual AirPods.

Keep your iPhone and AirPods closer

This may be an obvious fix, however, if you keep your iPhone at a distance from your AirPods, it may cause the patchy connection and your AirPods to cut off. Try keeping your phone closer than 30 feet from your AirPods and the issue should be fixed.

Check the audio source

Make sure you have selected AirPods as the audio source on your iPhone:

  1. Play music on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the AirPlay icon below the track.
  3. From the options, select ‘AirPods’.
  4. If you are on a call, make sure you’ve selected AirPods from the available audio options on the screen during a call.

Note: When you are making a call, tap on the speaker icon to change the audio source.

Check the Bluetooth settings

If the battery distance and audio source are okay, next you should check the Bluetooth settings. As we mentioned previously, AirPods use Bluetooth to connect to your device, and an issue with the connection may be causing the earbuds to cut out.

To check if Bluetooth is enabled on your device:

  1. Go to the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad and check if Bluetooth is on.
  2. Alternatively, go to Settings > Bluetooth, and check if the toggle is on.

If Bluetooth is on and you still experience issues, you can turn it off and on again:

  1. First, unpair your AirPods from other devices they may have connected to.
  2. Then, turn off Bluetooth on your phone.
  3. Next, turn Bluetooth back on and see if your AirPods reconnect automatically, and fix the problem with the patchy audio.

Unpair and reconnect your AirPods

If the problem is still not fixed, you may go a step further and unpair your AirPods from your phone, and reconnect them again.

To unpair your AirPods from your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap on ‘Bluetooth’.
  3. Tap on the ‘i’ icon next to the AirPods in the list of devices.
  4. Tap on ’Forget this device’.

To reconnect your AirPods:

  1. Unlock your iPhone and go to the home screen.
  2. Place your AirPods in the case, leave the lid open, and put them next to your iPhone.
  3. A setup animation will appear.
  4. Tap on the ‘Connect’ option.

How to fix AirPods cutting out

Disable automatic ear detection

Automatic ear detection is a smart feature that automatically detects when the AirPods are in your ears. If you take the AirPods out of your ear, the music stops. If you put them back in, the music continues to play.

However, the feature may also cause the disconnect issue, especially if you share your head while wearing the AirPods. It’s a good idea to disable the automatic detection:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’.
  2. Tap on ‘Bluetooth’.
  3. Tap on the info ‘i’ icon next to the AirPods.
  4. Disables toggle next to ‘Automatic ear detection’.

You can also try disabling ‘Automatic switching between devices’ - a feature that allows AirPods to switch between connected Apple devices automatically. This is helpful if you have several Apple devices. However, it also may cause the AirPods to randomly cut out.

To disable the feature, go to Settings > Bluetooth > ‘i’ icon next to the AirPods. Then tap on ‘Connect to this iPhone’ and make sure the Automatic switching between devices option is off. Then select the ‘When last connected to this iPhone’ option.

✔️ Also read: How to Fix: AirPods Randomly Connect

Reset your AirPods

In case none of the solutions above solved the problems with the AirPods disconnecting, you can try to reset your AirPods.

  1. Put the AirPods in the charging case.
  2. Close the lid and keep it like that for 15 seconds.
  3. After this, open the lid. Press and hold the setup button until the light flashes amber several times.

After the process is finished, the indicator light will flash white.

Update the AirPods firmware

The issue with the AirPods cutting out may be also caused by outdated firmware. Check if there is an update for the firmware:

  1. Put your AirPods in their case and connect them to your iPhone.
  2. Open ‘Settings’.
  3. Tap on ‘General’ and then tap ‘About’.
  4. Scroll down and select ‘AirPods’. A screen will display details about the AirPods, including the firmware version.
  5. To update the firmware, plug a Lightning cable into the bottom of the charging case. Also, leave the case next to your iPhone for a while (preferably overnight).
  6. If a new software version is detected, the latest firmware update should be installed automatically with the software update. Note: There is no way to force install a firmware version on the AirPods.

Reset network connection

Sometimes resetting the network connection can help to resolve any network issues that prevent your phone from connecting to your AirPods.

To reset the network connection, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. After this, reconnect your AirPods and check if the issue is fixed.

Clean your AirPods

You may also try cleaning your AirPods from dirt that has accumulated in the speakers and thus may be causing the audio to cut out.

You can use a microfiber cloth and a fine-edged tool such as a toothpick, dental floss stick, bobby pin, needle, or a cotton swab to dig the dirt out of the tiny corners.

Final words

The solutions listed above should help you eliminate the issue and get your AirPods in working order. However, if you tried all the fixes and your AirPods are still cutting out, the best solution is to visit the Apple Store and explain your issue.

The connection problem may be due to a hardware defect that can’t be fixed, and you may need to get new headphones.