The AirPods are great, but far from perfect. Users worldwide run into certain problems and errors before and after connecting the wireless earbuds to their devices. These issues also present themselves while using AirPods. If AirPods won’t produce audio despite being connected to your device, we’ve aggregated some probable solutions to help in the section below.
Before you proceed, check that your device isn’t muted. You should also examine the AirPods speakers or ear tips to see if dirt or particles obstruct audio output.
Note: The solution in this guide applies to all generations or editions of the Apple AirPods – AirPods 1, AirPods 2, and the AirPods Pro.
1. Check Battery Percentage
The next thing you should check is the AirPods’ battery status. For iPhone and iPad, place both AirPods in the charging case, close the lids and reopen them. You should see a card showing the battery status (in percentage) of both the AirPods and charging case.
Alternatively, swipe to the widgets section and check the Batteries widget for your AirPods charge status. Note that at least one AirPod must be in the charging case to the case’s battery level.
For Mac, tap the Bluetooth icon on the menu bar and hover your cursor on the connected AirPods. The battery status for both left and right AirPods and the charging case will be displayed.
Note: There is no way to natively check the AirPods battery life on Android and Windows devices.
If the AirPods battery level is 10% or below, leave them in the charging case to charge and try again.
2. Re-Enable Bluetooth / Disconnect AirPods
As you already know, the AirPods connect to mobile devices and PC via Bluetooth. If they are malfunctioning, disable the connection by turning off your device’s Bluetooth and remove the AirPods from your ears (you don’t have to put them back in the case). Re-enable your phone’s Bluetooth and reinsert the AirPods in your ears. If you use an iPhone/iPad or Mac, both devices will automatically get reconnected.
For Windows PC and Android, you might have to reconnect to the AirPods in your device’s Settings menu.
3. Disconnect Other Devices
You also want to make sure your device isn’t hooked to a wired headphone or other wireless audio devices. In the case of multiple (or simultaneous) connections, make sure the AirPods is the active/primary audio output device. Go to your phone/PC Bluetooth settings menu and disconnect any unrecognized device causing the interruption.
4. Adjust Audio Balance
Moving on, check that the AirPods’ audio balance is truly ‘balanced.’ If you inadvertently routed the audio output volume to one AirPod more than the other, sound-related issues might arise.
Follow the steps below to adjust your device’s audio balance.
Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select Accessibility.
Step 2: Scroll to the ‘Hearing’ section and select Audio/Visual.
Step 3: Make sure the Balance slider is positioned in the middle.
Connect the AirPods to your Android device and follow the steps below.
Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select Accessibility.
Step 2: Scroll to the ‘Audio and On-Screen Text’ section and check that the audio balance slider is in the middle.
Connect the AirPods to your Mac and place at least one of the AirPod in your ears. Then follow the steps below to check its Audio Balance configuration.
Step 1: Tap the Bluetooth icon on the Status menu and tap/hover the cursor on your AirPods.
Step 2: Next, select ‘Open Sound Preferences.’
Step 3: Go to the Output tab and select the AirPods.
Step 4: Finally, adjust the Balance slider to the middle.
Connect the AirPods to your Windows 10 PC and follow the instructions below to check if the AirPods audio balance is correctly configured.
Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu and select System.
Step 2: Navigate to the Sound tab.
Step 3: In the Output section, ensure the AirPods are your preferred output device. Next, tap Device properties.
Step 4: Now check that the audio balance for both left and right AirPods are set to 50.
Additionally, make sure the Disable checkbox is left unchecked. Disabling your AirPods will cause it to produce no sound, even if it is connected to your PC.
5. Disable Automatic Ear Detection
The audio output is automatically routed to the AirPods when placed in your ears on iPhone and iPad. That is a cool feature, but it sometimes messes up the AirPods’ sound production. Some iPhone users who experienced this sound issues fixed it by disabling Automatic Ear Detection.
Connect the AirPods to your device and follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu and tap the info icon next to your AirPods.
Step 2: Toggle off ‘Automatic Ear Detection.’
6. Reset AirPods
If the AirPods still don’t produce sound after implementing all the solutions above, you should reset them. That means removing the AirPods from your device’s list of connected devices and pairing them again from scratch. Go to your device’s Bluetooth menu and forget the AirPods. Afterward, put the AirPods in pairing mode (see next paragraph) and reconnect it to your device.
Place both AirPods back in the charging case and hold the setup button on the case for 10 seconds till the status light continuously blinks white. Now, go to your device’s Bluetooth settings menu and add the AirPods as a new device.
If the AirPods still don’t play audio, you might want to restart your device or reset it’s network settings. Refer our guide to reset network settings on Android and iOS. The Windows 10 users can follow our Windows network reset guide and everything that you should know about it. Should the issue persist, contact the Apple Support center; you might have a defective or damaged AirPods for all we know.
Next up: Can’t get the best out of your AirPods because they won’t charge? Read the guide linked below to find out easy fixes to common AirPods charging issues.
Last updated on 02 February, 2022
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