AirPods Keep Cutting Out [Why and How to Fix]

AirPods Keep Cutting Out [Why and How to Fix]

If anything, music that keeps cutting out is the last thing you need when listening via AirPods on your smart device—but it does happen.

Interference issues, problematic sensors, faulty Bluetooth connection, and dirt buildup can cause AirPods to keep cutting out. Reset your iOS wireless earbuds to remedy the issue; otherwise, clean them up and recharge them. 

The good news is this could be a minor glitch that can be remedied quickly by proven troubleshooting techniques. We’ve prepared eight easy troubleshooting solutions, so you’ll get back to listening to your tunes on the fly. 

Why do my AirPods keep cutting out?

Reportedly, Apple AirPods have multiple known reasons for cutting out during use, caused by different factors. Some of the most common factors that can cause interruptions to your music playing on your AirPods are discussed in detail below. 

1. Interference 

One of the most common reasons why your AirPods keep cutting out is interference from nearby devices. This issue is prevalent in most Bluetooth devices like AirPods since this type of connection technology is widely available on most devices.

Since most devices are capable of Bluetooth, having multiple of them nearby at once can result in signal interference. Even wireless devices connected to a WiFi network can interfere with the Bluetooth connection between your AirPods and iPhone.

1. Interference 

Bluetooth and most WiFi routers use the same 2.4GHz signal frequency. Because of this, you’re most likely to experience signal interference on your Bluetooth devices if you have a 2.4GHz WiFi network instead of a 5GHz network.

2. Problematic AirPod Sensor

Each piece of your AirPods can connect to your iPhone separately, which makes them versatile since they work individually. It means you can leave one of them inside the charging case and only use the other one.

It’s an AirPods feature, so you can expect it to work because Apple intended it to be the case. Unfortunately, no piece of electronics is perfect, and there’s always the possibility of encountering errors no matter how well-optimized a product is.

Apple’s earbuds are no exception, and AirPods cutting out is an issue that can occur due to a problematic sensor. It can happen when only one AirPod piece is used while the other one is returned to its charging case.

As such, the AirPods sensor might think it’s currently not being used due to a sensor error and automatically pause the audio you’re playing. In this case, the audio playback only resumes when both pieces of the AirPods are used simultaneously.

Problematic AirPod Sensor

3. Faulty Bluetooth Connection 

A good Bluetooth connection ensures that your AirPods will play any playback without experiencing unwanted pauses and cut-offs. A weak Bluetooth connection is a prime suspect when your AirPods keep cutting out.

Please note that different factors can cause a weak or faulty Bluetooth connection. This can be due to signal interference from nearby devices and physical obstructions or it could also be the result of not being in the optimal Bluetooth range.

Sometimes, the Bluetooth feature might also experience some bugs and errors during use. Identifying the actual root cause of the weak and faulty Bluetooth connection is important when finding the appropriate solution to fix this issue.

4. Automatic Ear Detection 

AirPods’ Automatic Ear Detection feature is one of the main reasons these tiny devices are versatile. As its name suggests, this feature detects if your AirPods are being worn on your ears.

Once ear detection happens, the device automatically pauses and resumes playback. It’s a very nifty feature, no doubt. 

4. Automatic Ear Detection 

With Automatic Ear Detection, you won’t miss any part of the audio you’re playing if you decide to take your AirPods off. Consequently, you can easily get back to where you left off by wearing the AirPods on your ears again.

The problem with this feature is that it relies on the built-in proximity sensor of AirPods, which can be unreliable sometimes. And that can cause problems. 

Its sensor is not foolproof. It may think you’re not wearing your AirPods and decide to pause your playback if they’re moved or worn improperly.

5. Incompatible Firmware Version 

Updating the software or firmware versions of your AirPods and iPhone is a must to ensure that they will work in peak condition. It helps fix any compatibility issues that emerge when connecting your AirPods to your iPhone.

After all, incompatible software and firmware versions are one of many reasons why AirPods keep cutting out while playing audio. It’s the result of your AirPods or iPhone not having the necessary update files to keep working with the other device.

6. Low Battery 

Low battery issues are common with tiny devices like the AirPods since they can only fit an equally tiny battery inside them. As such, they can deplete and degrade faster than other devices since they only have a small battery pack.

Most AirPods users also use them for hours until they’re completely low on battery level, accelerating the degradation of these devices’ lithium-ion batteries. This reduces the batteries’ maximum capacity, making them run out much faster.

6. Low Battery 

Like most devices, AirPods need sufficient battery power to function in their best condition. If they’re constantly low on battery level, that would explain why your AirPods keep cutting out when you’re playing some music.

7. Faulty Hardware 

Believe it or not, no device out there is immune to faulty hardware issues. Even newly bought and unboxed AirPods can immediately come with factory defects and hardware issues.

Your AirPods can also develop faulty hardware due to mishandling, improper use, and damage from physical impact or water. As a result, you might notice that you’re experiencing issues with AirPods cutting out much more often.

8. Audio Source Issues 

It’s not ideal to have too many apps and devices nearby that your AirPods can use as their audio source. Doing so will only result in various sound and connection issues, resulting in your AirPods cutting out the playback during use.

Plus, having multiple devices will make your AirPods’ Bluetooth connection prone to signal interference. Even smart devices like your AirPods can get confused when there are too many programs to run or use simultaneously.

How to Fix Music Interruption on Your AirPods 

Depending on the root cause of the problem, various troubleshooting techniques can be used to fix the music interruption on your AirPods. The solutions below are proven to fix and prevent your AirPods from cutting out playback during use.

FIX 1. Reset your Bluetooth

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone

Resetting the Bluetooth on your iPhone is the best and easiest way to fix any connection issues involving your AirPods. If your AirPods keep cutting out due to a faulty Bluetooth connection, this solution should help fix your problem.

Step 1: Get your iPhone and navigate to its Settings.

Step 2: Click Bluetooth and open your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu.

Step 3: Click the Bluetooth switch and turn it off.

Step 4: Click the Bluetooth switch again and turn it back on.

FIX 2.  Reset your AirPods

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps12
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhoneAn AirPods charging case

Performing a factory reset on your AirPods is the most effective way to deal with all software-related issues. You can perform this action to combat issues with your AirPods cutting out the music that’s playing on your iPhone.

Please note that this solution is only effective against software-related issues on your AirPods. No amount of resetting will fix any issues caused by faulty or damaged hardware.

Step 1: Put your AirPods inside the charging case.

Step 2: Close the lid of your charging case for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Open the charging case lid and remove your AirPods.

Step 4: Put your AirPods on.

Step 5: Get your iPhone and navigate to its Settings.

Step 6: Click Bluetooth and open your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu.

Step 7: Locate your AirPods on the Bluetooth devices list and click the “more info” icon (i) next to it.

Step 8: Click Forget This Device to remove the AirPods from your iPhone’s Bluetooth connections.

Note: Depending on your iPhone’s iOS version, you may find Forget This Device at the top or bottom of this menu.
Step 9: Click Forget Device to continue.

Step 10: Put your AirPods back in their charging case with the lid open.

Step 11: Press and hold the setup button at the rear of the charging case for 15 seconds and let the status light blink orange and white afterward.

Note: Depending on the AirPods, the status light might be located inside or at the front of your charging case.
Step 12: Move your iPhone and AirPods charging case closer and click Connect on the phone’s screen once it appears.

FIX 3. Reset your iPhone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone

When your AirPods keep cutting out the music that you’re listening to, it can also be due to an error on your iPhone. For this, we recommend performing a quick reset on your iPhone to root out the errors on the device that are causing the issue.

Ensuring your iPhone is working properly is vital for the music on your AirPods to remain uninterrupted. It’s also one of the quickest and easiest ways to resolve various bugs and errors causing connection issues on your iPhone.

Step 1: Click and release your iPhone’s “volume up” key.

Step 2: Click and release your iPhone’s “volume down” key.

Step 3: Click and hold your iPhone’s side key.

Step 4: Hold your iPhone’s side key and wait until its screen shuts down.

Step 5: Release your iPhone’s side key when Apple’s logo appears on the screen.

Step 6: Wait as your iPhone reboots.

FIX 4. Update your iPhone

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps9
Time to Perform Fix10 minutes
Things NeededAn iPhoneA working internet connection

As mentioned before, keeping your iPhone updated to the latest software version is important in making sure that it works in its peak condition. This action is also the key to resolving most software-related issues causing iPhone connection problems.

We recommend performing a software update on your iPhone whenever it becomes available. Doing so not only helps resolve various software problems but also helps improve the efficiency and performance of your iPhone.

Step 1: Get your iPhone and navigate to its Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and click General.

Step 3: Click Software Update.

Step 4: Click Download and Install.

Step 5: Enter your passcode.

Step 6: Click Agree and accept Apple’s T&C.

Step 7: Click Agree to continue.

Step 8: Click Use Cellular Data.

Step 9: Click Install Now.

FIX 5. Turn off or remove nearby devices

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix30 to 60 seconds
Things NeededNearby Bluetooth and wireless devices

Signal interference is a big problem for most Bluetooth devices, and it remains to be prevalent since the technology is widely used. We recommend turning off nearby Bluetooth devices when not in use to reduce the chances of interference.

You can also move them far from your AirPods and iPhone’s Bluetooth range if you’re not keen on turning them off for some reason. Doing so should help fix and prevent the issue with AirPods cutting out and interrupting the music you’re playing.

FIX 6. Clean the AirPods and charging case

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 30 seconds
Things NeededA cotton swabA cleaning cloth70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol

Believe it or not, cleaning your AirPods and their charging case can solve various problems that cause music interruption. It can help Automatic Ear Detection to work without any issues by removing any dirt messing with the proximity sensor.

Thoroughly cleaning your AirPods’ speaker grills will also remove any earwax buildup blocking sound from coming out. It’s key to ensuring you get high-quality and uninterrupted sound when listening to your favorite music.

We also recommend cleaning your AirPods’ charging case and ports to ensure they can recharge properly. This action will help prevent any power issues and ensure you can recharge them well once their battery level runs low.

FIX 7. Disable AirPods Automatic Ear Detection

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhoneAn AirPod charging case

While handy, the Automatic Ear Detection feature is also a cause for a lot of sound and connection issues between AirPods and iOS devices. In such cases, you might be better off disabling your AirPods’ Automatic Ear Detection feature on your iPhone.

You can also perform this solution on any iOS device such as your iPad. This solution is what we recommend you use when your AirPods keep cutting out due to a faulty Automatic Ear Detection feature.

Step 1:  Put your AirPods back in their charging case with the lid open.

Step 2: Get your iPhone and navigate to its Settings.

Step 3: Click Bluetooth and open your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu.

Step 4: Locate your AirPods on the Bluetooth devices list and click the “more info” icon (i) next to it.

Step 5: Click the Automatic Ear Detection switch and turn it off.

FIX 8. Recharge your AirPods

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhoneAirPods charging caseLighting cableA working power outlet

If the sound from your AirPods are cutting out because your iPhone’s battery is low, just return them to their charging case. This will recharge your AirPods as long as the charging case has enough power.

Otherwise, you might need to plug in a Lightning cable to recharge your AirPods and charging case from a power outlet. You can check the battery level of your AirPods and charging case using the instructions below to know if they’re low on battery or not.

Step 1: Put your AirPods back in their charging case with the lid open.

Step 2: Move the charging case and your iPhone close to each other.
Step 3: Look at the small pop-up window on the iPhone’s screen to check their battery levels.

Step 4: Leave the AirPods on their charging case to recharge them when they’re low on battery.

Note: You need to connect a Lightning cable to the AirPods charging case if its battery is also low.

How do I update my AirPods?

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix10 minutes
Things NeededAirPods charging caseAn iPhoneA working internet connection

Updating your AirPods to the latest firmware version is a simple process that requires you to connect them to an iPhone that has a WiFi or Cellular Data connection. To do this, you must return your AirPods to their charging case.

If they’re connected to your iPhone, the firmware update process should start automatically. Please note that your iPhone needs to be updated to at least iOS version 16 to make sure you can update your AirPods without any issues.

Step 1: Put your AirPods back in their charging case with the lid open.

Note: You can plug a lightning cable into the charging case to make sure your AirPods don’t run out of battery during the update.
Step 2: Get your iPhone and navigate to its Settings.

Step 3: Select your AirPods.

Step 4: Scroll down and navigate to Version to see your AirPods’ firmware version.

Step 5: Keep your AirPods and iPhone close and connected so the update process can progress automatically.

Note: Make sure your iPhone is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or Cellular Data.

How to Deep Clean AirPods

Deep cleaning of your AirPods can be done using a specialized cleaning kit that has tools designed for cleaning them. You can find all sorts of AirPods cleaning kits online from stores such as Amazon and eBay.

How to Deep Clean AirPods

Make sure to avoid dousing your AirPods in abrasive chemicals like hydrogen peroxide so you don’t damage them. It’s like dousing the fire with kerosene. 

Instead, we recommend using 70% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol to moisturize deep-seated dirt and earwax for easy removal and sanitizing of your AirPods.

FAQs about AirPods Cutting Out 

How do I stop my AirPods from cutting out? 

Various measures can be used to stop your AirPods from cutting out, such as resetting or updating them. You can also troubleshoot your iPhone’s Bluetooth connection to fix any issue that’s causing your AirPods to cut out the sounds.

How do I factory reset my AirPods? 

Place your AirPods on their charging case and remove them from your iPhone’s list of connected Bluetooth devices. From there, press and hold the charging case’s setup button at the back to let your AirPods perform the factory reset.

Why do my AirPods cut out when the battery isn’t low? 

Signal interference from nearby devices using Bluetooth or WiFi is a common cause of AirPods cutting out when their battery isn’t low. Turn off or move nearby devices away from your iPhone and AirPods to prevent any signal interference.

How do I fix hardware issues on my AirPods?

Send your AirPods back to the Apple Store or vendor you got it from if it has a factory defect so they can give you another one without issues. If the hardware issue was caused by physical or water damage, go to an Apple service center for repairs.

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