How-To

AirPods Keep Pausing: 5 Fixes

AirPods featured

AirPods are great earbuds, but they don’t always do what they’re supposed to. If your AirPods keep pausing, try these troubleshooting fixes.

When AirPods work well, they’re a dream. No wires, no lightning port adapters, just great-quality sound. If your audio keeps stopping and starting through your AirPods, however, then it can be really frustrating to deal with.

If your AirPods keep pausing, try these troubleshooting fixes to resolve the problem.

1. Out of Range AirPods

Your AirPods don’t have to be right next to your device for them to work. In fact, you might be quite surprised at just how far you can go from your iPhone without noticing any interruption in your listening.

If you go too far, however, eventually the connection is going to drop. The distance you can go will also be affected by what is between you and your device. If you’re moving around the house, walls and other objects will impact how far away your AirPods will work.

If you’re quite far away from your device when your AirPods keep pausing, try moving a little closer to see if this fixes things.

2. Automatic Ear Detection

As a wireless device, AirPods need to maintain their battery as much as possible in order to maximize how long you can use them between charges. It’s all too easy to take out your AirPods and forget that they’re still playing, which will run down their batteries without you getting any benefit.

To counteract this, Apple has developed an automatic ear detection system. Your AirPods can tell when they are in your ear and when they’re removed from them. If you’re listening to music and you take out your AirPods, playback will automatically pause. Your AirPods will resume playing when you put them back in again.

Most of the time this feature is highly desirable, but if you’re wondering why your AirPods keep pausing, then it may be that automatic ear detection isn’t working as it should be. By turning this feature off, you may be able to stop the pausing problems.

To turn off automatic ear detection on your AirPods:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
    iphone settings
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
    iphone bluetooth menu
  3. Find your AirPods in the list of devices and tap the information icon. You may need to scroll down to find it if you’ve connected a lot of devices to your iPhone.
    my airpods
  4. Toggle Automatic Ear Detection to Off.
    airpods automatic ear detection off
  5. See if this fixes your problems. If it doesn’t, you can turn automatic ear detection back on by repeating the steps above and toggling Automatic Ear Detection back on.

3. Double Tap

Another highly useful feature of AirPods is the ability to control your music by giving them a double tap. You can choose what happens when you double-tap your AirPods, whether it’s pausing your music, skipping to the next track, or activating Siri.

If your AirPods are set up to pause when you double tap them, you may be inadvertently double tapping them and causing your AirPods to pause.

To test if this is the cause of the problem, you can change the double tap action to something else and see if your pausing issues stop.

To set the double-tap option on your AirPods:

  1. Open the Settings app.
    iphone settings
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
    iphone bluetooth menu
  3. Tap the information icon next to your AirPods in the list of devices. You may need to scroll down to find them.
    my airpods
  4. Under Double-Tap on AirPod, tap the current action for the Left AirPod.
    edit left airpod
  5. Select the action you want.
    airpod select action
  6. Repeat these steps for the Right AirPod.
  7. If the pausing problems persist, you can return these settings to their original actions.

4. Low Battery

AirPods offer several hours of battery life, but they can’t work forever. Eventually, they will need to be recharged.

When your AirPods batteries are getting low, you’ll hear a warning chime in your AirPods. This will first happen when your AirPod batteries have 10% remaining. You will hear the tone a second time just before the AirPods turn off.

You can also see the battery percentage of your AirPods by putting them in the charging case with the lid open and holding the case near your iPhone. The current charge will appear on the screen of your iPhone.
iphone connected airpods

If the battery is low, your AirPods may struggle to maintain a stable connection—this could lead to your audio pausing. When this happens, charge your AirPods up and this may fix the problem.

5. Connection Problems

A problem with the connection between your AirPods and the device you’re using could result in audio playback issues.  If you find that audio playback keeps pausing using your AirPods, you can try resetting your AirPods to fix the issue.

To reset your AirPods:

  1. Put your AirPods into the case and close the lid. Keep it closed for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
    iphone settings
  3. Tap Bluetooth.
    iphone bluetooth menu
  4. Find your AirPods in the list of devices and tap the information icon.
    my airpods
  5. Tap Forget Device.
    iphone forget this device
  6. Tap Forget Device again to confirm your decision. This will remove your AirPods from all devices signed in to the same iCloud account.
    iphone forget device
  7. With the lid open, press and hold the pairing button on the back of your AirPods case until the status light turns white.
    airpods connect button
  8. Bring your AirPods close to your iPhone (within Bluetooth range).
  9. Tap Connect and follow the on-screen instructions to reconnect your AirPods to your iPhone.
    iphone connect airpods

Enjoy Great Audio with Apple AirPods

Using one of the fixes above, you should be able to fix your audio issues if your AirPods keep pausing. If it doesn’t, it could point to a problem with your AirPods or the device you’re using, and you’ll need to troubleshoot further.

When they work well, AirPods are incredibly versatile. As well as working seamlessly with your Apple devices, you can connect your AirPods to Android or even your Windows PC, too. You can also use the Listen Live feature to turn your AirPods and iPhone into a baby monitor.

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