AirPods connected but no sound? 8 ways to fix

AirPods are convenient and easy to use — until they start to malfunction. Save for hardware failures and physical damage, AirPods problems are easy to fix.

In this guide, we highlight eight troubleshooting steps to try if your AirPods aren’t making a sound when connected to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

1. Increase your device volume

First things first: make sure your device’s output volume is not low or muted. Press the volume up button on your smartphone or computer and check if your AirPods are now playing sound.

2. Change your preferred output device

If multiple audio devices are connected to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, your AirPods may not produce sound if it’s not your preferred listening device.

Switch Audio Output Devices on iPhone and iPad

Connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad and follow the steps below.

  1. Open Control Center and tap AirPlay Icon.
AirPlay icon in Control Panel
  1. Select your AirPods on the list of audio devices.
Selected AirPods

Switch Audio Output Devices on iPhone and iPad

Routing your Mac’s audio to your AirPods is also super easy. Connect your AirPods to your Mac and follow the steps below.

  1. Touch speaker icon on the menu bar.
  2. Select your AirPods as the active listening device in the “Output” section.
AirPods are selected in the Ouput . section
  1. If you don’t have a speaker icon in your Mac’s menu bar, go to System Preferences > Sound and check Show volume in menu bar box.
System Preferences > Sound Window” class=”wp-image-13069″  /></figure>
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<p>You can also change your Mac’s output device directly from the Sound menu.  Go <strong>Output</strong> and select your AirPods as the preferred output device.</p>
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AirPods are selected in the Output tab

3. Remove and plug the AirPods into your ears

AirPods only “come alive” when you plug them into your ears, thanks to the multitude of sensors built into the device. These sensors are just as effective, but sometimes they fail to detect the position in the ear. When this happens, your AirPods may not make a sound at all, even when it’s connected to your device.

If your AirPods don’t make a sound, remove them from your ears and put them back in. You’ll hear a chime indicating that your AirPods are ready to use with your device. If you don’t hear this chime, it could be because the AirPods battery is running low.

Check your AirPods battery status and make sure each AirPod has at least 10% power. Otherwise, put the AirPods back in the charging case for a few minutes to recharge.

AirPod battery status

4. Turn off automatic ear detection

As mentioned above, removing even the AirPods (from your ears) will also pause audio playback. AirPods manage this with the “Automatic Ear Recognition” feature.

If there is a problem with your AirPods sensor, the audio output may be affected. Interestingly, disabling Automatic Ear Detection is a good troubleshooting tip to fix such problems. That will enable your device to always play audio through your AirPods. That way, you don’t have to rely on the AirPods’ sensor to detect the position in your ear before playing a sound.

How to disable automatic ear detection on iPhone and iPad

Put at least one AirPod in your ear and wait until you hear a chime or tone. Then, follow the instructions below to disable AirPods auto-detection.

  1. Open the Settings app and select Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the info icon 🛈 next to your AirPods to open the AirPods settings menu.
information icon
  1. Turn off Automatic ear detection.
Automatic ear detection switch

Remove and plug the AirPod back into your ear. Play a song or video (remember to turn up your device volume) and check if AirPods are now playing sound.

How to turn off automatic ear detection on a Mac

Connect the affected AirPods to your Mac and follow the steps below to disable Automatic Ear Detection.

  1. Open System Preferences and choose Bluetooth.
Bluetooth in System Preferences
  1. inside Device choose part Option next to your AirPods.
Option button
  1. Unchecked Auto detect in ear and choose Accomplished.
Complete button and automatic in-ear detection

Note: Turning off Automatic Ear Detection routes the device’s audio to your AirPods, even when you’re not wearing them.

5. Restore AirPods to Factory Settings

Factory resetting your AirPods requires deleting them from your device’s memory and reconnecting them from scratch. That can fix audio and connection related issues. Resetting your AirPods might even make it louder.

Reset AirPods on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Bluetooth Settings menu on your iPhone or iPad and click information icon next to AirPods.
information icon
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the AirPods settings menu and select Forget this device.
Forget This Device Button
  1. Option Forget device on the confirmation prompt to continue.
Forget Device Button
  1. Option Forget device proceed with.
Forgot to confirm the device
  1. Then place both AirPods in the charging case and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light starts flashing white/amber.
  2. Move AirPods near your iPhone or iPad and press Link on the pop-up card on the screen.
Connect button

Reset AirPods on Mac

Resetting AirPods on Mac also requires removing and reconnecting the device. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go System Preferencesoption Bluetoothright click on your AirPods and select Eliminate.
Delete in the right-click menu
  1. Option Eliminate on the confirmation prompt.
Remove the confirmation prompt
  1. To reconnect the AirPods, place them in the charging case and press and hold the setup button until the status light continuously flashes white and amber.
  2. You’ll see AirPods in the macOS Bluetooth menu (System Preferences > Bluetooth) and select Link.
System Preferences > Bluetooth > Connectivity ” class=”wp-image-13084″  /></figure>
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<p>Play a song or watch a video and check if AirPods are now playing sound.  If the problem persists, try resetting your device’s network settings.</p>
<h2><span class=6. Reset network settings

Problems with your device’s Bluetooth profile can mess with the audio output of connected Bluetooth devices. If that is the root cause of the AirPods audio problem, then a network reset should work to fix it. Here’s how to reset your iPhone’s network settings.

  1. Go Setting > Shared > Reset and choose Reset Network Settings.
Network Settings Reset Button
  1. Enter your device’s passcode and press Reset Network Settings on the confirmation prompt.

That will immediately restart your iPhone or iPad and delete all previously connected Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, VPN settings, and other network-related configurations. Reconnect your AirPods to your device and check if you can now hear sound during media playback.

Reset Bluetooth Settings on Mac

On macOS, resetting the Bluetooth module fixes an issue that prevents sound from being created on your AirPods and other Bluetooth devices.

  1. Organization Change + Right to buy on the keyboard and click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.
  2. Option Reset Bluetooth module.
Reset Bluetooth module
  1. Option ALRIGHT to continue.
OK button

Reconnect your AirPods to your Mac and check if it works properly.

7. Update your AirPods’ firmware

You may have trouble using your AirPods or connecting them to other devices if the firmware is old or out of date. To check your AirPods firmware version, open the Bluetooth settings menu, tap the info icon next to your AirPods, and check Version in section “Introduce”.

Version in the Introduction

Currently, the latest firmware version for AirPods 1st generation is v6.8.8 (released in December 2019). 2nd generation AirPods and AirPods Pro use firmware version 3E751 (released in April 2021). Your AirPods will automatically update their firmware when connected to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth.

You can also manually trigger updates, especially if the firmware version shown in the Settings app isn’t the latest. Connect your iPhone or iPad to a wireless network and follow the instructions below to update your AirPod’s firmware:

  1. Place both AirPods in the charging case and close the lid.
  2. Open the lid again and connect your AirPods to your device. Go Setting > Bluetooth and make sure the AirPods status is “Connected”.
Settings> Bluetooth Window” class=”wp-image-13089″  /></figure>
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<p>If the AirPods battery status shows up on the screen, close or swipe the card down.</p>
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  • Hold your iPhone and AirPods close together (leave the AirPods case open) for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Close the lid and wait another 10-15 minutes. If new firmware is available for your AirPods, iOS will install the updates over the air within 30 minutes.
  • Go to the AirPods info page and check if the firmware is up to date. If nothing changes, restart your iPhone or iPad and check again.

    Unlike iOS, macOS, and watchOS, Apple doesn’t publish any official release notes for AirPods firmware updates. That makes it a bit difficult to keep up with new firmware updates. Don’t worry, though, there are other interesting ways to keep track of AirPods updates. For example, you can go to the AirPods page on Wikipedia and check the “Current software”.

    Current firmware section

    The AirBuddy app ($5, available for macOS only) is another great utility that notifies you about new AirPod firmware updates. The app can also fix connection problems between your Mac and AirPods.

    8. Update your device

    Installing the latest updates on your device can also fix your AirPods sound problems especially if your device is running a new or buggy operating system.

    To update your iPhone or iPad, go to Setting > Shared > Software updates and press Download and install. For Mac, go to System Preferences > Software updates and click Update now button.

    Update now

    Explore AirPods repair options

    If the problem persists despite trying these troubleshooting fixes, go to a nearby Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have your AirPods checked for hardware damage. stiffness may occur.

    You can also explore other AirPods service options like mail-in repair. Note that you may be asked to provide your AirPods’ serial number as well as proof of purchase — a sales receipt or reseller contact information.

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