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I have AirPods and AirPod Pros, and they’re having pretty much the same issue: they show up as “connected”, but the sound keeps coming from the phone and not the headphones.

If your AirPods are connected, but sound is coming from your phone, turn Bluetooth off on your phone, then turn it back on. If that doesn’t work, go to Settings > Bluetooth > About > Forget This Device. With your AirPods case lid open, press and hold the button on the back for ten seconds to re-pair.

This will do a full reset and then re-pair your AirPods, and this time they should be connected.

If they still aren’t working, don’t panic, there are several other proven steps you can take to fix this problem. Follow each step below and I’m sure your AirPods will work again.

Note: The exact cause of this connection issue is unclear, and Apple has not acknowledged this to be a problem, but it has been reported too many times and occurs too often to consider as “expected behavior”. Either way, there are several proven ways to fix it.

Reset Bluetooth

When your AirPods say they are connected but the sound is still coming from your phone, the first thing you should do is reset your phone’s Bluetooth.

This is the fastest possible solution and it works for me about half the time.

To reset your Bluetooth:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Then select Bluetooth
  3. Turn off Bluetooth and wait 20 seconds
  4. Then re-enable Bluetooth
  5. Reselect your AirPods and try to connect

How to reset bluetooth on iphone

Alternatively, you can swipe down on the home screen, then click the blue Bluetooth icon, turning it gray (off). Wait 20 seconds, then click the Bluetooth icon again to turn it blue.

If it doesn’t work for you the first time, you can try again before continuing. Simply forcing your phone to try to re-establish a stable Bluetooth connection can usually fix this issue.

If sound is still playing on your phone, try resetting your AirPods…

Reset your AirPods

This solution is very simple, but a bit more complicated than resetting your Bluetooth. The good news is that it will work for about 90% of you.

To start, you will need to “Forget this device”. To do this:

  • Go to settings
  • Then select Bluetooth
  • Click the information icon next to your AirPods
  • Select “Forget this device
  • This will successfully remove your AirPods from your phone

Now that your AirPods are deleted, you’ll need to sync them again.

To re-pair your AirPods, follow these steps:

  • On your phone, make sure Bluetooth is turned on
  • Put both AirPods into the charging case and open the lid
  • Press and hold the button on the back of the AirPods charging case until the case status light flashes white
  • Your AirPods should appear on your phone. Select “Connect”
  • Your AirPods will take a few seconds to connect, but then you should be good to go!

This process will completely reset your AirPods and their connection to your phone should be fixed.

If you are one of the unlucky 10%, don’t panic, there are several other solutions that will probably solve this for you, so read on.

Reset your iPhone Network Settings

Reset your iPhone Network Settings

Sometimes the problem isn’t necessarily with your AirPods, but rather with your phone.

There are actually two ways to reset your phone. The first is simple, just turn off your phone completely.

You’d be surprised how many software/connection issues you can fix just by using the power off/on solution above.

This is mainly because a phone reset erases the current software state of your phone. Therefore, any issues your phone is having should be cleared.

To turn off your phone, press and hold the side button and any volume button at the same time (earlier iPhone versions only require you to press and hold the side button).

The second way to reset your iPhone is to reset network settings. This action deletes all previous connections and disconnects you from all active networks you are on.

To reset network settings on your iPhone:

  • Go to settings
  • Scroll down to General
  • At the bottom, select Reset
  • Finally, choose “Reset Network Settings

Update iPhone software

How to turn on auto update on iphone_classicalmag.com

iPhone software is constantly being updated, improved and corrected.

If you’re using old or outdated software, chances are it’s causing a problem with the Bluetooth connection from your AirPods to your phone.

Always make an effort to update your phone whenever you can. I recommend you turn on automatic updates so your phone schedules those updates at night when you sleep.

  • Go to settings
  • Scroll down to General
  • At the top, select Software Update
  • Then choose automatic updates
  • Toggle Download iOS updates and Install iOS updates to
  • Now select Back and see if any updates are available
  • If an update is available, select Install now

Running the latest software ensures your phone performs at its best! You can avoid many problems simply by staying on top of them.

Turn off nearby devices

Another possible solution to fix this problem is to turn off every nearby Bluetooth device. It really means turning them off.

If you have other phones, headsets, mice, keyboards, etc. in the area, there may be interference.

You can be sure to avoid this by turning off all these devices.

Alternatively, you can go to your iPhone and “Forget This Device” for each of these Bluetooth devices. This process has been defined above if you need a reminder on how to do it.

By taking this measurement, you can be sure that no interference is occurring.

Turn off Automatic Ear Detection

 How to turn on and off ear detection on iphone

By default, AirPods have built-in technology to detect when they’re in your ear. Once this is confirmed, audio will begin to be received from your device.

While the technology is great, anything wrong with this process will result in an incomplete connection and sound will still come through your phone rather than your headphones.

The main reason why this feature works is because the headphones are dirty. Believe it or not, accumulated earwax, dirt, and grime can build up and block important sensors on your AirPods.

In fact, such an imperceptible buildup can happen that your AirPods seem quieter over time because your headphones are completely locked in.

I would just start by disabling automatic ear detection to see if that’s what’s causing the problem. Note that once this option is disabled, your AirPods will continue to play even when you remove them from your ears.

Here’s how to disable automatic ear detection:

  • Go to settings
  • Then select Bluetooth
  • Tap the Info button next to your AirPods
  • Scroll down and turn off automatic ear detection

See if this solved your problem or not. If so, I would take a very close look at your AirPods and consider cleaning them and the charging case.

You can then try turning automatic ear detection back on and see if everything is OK again.

Conclusion

AirPods will often say they’re “connected” but will continue to play audio from your phone. If this is happening to you, there are several proven ways to fix it:

  • Try resetting Bluetooth on your phone by turning it off and on again.
  • Reset your AirPods using “Forget This Device”. Then repair your headphones.
  • Turn off your phone, then turn it back on.
  • Update your phone software to the latest operating system.
  • Please turn off all nearby Bluetooth devices to avoid possible interference.
  • Turn off automatic ear detection and consider cleaning your AirPods.

Trying each of these troubleshooting steps will most likely resolve this issue.

Have you successfully connected your AirPods to your phone? If so, let me know how you did it in the comments section below!

Also Read: How to Check AirPods Battery Health

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