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Right/Left AirPods Stopped Working? This Should Fix It!

Last Updated Dec 2, 2022

Nothing is more annoying than putting in your AirPods only to discover they aren’t working the way they should be.

Several things can cause AirPods to malfunction:

  • Your AirPods have earwax blocking the audio
  • Your AirPods are dirty
  • You have a bad connections

If you’ve noticed that one or both of your AirPods aren’t working properly then keep reading to find out the most likely causes and how to fix them.

AirPods Not Connecting

If you are having trouble getting your AirPods to connect, there are a few things you can do.

Follow these steps to ensure a proper connection:

  1. Ensure your device has the latest version of iOS or iPadOS installed. 
  2. Place both AirPods into the case and ensure they are charging.
  3. Go into your device settings and turn on Bluetooth.
  4. If your AirPods have been connected before make sure they are the selected device, if they do not appear in your list of devices continue to the next step.
  5. Close the AirPods case lid and wait 15 seconds, open the lid and hold the button on the back of the case until the light flashes white. This means you are ready to pair.
  6. Hold the case close to your device and select it from the list of available connections, follow the on-screen instructions to connect the AirPods, and then test them once pairing is complete. 

Now, let’s see the next problem and its fix.

AirPods Sound Is Unclear

Making phone calls with Airpods is common but doing so with crackled or distorted sounds makes it impossible to hear the person on the other end. This is a common issue and has several causes.

Muffled Or Distorted

A muffled or distorted sound could be caused by wax or dirt buildup. This problem can be easily solved by cleaning your AirPods thoroughly with alcohol and cotton swabs. 


This can indicate an issue within the AirPod such as their Bluetooth connectivity or your device’s connectivity.

Connect a different set of earbuds to your device, if you still hear the crackling then it is an internal issue with the device. If you do not hear the crackles then it is an issue with your AirPods. 

AirPods Keep Pausing Or Playing Erratically

Trying to listen to a podcast when your AirPods are pausing and playing at random times is annoying.

But, there are a few reasons this could be happening, all should be easy to fix:

  • Proximity: AirPods only work when you are less than 60 feet away from your phone so if you left your phone in a different room this is likely the cause.
  • Connection Issues: Another cause could be connectivity issues, try putting both Airpods in the case for about 30 seconds and connecting them or resetting them entirely.

Now, let’s see what to do if your automatic ear detection isn’t working.

Automatic Ear Detection Not Working

AirPods are supposed to be able to detect when they are placed or removed from your ears so they can automatically pause or play your music.

If this feature isn’t working try this:

  1. Go into your Bluetooth settings and select “forget” your AirPods.
  2. Put both AirPods into the case and gently close the lid, wait 15 seconds, and open again.
  3. Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until you get the amber flash, once it turns to white connect your Airpods
  4. Place your AirPods close to your device and follow the steps on the screen.

There is also a setting on your AirPods that allows you to turn off this setting, so if this still doesn’t fix the automatic ear detection, check to ensure this option is turned on. 

AirPods Battery Is Dying Too Quickly

It’s no surprise that after several years the battery life in any technology is not what it used to be and that’s simply because all batteries begin to die out sooner or later. 

But, if your Airpods are newer, it could be a user error causing them to die faster. If you are doing any of the following with your AirPods, you could cause the battery to die sooner than it should. 

Opening and Closing the Case Rapidly

Most AirPods owners are guilty of opening and closing their cases rapidly, like the clicking of a pen it is habit forming but this sends mixed signals to your case of when it should be charging.

Use Only One AirPod at a Time

Even though you may not get the full experience this way. Putting away your AirPod when it reaches a low battery and switching to the other can allow a longer life overall for your music. 

Don’t Wait Until the Battery Is Completely Dead to Charge

Most people tend to wait until the battery is completely dead on both the AirPods and the case before they charge them but, you should be charging them when they reach about 30%.

It’s easy to put them on the charger overnight and grab them on the way out the door but allowing them to charge all night also hinders the ability to hold a good charge due to overcharging.


AirPods can stop working for several reasons including wax buildup, poor connection, or even walking too far from your device. Most of these issues have easy remedies as long as you take proper care of your AirPods.