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Apple AirPods is a fantastic product – they are the best-selling wireless earbuds in the world! They do, however, come with their fair share of difficulties. One such issue that appears to be affecting many users is that their AirPods keep pausing.

But why do AirPods keep pausing? If your AirPods keep pausing, it’s most likely due to the Automatic Ear Detection feature. To stop the pausing, turn off this feature and clean the proximity sensors.

If the problem persists, you should also check your Bluetooth connections and restart your apps/phone. Continue reading to find out why your AirPods are pausing and how to fix them!

Why Do AirPods Keep Pausing?
Why Do AirPods Keep Pausing?

WHY DO AIRPODS PAUSE?

There are several possible causes for your AirPods to pause, but the most common is that the Ear Detection (powered by proximity sensors) isn’t working properly. Among the other causes are:

  • You’re only using one AirPod, and the other one keeps moving around, causing an auto-pause.
  • Your AirPods’ battery is running low.
  • Your Bluetooth connection on your AirPods is poor.
  • Your phone isn’t working properly, or the app you’re using isn’t working properly.

WHY DO AIRPODS PAUSE WHEN ONE EAR IS REMOVED?

Apple’s AirPods have a unique feature called “Automatic Ear Detection.” This technology allows your AirPods to detect whether or not they are in your ear. AirPods users benefit from Automatic Ear Detection in two ways:

  • Auto Pausing: When you remove one of your AirPods, it will pause so that you can communicate with others while music/video is still playing in the other ear.
  • AirPods will detect when a user is only using one AirPod and will stop audio from playing in the unused AirPod.

Automatic Ear Detection is a very convenient and helpful piece of technology, and it rests on the shoulders of a tiny, yet crucial component of your AirPods: proximity sensors. 

WHAT ARE AIRPODS PROXIMITY SENSORS?

These sensors are located on the earpiece of each AirPods pair. They’re simple infrared sensors that can detect when an object is very close (say, your ears when you’re wearing them) or makes contact.

When you insert the AirPods into your ears, the sensors detect this and determine which ear(s) to play audio through. The proximity sensors are actually quite visible – they’re the black bars on the side of your AirPods’ earpiece.

If these sensors fail or become dirty, your AirPods may incorrectly believe they aren’t in your ear, causing them to pause whatever you’re listening to.

CAN PHYSICAL DAMAGE MAKE AIRPODS PAUSE?

To begin, it is unlikely that your AirPods are pausing randomly due to physical damage. Most AirPods users who encounter this problem will discover that it is related to either the Bluetooth connection or the Automatic Ear Switching feature.

However, if you drop your AirPods frequently, leave them exposed to heat (for example, in a hot car), or they sustain water damage, random pausing may occur. If your AirPods have physical damage, you’ll most likely be dealing with more than one technical issue; if that’s the case, it’ll be pretty obvious.

Can Physical Damage Make AirPods Pause?
Can Physical Damage Make AirPods Pause?

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HOW TO STOP APPLE AIRPODS FROM PAUSING?

Because the cause of your AirPods’ pause is unknown, you may have to try several of the following methods to get them to work again. The first thing you should try is disabling automatic ear detection – it’s the most likely cause of your AirPods pausing and thus the most likely solution.

Read through this list of fixes to see which one works best for you! There is no magic way to stop your AirPods from pausing; each of these methods is effective in the right situation.

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1. Turn Off Automatic Ear Detection

One of the simplest ways to resolve your AirPods issues is to disable Automatic Ear Detection in your iPhone settings. This is how it’s done:

  • Launch the iPhone Settings app.
  • Tap Bluetooth, locate your AirPods and select the “More Information” icon (the I with a circle around it).
  • Turn off the “Automatic Ear Detection” switch.

And that’s the end of it! Keep in mind that if you disable Automatic Ear Detection, you won’t be able to easily switch ears or pause your streaming media by removing one AirPod. Still, it’s preferable to disable this feature than to constantly deal with AirPods that pause when you don’t want them to!

2. Check Your Bluetooth Connections

If your iPhone is connected to more than one device via Bluetooth, it may have trouble determining which device to send audio to. For example, if you’re connected to both your AirPods and a Bluetooth speaker, your iPhone may become perplexed as to which device is supposed to be receiving audio.

Check to see if you’re connected to any other Bluetooth devices before concluding that your AirPods are simply broken. If you are, unplug those devices and see if your pausing issues go away.

3. Clean Your Airpods – Especially the Proximity Sensors

Dirty AirPods aren’t just unsightly; they also underperform and have technical issues when they’re not kept clean. For example, dirty AirPods can become frustratingly quiet and difficult to use. The proximity sensors are one component of the AirPods that is particularly prone to dirt.

If they become clogged with earwax or dirt, they may begin to incorrectly judge whether the AirPods are in your ears, resulting in the random pausing issue. Cleaning AirPods is actually quite simple.

You can use a cotton swab, a (lightly) damp cloth, or an alcohol cleaning wipe (as recommended by Apple) to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated, leaving nothing but shiny, like-new AirPods!

Once they’re completely clean, your AirPods’ proximity sensors should function as intended. Even if it doesn’t fix the problem, it’s always a good idea to keep your AirPods as clean as they can be. 

4. Charge Your Airpods

AirPods with a low battery (less than 5% charge) will go in and out, lose volume, and may lose microphone functionality. You can even permanently reduce the battery life of your AirPods! When your AirPods are almost dead, they’re also almost useless!

AirPods that are about to die provide very little entertainment. And what happens when they die? They’re also not exactly easy to come by. When the Apple AirPods aren’t charged, there’s a lot more to deal with than just random pausing.

That is why it is critical to keep your AirPods charged in order to avoid any of these problems. It’s also not a difficult task – AirPods can charge from nearly dead to completely charged in under an hour!

Alternative Video: Why Do AirPods Keep Pausing?

Why Do AirPods Keep Pausing?

5. Test Different Apps

It may not be your AirPods’ fault if your streaming media keeps pausing at random. One thing many AirPods users overlook is the app they use to stream music or video. It could be a shaky internet connection, a software bug in a new update, or simply an “electronic hiccup.”

Whatever the case may be, you should investigate whether or not your streaming apps are causing the issue. Stream audio or video from various apps to see if the problem of your AirPods pausing follows you from app to app.

If it does, the problem is with your iPhone/AirPods; if it does not, the problem is with the app you’re using. Are your AirPods repeatedly pausing on Spotify?

Switch to YouTube or your Podcast app to see if the issue persists. If you discover that the pausing problem is limited to a single app, simply close and re-open it to resolve the problem.

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I know this one seems obvious, but it’s one of the great flaws of human nature: we frequently overestimate the complexity of the problem! So, always check to see if your apps are functioning properly.

6. Restart Your iPhone

Again, even if your AirPods are causing the pause, they may not be to blame. iPhones, like all electronics, occasionally experience software glitches or other inexplicable issues. These issues can sometimes have an impact on how your AirPods work.

If you’ve tried cleaning, charging, and disconnecting other Bluetooth devices without success, restart your iPhone and see what happens. It could be exactly what your iPhone/AirPods require to function properly again!

7. Check Other Devices that Connect To Your AirPods

If you use your AirPods with your Macbook or iPad in addition to your phone, they may attempt to connect to all of them at the same time. This is common when you use your AirPods to stream media from your iPhone while also using your Macbook.

Your AirPods will try to “do double duty” by playing any audio from your Macbook. It’s meant to be part of a seamless transition between your phone and laptop – you can listen to music on your phone one moment and watch YouTube videos on your laptop the next without having to do anything.

However, it is common for the AirPods to pause seemingly at random, even when there is no audio on your laptop to switch to.

It’s happened to me dozens of times, and it’s very irritating! In this case, you should disable Bluetooth on your laptop or phone so that your AirPods aren’t attempting to manage audio from two devices at the same time.

HOW TO RESET YOUR AIRPODS AND FIX MOST PROBLEMS?

This tip applies the traditional “turn it off and on again” philosophy to Apple’s wireless earphones. You can restore your AirPods to “as new” condition by resetting them. After that, simply re-pair them with your iPhone, and everything should be back to normal.

To reset your AirPods, follow these steps:

  • Place the left and right earbuds back into the charging case.
  • For 15 seconds, press and hold the Setup button on the case until the LED flashes. The LED may be located inside the lid of your charging case, depending on the model.
  • Open your AirPods case and place it near your iPhone to begin the pairing process.

You won’t need to pair your AirPods with every Apple device going forward, since the earphones automatically pair via iCloud.

By the way, you should also check to make sure you have genuine AirPods if you encounter problems often. If you’re still experiencing problems with your AirPods, the following troubleshooting tips can help.

Reset Your Airpods And Fix Most Problems
Reset Your Airpods And Fix Most Problems

1. How to Find Lost AirPods?

You can use Apple’s Find My tool to locate your AirPods, but there are a few caveats to doing so. If they are still turned on, Find I will use the device to which you are connected for a location fix.

You will see the last known location of your AirPods if they are in their case or have run out of battery. Here’s how to find your AirPods:

  • In your web browser, navigate to iCloud.com.
  • Sign in and then select Find iPhone.
  • Click the All Devices dropdown list at the top of the screen.
  • Select your AirPods to see where they are.

If you know your AirPods are somewhere in your house but can’t find them, use the Play Sound option to listen for beeping. If they’re both in the case and turned off, this won’t work.

2. Solving Patchy Audio and Static Problems

If you’re having audio problems with your AirPods, you might be too far from your source. Apple’s AirPods have an impressive range of around 100 feet, but this can drop dramatically when obstacles such as walls or sources of interference are introduced.

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This will no longer be an issue if you can fit your source device (such as an iPhone or iPod) in your pocket. For static sources, such as a computer, you’ll need to stay within range to get the best audio quality. It’s also possible that interference will reduce the range of your AirPods.

Wi-Fi, in particular, is known to cause interference with the W1 chip inside your AirPods. You can help to alleviate this issue by turning off Wi-Fi on your iPhone or moving to a different location to take a call.

3. AirPods Keep Pausing and Playing Erratically

Your AirPods have proximity sensors that detect when you insert or remove them from your ears. Unless you specify otherwise, this will automatically play or pause content. If your AirPods keep pausing while still in your ears, it’s possible that there’s a problem with the sensors.

You can disable this feature by going to Settings > Bluetooth on your AirPods. Toggle Automatic Ear Detection off by tapping the I next to your AirPods. This will reduce battery life because your AirPods will use the same amount of power whether you’re wearing them or not, but it will mean your AirPods will no longer pause.

You may also want to try resetting your AirPods, as we showed you earlier. If you think there’s a problem with your AirPods and you can’t resolve this issue, it’s best to contact Apple Support for a possible repair or replacement.

4. Automatic Ear Detection Not Working

When you remove the AirPods from your ears, Automatic Ear Detection pauses your music or other content. If this does not happen for you, make sure the feature is enabled. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the I next to your AirPods, and then turn on Automatic Ear Detection.

Next, ensure that your AirPods are clean! If ear wax or other gunk is covering the proximity sensor, it will not function. As a result, your earphones will act as if they are constantly in your ears. Don’t forget to clean the case (a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol will suffice).

CONCLUSION: AirPods Keep Pausing

If your AirPods keep pausing on you, you’re understandably irritated. The most important thing to remember is that it is almost always a minor problem that can be resolved.

There may be some cases where you simply cannot get it to stop, but most people can get their AirPods working again by using one of the methods I described above. Which of our suggestions did you use to get your AirPods to stop pausing?

Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are dealing with this issue? Please share your thoughts and questions in the section below!

How To Stop AirPods From Pausing?
How To Stop AirPods From Pausing?

FAQs About AirPods Keep Pausing

Why do my AirPods randomly pause?

Automatic Ear Detection – Your AirPods’ sensors allow them to play music only when they’re in your ears. When you remove one or both, the music will automatically pause. These sensors may occasionally fail or experience a temporary glitch.

What’s the deal with my stuttering AirPods?

This is most likely due to the poor quality of the connection. You can try the following: Turn off all nearby Bluetooth devices. Avoid standing too close to appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves, as these can interfere with the Bluetooth signal.

Why is my AirPods stuttering?

This is most likely due to the connection’s quality. You can try the following: Turn off all Bluetooth devices in the vicinity. Avoid standing too close to appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves, as these can interfere with the Bluetooth signal.

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