Why Do My AirPods Keep Skipping? 6 Effective Solutions!

Reading time: 6 min read
Muninder Adavelli
Written by
Muninder Adavelli

Updated · Aug 04, 2023

Muninder Adavelli
Digital Growth Strategist | Joined October 2021 | Twitter LinkedIn
Muninder Adavelli

Muninder Adavelli is a core team member and Digital Growth Strategist at Techjury. With a strong bac... | See full bio

Edited by
Dushko Talevski


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If you’ve ever wondered, “Why do my AirPods keep skipping?” while trying to enjoy your favorite music or podcast episodes, there are several potential causes.

For instance, you may be dealing with anything from a low battery to hardware issues and outdated firmware versions.

Below, we explore the most likely causes and solutions to this problem.

Why Do My AirPods Keep Pausing?

Apple continues iterating on one of their most successful products: the AirPods. But, in the process of perfecting the ultimate wireless earbuds, certain issues pop up, such as intermittent audio loss—a problem that we look at below.

In the following sections, you can read about six potential reasons why your AirPods keep cutting out sometimes and learn how to fix them.

1. Your Battery May Be Low

When your AirPods battery is about to run out, they may stop functioning properly, and their Bluetooth connection may start to drop occasionally until they die completely and your audio starts playing from your source device.

What’s the fix?

The diagnosis and the solution are simple: check your AirPods’ battery level if your audio starts getting choppy or before leaving your house. If they are about to die out, give them a quick top-up, so you continue using them without any issues.

Also, always keep and carry them in their charging case since the latest version of the case was designed to save your AirPods from dying several times throughout the day by providing them with 4–5 full charges.

2. Your Bluetooth Connection May Be Unstable

If a low battery does not cause your AirPods to cut in and out, you’ll find that the most common culprit for the issue is an unstable Bluetooth connection.

As with any other wireless device, your AirPods are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and spotty connection due to range limits.

For example, your router and Bluetooth devices use the same 2.4 GHz frequency range to communicate with your phone. When using many wireless devices, they take up most of this spectrum and leave your AirPods’ signal unable to squeeze through properly.

As for your AirPods’ range, the farthest they can be from your phone to keep on operating to an acceptable degree is 60 ft or 18 m.

What’s the fix?

Try keeping your AirPods closer to your device and remove any object that may cause connection interferences. If that doesn’t help, try using your AirPods away from any other wireless devices, such as routers, speakers, and controllers.

Disconnecting and reconnecting your AirPods also helps get rid of certain bugs and reset some internal settings. To do so, just follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to ‘Settings’‘Bluetooth’;
  2. Tap on the small ‘i’ and click on ‘Forget This Device’;
  3. Wait a short while before reconnecting them again.

If the above steps do not fix the issue, you can try to factory reset your AirPods in a few steps: put them in the case, open the case, and press and hold the button on the back of the case for 15 seconds, or until the LED changes color from white to amber.

Further reading: How to Find Your AirPods Through Various Methods and Devices

3. Your AirPods May Be Defective

Hardware defects, sustained over time or during the manufacturing process, may also cause your AirPods’ sound issues. For instance, a small batch of AirPods Pro released before late 2020 exhibited crackling sounds in loud environments.

Also, the market is swarming with cheap counterfeit AirPods, which, as you may expect, lack the build quality, software, and quality control of the genuine product. Because of that, such knock-off models often exhibit unfixable sound issues.

What’s the fix?

If your AirPods’ sound quality decreased due to regular wear and tear, or you got a faulty model straight out of the box, you can activate your warranty and get a replacement. But if you’ve purchased a shoddy counterfeit product, you’re out of luck!

4. Your Audio Source May Be at Fault

Does your audio skip, stop, and break up only at certain times and/or on a select number of songs? Then, look for the cause in the audio app or the audio files.

For instance, if you try to play music while running too many apps, your device may be unable to properly stream your music due to affected performance.

Also, your drivers may require an update; you may be using too many audio enhancements; or the original audio files might not be encoded properly.

What’s the fix?

Eliminate all these reasons one by one. First, try to run only your music app. If the issue persists, update your device, turn off all audio effects, and check whether the original audio file (if you are not streaming online) works properly on other devices.

5. Your AirPod Sensors May Be Malfunctioning

The latest AirPods models sense when they are in your ears thanks to their ‘Automatic Ear Detection’ feature, and based on that, they pause and play your music.

So, if there’s a problem with the detection feature, your AirPods may start to cause audio cutouts even while wearing them if the software believes otherwise.

What’s the fix?

Try to fix the issue by turning off ‘Automatic Ear Detection’ via your ‘Bluetooth’ menu. Once there, navigate to your AirPods settings menu, and scroll down until you find and toggle off the AED feature.

6. Your AirPods’ Firmware May Be Outdated

Regularly updating your software and hardware firmware is very important, especially after a product release, when bugs and issues are common. Because of that, both iOS and the AirPods’ firmware may cause erratic sound behavior.

What’s the fix?

Ensure that your AirPods and your main device are running the latest software. You won’t have to do anything in most cases except connect your phone, tablet, or computer to the internet since updates are delivered automatically.

Note that your AirPods will only update when charging and in range of your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. However, your host device must have the relevant ‘Automatic Updates’ feature turned on. Otherwise, you have to update the OS manually.

How to Contact Apple Support?

If your issue persists despite applying all of the above fixes, get in touch with Apple’s experts via one of the company’s official support channels:

  • Chat with or call an Apple expert—you can get in touch with an Apple expert in just 2 minutes via their online support page;
  • Check out Apple’s support articles—find the information you need in the countless instructional articles on Apple’s support page;
  • Dial Apple’s U.S. support line—if you want to resolve the matter quickly, get in touch with Apple at 1-800-275-2273;
  • Start a support community discussion—if you don’t find an answer to your issue, you can always start a discussion on Apple’s community page.

Before getting in touch with Apple, document the issue thoroughly and prepare any images that support your case. For instance, you should take down your AirPods specifications, including the exact model and serial number.

Bottom Line

No need to keep wondering: “Why do my AirPods keep skipping?” since we outlined six effective solutions to this problem in the sections above. Best of all, pinpointing the exact cause and applying the necessary fix takes only a few minutes.


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