Home / Technology / Your AirPods Don’t ‘Connect Magically’? Here Are Some Things to Try

Your AirPods Don’t ‘Connect Magically’? Here Are Some Things to Try

Apple’s website boasts AirPods’ ability to “magically connect” to iPhones and “smooth movement” between iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac. bill But for others, including me, AirPods have become a problem with AirProblems.

last September I’ve been writing a review of the AirPods Pro for a year now. By praising the excellent noise cancellation system. New surround sound features and even easy matching after that column Colleagues and readers flooded my inbox with emails detailing the connections. and accidental switch

This year I started experiencing my own frustrations. When a call comes in and the Pros are put into the ear, “Nic Pods are connected” appears on the screen. But when receiving a call, no one can hear because the audio source is set to the phone speaker.

Melissa Jean Clark is a Toronto-based web designer who uses AirPods Pro to listen to Spotify on her MacBook Pro while working. When Clark reviews a project on her iPhone, the earbuds switch to that device instead. “I lost my focus. Every time I pick up the phone They are connected to the phone. And it goes back and forth time and time again,” she said.

David Tyler of Norwich, Vt., was the centerpiece in a Zoom call when AirPods Pro unexpectedly connected to an iPad. He now closes the iPad case and places the phone face down to avoid automatic switching.

Apple’s $249 AirPods Pro produce great noise cancellation in a compact design, but lately our columnist’s headphones don’t automatically connect during calls.


Nicole Nguyen/The Wall Street Journal

Some of the people I spoke with had put their AirPods in their cases and opted for wired headphones instead after deciding that the wireless fuss wasn’t worth the freedom.

Apple’s latest software, including updates released last week. admit that there is a problem that needs to be solved Updates—iOS 14.6 for iPhone and Big Sur 11.4 for Mac—Provides workarounds for disconnecting AirPods, sending audio to another device during a call, casting audio to off-the-shelf devices. must and displaying too many prompts on connections. An Apple spokesperson said users should install updates for all devices for the best experience and compatibility. and the software should provide fixes for the bugs listed above.

Apple is investigating additional issues I submitted on behalf of readers, including a set of AirPods Pro with only one eye connected. Another one that takes about a minute to pair with the iPhone and AirPods appears in the audio source menu. not automatically selected

Still, the current fix doesn’t address a bigger issue: automatic device switching, which arrived at Apple devices last fall. works as intended and it’s annoying

AirPods can automatically switch to nearby devices connected to the same iCloud account. This is a feature that could wreak havoc on unsuspecting users.


Nicole Nguyen/The Wall Street Journal

Here’s how it’s supposed to play: You’re listening to a podcast on your AirPods through your iPhone. When it’s over, you pick up the iPad connected to the same iCloud account and start watching a movie. The audio switch happens so you don’t even have to touch the Bluetooth settings. For a Mac it’s a little different: Macs can handle a variety of audio streams, like FaceTime calls and YouTube videos, for example. “AirPods Nearby” notification on your Mac screen, click the pop-up to change the AirPods connection to Mac.

On a Mac, when audio is playing and AirPods are in Bluetooth range, a pop-up appears. click to match


Nicole Nguyen/The Wall Street Journal

problem? This can be a big deal if you don’t want to switch devices. Mr. Clark will leave this feature enabled if only Apple can read her mind. “I don’t know how Apple understands when I need to switch devices. I just want to control it,” she said.

A better solution is a quick way to temporarily disable toggles, such as locking your iPhone’s screen rotation. Currently, you can only choose between automatic toggles and options. “Connect with iPhone/iPad/Mac… when connected to iPhone/iPad/Mac This is the last machine” that’s confusing and confusing (don’t worry, I’ll explain it in seconds).

I have reviewed a number of wireless headphones. And Bluetooth connectivity is a challenge for all of them. So it should come as no surprise that AirPods don’t work perfectly all the time. But when you pay a premium and get used to Apple’s “magic” smoothness, you’re more likely to be disappointed.

share your thoughts

What headphones do you use? Join the discussion below.

I still like the AirPods more than the competitors from Jabra, Amazon.,

Bosses, etc. For the most part, pairing is as simple as that. with putting headphones in my ears For other occasions—one out of five times they weren’t connected—I was waiting for my update.

In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot your ‘Pods:

Update your Apple device

Make sure your device is backed up before updating. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app, go to General, then tap Software Update. On your Mac, open System Preferences and choose Software. The latest update for iOS and iPadOS is 14.6; The latest for MacOS is 11.4.

Of course, your iPhone, iPad, and Mac must be compatible with the latest version of the operating system to be able to update. (And if the device is owned by your company Your IT department must be available for you to update the software.)

Your AirPods also have their own firmware. It updates automatically when your AirPods are in the charging case. Plug it into a power source. And near a paired iOS device, you can check that your earbuds are running the latest firmware by going to your iPhone’s Settings, then Bluetooth, then tapping the “i” next to the AirPods. Your latest version for AirPods Pro and second-generation AirPods is 3E751.

Turn off automatic device switching

If you don’t want your AirPods to decide when to replace them. Turn off automatic device switching on all your Apple devices.

If you want to control what your AirPods are connected to, disable automatic device switching by going to your Bluetooth settings and selecting “Connect to iPhone/iPad/Mac This machine… when connected to iPhone/iPad/Mac this machine last time”


Nicole Nguyen/The Wall Street Journal

On your iPhone and iPad connected to your AirPods, open Settings, go to Bluetooth, then tap “i” next to your AirPods, select Settings, Connect to This iPhone/iPad, then tap When Connected. Last This iPhone/iPad Repeat on Mac: Open System Preferences, go to Bluetooth, then click Options next to your AirPods. Under Connect to this Mac, select When was last connected to this Mac.

This means that your AirPods will automatically connect only if they were previously paired with that device. If you switch from your iPhone to your iPad, the next time you turn on your AirPods, they’ll connect to your iPad (if they’re nearby).

Reset your AirPods

If your AirPods still flicker, reset your AirPods (note this will also reset your connection and touch control settings). Put the earbuds back in the case and close the lid. Then open the lid. On your iPhone or iPad, open Settings, go to Bluetooth, and tap “i” next to your AirPods. Select Forget This Device. Do the same for your Mac: Open System Preferences, then Bluetooth, hover over your AirPods and select the “X” next to it.

Next, press a small button. on the back of the case. until you see the front indicator flashing orange. This can take up to 15 seconds. Place your AirPods near your iOS device and a connection pop-up will appear. Follow the steps on the screen.

Make sure two-factor authentication is enabled.

If you want your AirPods to automatically switch Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud on all your devices. and turn on two-factor authentication. open settings choose your name Then tap Password & Security. You will see an option to enable it. If it is not open

restart your device

If all else fails Even after re-pairing Turn your device off and on again. I don’t know why this works, but it works!

write to Nicole Nguyen at nicole.nguyen@wsj.com

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