AirPods setup is pretty basic, but you may occasionally encounter a snag. Here are some handy tips for diagnosing and resolving any stumbling blocks you might run into.
Setting up AirPods is typically straightforward. On an iPhone, with the AirPods in their charging case, open the charging case’s lid and hold the case near the iPhone. Tap Connect when the setup animation message appears, follow the onscreen directions, then tap Done to finish the installation.
There’s an additional bonus, thanks to iCloud. When installing AirPods on a device that’s logged in to iCloud, AirPods will typically begin appearing on other supported devices (such as iPads, Macs and Apple TVs) associated with your iCloud account.
But even though the process is fairly easy, you might encounter the occasional issue — so it’s handy to have a few troubleshooting tips at the ready.
SEE: How to select the Apple AirPods that are right for you (TechRepublic)
If you hear no sound in one of the AirPods, confirm that the earbuds and case are charged. Place both AirPods in the charging case for 30 seconds to a minute. Then, open the AirPods case’s lid and place the case near an iPhone or iPad. An onscreen window should appear confirming the charge level of both the left and right AirPods as well as the case itself. Returning both AirPods to your ears should resolve the problem.
Should one of the AirPods still not work, reset the AirPods and AirPods Pro models by returning the earbuds to the charging case, closing the lid and waiting at least 30 seconds to a minute. Then, open the charging case lid and from an iPhone or iPad go to Settings and select Bluetooth, then tap the More Info button for the AirPods. Tap Forget This Device, then tap to confirm. With the AirPods charging case lid still open, press and hold the setup button on the charging case’s back for 15 seconds or so. The status light will change from amber to white. Then, reconnect the AirPods using the steps described above.
Another problem that sometimes arises is lower volume occurring in just one AirPod. To address this problem, check the AirPod’s speaker mesh and clean any dirt using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Don’t get the AirPods wet.
Using an iPhone or iPad, you can also try going to Settings, tapping Accessibility, choosing Audio/Visual, tapping Balance and confirming the balance isn’t set to favor one AirPod versus the other. Using a Mac, you can open System Preferences, click Accessibility, select Audio and click the Open Sound Preferences button to confirm the balance is properly set.
SEE: How to connect your Apple AirPods to your mobile device or computer (TechRepublic)
In my personal experience, I’ve also encountered trouble whereby the AirPods I’m using lose their active connection to the audiobook I’m listening to or the telephone call I’m on. In most of these cases, the culprit has been someone nearby picking up another device associated with my iCloud account and accessing an app (Instagram, YouTube, etc.) that supports audio or video playback.
The solution in those cases is to either set those other devices to forget the AirPods connection or help others understand why they should avoid using your other smartphone, tablet or Mac while you’re actively using AirPods paired to another device. Good luck with that, though. I hope you have more success than I’ve achieved in my own home. But, such conflicts are a small price to pay for the vast utility Apple’s AirPods provide listening to music or audio books, enjoying podcasts, conducting audio calls and attending video calls.