Why don’t my AirPods work during calls? This question is one of the most common ones that have come to haunt these iconic sound pieces. While consumer earphones and headphones are at the best they’ve ever been, there are players in the industry who redefine what it means to perceive sound.
AirPods are, in my opinion, probably one of the best earphones that have ever been built, and one may appreciate this only once they get to experience them. The magnificence of AirPods aside, like every other tech release out there, AirPods have, over the years, been subject to criticism due to some hardware or software bugs.
One such topic of discussion has been complaints by some users that their AirPods tend to fail them during calls. In this article, I try to explain to you my findings after hours of searching the web as to why AirPods may be unreliable during calls.
Why is it that people can’t hear me on my Airpods?
Make sure you’re running on the most recent iOS version, as well as an updated version of your third-party calling application. Once you’ve made the software updates, reset your AirPods and try making calls again.
Read along to learn more about my results on this and other Airpod-related questions you may be curious about.
Another reason callers can’t hear when you answer on your AirPods, regardless of whether you’re calling over the internet or cellular, is your AirPod’s microphone settings.
When connected to a device, AirPods give you the option of specifying which microphone setting you want to use. The Airpods mic can either be set to right, left, or automatic ear detection.
When the microphone is set to the left or right Airpod, and one earpiece is unavailable, the other earpiece cannot activate its microphone.
The best workaround for this Airpod setting confusion is to set your microphone to automatic ear detection. When set to automatic ear detection, the AirPods will use the microphone that is available to the device.
One of the other common but relatively overlooked reasons why callers can’t hear you when you’re on your AirPods is the presence of debris covering the microphone.
The debris problem by cleaning the AirPods gently, but you should be careful not to damage them irreparably.
With every operating system update of your smartphone, it is a good idea to restart and reset your AirPods.
Aside from ensuring software compatibility during OS updates, resetting your AirPods can be a possible fix for whenever you feel as though your AirPods are misbehaving.
You can reset your Airpods by:
- First, ensure that they have at least a fifty percent charge.
- Place the AirPods in the charging pod and close the lid for about half a minute.
- On your smartphone, go to the Bluetooth settings and then tap on forget this device. This will ensure that your phone completely erases any past connection with the AirPods.
- Open the lid to the charging case, and then hold the setup button at the back of the case. Hold the button till there’s a flash of amber followed by white on the status light; this should take about fifteen seconds.
- With the AirPods case open, place it close to your smartphone and then follow the on-screen connection procedure on your smartphone.
Why Are My AirPods Not Working on Calls?
Wireless headsets are famed for the convenience and functionality they offer in tasks such as making phone calls.
Wireless headsets like AirPods are not immune to failures, especially when you need them the most.
Here are some of the reasons I came across as to why your AirPods may not be working when someone calls and possible fixes you can use before you take them back to the shop. Some of the reasons I’ve discussed here are experiences of only a handful of people from what I could gather, while others have a wider following.
So, if a solution may not work for you, don’t be shy to try out the next one.
1. Call audio settings
With some smartphones, especially those running on an Android device, routing audio input and output to AirPods during calls may not be automatic.
Usually, the call’s audio input and output may be done through the handset when this is the case. To fix this, all you need to do is select the device’s Bluetooth option as your audio output of choice during the call.
2. Debris on the hardware
As discussed above, debris may be in the way of your Airpod’s microphone, thus making your AirPods not work optimally during calls.
On my findings, lint makes the top of the list of commonly found things lodged in the microphone of the AirPods. Most dust, dirt, and other debris can be cleaned off by blowing on the area. Stuck-on debris should be gently removed with a cotton swab.
3. Bluetooth disturbances
The Bluetooth connection from your phone to the AirPods may not be crisp all the time due to interferences like conflicting signals from other devices around you.
To fix this, all you must do is turn off the device’s Bluetooth, then turn it back on after a few seconds.
While this fix doesn’t eliminate the presence of other Bluetooth devices or their interference, it gives the connection a reboot, which may be all that’s needed at times.
4. Outdated software
Older operating systems may be incompatible with AirPods in some aspects, like calls.
While AirPods are a reasonably new technology, a lot of work ensures that they work well with existing systems.
Even though an outdated OS may not always be the reason for your AirPods failing you, getting a free and well-deserved software update for your device doesn’t hurt anyone.
5. Muted AirPods volume on your smartphone
Though it may seem silly, I’ve come across several Airpod users on the internet who, after multiple attempts of trying to figure out what was wrong with their AirPods, ended up just needing to adjust the volume.
Some smartphones have functionality like entirely disabling sound input and output from wireless headsets even though they’re connected to the phone.
If this is the case for you, always check your audio output and input settings and call interface settings before getting into that call.
If all of the above fails, you may need to reach out to Apple support.
How do I talk to Siri on My AirPods?
Like most Apple devices, AirPods wouldn’t feel complete if they failed to connect us to our beloved AI assistant Siri. When you want to interact with Siri via your AirPods, the process is quite simple and can get even simpler depending on the AirPods version you’re using.
If you’re using the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, all you have to do is say “Hey Siri,” as you would on your iPhone.
For the standard AirPods, you’ll have to double-tap either of the connected AirPods to get Siri’s attention.
Are AirPods Waterproof?
Some may consider it a failing of AirPods compared to some of its Apple cousins because AirPods are not waterproof.
Their inability to be waterproof can be attributed to the fact that it is seemingly impossible to make speakers waterproof without impeding their sound quality.
Of course, I’m speaking from the point of little technical knowledge here, so I wouldn’t rule out the fact that maybe we may finally see waterproof AirPods in the next release from the innovative guys at Apple Park.
To soften the blow on fans from the truth that AirPods are not waterproof, Apple is confident that AirPods are both dust and sweat-resistant.
Do AirPods Have Built-In Noise Cancellation?
There’s an inbuilt noise cancellation function in the AirPods Max and AirPods Pro with three different modes.
On the Active Noise Cancellation option, the outwards-facing mics on the AirPods will pick up any outside noises and pass them through the anti-noise system.
This external noise countermeasure works for noises both inside and outside your ears and ensures that you hear only what you want to hear.
On the Transparency mode of the noise cancellation feature, the AirPods will partly let through external sounds, allowing you to hear and have a sense of what’s going on around you.
The Off mode of the noise cancellation feature is like Transparency mode, but the former has no interference at all to external sounds.
While AirPods may have their failings now and again, this does little to taint their record of being one of the best consumer headsets.
And just like other consumer technologies, answers to some everyday problems are usually found in other people’s experiences with similar or related issues.
Just because some people have bad experiences with their AirPods, this shouldn’t scare you from getting yourself a pair if you haven’t already.
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If you’re interested in enhancing your music and audio experience, be sure to check out our other articles about Airpods. Our team of experts has compiled a wealth of information on improving Airpod sound quality, troubleshooting common issues with Airppods, and much more!