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  • Writer's pictureMarianne Zara

Why Do My AirPods Keep Pausing

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Man wearing an AirPod on the left ear while looking out the window

Do your AirPods suddenly pause when you're tuning in to your favorite song? Oh wait, it plays back and you thought it was just a glitch. But there goes the pause again. Why do my AirPods keep pausing? Or, why do my AirPods Pro keep pausing? It’s quite frustrating considering you got them for quite a price. But don’t worry, regardless of generation or AirPods version, we’ll guide you on how to fix this issue.

Proximity Sensors

Proximity sensors are in charge of automatically playing and pausing your music when it’s in-ear or not. There are a couple of issues you may encounter with the proximity sensors, let us lay them out for you.

Dirt Buildup on Proximity Sensors

The proximity sensors are the black holes under the circular side of your AirPods that recognize if your AirPods are in your ear or not. Dirt buildup like earwax or dust makes proximity sensors suffer. The AirPods won’t be able to perform their best and may misinterpret whether your AirPods are in-ear or not.

Clean your AirPods at least twice a month with disinfectant wipes, microfiber cloth, and cotton swabs. Start by using a slightly wet disinfectant wipe, followed by wiping with a microfiber cloth to dry up your AirPods’ body. Gently swipe through with a swab for the speaker mesh, not pushing too hard. For more thorough step-by-step instructions, you may click here. It completely guides you on how to clean your AirPods carefully as well as your AirPods’ case.

Automatic Ear Detection

Automatic Ear Detection is one of the most common answers to your Why do my AirPods keep pausing questions. The AirPods, through their proximity sensors, allow you to automatically play or pause music just by merely placing them in your ears or taking them off. However, it gets confusing too. If you move around too much, like you’re in the gym, for instance, your AirPods may start moving in your ears making the sensors misjudge whether they’re in the ear or not. Therefore, it’s best if you turn your Automatic Ear Detection off.

To turn Automatic Ear Detection off, go to Settings. Tap on Bluetooth. Choose the i beside AirPods and toggle Automatic Ear Detection off.

Bluetooth Connection

Bluetooth connection is also a common reason why your AirPods keep pausing. We've identified the reasons why your AirPods pause while you’re wearing them and we’ve provided quick fixes for these issues.


Forgot your phone on the countertop again while clearing up the lawn? One reason to answer your question is that your Bluetooth connection may be out of range.​​ The optimal connection of the AirPods to all devices is about 10-18 meters but could go up to 40-50 meters for devices that carry Bluetooth 5.0 version. Read more about how far AirPods reach here.

Dual Connections

Sometimes having to connect to both your iPhone and your Mac creates complications. Your AirPods get confused about which audio it should play. For example, if you’re playing different music on both devices, your AirPods try to comprehend which one to play so it gives you random pauses while it picks which music to play. When this happens, try to minimize your connection to one device.

Software Glitches

Sometimes, it's your device’s software - either you have newly updated your software or haven’t updated it yet. Nonetheless, you simply need to restart your iPhone. Alternatively, you may reset your AirPods if you think it’s the AirPods itself having glitches with its connections.

Why Do My AirPods Keep Pausing My Music

Identify why your AirPods keep pausing by doing a self-check-up. Are your AirPods clean? Especially the proximity sensors. Do you simply have lots of movements that you need to turn off your Automatic Ear Detection? Are you out of range? Are your AirPods confused about your dual connections? Or are you experiencing some glitches?

After checking the problem, scroll on to which one’s applicable, we’ve provided solutions for you.

Did you solve your pausing issue? Let us know if the problem isn’t on the list. We’ll help you find your fix.

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