4

UPDATE 2018-09-24: Running iOS 12 for a week now. I haven't experienced this problem so far. While it seems the issue might be gone, I haven't had much use of the AirPods this last week.

There are many discussions about problems with AirPods disconnecting all over the net, but I'm not sure I've seen my case anywhere.

Basically I listen to music from iPhone with my Airpods. It could be Apple Music or SoundCloud or whatever.

Sometimes the sound just stops - but when I look at my iPhone I notice that the airpods appear to be connected, and the iPod music player or whatever player I was currently using, is still ticking on ie the time progresses; play is not paused. Each time when this happens I have to do one of these methods:

Temporary fix method 1

  1. pause the music (obviously this is optional, but if I don't I miss some parts)
  2. disconnect the airpods
  3. connect the airpods
  4. (play the music)

Temporary fix method 2

I've found another way which fixes the problem after it happened:

  1. Pause for at least ~10 seconds
  2. Unpause

Notes

  • Using iPhone 6s Plus, currently iOS 11.4.1
  • It is very inconvenient. There is no problem with batteries, this could happen on a full charge.
  • after a discussion in the answer below I decided to see what happens if I wait a longer time after the sound goes silent. Turns out the connection is still very much alive because I realized I can still use double taps on the left/right AirPods in order to pause/skip to next song according to my setup. Even pausing/unpairing/skipping this way will not make the sound come back. The iPhone seems to believe that it's sending music to perfectly sounding AirPods.
  • It kind of often happens after I look at the phone doing something, then put it down on a desk (likely locks it, or it autolocks after some minute) and after the screen goes black and then some more seconds (not sure how long, but it's very short) the music stops.
  • I get the feeling this happens a lot more when I'm at the office or other places with busy WiFi signals etc all around, but I'm not sure, it could happen almost anytime, it's hard to say.
  • It's not exactly reproducible - I can't cause it to happen, but it normally happens like one or a few times a day.
  • I don't use the phone much at all so I have no idea if this issue affects phone calls. Just no info here. I just had a call today and was using the AirPods and after 7-8 minutes the other guy started to sound like a monster (people describe this as "underwater" and I can also agree with that). I quickly switched off the AirPods and talked using the iPhone itself.
  • It seems to happen regardless of if I am connected to a Wi-Fi network, or have Wi-Fi turned off and am only listening to music with cellular connection.

Anyone have this issue? When googling most pages suggest to unpair the airpods from the iPhone and re-pair them again. I've tried that, I believe, but I don't think it made anything better.

Kind of similar issues

  • Consider mentioning the version of iOS running on your iPhone 6s. Could help if others have faced similar problem running same version of iOS. – Nimesh Neema Aug 28 '18 at 10:02
  • Does this issue occur the same regardless if you use the stock iOS Music (or Podcasts) app? If you've been using a streaming app for instance, try a stock iOS app to rule that out right away. – Syclone0044 Aug 28 '18 at 12:51
  • How is your iPhone connected to the Internet? – dan Aug 28 '18 at 13:20
  • I mostly use the music app with Apple Music, and also lately a lot of SoundCloud so sure streaming is likely going on. Still I think playing local data, like local caches of downloaded music is affected too. – Jonny Aug 28 '18 at 13:48
  • The iPhone connects using cellular and Wi-Fi networks. 🧖🏼‍♂️ – Jonny Aug 28 '18 at 13:49
3

This is typical of an interference between Bluetooth and other electromagnetic waves (Wi-Fi in an office or appartment environment, remote commands in every environment, wireless phones in every environment, microwave oven leaking in an office or appartment environment…).

One of the only thing you could do if at all possible is to suggest all Wi-Fi administrators around you (at least the ones who might understand) to switch on 5GHz band channels (36, 40, 44…) so as to reduce these interferences. Their networks will work better too.

This problem will increase regularly with the increase of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi use everywhere. This problem will stay hard to identify and to aknowledge since the channels used by Bluetooth are changing regularly (purposefully to avoid this interference problem 😩).

You can limit this problem by stopping Wi-Fi within your own environnment. And moreover, to make everyone laugh, you might surround you with a light metal wire mesh the kind used to make garden fences 😎 (avoid the aluminium screen because it's an urban legend).

Another note on the funny side, these network drop is a free nice detector that you are in an overcrowded electromagnetic waves environment.

  • The neighbor of my office is Cisco. Not sure if good or bad but then again there are lots of devices and networks in th company I work for too. You are probably right about this, I still wonder why the music would pause if I take an AirPod out of my ear but it does not pause when this disconnection happens. When the disconnection (or whatever it is) happens the iPhone still believes the AirPods are connected. I have to deselect them and connect to them again. – Jonny Aug 28 '18 at 10:31
  • When you take an AirPod out of your ear, the AirPod report this move through a working network. Upon a network drop they can’t communicate. And, with a small improvment in driver from Apple, upon network recovery, iTunes should switch to pause too. I guess that Apple made all their quality tests in a perfect environment and I should admit that interferences between a Blutooth network and a Wi-Fi one aren’t easy to reproduce (they don’t collide on a regular time interval). – dan Aug 28 '18 at 13:17
  • That's true with the call being made over a working network. It's strange however that the iPhone obviously believes the AirPods are still connected despite the sound stopped. Granted I never waited long enough to see if there is some timeout span until the iPhone realizes the connection is broken and probably should pause the music. I'll try to remember wait for a timeout next time. This however feels like a second hand issue and the first issue is the connection drop. Is it really that hard for Apple to develop a Bluetooth connection that can avoid surrounding Wi-Fi signals etc? 🤷🏼‍♂️ – Jonny Aug 29 '18 at 1:18
  • It just happened while having a lunch walk. Yes I was not at office. So I decided to see what happened if I wait. And now 10 minutes later music is still playing on the iPhone but no sound. And I can still control playback using double tap on the AirPods - I added this information to my question. So I guess the AirPods don't actually "disconnect". Just the sound goes silent for some weird reason. – Jonny Aug 29 '18 at 4:34
  • Thank you for this useful test. There isn’t just a network drop, there also seems that there is a bug inside the iOS. – dan Aug 29 '18 at 8:33
0

This what exactly happens to me on a daily basis. The "underwater" or monstrous/slow voice issue during a call did not happen until about earlier this year or late last year (can't remember exactly). The lost of sound (silent) issue happened, I believe, later than that and it is getting worse. This morning, this happened like every 10 minutes or so and is becoming unbearable. Every time I just switch to iPhone speakers and then switch back to Airpod and that fixes it. It dose seems like Apple messed up the ios since it was working fine for the first six months or so.

  • Ok good to know. I got my Airpods sometime in February and don't think I remember any "stable" period... but then again I lost my airpod case once and was out of the airpod loop for a couple of months until I cashed out on a new case ... but that's another story. – Jonny Sep 13 '18 at 14:44

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