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I have a 2018 Mac mini with fully up to date software. In December I purchased some AirPods Pro headphones and love them...mostly. The main downside is they're very unreliable with my Mac and troubleshooting has proven challenging.

First, and least concerning, is it often takes a little bit of time to pair when it's not already paired. 10, 15, 20 seconds may pass before it pairs. But next come the real problems. It's not uncommon for the headphones to randomly disconnect. Also, when I'm on calls in Webex or Microsoft Teams, people will often tell me my audio quality is poor but I can hear them just fine. If I have Webex call my phone, even using my Airpods, the audio is fine. This happens enough that I can't trust it to work reliably for talking on my Mac.

I'm using three other Bluetooth (or 2.4Ghz) devices. I have a Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, and a Logitech mouse which uses one of those USB dongles (I don't think that's Bluetooth). Wireless is setup at 5Ghz so that's not a concern. I've heard USB 3 can interfere with 2.4Ghz signals. I'm using 2x 4k Dell monitors that connect using HDMI->USB-C adapters to the back of the mini. The keyboard and trackpad are reliable so I'm not 100% convinced that's the root cause, nor do I know how to fix that problem if it is.

I have used the Bluetooth Explorer you can download from Apple and found the AirPods RSSI does move more than the keyboard or trackpad. It'll be in the -40 range (very good!) and dip down into the -60 range, or worse. I just don't know if this is expected behavior with AirPods.

Apple Support had me reset the AirPods which helped for a bit but the quality is still a problem.

Can someone suggest troubleshooting steps I can take?

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If all else fails you can reset both the macOS Bluetooth Device List and Bluetooth Controller. However, this will reset all connected Bluetooth devices, including a keyboard and mouse.

In other words, this will remove all existing pairing information for Bluetooth devices, so each will need to be reconnected.

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  • If this doesn’t solve the problem what would you suggest the problem is? RF?
    – kbreit
    Apr 24 '20 at 3:01

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