Wanted to share as none of the usual troubleshooting tips helped me. Basically, my Airpods worked fine with my iPhone, but when I tried to connect them to my MacBook, they would connect (Bluetooth icon shows a device connected, Airpods play the connect sound), then disconnect a few seconds later (also playing the disconnect sound). In those few seconds they never showed up under output/input audio devices.
I tried without success:
- Re-pairing Airpods with the MacBook
- Un-pair and factory reset the Airpods (hold button until amber light flashes)
- Delete the Bluetooth plist file on the MacBook
What to try next?