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When I take my AirPods out of their case and place them into my ears, only the left AirPod connects, while the right remains disconnected. Even if I only put the right AirPod in first and wait, it will never connect, but as soon as I put the left AirPod in, the left AirPod connects almost instantly (while the right remains disconnected).

To "fix" this, I have to put both AirPods back in the case, wait a second, and then take them out and put them back in my ears. After this second attempt, both connect successfully.

This happens every single time, in exactly the same way (they never both connect the first time, but always work the second time).

This has been happening for years, with two different AirPods, and with multiple different iOS devices (this happens exactly the same with the various iPhones and MacBooks that I've owned).

Is there a solution to this problem? It seems that AirPods are just fundamentally flawed. Has this issue been addressed in newer AirPods? Is there a setting to ensure both connect the first time and not just the left one?

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This sounds like it could be a firmware issue, especially if your right AirPod is functional and does eventually connect. You can reset and update the firmware by keeping both AirPods in the case, opening the lid, and holding down the back button on the case for a few seconds. Make sure your phone is nearby. After a few seconds, the LED light on the case will start flashing white. Continue to hold the button down until you see it turn orange, and then release the button. The LED light will go back to white and ask to connect.

Another method to take if this hasn't resolved the issue is to remove it from your Bluetooth by selecting Forget this device through your device settings, and then while charging your AirPods through a wired connection, complete the update/reset as mentioned above.

In these settings, you can also check that automatic ear detection is on. This can usually be found in Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods, however depending on your iOS it may also be found in Settings > AirPods.

AirPods are also dependent on your iOS so keeping these devices up to date with the latest software will also assist with AirPods connectivity.

Lastly, cleaning them can go a long way. AirPods are in contact with earwax and dust, it's very easy to collect and get dirty. Ensuring that the sensors are clear of any debris can also help remove any buildup that may be blocking the sensor's ability to detect.

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