AirPods randomly disconnecting during phone calls

tob!

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
141
86
Germany
My AirPods randomly disconnect (and sometimes reconnect) during phone calls.

Anybody seeing this as well?
 

fishbert

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2009
66
135
I just returned mine this evening because of this problem. They couldn't make it through any moderate length phone call without disconnecting. The last call I used them on was 14 minutes long and they disconnected 3 times. By far the least reliable bluetooth headset I've ever owned.

I'm using the latest version of iOS on a 6s Plus, and I tried resetting the airpods by holding the button and also resetting network settings on my phone... didn't improve things at all. Chalking it up to quality control issues with the launch. I'll probably try another set in the future after they've had some time to work out these kind of kinks.
 

wotfan

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2011
20
2
I have the same issue. It happens on most calls but is very inconsistent. For instance, I had one stretch where the AirPods remained connected for over an hour. Most of the time they stay connected for less than 15 minutes though.

The fact that the AirPods have never disconnected when listening to music gives me hope that this can be fixed with firmware/software update. For now they are far too unreliable to use for phone calls for me.
 
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tob!

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
141
86
Germany
I have the same issue. It happens on most calls but is very inconsistent. For instance, I had one stretch where the AirPods remained connected for over an hour. Most of the time they stay connected for less than 15 minutes though.

The fact that the AirPods have never disconnected when listening to music gives me hope that this can be fixed with firmware/software update. For now they are far too unreliable to use for phone calls for me.
This seems to be a problem with the 6s's Bluetooth (i really hope it's the) drivers (and not the hardware).
https://discussions.apple.com/message/31172464?ac_cid=tw123456
 

retrospek

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2004
603
290
UK
I'm also having this issue. I'm using an iPhone 6s Plus and although the music works fine the phone calls disconnect every few minutes.

I really hope Apple are sorting this issue as it isn't something we can live with !
 

tob!

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
141
86
Germany
I've contacted Apple Support and they escalated to engineering. I suggest that you contact Apple by phone if you are experiencing this. The more info they can get the better. Let's hope they can sort it out quickly.

As a workaround: Use only one AirPod for phone calls. This seems to be working fine so far.
 
Last edited:

rockyromero

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2015
465
147
As a workaround: Use only one AirPod for phone calls. This seems to be working fine so far.
I've only used one Airpod for phone calls and not for too long.

I'll keep this in mind, although, I would prefer to use both pods whenever I need them to perform.

 

fishbert

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2009
66
135
This seems to be a problem with the 6s's Bluetooth (i really hope it's the) drivers (and not the hardware).
https://discussions.apple.com/message/31172464?ac_cid=tw123456
I don't think that's been established at all.
a) I'm seeing people in that thread having the same issue with other iPhone models, and
b) I don't have similar issues with other bluetooth devices (headsets, taking a phone call in the car, etc.), just the brand-new, Rev A hardware AirPods.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
22,201
11,726
UK
i have a 7 plus and had no issue with phone calls so dunno if these are faulty units or down to the phone itself.
 

tob!

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
141
86
Germany
I don't think that's been established at all.
a) I'm seeing people in that thread having the same issue with other iPhone models, and
b) I don't have similar issues with other bluetooth devices (headsets, taking a phone call in the car, etc.), just the brand-new, Rev A hardware AirPods.
a) I don't see reports from people with other phones. The post in the linked thread with the iPhone 7 is most probably another issue with using multiple different BT headsets at the same time.

b) I assume your other BT headsets are single devices. The problem with the AirPods is that the phone needs to provide two separate streams which is a whole other game than single stream audio.

c) I just tested them with my iPad. I just picked up the phone using continuity (phone call to 6s -> picked up via iPad -> AirPods connected to iPad) And they work perfectly.

At least my issues are definitely related to my phone rather than the AirPods.
 

fishbert

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2009
66
135
a) I don't see reports from people with other phones. The post in the linked thread with the iPhone 7 is most probably another issue with using multiple different BT headsets at the same time.
"I don't see reports from people with other phones ... oh, you mean this one I'll cherry-pick? Well, uh, it must be a different issue because of this detail that doesn't apply to that other report with an iPhone 7 that I didn't cherry-pick." Sure, sure.

b) I assume your other BT headsets are single devices. The problem with the AirPods is that the phone needs to provide two separate streams which is a whole other game than single stream audio.
b1) not if you're only using one of them, which I have done and still see the issue, and
b2) "The problem with the AirPods is..." Ah, you know the root cause of the issue! That's wonderful! You should ring Apple and let them know what you've discovered. If that Apple Support Community thread is to be trusted, apparently Apple engineers are still in the data collection phase of investigating the issue. You're ahead of the game!

c) I just tested them with my iPad. I just picked up the phone using continuity (phone call to 6s -> picked up via iPad -> AirPods connected to iPad) And they work perfectly.
This is not particularly relevant, as this may very well be an entirely different scenario on the backend than having AirPods connected to an iPhone.

Actually, we already know it is different on the backend because we already know the AirPods don't automatically switch their connection to/from iPads and Macs like they do between an iPhone and an Apple Watch (a feature that some have theorized may be related to the issue).

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying the root cause of the issue isn't something to do with the phone... or even that it isn't something to do with 6s or 6s Plus phones specifically. All I'm saying is that we don't know what the root cause is yet, no matter how some of us may want to read the tea leaves of generally unreliable internet testimonials.
 
Last edited:

tob!

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2011
141
86
Germany
Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying the root cause of the issue isn't something to do with the phone... or even that it isn't something to do with 6s or 6s Plus phones specifically. All I'm saying is that we don't know what the root cause is yet, no matter how some of us may want to read the tea leaves of generally unreliable internet testimonials.
yeah. I didn't say that I know for a fact that his is the cause. All I said it that it sure seems like it. I'm sure the there are other issues but when the fast majority who is affected by this rocks and 6s with an apple Watch at lest one major issue seems to be related to exactly this configuration. And from my technical background with bluetooth it is pretty clear this is an driver / bluetooth stack issue with the 6s. I really don't have the time to explain the technical details here (I was already on the phone with apple for multiple hours yesterday), I just want to help.
 

tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,164
234
I'm actually getting pretty sick of this. Just totally dropping while on a call, happens too frequently that I can't even use them for business calls at all. I've shut off bluetooth on my laptop and ipad thinking maybe the device is trying to connect to another authorized device, but that didn't help. Can't really figure out what the problem is.

I'm going to try for a replacement at apple store, hopefully they have some.
 

wotfan

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2011
20
2
I have this problem too. Also using a 6s. Has anyone come across a solution?
I have been taking one of the AirPods out, putting it in the case during calls. So far I haven't had them drop off a call since I started doing this. While this isn't ideal, it does have the benefit of keeping one charged during calls. On more than one occasion I have had to swap AirPods during a call due to low battery.
 

fryrice

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2012
51
10
Boston, MA
For me so far with 2 earbuds in I experience the drop in connection. But with only single there is no issue.

I have a 6s btw.
 

tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,164
234
Same here. I'm currently working with Apple advanced support to try and troubleshoot the issue.
 

eonone

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2011
11
0
Do people believe it to be related to the 6s only and the not the 6?

I have an iPhone 6 Plus and have some air pods on order :s
 

dokindo

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2009
233
25
I had the disconnects with my 6s. Tried the various fixes mentioned here and linked (reboot, repair, use just one, etc), but nothing worked. Very frustrating.

The only thing that works is putting my watch in airplane mode. Numerous long conference calls with no drops.
 

JNGold

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2009
882
67
Do people believe it to be related to the 6s only and the not the 6?

I have an iPhone 6 Plus and have some air pods on order :s

This issue is not localized just to the 6-series and does also occur on the 7. I have had the same occurrences of disconnects (as well as incoming calls sounding like slow-motion robotic voices) on my 7 as well . Supposedly, there's some help coming with iOS 10.3 but I am not holding my breath until I have it installed and see it for myself.
 
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