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Why do my AirPods disconnect on FaceTime?

One of the most annoying things in the world is when you’re in the middle of a good conversation or taking a very important call. Without warning, your AirPods disconnect from FaceTime, leaving you having to lip-read what the other person’s saying. 

This bug in Apple AirPods in which they disconnect FaceTime calls is a real pain, and like many just shrug and figure it’s a one-time glitch. So they manually reconnect the AirPods and call the person right back, only to have it happen again!

These drops can ruin the functionality of your AirPods, especially if you really need them for using your phone for what it was always designed to do — talk to other people. 

Thankfully, there are things you can do to fix this issue, and we are going to share a few tips to get your AirPods operating the way they should. 

Quick Tips to Fix Discconnecting AirPods

  • Toggle Bluetooth off then on
  • Check AirPods charge level and charge if needed
  • Turn Wifi off
  • Change setting for Airpods microphone to always left or always right
  • Forget AirPods before re-pairing
  • Clean both AirPods
  • Use one AirPod instead of using both
  • Switch off Automatic Ear Detection
  • Reset your AirPods by Using the AirPod Charging Case

Understanding the Symptoms of Disconnecting AirPods

One thing you should know is that disconnecting AirPods is a fairly common problem. Many Apple users report how even their brand spanking new AirPods are dropping FaceTime calls randomly. This issue seems to have no singular reason or pattern.

Some users report that this issue happens multiple times, forcing them to manually reconnect Airpods along with their FaceTime calls several times, especially when they are on longer calls. 

The Terrible Twos

However, many also report that this issue happens less often when using only a single AirPod rather than both. 

It’s not clear why this is the case, but many have switched to using one AirPod as both a temporary and permanent solution. 

Read more: Can you connect AirPods to Windows and an iPhone at the same time?

Car Trouble

AirPod users also report issues when using Bluetooth-capable vehicles. Many may say they can see their Airpods under the vehicle’s audio options, but whenever they select them, they are not able to hear callers, and callers can’t hear them. 

It seems that other Bluetooth devices work just fine in these situations, just not the AirPods. Worst yet, it seems that after attempting to connect the AirPods in the vehicle, they can cease working for all phone and FaceTime calls. The issue can even affect Siri.

Also, we don’t recommend ever using FaceTime while driving for obvious reasons. 

Read more: Should I get AirPods or an Apple Watch?

The Fine Print

Perhaps the most frustrating commonality between most users with this issue is how their Airpods seem to work just fine when used for other activities such as listing to music, playing games, watching movies, and listening to audiobooks. 

Sadly, this disconnecting problem seems only to happen when people are on the phone, and FaceTime calls and occurs when using apps like Skype and WhatsApp. 

While on person-to-person FaceTime calls, the connection will disconnect either midway or throughout the call several times. 

Many folks have given up using their AirPods altogether because of this issue. 

Like any Bluetooth device, AirPods will naturally drop their signal. That just goes with the territory when using Bluetooth. 

But, this seems to be a very specific bug concerning AirPods disconnecting FaceTime and regular phone calls. And users say it happens a lot more frequently than if they use other Bluetooth earphones, like Apple Beats and Apple Powerbeats Pro.

Steps to Fix AirPods Disconnecting FaceTime Calls

We’ll forgo explaining the simplest solutions, such as charging your AirPods, restarting your phone, and toggling your Bluetooth settings. Instead, here are the steps you need to take for manipulating less commonly used settings. 

Changing AirPods Microphone Settings

  1. Open AirPod Case.
  2. On Phone select Settings.
  3. Select Bluetooth.
  4. Select your Airpods.
  5. Press the “i” icon.
  6. From the menu options, select Microphone.
  7. The default setting is always Automatic, which means both Airpods serve as the microphone.
  8. Change this setting to Always Right or Always Left. This will set up the microphone to only receive from one Airpod.

Resetting Your AirPods using the AirPod Case

  1. Place both AirPods in the Charging Case.
  2. Close the case lid, wait about 15 seconds, then open the lid.
  3. Take a look at the AirPods status light. It’s located either inside the case or on the outside in the space between both AirPods.
  4. This light should be flashing white.
  5. Ensure the AirPods are both securely in the case.
  6. Now, press and hold the back Setup button for about 15 seconds until you notice the status light flashing amber a couple of times. It should then start flashing white which means your AirPods are reset.

Resetting Network Settings on Your iPhone

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Reset.
  4. Select Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your passcode (if required).
  6. This clears all Wifi and cellular network settings, including any saved passwords.
  7. This setting also removes all VPN settings.

Forget your AirPods

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Select your AirPods.
  4. Select the “i” icon.
  5. Select Forget this Device.
  6. Restart the iPhone.
  7. Follow each on-screen prompt to repair and reconnect your AirPods successfully.
  8. Press down and hold the back reset button on your AirPod case for at least 15 seconds, then release it.

Turning Off Automatic Ear Detection

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Turn off Automatic Ear Detection.
  4. This will mean your AirPods will no longer detect they are inside your ear.
  5. All audio signals will continue playing even if the AirPods are not in your ears.

When this feature is turned on, audio should begin playing through your iPhone’s speakers once the AirPods detect they are not in your ear. 

Unpair Your Apple Watch

There’s a chance that your Apple Watch could be causing the interference issue. While this is not an ideal long-term solution, if it fixes your issue, then at least you’ve narrowed the problem down to one thing, which is more than many users can say. 

  1. On your iPhone, go to Watch app.
  2. Select My Watch.
  3. Select your Watch’s name.
  4. Select Unpair Apple Watch.

AirPods disconnect on FaceTime: Conclussion

Hopefully, one of these fixes helped you keep your Facetime calls connected or at the very least identify the cause. 

If all else fails, you may need to take your AirPods to your nearest Apple store, where they can either fix the issue for you or replace them (provided they are under the AirPods Apple Care Warranty). You can also call Apple Support.