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Why do my AirPods not work at the same time?

I’m an AirPods owner who was recently frustrated when my AirPods stopped working at the same time. After doing some research, I decided to write this blog post to share my experience with others who may be having similar issues. I’ll be discussing why this could be happening, and some potential solutions I discovered. Hopefully, this will help anyone out there who is having the same problem.

Key Takeaways
AirPods may not work simultaneously if they are not paired with each other. Reset and re-pair them in the case.
Compatibility issues may arise if you’re not using an iPhone.
Update your iPhone software or the app you’re using for AirPods to work properly.
Reset the network connection on your device if one of your AirPods is lagging.

Why Do My AirPods Not Work At The Same Time?

The most likely reason why your AirPods do not work at the same time is that they are not paired with each other. To fix this, you need to re-pair them inside the case.

To re-pair your AirPods, do the following:

  • Forget your AirPods from your devices
  • Put them in the case
  • Open the lid
  • Hold the button for 15 seconds until the light flashes orange then white
  • Connect your AirPods to your devices again

There could be a plenitude of reasons that your AirPods or AirPods Pro do not work at the same time. The most common reason only one AirPods device works is that one of the AirPods has a low battery.

A beeping sound might indicate that your battery is low in one of the AirPods. Otherwise, you can easily check to see whether one of your AirPods is low on battery strength by putting them close to your Apple device and then opening the lid.

You should see the battery health illustration showing up on your screen. Remove one of them from the AirPods case so that the screen will show you the health of both of them. You’ll know right away if one of your AirPods has a low battery. At that point, you can charge your AirPods for 15 to 30 minutes and then retest them. 

One of your AirPods or AirPods Pro could be giving you a problem because of dirt, debris, or moisture. One AirPod may be protesting because you’ve gotten sweat, water, or another substance on it.

You can try putting it in a safe place to dry for about 24 hours. Reconnect it and see if both sides work after the 24-hour period ends. To clean the AirPods and remove dust and debris, you can use a clean cloth. 

In some cases, only one of the AirPods or AirPods Pro will play because of a wonky Bluetooth connection. You might be able to thoroughly resolve the issue by navigating to your Bluetooth menu and turning the Bluetooth off. Wait for 20 or 30 seconds and then turn the Bluetooth back on and connect to your AirPods. You may notice that your situation is resolved once you put your AirPods into your ears again. 

If you are not using an iPhone, you may have a compatibility issue with the device you’re using. AirPods have been known not to work properly if they are connected to a non-Apple product. That being said, your issue could also be related to the sound settings on the source device.

For example, you may need to go into your “Sound” settings on your Windows laptop and adjust the balance so that you hear both sides. It’s a good idea for you to check the sound settings, no matter what device you’re using. 

If you are using an iPhone, there’s a chance that you have a software issue. Your iPhone may need to be updated to the latest software before your AirPods or AirPods Pro will work with it.

Check for new updates and install the latest software on your device. Once that process is complete, you will then need to try to pair and use your AirPods all over again. You can celebrate if you succeed. 

In a worst-case situation, you might have to get your AirPods or AirPods Pro serviced for replacement. You can take your unit to a reliable Apple technician to see what kind of help you can get for your device.


How to Get My AirPods to Work at the Same Time

You may have to go through the process of resetting your AirPods if you want them to work at the same time. You can do that by navigating over to your Bluetooth settings on the iOS device. You will see a little information (i) icon next to your AirPods on the device.

Read more: how to make Siri louder on AirPods?

You’ll need to tap that and then tap “Forget This Device.” By doing that, you will end the connection between that device and your AirPods. You’ll then need to reconnect them all over.

Therefore, the first thing you’ll need to do is put them back into their carrying case and close their lid. Wait about 10 to 30 seconds, and then reopen the lid to the case. 

Press the button on the back of your AirPods or AirPods Pro and hold it until you see an amber light flash and then turn to white. You can then follow the steps necessary to pair your AirPods or AirPods Pro with the device once again.  

Why Is One of My AirPods Lagging?

Lagging is sometimes caused by interference with Bluetooth. For example, you may have more than one Bluetooth device in close proximity to your AirPods or AirPods Pro. The easy fix for that is to check and see if there’s anything extra that you can disconnect if you need to.

Alternatively, you could be too far away from your device. Ensure that you are fairly close to your device when you try to listen to it with your AirPods.  

Ensure that any devices you are using with your AirPods or AirPods Pro have the latest software updates on them. Follow the appropriate instructions to install the latest software on them and then see if your AirPods Pro or AirPods work after that. 

The problem could also be in the app you’re using and not with the AirPods or AirPods Pro. You can check that by opening a different app and seeing if your AirPods work with that application.

The issue is with the app if your AirPods work in the other app. You may need to install an update for that app or change the sound settings in the app itself to get your AirPods to work properly. 

Why Does Sound Only Come Out of One AirPod?

AirPods are very sensitive and will glitch when they are too dirty. You can use a cloth to clean your AirPods if you believe the problem is occurring because of dirt and debris.

Alternatively, you can try to suction the speaker softly to remove the dirt that may be causing an obstruction.

The suctioning process must be done carefully so that you don’t cause damage to either of the AirPods. It may be effective in getting both of your AirPods to function well, however. 

Software problems are responsible for many of the cases where only one AirPods or AirPods Pro works. The software problem could exist in the app you’re using your AirPods with. Maybe it’s an incompatible app, or you need to update a newer version.

Your iOS device may also be out of date on its software, which causes it to conflict with your AirPods.

Check the software version on your iOS device, and then take the time to install a version compatible with your AirPods. You can then reconnect your AirPods and see if you hear sweet sounds coming from both sides. 

If you are still having complications with your AirPods playing out of only one ear, you may want to try attacking the problem from a networking angle. Do this to reset the network settings on your device:

1. Go to “Settings” on the iPhone and then go to “General.”
2. Scroll down the screen until you can see the “Reset” option. 
3. Click “Reset Network” to initiate the resetting process. 
4. Ensure that your AirPods are connected and then see if they work as they should and play from both sides. 

Now you know most of the reasons only one AirPods or AirPods Pro might work. You can go through the processes mentioned above to get both of your AirPods to play.

Read more: Can 2nd Gen AirPods charge in the first gen case?

Visit a nearby Apple technician if you continue to have issues getting more than one of your AirPods to play. The technician may be able to service your AirPods if he or she cannot replace them. 


  • Easy to reset and re-pair AirPods inside the case
  • Able to check battery health easily
  • Can clean AirPods and remove dust and debris with a clean cloth
  • Can reset the network connection on your device


  • Compatibility issues with non-Apple products
  • May need to update the software on your iPhone or the app you’re using
  • May need to reset the network connection on your device
  • AirPods may need to be serviced for replacement