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Why do my AirPods randomly pause?

As an AirPods owner, I’ve been frustrated with my AirPods randomly pausing during use. I started to look into why this was happening and wanted to share my findings and potential solutions I’ve discovered. In this blog post, I’ll explain why your AirPods might be randomly pausing and how you can fix it. So if you’ve ever found yourself asking “why do my AirPods randomly pause”, then keep reading!

Key Takeaways
The Automatic Ear Detection feature is the most common reason for AirPods to randomly pause.
Low battery, weak Bluetooth connection, and one AirPod removed are other possible causes.
Resetting the device playing to the AirPods, cleaning the AirPods, and turning off the automatic ear detection are all helpful troubleshooting steps.
AirPods pause when one is taken out due to the Ear Detection technology.

Why Do My AirPods Randomly Pause?

There is a lot of technology in the Apple AirPods and there are a variety of reasons as to why they may randomly pause. There are a few common reasons as well as some troubleshooting that you can do to try and rectify the problem.

The most common reason as to why your Apple AirPods and Apple AirPods Pro will decide to randomly pause is an issue with a technology the AirPods have known as Ear Detection.

The concept of Ear Detection with the Apple AirPods allows the headphones to detect when they are resting inside of the ear.

Proximity sensors built into each of the earpieces will know when they are in your ear. What happens though, when those sensors stop working as they should? In this case, the pausing may begin. 

As stated, there are a few other reasons as to why you may be experiencing random pausing from your Apple AirPods and Apple AirPods Pro devices.

One of those reasons may be the battery being too low. You also could be experiencing a weak Bluetooth connection.

Two other reasons could include the app you are using on your iPhone or iPad or a situation where you have one ear removed and one on. The removed AirPod may be moving, causing it to pause.

Read more: Do AirPods leak sound?


How To Stop my AirPods From Pausing?

How do you work to stop the AirPods from pausing on their own? The first thing that you can try is a basic reset of the device playing to the AirPods.

You want to try to do a reset of your iPhone or Apple iPad. When you do this reset, it will restart the connection with the AirPods and it could be that you are in better shape than before.

To reset your AirPods, put them in the case, open the lid, then hold the button for 15 seconds until the light flashes orange then white.

The other thing that you can do is to try to clean the AirPods. Just take a tissue, do not put any liquid on it, and try to wipe down the AirPods.

It could be that there is some dirt, some oil, something on the AirPods that is causing the Ear Detection technology to become faulty.

You can easily see the prolixity sensors driving this technology; they are the black bars on the side of the earpieces.  

Finally, if needed, you could try turning off the automatic ear detection as explained by Apple here.

Read more: Can you use AirPods with Vizio TV?

Why Do My AirPods Keep Stopping Music?

When you are listening to music, it is never great for the AirPods to just stop working. It is a mixture of factors in play that could all be causing problems with the playback of music.

As stated, it is likely the prolixity sensors and the Ear Detection technology giving out that is making the music stop playing as you would expect. 

Why Do My AirPods Pause When I Take One Out?

The Ear Detection technology is the reason why when you take out one of the AirPods, the other will stop playing and will pause.

The Apple AirPods and AirPod Pro devices do have the ability to play out of just one ear, but the goal for the devices is to be in sync.

When you are listening to music and you take one earpiece out, the detector thinks that you are taking out the headphones. This pauses the music.

If you just place the single earpiece in the case and hit play, the one earpiece remaining will play just fine. It is when you move it around, the extra earpiece, that the pausing will ensue.  

How Do AirPods Know When to Pause?

How does your Apple AirPods know when they need to pause what they are playing? The Ear Detection technology inside of the Apple AirPods can detect when the proximity to your ear grows.

When you take out one of the AirPods, the sensor will trigger and send a message to your device to pause what it is playing. When both of the AirPods go back in, the sensors once again trigger and the music resumes.

Apple AirPods are wonderful devices, but they are not without their technical flaws.

Ear Detection technology is a big piece of the puzzle that can cause issues with the most experienced users. Be aware of the reasons why your AirPods are pausing; it may be a simple fix!


  • Automatic Ear Detection feature is useful for when you take out one AirPod.
  • Can easily reset the device playing to the AirPods.
  • Can easily clean the AirPods.
  • Can turn off the automatic ear detection.


  • Ear Detection technology can be faulty.
  • Low battery, weak Bluetooth connection, and one AirPod removed can cause random pausing.
  • AirPods pause when one is taken out due to the Ear Detection technology.