Every issue I've had with my Airpods, and how to fix them

Low audio quality during phone calls on Mac

When a Mac application is using the Airpods microphone, the audio quality drops. The audio is compressed, and you hear sound artefacts. For example, if you Skype with someone and watch a movie together, the movie's audio will sound bad.

The solution is to open the sound preferences, and use a different microphone, like the built-in microphone.

Airpods won't connect when using Bootcamp

When you reboot from Windows to MacOS, or from MacOS to Windows, the Airpods won't play sound. They might connect, but you can't select them as an audio device. It will try to connect for a few seconds, but it never works.

You must unpair the Airpods, and pair them again. You must do this every time you use them on a different operating system.

Airpods won't enter pairing mode

When you hold the button on the Airpods case, they won't go in pairing mode. When you release the button, the white light doesn't flash. Instead, you see the regular green-red light.

One of the Airpods isn't making contact with the charging case. The contacts might be dirty, or the Airpods might not sit properly in the case. Take the Airpods out of the case, wipe the contacts with your finger, blow on the contacts inside the case, put them back in, close the lid, and try again.

One of the Airpods is not charged

When you take the Airpods out of their case, one of them is discharched.

One of the Airpods isn't making contact with the charging case. Try to clean the contacts, and put the Airpods back in the case.

One of the Airpods won't connect

This happened frequently with my Samsung S9. When I opened the case, only one Airpod would connect. It was usually the same one every time.

The solution was to put that one Airpod in the case, wait 5 seconds, and take it out again. That usually worked. If it didn't, I'd have to disconnect the Airpods and connect them again. I did not have to unpair them. This issue never happened on my Pixel 5.

There is a faint hiss when using the Airpods

One or both Airpods makes a soft "ffffff" sound. It sounds like just background noise. It can happen both with or without noise cancellation.

The microphone port is filled with dirt. Brush the little black microphone grille with a soft toothbrush for about a minute. The hissing will go away.