AirPods Connected But Sound Coming From Phone – [Start Here!]

When you connect your AirPods, you expect the sound to pour directly into your ears. But what happens when you see the “Connected” status, yet the sound continues to play from your phone?

This can be quite frustrating, and while it might be tempting to deem your AirPods faulty, don’t fret just yet. This guide will provide you with simple, effective solutions to rectify this issue and get your AirPods working as they should.


If your AirPods are connected but the sound is still playing from your phone, it might be due to:

  • Software Incompatibility: You might need to update your AirPods and/or source device software.
  • Incorrect Audio Playback Settings: Check that the audio output is set to your AirPods, not your phone.
  • Connection Interference: “Forgetting” and re-pairing your AirPods could resolve this.
  • Test with another device: This will help identify whether your AirPods or your phone is the problem.
  • Disable Automatic Ear Detection: This feature is convenient when it works, but it may be causing the issue here.
  • Check Audio Source Settings: Ensure settings within apps like Spotify or Pandora are set correctly.
  • Factory Reset: If all else fails, it could resolve the issue.

Troubleshooting Steps

1. Check Audio Playback Settings

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one. It’s possible that your audio playback is set to output from your phone rather than your AirPods. Here’s how to change this:

  • Go to ‘Settings’ on your device
  • Find ‘Bluetooth’ and click on the ‘i’ next to your AirPods
  • Select ‘AirPods’ as the audio output

Don’t forget to check the settings in your music streaming apps like Spotify or Pandora to ensure they are set to output audio through your AirPods.

2. Forget and Re-pair your AirPods

If adjusting the audio playback settings doesn’t solve the issue, you may need to remove your AirPods from your device and reconnect them. Here’s how:

  • Go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Bluetooth’
  • Tap on the ‘i’ next to your AirPods and select ‘Forget This Device’
  • Put your AirPods in their case, close the lid, and wait about 30 seconds before opening the lid
  • Follow the steps to reconnect your AirPods to your device

3. Update Software

Software incompatibility could be causing the issue, so updating your device and AirPods might solve the problem. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to ‘Settings’, then ‘General’, and select ‘Software Update’
  • If an update is available, tap ‘Download and Install’
  • Your AirPods should automatically update when they’re connected to your iPhone and charging
  • To check your AirPods’ firmware version, go to ‘Settings’, ‘General’, ‘About’, and tap your AirPods

4. Power Off and Back On

The classic “turn it off and on again” approach can be surprisingly effective. Here’s how to do it:

  • For your AirPods, put them back in the charging case and close the lid
  • Wait a moment, then open the lid to see if that resolves the issue
  • For your phone, simply power it down, wait a moment, then turn it back on

5. Disable Automatic Ear Detection

Sometimes, the Automatic Ear Detection feature can interfere with your AirPods’ functionality. Here’s how to disable it:

  • Go to ‘Settings’, ‘Bluetooth’, tap the ‘i’ next to your AirPods
  • Turn off ‘Automatic Ear Detection’

6. Check Sound Settings

Some inadvertent changes in your device’s sound settings could be causing your issue. Here’s how to check:

  • Go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Sounds & Haptics’ on your device
  • Ensure that your ‘Ringer and Alerts’ volume is up, and that ‘Change with Buttons’ is toggled on

7. Factory Reset Your AirPods

Finally, you may need to perform a factory reset on your AirPods. Here’s how:

  • Put your AirPods in their case and close the lid
  • Wait 30 seconds, then open the lid
  • On your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Bluetooth’ and tap the ‘i’ next to your AirPods
  • Tap ‘Forget This Device’
  • Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes amber, then flashes white
  • Your AirPods have now been reset and you can re-pair them with your device

Remember, always ensure your AirPods are sufficiently charged, as battery issues can cause unexpected behavior.

Final Thoughts

It is frustrating to deal with AirPods that are connected but still playing sound from your phone, but it’s often a solvable issue.

Whether it’s updating your software, changing your audio output settings, or even performing a factory reset on your AirPods, there’s likely a solution that will get your AirPods working correctly again.

Worst-case scenario, check your warranty information and consider reaching out to Apple Support.


1. Why is the sound coming from my phone instead of my AirPods?

This can be due to several reasons such as software incompatibility, incorrect audio playback settings, or issues with Automatic Ear Detection.

2. How do I ensure the audio plays through my AirPods and not my phone?

Check your device and app-specific settings to ensure that audio output is set to your AirPods. Power off both devices and then power them on and re-connect.

3. What if the sound is still playing from my phone after re-pairing my AirPods?

If re-pairing your AirPods doesn’t work, try updating your device’s software, checking app-specific settings, or disabling Automatic Ear Detection.

4. How can I tell if it’s my AirPods or my phone causing the issue?

Try connecting your AirPods to another source device. If the problem persists, it’s likely an issue with the AirPods. If not, the issue may be with the original device.

5. What should I do if none of the solutions are working?

If all else fails, consider performing a factory reset on your AirPods. If this still doesn’t resolve the issue, it may be time to contact Apple Support or check your warranty coverage.